Invitation to President Bush: Start with the Basics

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq Views: 2259

If you provide an invalid premise in any argument, not matter how rational the argument sounds, you are doomed to receive an invalid conclusion. It's simple logic, and a concept that I learned here in the United States during my first year in college, years ago, with an enthusiastic teacher named Marsha. But today's reality seems much more irrational than philosophy 101.

It was in early 1999, when I met Dr. Mohamed Al-Douri, Iraq's representative to the United Nations. The ambassador had only been in his post for a few months. Just as I turned my tape recorder on and readied myself for the interview assignment, he uttered with conviction, "the US is desperate to find an excuse to unleash a war on Iraq."

It is not only Al-Douri, but millions throughout the world who are sensing that the prospects for a US war on the sanctions-hit Arab country is much more than your average war pretext, "restoring democracy and upholding freedom". True, now you have "saving the Iraqi people," another fabulous pretext to be added to the tons of lame justifications, "Iraq is a threat to its neighbors", "Saddam Hussein is a danger to humanity", etc.

Now, lets go back to our philosophy lesson. Need I even suggest that saving a nation can hardly actualize by starving its children? Need I reiterate that blocking medical supplies, which results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands will not free the Iraqis? Must I remind Mr. Bush that no provision within the basic principals of democracy dictates that overthrowing a government and imposing another through a lethal war, involving random air bombardment, ceaseless ground shelling and troop redeployment is in fact democratic? 

What frame of reference is Mr. Bush using to justify his Iraq war buildup? Neither the American constitution, international law or even common sense justify such a war that will likely harvest the lives of an untold number of victims.

Even if we subscribe to the idea that the first Gulf War had its legal and moral justifications, how can we approve of the sanctions that have turned the Iraqi capital, Baghdad into a city of mass funerals? And if we are  willing to turn a blind eye to past catastrophes, how can we now, as rational human beings accept that the best way to "contain Iraq", or halt the presumed danger of the Iraqi President is by, once again choosing the same path we walked on for ten years, which resulted in nothing but death and despair, of radicalizing not only an entire generation of Iraqis and Arabs, but an entire generation worldwide, even here in the United States?

It's rather perplexing that we still hear the question "why do they hate us so much?" asked time and again throughout the media and even on the street. Aren't Iraqi children precious too? Shouldn't their unnecessary deaths evoke anger, dare I say, even hatred of the policies that crippled an entire nation and deprived its children of the right to live in dignity... even to simply live?

But at least, according to my dear teacher Marsha, to validate an invalid argument, one must examine its false premise, or premises.

The American administration is indeed sensing a problem and is in fact realizing that Middle Eastern nations hold a very negative view of the United States. But instead of rectifying its deadly and unbalanced foreign policies in the Middle East by ending its war quest on Iraq or holding back on its never-ending military and political backing of the Israeli government in its war on the Palestinian people, it is resorting to bizarre and ridiculous means. However, the establishment of an American funded radio station in Jordan with the latest Britney Spears and Back Street Boys hits is hardly enough to blind most Jordanians to the  tragedy unfolding in Iraq, nor will the six million dollar propaganda campaign through Arab media deter Egyptians from protesting the US support of Israel and boycotting American products.

Strangely, we are told that a remedy to the Middle East's complicated problems requires complicated solutions. To a degree, such a claim is true. But why not begin by a quick philosophy 101 course. I am sure that Marsha would be delighted to teach our administration that you don't save a nation by killings its children.

Ramzy Baroud is the editor-in-chief of, and the editor of "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002".

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq
Views: 2259

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Older Comments:
Noreen, why waste your time with "John Norman." This Muslim hating piece of garbage is not a sensible or intelligent person. The deranged dingo is nothing but a member of Israel's amen corner.
A typical zionist like him is not interested in saving anyones life unless Jews of his putrid vareity are involved.

Noreen: truly nice to know you save lives. You are to be commended.

