Mohamed Khodr’s Column
After the unexpected rapid collapse of Communism in 1991, President Bush Sr. announced that a “new world order” is on the horizon. At the time no one had a clear definition of that phrase but it sounded important and strategic much akin to the 1000 points of light. The first “order” of business materialized conveniently and handed in a silver platter to the United States with the most devastating catastrophe to hit the Middle East since the wholesale murder and evacuation of Palestinians in 1948 by the west’s newest colony in the region, Israel. That Arab homemade catastrophe was the dastardly invasion of Kuwait by the evil megalomaniac Saddam Hussein. It was a warm invitation and golden opportunity for the sole remaining superpower, America, to finally have a legitimate entry for establishing permanent bases in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, to partially fulfill its manifest “new world order” destiny, and to finally showcase and utilize its overwhelming intimidating “smart bomb” military whose size and budget was expanding exponentially with no playground to kill.
Thus with the help of Israel and its American cronies a new strategy and vision for the superpower began to emerge. The smart kosher boys came up with a new enemy to “fight” that will meet America’s hegemonic needs to spread its power, satisfy the everlasting military-industrial lust for money and new weapons, solidify the conservative Pro-Israel base in both political parties, and as a side benefit eliminate Israel’s enemies Can’t you sense it boys and girls? Yes, it’s none other than the religious evil empire “Islamic Fundamentalism” that is spreading like a cancer around the world challenging America’s and Israel’s domination and occupation of Arab and Muslim land, governments, and wealth. How dare these ungrateful, uncivilized, barbaric followers of a violent religion challenge the “Supermen” of Truth, Justice, and the American-Israeli way?
Thus Martin Indyk, the newly made citizen boy wonder, began the strategy with the “Dual Containment” of Iraq and Iran, the Anti-Israel dynamic duo from hell. For the following decade things seemed to be going America’s way in the Middle East, sort of. Some Exceptions: The Oslo Peace Process (killed with Rabin’s death and Sharon’s atrocities), Sanctions and continuos bombing of Iraq (Saddam survived Bush & Clinton but 1.5 million Iraqis dead with 5000 children dying per month were worth it to Madeleine Albright), Bush Jr’s “we don’t need the world” unilateralism alienated everybody, the United Nations was paralyzed by Helms and Company, China’s beef with the American spy plane, World Trade Organization meetings becoming rallying cries against capitalistic bullying and exploitation of the world’s poor.
Suddenly and for the first time in history, terrorism against America was unleashed, first in 1993 in the World Trade Center then at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia (along with Oklahoma City). Here was a chance for America’s “Intelligence” Community to infiltrate these terrorist groups, to develop relationships with the “intelligence” and financial communities in the world, especially the Muslim world, to analyze the motivations of such groups, to enhance America’s counterterrorism capabilities, to improve anti-terrorism, immigration, and surveillance laws, to support anti-money laundering laws, to enlist the cooperation of American Muslims, to vastly improve airport security, to, to, to…….
But if we did all those things we wouldn’t be America, for never in our history have we ever developed a clear understanding of what are our national interests and priorities in the world, nor what is our global vision and strategy in the world to meet those interests and how to follow through implementing such strategies. Tragically, our government’s domestic and foreign policies are market driven, sold to the highest bidder for money, power, and access to media popularity. It’s a simplistic policy enshrined in a dichotomous understanding of black and white for an easy sell and grasp by an apathetic American public whose knowledge and understanding of the world is spoon fed by media sound bytes and glitzy advertising.
Those who control the news, control the views. The enormous pressure and demand to raise several millions to launch a campaign translates to political quid pro quos—-money for policy. One can almost imagine the media barriers and filters erected on both coasts that spin the news to fit the views. Thus our national tragedy revolves around the powerful few within the Beltway of Washington D.C. deciding the fate and lives of Americans, Afghani’s, Palestinians, Iraqi’s, Kashmiri’s, Chechen’s, Sudanese, Libyan’s, Syrian’s, Iranian’s; while Americans the beautiful people in fifty states are totally unaware and disinterested in the killing around the world done in their name.
