The Bush administration's relentless unilateral march towards war is profoundly disturbing for many reasons, but so far as American citizens are concerned the whole grotesque show is a tremendous failure in democracy. An immensely wealthy and powerful republic has been hijacked by a small cabal of individuals, all of them un-elected and therefore unresponsive to public pressure, and simply turned on its head. It is no exaggeration to say that this war is the most unpopular in modern history. Before the war has begun there have been more people protesting it in this country alone than was the case at the height of the anti- Vietnam war demonstrations during the 60s and 70s. Note also that those rallies took place after the war had been going on for several years: this one has yet to begin, even though a large number of overtly aggressive and belligerent steps have already been taken by the US and its loyal puppy, the UK government of the increasingly ridiculous Tony Blair.
I have been criticized recently for my anti-war position by illiterates who claim that what I say is an implied defense of Saddam Hussein and his appalling regime. To my Kuwaiti critics, do I need to remind them that I publicly opposed Ba'athi Iraq during the only visit I made to Kuwait in 1985, when in an open conversation with the then Minister of Education Hassan Al-Ibrahim I accused him and his regime of aiding and abetting Arab fascism in their financial support of Saddam Hussein? I was told then that Kuwait was proud to have committed billions of dollars to Saddam's war against "the Persians", as they were then contemptuously called, and that it was a more important struggle than someone like me could comprehend. I remember clearly warning those Kuwaiti acolytes of Saddam Hussein about him and his ill will against Kuwait, but to no avail. I have been a public opponent of the Iraqi regime since it came to power in the 70s: I never visited the place, never was fooled by its claims to secularism and modernization (even when many of my contemporaries either worked for or celebrated Iraq as the main gun in the Arab arsenal against Zionism, a stupid idea, I thought), never concealed my contempt for its methods of rule and fascist behavior. And now when I speak my mind about the ridiculous posturing of certain members of the Iraqi opposition as hapless strutting tools of US imperialism, I am told that I know nothing about life without democracy (about which more later), and am therefore unable to appreciate their nobility of soul. Little notice is taken of the fact that barely a week after extolling President Bush's commitment to democracy Professor Makiya is now denouncing the US and its plans for a post-Saddam military-Ba'athi government in Iraq. When individuals get in the habit of switching the gods whom they worship politically there's no end to the number of changes they make before they finally come to rest in utter disgrace and well deserved oblivion.
But to return to the US and its current actions. In all my encounters and travels I have yet to meet a person who is for the war. Even worse, most Americans now feel that this mobilization has already gone too far to stop, and that we are on the verge of a disaster for the country. Consider first of all that the Democratic Party, with few exceptions, has simply gone over to the president's side in a gutless display of false patriotism. Wherever you look in the Congress there are the tell-tale signs either of the Zionist lobby, the right-wing Christians, or the military-industrial complex, three inordinately influential minority groups who share hostility to the Arab world, unbridled support for extremist Zionism, and an insensate conviction that they are on the side of the angels. Every one of the 500 congressional districts in this country has a defense industry in it, so that war has been turned into a matter of jobs, not of security. But, one might well ask, how does running an unbelievably expensive war remedy, for instance, economic recession, the almost certain bankruptcy of the social security system, a mounting national debt, and a massive failure in public education? Demonstrations are looked at simply as a kind of degraded mob action, while the most hypocritical lies pass for absolute truth, without criticism and without objection.
The media has simply become a branch of the war effort. What has entirely disappeared from television is anything remotely resembling a consistently dissenting voice. Every major channel now employs retired generals, former CIA agents, terrorism experts and known neo-conservatives as "consultants" who speak a revolting jargon designed to sound authoritative but in effect supporting everything done by the US, from the UN to the sands of Arabia. Only one major daily newspaper (in Baltimore) has published anything about US eavesdropping, telephone tapping and message interception of the six small countries that are members of the Security Council and whose votes are undecided. There are no antiwar voices to read or hear in any of the major medias of this country, no Arabs or Muslims (who have been consigned en masse to the ranks of the fanatics and terrorists of this world), no critics of Israel, not on Public Broadcasting, not in The New York Times, the New Yorker, US News and World Report, CNN and the rest. When these organizations mention Iraq's flouting of 17 UN resolutions as a pretext for war, the 64 resolutions flouted by Israel (with US support) are never mentioned. Nor is the enormous human suffering of the Iraqi people during the past 12 years mentioned. Whatever the dreaded Saddam has done Israel and Sharon have also done with American support, yet no one says anything about the latter while fulminating about the former. This makes a total mockery of taunts by Bush and others that the UN should abide by its own resolutions.
