DENIAL IS NOT AN OPTION


ARE WE or are we not the good guys -- liberating oppressed peoples, eliminating weapons of mass destruction, maintaining law and order around the world, improving the lives of the less fortunate in developing countries? So why do so many others have such a negative opinion about us? 

It's not a terribly difficult question to answer, but Americans seem to be in denial. 

On February 24, Glenn Kessler and Mike Allen of the Washington Post wrote: "The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become urgent and disturbing: Many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein." 

On May 16, a Gallup International poll found that, "Majorities in all other countries think that as a result of recent military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, the world is a more dangerous place." 

A BBC poll released on June 16 stated that, "Nearly two-thirds of respondents to an international poll for the BBC say they have an unfavourable opinion of George W Bush." 

A few examples should help us understand these results: International Law, Foreign Aid, Iraq, and Israel. 

INTERNATIONAL LAW: Multi-billionaire George Soros has written: "The United States has become the greatest obstacle to establishing the rule of law in international affairs." 

In one way or another, we have not lived up to our obligations under the: International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966); Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972); Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1979); UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1996); Kyoto Protocol (1997); Chemical Weapons Convention (1998); Biological Weapons Convention (2001); Nonproliferation and Test Ban Treaties (2002); International Criminal Court (July 1, 2002). 

We have signaled to the world that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties no longer binds us. Under the convention, a country that has signed a treaty cannot act to defeat the purpose of that treaty even if does not intend to ratify it. Instead we have been bullying and bribing other states to sign bilateral agreements to circumvent the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. 

Yet, we do not hesitate to seek satisfaction from the UN and other international bodies when it is our interests that are at risk. 

While threatening pre-emptive strike on states that we believe are seeking weapons of mass destruction, we continue to increase our stockpiles of those weapons, thereby, encouraging others to attempt to do the same. 

In 1996, the International Court of Justice unanimously held that Article VI of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligates states to "bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects." Our recently released Nuclear Posture Review makes a mockery of our commitments and the Court's ruling. 

We have shown an utter disregard for international conventions on human rights by holding "illegal combatants" in a legal limbo at Guantanamo. These prisoners have been tortured, and denied rights under both American law and international law. 

We rounded up hundreds of Muslims in the U.S., kept them in jails without being charged or allowed to communicate with family or lawyers. Of the 82,000 Muslims who voluntarily registered at the request of the Justice Department, 13,000 face deportation. 

These actions have thrown the entire system of international law into chaos. 

FOREIGN AID: Every dollar contributed to the World Bank, claims the U.S. Treasury Department, returns two dollars to the U.S. economy. Our foreign aid programs have enriched the elites; they have done little for the less fortunate. 

According to development expert David C. Korten, "The World Bank has served as an export-financing facility for large Northern-based corporations. The IMF has served as the debt collector for Northern-based financial institutions. GATT has served to create a corporate bill of rights protecting the rights of the world's largest corporations against the intrusions of people, communities, and democratically elected governments." 

Harvard professor Amy Chua writes: "For the last twenty years the United States has been promoting throughout the non-Western world raw, laissez-faire capitalism -- a form of markets that the West abandoned long ago . . . It is striking to note that at no point in history did any Western nation ever implement laissez-faire capitalism and overnight universal suffrage at the same time -- the precise formula of free market democracy currently being pressed on developing countries around the world." 

And even though California's model of electric utility restructuring has clearly failed, the U.S. Agency for International Development is thrusting this model on developing countries. 

IRAQ: 750 years after the Mongols destroyed Baghdad -- the cradle of civilization -- we have done the same. Iraq neither attacked us nor threatened us. We invaded Iraq claiming it was an "imminent threat." We are occupying Iraq in order to install a "democracy" that is to our liking, we have taken over their oil fields, and the Iraqis want us out. 

Senator Robert C. Byrd, in a speech on March 19, said, "We cannot convince the world of the necessity of war for one simple reason. This is not a war of necessity, but a war of choice." 

Iraq's highest ranking defector, Hussein Kamel, according to the UN transcript of his debriefing, had told the CIA, British intelligence, and UN inspectors in 1995, that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons. General Kamel was Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, and for 10 years he ran Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. 

Both Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and our invasion of Iraq were illegal. At our insistence, Iraq suffered 12 years of crippling sanctions, which killed a million or more Iraqis. Iraq is still paying reparations for its invasion of Kuwait. Will we pay for our invasion of Iraq? No way -- we aim to profit from it. 

