Mohamed Khodr’s Column
Psalms: 34: 13-14
“I cease not to advocate peace; even though unjust it is better than the most just war.”
“In Philadelphia, a Mrs. Powel “asked Dr. Franklin, Well Doctor what have we got a Republic or a monarchy? A Republic, replied the Doctor, if you can keep it.”
American Historical Review 1906
For many years now your knowledge of the Constitution, our history, classical works, and profound courage and patriotism have been a role model for legislators around the nation as well as being a role model for young passionate Americans contemplating public service.
Your speech on the Senate floor regarding the War Resolution on Iraq, a war desperately in search of a cause, was brilliant, impassioned, courageous, and honest.
I support you, Senator Byrd, on your principled stand that a war debate must not be subjected to time constraints or political expediency. Many Americans pray that Congress would just take a deep breath, seclude itself from the pressures of the media and sound bytes, and deliberate thoughtfully and rationally as demanded by our Constitution as to the reasons to send our 19 years old boys and girls to die prior to an election and a search for a legacy.
Few Americans support this war but like our Congress are too intimidated and fearful to speak out. Ashcroft has put the fear into their hearts while incarcerating our Constitution and shredding our Bill of Rights. Our nation is easily swayed by the latest “sound byte du jour”, but our Senators and Representatives are elected to THINK and ACT on our behalf. How can anyone be intimidated and cowardly, as Sen. Feinstein said, by a popular President when human lives are at stake? Is human life so cheap today that it can be sacrificed at the altar of a “few more dollars and votes”?
Read the irony and tragedy of Shimon Peres’ words on ABCNEWS (3/31/02):
“The sacrifice of human life at the altar of political ambitions is BARBARIC.”
Anxiety, Fear, and Depression permeates our nation and the world due to President Bush’s instantaneous demonization of Saddam, abandonment of Osama Bin Laden, articulating an illegal and immoral “Pre-emptive” murder of nations based on “secret intelligence” and whim, and a policy of the next “regime change” thus ensuring a never ending supply of “regime change and democratization” through war and destruction. That should ensure Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Perle/and Rice’s (Powell?) military-industrial-wall street-media friends an Enron/Jack Welch lifestyle for decades to come.
I left my dictatorial “Muslim” nation to flee a nation with no Constitutional protection, no Bill of Rights, no democracy, no due process, and no recourse for citizen participation in decisions of life and death. I came to America, like millions of immigrants, to participate and flourish in a “nation of laws”, a nation of equal freedoms and opportunity, a nation founded by the two most extraordinary documents ever written that guarantees a government by the people and for the people, a nation that allows me the freedom to criticize my Honorable President and Honorable Representatives, a nation of peace, a model nation for a planet mired in desperation and conflicts. In my nation today I am at risk under Ashcroft’s Doctrine for incarceration because I am a Muslim. When Ashcroft hears “American Muslim”, he only reacts to the “Muslim’ part. His FBI paid me a visit, under false pretenses, questioning my past and current life and seeking information on other “Muslims” in my community.
My President has declared an unconstitutional doctrine of “Pre-emption”, a doctrine that violates international law and our commitment to international norms and treaties. Today my government has abandoned the voice of its citizens to hear the voices of money, influence, and votes of the powerful beltway have’s. Today my government is literally taking money out of the mouths, health, and education of Americans to spend it on an ideologically based “empire” of might. As a former Preventive Medicine Physician I operated under a budget of less than one percent of the Federal budget to save lives, yet now President Bush and Company have found hundreds of Billions of dollars to “Preventively” end lives and nations.
Today my government is beginning to act like the very “dictatorial” nation I left.
How ironic that our nation spent over $5 Trillion during the Cold War to “Pre-empt” the Soviet Union’s expansionism and annexation of nations, and today it is Russia that is “Pre-Empting” Bush’s America from its expansionism and annexation of nations with coincident oil fields.
Given that our culture always pushes the envelope to continue to stimulate our bland and boring lives, what will our future generation do with our massive weapons of mass destruction? A generation raised on video games and “smart bombs” may make “stupid decisions” and annihilate peoples and nations whom we simply don’t like or disagree with our orders. If such a generation that kills classmates and murders for sneakers should reach power, what will they do in the future? The time to stand up for principle, for our Constitution, and for the sake of humanity is NOW; not after a genocide and winning an election campaign.
Peace is much more “cost effective” and humane than war. Abandoning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to seek another MidEast conflict is hardly a hallmark of a rational “civilized” nation.
Life is more precious than an expedient “sound byte”, donation, or vote.
This war and the alteration of the Middle East, akin to post WW I, was long drawn up prior to President Bush’s election by Conservative think tanks. It’s always been a dream of the NEO-CONS (how appropriate a name: CONS), Pro-Israelites, and Corporate Board Rooms to rule the land above the oil reserves. War throughout history has been about Power and Greed.
Saddam has been there for decades, he’s been our proxy, the recipient of our technology, yet now in DAYS we must decide to kill him along with thousands of innocent Iraqi’s and American GI’s.
How utterly stupid and irrational to think that a simple “regime change” will “liberate” the oppressed Iraqi’s into an American compliant “democracy”. Ask the British, the French, the Dutch, and the Russians of their colonial experience to alter the Muslim world into a compliant mirror image of themselves.
The Muslim masses, not their governments, will certainly present thousands of Bin Ladens and suicide bombers around the world to attack Americans and American interests. The Muslim world has experienced the Crusades, the Inquisition, WW I (with British lies and conspiracy), WW II, the Cold War, and now the conflicts in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. Too many Muslims have died. Too many illiterate and unemployed angry Muslims will see America as the “evil empire” and lash out, maybe not now, but will in the future, perhaps allowing President Bush his re-election and his safe retirement.
But God help the children of America today who may face the “Rage of the Muslim world” as voiced by Bernard Lewis, Huntington, and the Christian Evangelists.
You, Senator Byrd, and our Congress are our only hope left for a rational approach to world conflicts, to protect the lives of the innocent, to protect our nation of laws, and to protect the world and us from more terrorism. Iraq has agreed to unconditional and unfettered access. Iraqi civilians and our American military deserve this last chance for Iraq to comply. Flaunting U.N. Resolutions has been a hallmark and specialty of Israel for 55 years with our protection, yet we will kill Iraqis to enforce their compliance with U.N. Resolutions. Is this double standard lost on our government?
According to President Bush’s philosopher and Savior: “Blessed are the Peace–Makers“
Peace, Shalom, Salaam
May God bless us with wisdom, guide us to the righteous path, and forgive us our trespasses.
Dr. Mohamed Khodr
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East.