The American people have thus been deliberately lied to, their interests cynically misrepresented and misreported, the real aims and intentions of this private war of Bush the son and his junta concealed with complete arrogance. Never mind that Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle, all of them un-elected officials who work for un-elected Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, have for some time openly advocated Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Gaza and the cessation of the Oslo process, have called for war against Iraq (and later Iran), and the building of more illegal Israeli settlements in their capacity (during Netanyahu's successful campaign for prime minister in 1996) as private consultants to him, and that that has become US policy now.
Never mind that Israel's iniquitous policies against Palestinians, which are reported only at the ends of articles (when they are reported at all) as so many miscellaneous civilian deaths, are never compared with Saddam's crimes, which they match or in some cases exceed, all of them, in the final analysis, paid for by the US taxpayer without consultation or approval. Over 40,000 Palestinians have been wounded seriously in the last two years, and about 2,500 killed wantonly by Israeli soldiers who are instructed to humiliate and punish an entire people during what has become the longest military occupation in modern history.
Never mind that not a single critical Arab or Muslim voice has been seen or heard on the major American media, liberal, moderate, or reactionary, with any regularity at all since the preparations for war have gone into their final phase. Consider also that none of the major planners of this war, certainly not the so-called experts like Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, neither of whom has so much as lived in or come near the Arab world in decades, nor the military and political people like Powell, Rice, Cheney, or the great god Bush himself, know anything about the Muslim or Arab worlds beyond what they see through Israeli or oil company or military lenses, and therefore have no idea what a war of this magnitude against Iraq will produce for the people actually living there.
And consider too the sheer, unadorned hubris of men like Wolfowitz and his assistants. Asked to testify to a largely somnolent Congress about the war's consequences and costs they are allowed to escape without giving any concrete answers, which effectively dismisses the evidence of the army chief of staff who has spoken of a military occupation force of 400,000 troops for 10 years at a cost of almost a trillion dollars.
Democracy traduced and betrayed, democracy celebrated but in fact humiliated and trampled on by a tiny group of men who have simply taken charge of this republic as if it were nothing more than, what, an Arab country? It is right to ask who is in charge since clearly the people of the United States are not properly represented by the war this administration is about to loose on a world already beleaguered by too much misery and poverty to endure more. And Americans have been badly served by a media controlled essentially by a tiny group of men who edit out anything that might cause the government the slightest concern or worry. As for the demagogues and servile intellectuals who talk about war from the privacy of their fantasy worlds, who gave them the right to connive in the immiseration of millions of people whose major crime seems to be that they are Muslims and Arabs? What American, except for this small unrepresentative group, is seriously interested in increasing the world's already ample stores of anti-Americanism? Hardly any I would suppose.
Jonathan Swift, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
Source: Al-Ahram Weekly
The day of 9/11 I felt deep in my soul the greatest pain I have ever experienced in my life. I cried for days but I believed that maybe just maybe the US might stop and consider "Why?" before reacting and in their examination of the reasons start to grow up and face the responsibilities of their criminal foreign policies in the last 40 years.