On the other hand, you say some incredibly silly things. Where do you get the figures for British opposition to a war against Iraq. As for photographing in Iraq: hard enough to get inspectors in there. In fact, not that many years ago, an Iraqi journalist and a British citizen to boot was found nosing around some forbidden area. Instead of being expelled from the country, he was arrested, tried and executed. Lastly, the sanctions against Iraq can be laid at Saddam's feet, no one else's. Incidentally, have you thought about the money wasted by Saddam and his family on those eight princely palaces he has built. And, sorry, but one last thing: Saddam not a threat to his neighbours? Tell that to the Kuwaitis, the Kurds and the Iranians.

Is democracy the best form of government?
No a benevolent dictator is.
Try and find one.
Is a democracy without a bill of rights a good government? No India will show that. India isn't a democracy its mob rule.
Was George Bush the elected ruler of the US? Yes, the legally elected presidents. Both recounts, and the courts have decided this. If he "cheated" why didn't democratics try and charge his or do an investigation into election fraud? The argument was only over a recount not election fraud despite what Jesse Jackson says. Do I like George Bush as president? No. But many people did and do. Does the US government support dictators abroad? Yes, but isn't it an elected leaders job to do what he feels is best to improving the lives of those in his country, as well as to do the will of the people who elected him?
You want to change American opinion about the Arab world? Buy CNN and Fox and ABC and CBS and you'll change their opinions

John: I save lives. I am a medical researcher and an MD student.
You should stop to ponder why over 85% of British people do not support the US led attack on Iraq or why 90% of the worlds population do not support attacking a defenseless country.

Please note that North Korea is currently parading their nuclear weapons while UN inspectors in Iraq are wondering why the US and Israel won't share the 'secret evidence' of the wmd Iraq apparently has, so they can document it for the UN and the world.

Iraq is not a threat to its neighbors, or to any other nation as many current and former UN inspectors such as Scott Ritter have confirmed.
Please see the documentary "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm", it will help to open your heart and get rid of the prejudice you harbour.

As a photographer, perhaps you should travel to Iraq and take photos of the weapons you find, to convince the rest of us you are not a hate/war monger. Or just photograph the innocent Iraqi people who currently live under brutal sanctions and depleted uranium radiation.


My brother and sisters in islam. Please do not involve yourselves in balming other people like USA or Israel or Kafirs. Let's look at our muslim majority is behaving. Unfortunately we are not on SIRATE MUSTAQEEM exaclty. We have forgotten that we have to meet ALLAH one day. We are not remembering HIM (the mighty ONE). And it has been SAID ALLAH WILL BRING AN UN JUST PEOPLE UPON US IF MOVE AWAY FORM THE RIGHT PATH. This is exactly what is happening. Look at PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, INDIA, and many more. WHY HAVE WE LEFT THE RIGHT PATH. WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE ALWAYS THERE DEATH. I swear that if we just do what has been asked by our GOD. ALLAH will help us in dealing with these minor problems. READ our history, we have fought with only 300 men with an army of hundereds and thousands. But before we raise our arm, let 's look at is our CREATOR with us.



"If you provide an invalid premise in any argument, not matter how rational the argument sounds, you are doomed to receive an invalid conclusion."

It is the Iraqi government itself who chooses to squander its resources on military expenses, rather than food and medicine.

Why are Americans becoming disillusioned with Islam? Many reasons, one is the constant intellectual dishonesty among Muslim journalist and the Muslim theocracy.

Noreen: How very kind of you to ask.

To answer your question, I started working when I was 15 1/2. Many, many years later I took early retirement and now work as a self-employed photographer. What do you do that contributes to the well-being of the society you live in?

In principle,United States is the first country in the Modern World whom practising polygamy.Their first wife Britain,second Israel,third Austarlia and others scattered all over the Globe.Unfortunately,all outside wedlock!.

Comparing Iraq to Nazi Germany or Japan is delusional and irrational. Iraq has not attacked a neighboring country for over 10 years, nor has any neighboring country felt threatened by it in the last 10 years.

Germany and Japan did not have the most brutal sanctions the world has ever seen, imposed on them for over 10 years, or have their entire infrastructure blown out by depleted uranium bombs.