ISRAEL: A Pew survey released in early June reported that in 20 of the 21 countries polled the U.S. was considered too supportive of Israel -- our double standards are obvious. The largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is in Israel -- the recipient of the biggest portion of our foreign aid. Since 1973, Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist, estimates that Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If we truly wish to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, how can we ignore Israel's? 

If we went after Iraq with such zeal for invading Kuwait, why have we not shown similar zeal in ending Israel's 35-year, illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza? Our Middle East roadmap, writes Columbia University Professor Edward Said, "is not about a plan for peace so much as a plan for pacification: it is about putting an end to Palestine as a problem." We have given a green light to Israel's assassination of Palestinians. 

AMERICANS who couldn't be bothered by all of this need only look at our defense budget -- greater than that of the next 15 countries combined, it takes away funds which would otherwise go toward education, health care, social security, infrastructure development, etc. 

The "rogue states" and "axis of evil" combined spend on defense less than half of what we spend on covert operations alone. 

To sustain this massive spending on "defense," our government has to keep making new "enemies," use them to scare us, and take away more and more of our freedoms to protect us from these "enemies." At risk is our way of life, and democracy itself. 

Are we or are we not the good guys? As we celebrate the 4th of July we should recall that in a democratic society we must take responsibility for the actions of our elected leaders. Denial is not an option. 

 

Enver Masud received the Human Rights Foundation Gold Award for his book The War on Islam. He is the founder of The Wisdom Fund.

Source: The Wisdom Fund


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  14 Comments   Comment

  1. J Miller from USA

    My cooment is in response to Fatima Awad. I'd like to know where you get your idea of what patriotism is and what exactly we celebrate on July 4th. Where do you get the idea that we take pride in "ruining and ravaging the lives of other helpless people?" WE are not patriotic for this reason. We are patriotic becuase of what we all know we are so lucky to have. We have freedom unlike so many other unfortunate people who have been robbed of their human rights, like those in Iraq. Contrary to what many might think, the idea behind the war was not only to disarm Iraq, but to give its people freedom from the hell they have been in for so long. I don't like the idea of war; not many Americans do. Its a sad thing that takes life. I certainly do not celebrate the idea of innocent deaths. I did however celebrate my freedom this 4th of July. I thank God everyday that I am lucky enough to have the human rights that everyone deserves but that so few have. I am curious about one thing though: if you have such a low opinion of America and Americans, then why of all the places in this world do you choose to call this country your home? Maybe this is something you should think about.

  2. Dino Demars from Liberia

    King writes:

    So Dino, whats your point ? Since "we" cant say it "there," "we" shouldnt say it "here" correct ?

    No, my post had nothing do do with being able to "say" anything "here", "there", or anywhere. It had to do with the simple wide-spread availability of information in the US. From the press, elected officials, and from government bodies themselves. Say what you want, just realize that this information is available because of the nature of Western society. Of course, you are correct, though. Publishing an article like this in, say, Saudi Arabia, would be impossible.

    I'm glad I made you laugh. Bringing joy to children is always a delight.

  3. Brendan from Ireland

    In response to Akbar Khan:

    I'll take your correction that this site is viewed by casual browsers and not limited to frequent visitors. For my own experience, I've only seen articles from here linked at the same 'usual suspects' where I've read countless other articles stating the same thing.

    You mistake my criticism of the article as indicating that I disagree with the content. Quite the contrary. I believe the content is valid. I believed all these points were valid when I read them on dozens of other websites over the course of the past two years.

    My point is that I question the value of the repetition of these facts. To me, it serves no purpose and the more that forums like IVIEWS, ISLAMICITY, YELLOW TIMES, etc endlessly repeat the same stories, the less value they have.

    You me ask for an alternative - to what I'm not sure. I would believe that the next time an author submits an article repeating these facts, the webmasters should just repost this one instead.

    Please don't take my comments as disagreement with the article's content or your comments on the importance of publishing facts rather than lies. For my part, I visit sites like this looking to learn new things, not just re-read what I've already read before.

    Regards,

    Brendan

  4. Bishop from UK

    Mike Hale, you're a typical American. Full of hate, uneducated and lacking in any real information. I guess a lifetime of watching Jerry Springer, eating at McDonald's, has taken its toll.