The day the terror attack on Iraq started I felt exactly the same overwhelming pain in my soul as I realised the US has become the problem. There is little we can do now to stop the slaughter of worldwide democracy and innocent bystanders but we can do something about the future. It is time for those who understand the major danger of a rampant and uncontrolled US to start thinking about how we can disarm and control the US. To do this all of those who despise the new american drive to control the world and all its people need to combine together despite political/spiritual/philosophical differences upon which we disagree. We need to overcome all past disputes and disagreements and come together to fight the spread of american terror. We need to gather intelligence on the US as they gather it on all of us all over the world. We need to use this information to cripple and control american terrorism. One good and great thng may come out of this horrific US terrorism and that is the whole world combining to bring the US under control and disarm it. I pray this will be so and hope that we can set aside past differences to fight the greatest danger existant in this world no
Once again Professor Said unleashes his formidable intellect to indulge in
sneering and name calling. Tony Blair is a puppy? Increasingly ridiculous?
Illiterates in Kuwait? My, my, this reminds me of my fourth grade
students' verbal volleys on the playground! In previous articles, Mr.
Said has distinguished himself with calling Colin Powell a man of too
little principle, administration officials as chicken hawks, Ajami and
other writers as mediocre, and on and on and on.
I have read numerous articles by the good Professor and I have come to the
conclusion that no matter what the United States does, plans to do, or
fails to do, in his eyes we will be wrong. His strongest venom is reserved
solely for the U.S. and any who would dare defend the U.S. position. He
stands on principle and yet implies that those with opposing views do not.
But heaven forbid that anyone dare critique Mr. Said's motives or
arguments. Well! They must be illiterates!
Mr. Said is building, article by article, his very own monument to
What we all need to consider, and get some of these educated people to write about..
IS THE SUPPORT OF AN INVASION OF A MUSLIM COUNTRY BY ALL IT'S MUSLIM NEIGHBOURS.
What stuff do you ppl smoke in America????
Do you ppl know anything about the UN chart ?
Americans are terrified of death...something the establishment is feeding off of. The average person has no choice but to trust the gov.
The gov on the other hand is, in it's own views, protecting them. every gov strives to do the same thing...so we should not be suprised.
So many are talking about the people in the white house, their motives, their schemes....well OF COURSE they have motives and schemes......it's their job.
What we all need to consider, and get some of these educated people to write about....IS THE SUPPORT OF AN INVASION OF A MUSLIM COUNTRY BY ALL IT'S MUSLIM NEIGHBOURS.
Something is fundementally wrong with the muslim world...and we keep looking for the answers somewhere else.
Since the inception of Zionist Israel, it has had 68 UN resolutions demanding Israel to stop it's violations of International law. Iraq has had 17, as the author of the article clearly explained. The US Govt. has vetoed more UN resolutions than any other veto power country in history, from among China, Russia, France, Britain, and USA. When France, Russia, and China say that they will use their veto powers against going to war with Iraq, why does it upset the US Government and some of it's citizens, when the US itself has used it's veto powers on numerous occasions?? in April of 2001, Israeli soldiers used illegal chemical agents on Palestinians that were banned under the UN Charter, is not Ariel Sharon in the same boat as Saddam Hussain?? Israel has PROVEN and PROUDLY said that it has around 400 nuclear arms!! Israel has received 134 billion+ US dollars since it's inception in 1948-1997, from the US Congress, and continues to receive 10-12 billion US dollars every year afterwards!! The individual who said Palestine receives aid from the USA, it was due to the signing of the Oslo Accords. It was like giving them a bone to chew on compared to what the Zionist state of Israel receives from the US Government. I suggest all you American's such as Bill Crawford, David, Lisa, and Tom O'Brien, is that you have obviously equated anti-war with anti-american patriotism. It is a sad that today so many people close their minds to hide from the obvious conclusion that American companies such as JP Morgan-Chase have publicly declared that the oil fields of Iraq will be used to "fix" the American economic crisis it is faced with today. Meanwhile, Bush is spending 1 trillion of your American dollars on war, expelling muslim-Americans to the Canada-US border and elsewhere, in the same way Saddam Hussain did with the Kurdish people in Iraq!!
May God show mercy to all those who deny the truth and conceal it with lies.