You can not justify attacking a helpless country for OIL. The entire world is very aware of what the USA is trying to do. The USA is after all a democratic country with an unelected president.

The USA has attacked one country or another, (usually in South America or the Middle East) EVERY YEAR FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS.
The only nation to ever drop an atomic bomb on another nation is the USA.
You can't justify all acts of war in the name of democracy, especially when the USA does not have a real democracy and supports many opressive dictators, and Israel's apartheid government.

it is the muslim people, not leaders of countries with majority muslim populations, that must unite and educate ourselves and others in the issues the world is facing.

this article was not written for bush or dick, they know exactly what they are doing. as do the dictators they support.

it is important for all the world's citizens to realize that they were lied to during the gulf war (see hidden wars of desert storm) and are still being lied to.
there was no threat of millions of iraqi soldiers at the saudi borders in 1991 (as satellite pictures have confirmed), nor are there any threats of wmd now. UN inspector Hans Blix confirmed this fact today.

in addition, there are no legal no-fly zones over Iraq; these were illegally imposed by the USA and britain. the use of depleted uranium ammunition is also illegal, as is massacering the soldiers of a retreating army, (the USA violated this Geneva Convention and many others).
Dont be fooled by leaders who use the cover of a so-called democracy, to self-righteously wreak havoc on the world for the sake of oil and power.

The author is naive

John, first of all what make you think democratic government is the right form of government, I myself is from India the so called world No1 democracy, where minorities are been oppressed because of a majority choose something in their favor. If US is so concerned about democracy, why its supporting Algaria, Saudi, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt ....
John same way I can justify the actions of Osama (9/11) on US, as he is acting to save people from US aggression, oppressing un armed and innocent people for Oil and Israel.

Why blame the US for lack of Arab unity. The current leaders are a sell-out.

LEYLA003 FROM U.S.A. said:
As-salaam wa 'alaikam :
Sad to say, we as muslims have adopted the Western
way of living. Coming from an American revert.Our
muslimahs are now looking like Britney Spears and
brothers are also adopting ignorance in claiming
girlfriends. Women now flock to the mosque naked.
Dare to say anything to them. The leaders of the
community have become too relaxed on this subject.
(khutbah)We are not to single out anyone, but we
need to be reminded to be islamic. Yes, I am very
disappointed in this government. When one decides
not to comply with orders of this system, they impose sanctions. This is barbaric. Yeah right,
why don't we just starve the people.Who's the
bully. Korea, do what you like because imposing
sanctions on you just will not work. Let's focus
on the muslim countries, they won't stand up to .
their too weak!!! There's a need for Pres. Bush
to complete the works of his father. I applaud
the Koreans for standing up to such a communistic
government. Get out inspectors, your're not at all
welcomed here. We can handle our own business.
Thank-you, but no thank-you ! Oh boy ! What can
we do when we're afraid to address our own
community !

Very disappointed !

You wrote a very touching article. Wow, I was going to cry. Who do you think is going to listen to you? President Bush is only one front end Parrot that echoes the real US rulers who are in the Pentagon and the Jewish lobby.


John Norman,
You seem very enthusiastic about posting comments on any issue. Are you employed?
Or will no one hire you, because you are arrogant, belligerent, close-minded, and prejudice?
Thanks for spending so much time on It truly is a great site for you to broaden your views.

but what isn't strange and unusual is the attempt by mr. norman to divert attention from the issue at hand - by majoring in the minor and "minor-ing" in the major. a futile attempt indeed, but he did learn from the best, our president. inshallah may the one and only God open up the eyes of the remaining few who just don't get it. bravo mr. baroud, for giving us a chance to think about our actions. i believe common sense allows us to declare that a human's basic rights come before anything else. may allah protect the iraqi's - whether muslim or not, so long as they are innocent - from the evil that is about to take advantage of them.

Strange. I thought that was exactly how Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan were saved and turned into thriving democracies: by attacking them, waging war on them, removing their corrupt, murderous regimes and hanging the leaders. Evidently, Ramzy Baroud believes the Arab world is not ripe for democracy. Says a good deal about his belief in his fellow Muslims and their world views.