    Its funny because the man you trailer park trash worship would be considered a "raghead" also. DO yourself a favor insect, if you cant handle real information go back to your FOX brainshing session.

  5. King from uk

    So Dino, whats your point ? Since "we" cant say it "there," "we" shouldnt say it "here" correct ?

    As long as its praise and accolades its cool no doubt, critism need not apply.

    You make me laugh.

  6. Dino Demars from Elysius

    One thing to consider is that it is because of the openess of the USA and the West in general that this information is even available. Do you think that you couldn't compile a similar list against Iraq? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Of course you could. All this and worse. The thing about the US is that this information is freely available for anyone to use, whatever their purpose.

    For the other posters here - if you live in a country without any black marks against it, then you can preach all you want. Until that time, maybe you should put your own house in order first.

  7. Sr.D.Albizu from USA

    Brendan:On Sep.11 nobody really knew why.Millions of NAIVE absolute trusting in the GOVT. Americans still don't.They need to be told to wake up and smell the coffee.Sep.11 is not something that just happens because a bunch of muslims hate FREEDOM.

  8. Wade from USA

    The statements made here are missing the obvious and denying God. Hussein was an evil man and God removed him from his place of responsibility.

  9. mike hale from USA

    Another raghead list of stupidity. {} you people and the camel you rode in on.

  10. Fatima Awad from USA

    I think that the reason there is a high level of patriotism this fourth of July is because of the recent war or invasion or illegal occupation of Iraq. This is a real shame because it means that Americans take pride in ruining and ravaging the lives of other helpless people around the world, Muslims in particular. The greater shame is that Muslims do nothing to stop them.NOTHING.Americans take time to honor the declaration of independence and the U.S. constitution.Whereas,we don't take pride in Islam and following the principles of the Quran for fear of being labeled as "terrorists" or "Islamists" as if such a title even exists as being legitimate.So while good, country loving, peaceful Americans celebrate their independence from a tyranical king of Britain, the "Muslim" world is yet to realize its independence from the Tyrany of U.S. dictators like George Bush, a "compassionate conservative",might I say. The author of this article clearly points out the all the wrongdoing of American foreign policy and it seems that the American government is controlling the entire world.The reason for this is because although this country is a democracy, most Americans are uninformed about politics and extremely ignorant of American foreign policy. So they have no say in the actions of their government that is supposed to represent their interests.For example, the U.S. constitution states that congress has the sole right of declaring war.But today, the president declares war and then consents congress.This is unconstitutional and yet no one has challenged his abuse of power.So the power to destroy a whole nation, such as Iraq, is left in the hands of one man despite opposition from many Americans and people all over the world.I agree with the author,more attention needs to be focused on reparing the broken economy than "liberating" and colonizing and creating a new economy and a new market in a far away land under the famous lie that it has "weapons of mass destruction."

  11. Akbar Khan from Canada

    In Response to Brendan:

    The point of an article like this, and it's listing of facts, IS that those exact same facts, and those exact same outcomes after the invasion of Iraq, are not accepted by SO MANY AMERICANS, and they STILL continue to brush them aside and still follow their blind patriotic view, still in FULL support the the invasion and false hope that the WMD will be found...there are AMericans who will support the Bush Administration and it's decisiosn from beginning, and will continue to until it's end. If this is the case, why don't you compare an article written with one from, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, or LA Times, and see if it is as truthful or straightforward about the facts as an article like this.

    You are wrong that only frequent visitors see this site. As a matter of fact this website receives a considerable number of new viewers, and curious people who do not know about the many truths that are shared on websites such as IViews. I can say that based on the different people I have seen through my frequent visits to this website who are new, or have only been here once or twice. There are regulars, but then there are not regulars. I now ask you to give an alternative, whta do you suggest, if you do not see the purpose of sharing hte truth so that we do not forget so easily? I would rather be reminded about the truth from articles like this on IVIEWS and ISLAMICITY than be reminded of lies from ZNN and FOX.

  12. Riaz Syed from usa

    The author said it very well. We as americans have caused more damage to the world peace than any other nation.

  13. Brendan from Ireland

    I don't see the point of articles like this. The writer simply lists off all that is wrong with America and ends restating the title. I think most people who frequent web-sites like this already know everything that is wrong with America today and are not educated by a stream of commentators repeating the obvious.