First of all, "Bill" if that's your real name, are you telling us that your getting your sources from 'Forbes' magazine? You can't get a worse dose of propaganda than from that "money-making", Israeli-tilted magazine. And that's a fact! Secondly Palestinians used to get 'change' from the United States (note the word used too). And the only reason they got that meager bucks was that they signed the lousy Oslo peace accords, which gave them nothing they wanted. At least not something as basic as a Palestinian state not carved up by Israeli dictates (as Barak supposedly offered Arafat). That change was a fraction as compared to what the Bush adminstration consistently gave Israelis(and they still do). Matter of fact, Israelis want more. 12 BILLION MORE THAT IS. And they want it as the US is going through the worst economic crunch in 9 yrs. Yeah, some friend Bill!
Anyway, in addition to mentioning the U.S as the largest food doner to the Palestinians, I won't let you get away with omitting the fact that the U.S provides and shares responsibility hence for the weapons donated to Israel and it's subjugation therefore of the entire Palestinian people. After killing the Palestinians they want to give them food? Just like what they did to Afghanistan during and after the bombing? Well thanks but no thanks Bill. I think Palestinians and the rest of the world that is brave enough to stand up for their dignity would rather STARVE THAN accept food from a country that kills THEM!!!!!
The peoples voices are being ignored. The suffering people are being ignored and our tax dollars pay for all these crimes against humanity. What about the real people of America that the president ignores. I know that patriotism sways a group but there is a group that is getting bigger and bigger that is seeing the truth and not through the eyes of the president. I hope Insha'Allah it gets big enough to be heard and not ignored.
Even though most people didn't recongnize it as such until the 9/11 attacks, there is most certainly a war. On this much, at least, Osama Bin Laden would be in complete agreement. The only question is what tactics are to be employed in that war.
Victory in this war will only be possible for America when there are more or less democratic, peaceful, tolerant regimes all across the Arab world, accountable to their own people, presiding over just societies that provide reasonable opportunities, and protecting the rights of racial and religious minorities. The United States can't have to try to defend itself everywhere under the current state of affairs in the Middle East, with maddrasahs spewing out hate and educating the youth in jihad and damned little else and with wealthy unaccountable elites trying to buy their own survival by playing against both sides just enough to continue to live and rule in the middle. Nor can the United States be content only with efforts to combat the members of Al Qaeda and their brethren on their own turf and on their own terms. The Middle East has to be remade, period. To use the words of Mao's famous dictum to express a different thought, if you can't catch the fish, change the sea.
Iraq is as good a place as any to start. Inshallah, the civilian casualties will be few.
The citizens of the U.S. normally feel they can find the truth about a given situation lurking somewhere in the media. This doesn't seem to be the case with this war. Fundamental questions continue to go unanswered and frustration and fear grow every day as we get closer to war. We just don't know exactly what we're fighting for. Also, most people don't understand what the Islamic religion is all about and fear the unknown backlash that may follow a war effort.
It's more than unfortunate that we seemingly do not have time to discuss the justification of a movement toward war. I think that most Americans feel all we can do at this point is hope that we've elected a man who knows what he's doing, even if we don't.
Enlighten yourself a little bit!!!
Besides killing thousands of innocent people - including several hundred Muslims, the perpetrators of this horrible deed accomplished several other things.
1. It gave Bush a reason to make people think that Saddam was a bigger threat then he actually is. 2. It turned US sentiment and attention away from the sad treatment of the Palestinians (of course, the fact that some of them cheered in the streets at the devastation didn't help). 3. It gave the government a chance to pass the "Homeland security" package, which included letting them violate many civil rights 4. It made Americans so paranoid about Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims that many people fear them and dislike them. This is perhaps one of the worst results. 5. Every immigration and security person is automatically singling out Muslims for additional scrutiny. This is very unfortunate, but understandable. We have seen enough, "death to Americans" signs to get the message.
I am sure it is every bit as frustrating to Muslims to be feared and hated because their leaders are tyrants, or a group of their fellow Muslims are terrorists. Americans, myself included, feel the same way. I am not so clever, I just happen to have the good fortune of having had Muslim friends for many years. People of reason have to stick together.
