Mohamed Khodr’s Column
“THEY hate our friends. THEY hate our values. THEY hate democracy and freedom, and individual liberty. Many care little for the lives of their own people.
President George W. Bushs Speech on NMD May 1, 2001
THEY Mr. President? Who are the THEY and Why do THEY hate America? Why do THEY hate freedom and democracy? Can you tell the American people and the world just who THEY are and what exactly are we doing that THEY should hate us? Or why we should spend hundreds of billions of dollars in addition to our annual $325 Billion Defense budget, the worlds largest, to fight THEM? Do you think perhaps we can talk to THEM instead of killing them? Does our support for Israel have anything to do with their hate for us or getting us kicked out of the U.N. Human Rights Commission?
On May 1, 2001 when the eyes and thoughts of the world were gripped by Anti-Globalization demonstrations that sought to protect the powerless workers from corporate exploitation and greed, sought to protect the environment from corporate pollution, sought to protect human dignity and individuality against a yellow epidemic of McWorlds, sought to protect the weaker poorer southern hemisphere of the world from the economic expansionist hegemony of the northern hemispheres Goliath-the U.S.A.; President George W. Bush delivered a 16 minute speech at the National Defense University on Americas need for a National Missile Defense (NMD) shield that will protect America, Israel, and its allies from a missile attack launched by THEM.
According to Bushs world there are two types of nations with nuclear weapons; a RESPONSIBLE group that is mainly in the northern hemisphere like the U.S., Britain, and France who obviously are civilized, wise, intelligent, and understand the responsibility of when, why, and against whom should nuclear weapons be used as was the case in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And then there are THEY-the IRRESPONSIBLE group-the group that HATE America, its friends, democracy, liberty and freedom. Although the President did not specifically mention the names of THEY, one can easily infer from his reference to Saddam Hussein that these IRRESPONSIBLE nations are—-the non-White, non-Christian, southern hemisphere poor, starving, sanctioned, bombed, rogue states that according to Bush are a threat to western civilization and of course to Americas heartland—Israel. As Bush said: Most troubling of all, the list of these countries includes some of the world’s least-responsible states. Unlike the Cold War, today’s most urgent threatcomes from a small number of missiles in the hands of these states–states for whom terror and blackmail are a way of life. They seek weapons of mass destruction to intimidate their neighbors, and to keep the United States and other responsible nations from helping allies and friends in strategic parts of the world…Like Saddam Hussein, some of today’s tyrants are gripped by an implacable hatred of the United States of America. In such a world, Cold War deterrence is no longer enough to maintain peace, to protect our own citizens and our own allies and friends.
Bushs speech is vintage Conservative, Right Wing Republican ideologue, Pro-Military-Industrial Complex foreign policy of good versus evil. A policy whose mistaken claim to fame is the defeat of Communism and one desperately in search for a new enemy, a new ism, that rationalizes a Cold war view of the world while providing enormous wealth to the cadre of politicians, lobbyists, CEOs, and dozen or so weapon producing companies whose sale of weapons of death ensures a life of luxury. President Eisenhowers warning about the influence and power of the military-industrial complex has fallen on deaf greedy American ears shameless in their pursuit of happiness at the expense of the worlds misery.
It was left up to the State Department to elucidate who the THEY are. As expected they are the familiar nursery rhyme nations called ROGUE STATES: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba. These are the nations that are forcing the most powerful nation on earth with 7,295 nuclear warheads to embark out of pure greed and manufactured fear to build the most expensive unproven and twice failed national missile defense shield at a cost upward of $250 – $300 BILLION dollars. Never mind that not one of these seven nations has a single proven nuclear warhead. Never mind that the combined military budget of these seven nations is $16 Billion compared to Americas $325 Billion. Still Bushs logic is that our superpower military plus our friend Israels estimated 200-300 nuclear warheads plus NATOs nuclear capabilities are no match for these SEVEN DWARFS. To Bushs thinking the more nuclear bombs you have the less secure you are against attack from irrational hungry crazy third world regimes. Sounds like a rehash of Israels logic where a Palestinian stone threatens to annihilate nuclear Israel. Never mind that any nation firing any missile against America or Israel will be annihilated. I guess its true that internal peace and security does not come by accumulating bombs but in accumulating friends.
Bushs cold war rhetoric has already upset the delicate North and South Korea dialogue, squandered any China-Taiwan peace initiative, boldly and blindly swallowed Israels line on murdering Palestinians, building settlements, demolishing homes and farms, and encircling towns with nightly bombing raids as important for Israels defense and security, effectively abrogating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile with Russia that has effectively worked in reducing nuclear war heads, raised fears in Europe about NATOs future and Americas new found independence on national security issues, and withdrawing American troops from the Sinai and perhaps the Balkans. The only people salivating at the prospect of hundreds of billions of dollars lining their pocket are the Cold War remnants ruling Washington and Corporate America (like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, and TRW). Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, has in effect emerged as Bushs Cold War soul mate to the embarrassment of Colin Powell, the lackluster general whose dimming star will ensure his abrupt departure from an administration bent on confrontation in a world thriving on interdependence.
Bush said that these rogue states would blackmail the world should they possess nuclear weapons. Perhaps given his alcoholic youth he may have forgotten that it was Yitzhak Rabin in 1973 who blackmailed Richard Nixon to airlift billions of dollars of weapons during the Yum Kippur war to Israel otherwise he would use nuclear weapons. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear capabilities and the only one that has NOT signed the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty while Iraq and Iran have. Israel is not only the fourth largest recipient of American arms but has become thanks to the American taxpayer the worlds fifth largest weapon exporter, often breaking American Arms Export laws by selling American technology to third world countries. In fact, Israel is the most condemned nation on earth by virtually all human rights organizations including the American State Department. It is the only nation without recognized borders or a recognized capital. But America loves it because they both share the common value of kicking butt.
From 1993 to 1997, the U.S. government sold and approved $190 billion in weapons to virtually every nation on earth making it the largest seller of military weapons in the world. In fact, the U.S. accounts for 70% of all world military sales annually. The powerful arms industry is one of the largest political donors in the country giving nearly $2 million in the 1998 election to the Democratic party to ensure this peddling of death often to poor countries. The American military industry and government have no qualm about selling weapons to both sides of a conflict or to dictators and human rights abusers. A dollar is a dollar, who cares who dies for it.
Tragically, the Middle East is the largest consumer of American weapons. Many of the poor Arab countries spend up to three times their budget on the military than on health and education combined. Its hard to understand the logic of so much weaponry when no Arab nation aspires to fight Israel and when so many people are hungry, illiterate, and without basic health care.
COMPARE THE DATA BELOW BETWEEN THE TWO RESPONSIBLE STATES (U.S. and Israel) and the SEVEN IRRESPONSIBLE DWARF STATES.
MILITARY Expenditure BILLIONS (world RANK)
m.e. per capita (dollars) (world rank)
gnp/capita (dollars) (world rank)
$ 281 (1)
$ 7 (14)
$ 6 (26)
$ 1 (63)
$ 1 (49)
$ 2 (33)
$ 0.3 (82)
$ 5* (22)
$ 0.7 (74)