I will however agree with mebrocky to the fact that there is pretty good anti bush press out there..Larry King interview with Senator Byrd was OUTSTANDING!! Senator Byrd stopped short of calling bush an imbecile or did he? cant remember..truly fantastic..however, I also do not believe that the anti war press is even remotely comparable to the pro war lobby...even here in the Uk..journalist are almost apologetic for having to show antiwar supporters...there tone of news delivery is altogether different when delivering a piece for war as comapred to one against war...then again, it could just be my oversensitive muslim hide at the moment!!!
There has got to be enough decent and moral people like yourself, to publish publications and news material to the American people and to the world. This is the 21st century people can't be living in the dark. They must see and know what is going on even if the media does not disclose the truth. Can they not comprehend what is going on in Palestine and what is to going to happen in Baghdad? This war for oil and self gain for Bush, this is what this war is all about? Power and oil and greed.
The way I see it, Bush does not care about the Iraqi people or humanity as a whole. His mission seems self-serving and for personal gain. Bush's administration is on an ego trip; because of it, lot of lives will be lost. The world will not be the same again. God help us all!
One thing I would like to know though, which there is no mention of by any one. Is what about the Americans and their weapons of mass destructions capability? How many do they have? Whom do they plan to attach next? Will they stop or be stopped? Or are they going to control the world.
They went to Afghanistan not long ago, what happened there? Bin laden still out there but the country is ruined and the Americans are there as wanted to be. They are so damn arrogant and self-centered. They do not give a damn about other people or nations only what benefits them.
WHAT IF: WE CAN REMOVE THE WOMD,SADDAMS REGINE AND FREE THE IRAQI PEOPLE?WE ARE A VOICE SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE-NOT LEFT OE RIGHT.
WE SUPPORT OUR GOVERNMENT TO DISARM IRAQ.
WE SUPPORT OUR GOVERNMENT TO FREE THE IRAQI PEOPLE.
IRAQI PEOPLE CAN MAKE A LIFE BASED ON THEIR OWN DECISIONS,NOT SADDAMS.
PERHAPS YOU MIGHT SAY WHO ARE WE TO REMOVE A REGIME?WE ARE THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS,WE HAVE MANY RELIGIONS,MANY CULTURES HERE AND WE EMBRACE OUR DIFFERENCES DAILY.
WE ARE NOT WILLING TO LET A MADMAN HOLD OVER 5 TONS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS.WE ARE BRINGING MEDICINE,WATER TABLETS AND FREEDOM TO THE IRAQIS.
IN CONCLUSION;WHEN YOU ASK WHO IS IN CHARGE;PLEASE REMEMBER IT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO EMBRACE FREEDOM.IT IS ALSO OUR PRAYERS THAT THE INNOCENT CIVILIANS WILL BE SPARED ANY HARM. LISA
Anyone who can read, watch the news or get on the Internet can have access to the information you seem to have but claim is hidden. Politicians bend the truth to fit their needs everywhere, and they have done this for centuries. In today's world of information technology it is almost impossible to lie and not eventually get caught. One of the great benefits in a democracy is anyone can say anything they want about the government, and in America they do it all the time. The other night, the last image on the news was that of frightened Iraqi children, with the question - what will become of them?
If the U.N. can't get Saddam to disarm after all peaceful means have been used, then we will have to use force. According to the most recent poll referred to on the Newshour on Friday, that is what most Americans favor. Say whatever you want to about Bush and Sharon - I have no objection, but if you are going to make statements about what goes on in the USA, get your facts right.
Of those 59% of Americans who are pro-war, one wonders how many of them have ever seen the "world" outside of USofA?. Moreover, thanks to the American Zionist media. They do a good job of tooting the pro-war horn. Most American media wants to go to war. Ever ask an Iraqi? Nobody loves Saddam, but there are better solutions. Democracy??? What democracy. Baby Bush and his cronies are taking exactly undemocratic steps, against the world, all in the name of "liberating Iraqi people". Its all about Israel, oil and Eurodollars. So long for the vanguards of "democracy". If at all a Black American woman becomes the President of USA, than have us believe that there is real democracy.