That’s where a terrorist like Osama Bin Laden comes in. He was one of our boys like the millions of Islamic Fundamentalists in the Muslim world we supported as long as they did our bidding against Communists in their countries and helped us fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. After we used them we simply trashed and forgot about them. One would think our “wonder boys” in Washington would have studied history to know that always came back to haunt colonial Europe. One would also think that since the MidEast oil is our prime concern and since the Muslim world consists of 56 nations with one fourth of the world’s population that our government officials would have studied Islam and had Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu speakers in our “intelligence” community. Again, if we did, that wouldn’t be America.
Osama Bin Laden allegedly murdered about 3000 (latest number) innocent Americans because he wants revenge against America’s foreign policy in Palestine, Iraq, and in the Gulf. America now is doing the same, killing innocent, starving, sick Afghani women and children to seek revenge against Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden’s sentiments are not new and have been known to America for decades regarding Israel’s atrocities against Palestinian civilians and for a decade regarding Iraq and the Gulf. This was no secret and these sentiments are widespread in the Muslim world. The issue is not if these sentiments exist but the issue is why our media deliberately ignored and neglected these sentiments and intimidated the government from ever debating our foreign policy with the American people—one reason: ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL.. The American people have been treated as if they are stupid, superficial, disinterested, and don’t want to be bothered with grave issues that might involve a world war and the death of their sons and daughters. It all boils down to one simple fact. Israel and it’s American Jewish lobby that consists of rich businessmen, many former and current high government officials, Israel supported think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs, a Jewish dominated media, a Jewish dominated Hollywood, and the constant easy access for Israeli officials like Benjamin Netanyahu who appears in Congress and on every channel and news show to spin them Israeli lying blues.
The war in Afghan was a hasty decision due to understandable public outrage against the worst terrorist attack on our nation. It’s not going well and world opinion is mounting against the devastation from the air of a dead nation with dying people. For five weeks we haven’t killed or captured Bin Laden nor toppled the Taliban regime. It seems we will continue to kill freezing frost bitten Afghani’s into the winter while they are observing their Fast in the Holy Month of Ramadan. There are no pictures of the dying children to pull our hearts like the repetitive pictures of an injured or killed Israeli. So we will approach Thanksgiving and Christmas with trepidation but without heart wrenching pain as to what our government is doing in our name in the Muslim world.
But according to our “ally” Israel and its conservative media generals we shouldn’t stop with Afghanistan but move on to other Muslim countries regardless of evidence. Time to hit Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia and any other muslim nation that won’t support our “new world order” of “Submit to my way or hit the highway”. Cries for a nuclear crusade are even emanating from our Congress, from Sen. McCain and Lieberman. “Nuke the Muslims” has been the rallying cry of these “patriotic” Americans who have hijacked our government, hijacked our billions and weapons for Israel’s murderous campaigns, hijacked our Constitution by pushing for detention of Arab or Muslim Americans without due process and under secret evidence, hijacked the will and thought of the American people, and hijacked all our faiths that seek peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue.
Americans are just as victimized by these “gang of lobbies” as are the Palestinians and Afghani’s. Americans are also victimized by their psycho-social behavior of being non-confrontational, easily intimidated by an aggressive “anti-semite” label, by their sense of alienation, powerlessness to affect outcomes, and their sadness at an isolated life that’s only given meaning by materialism, television, sports, weather, and other “stuff”.
I ask my fellow Americans to forget about Muslims, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about our war against Afghani civilians, and about all the world’s problems. We haven’t cared and it seems we won’t care about humanity’s problems as long as they are not ours, even if it’s our doing.
But I do ask you this my fellow citizens. We’ve been hearing about a new sense of patriotism and unity in our nation. If so, may I ask if you care about what happens to our country and to our children in the future? Do you want to see them involved in world wars, religious persecutions, in racism and prejudice here and abroad? Do you want them to live in a world where you carry an identification card to pass check points, in a world full of fear and insecurity, a world that may have much radiation and much disease, a world without peace and justice? A world without God. If so, then please continue your silence and greater fear of facing Americans and lobbyist who dare decide our fate. In the long run that is a more dangerous fear than the fear from terrorism.
If not, then be the “land of the free and home of the brave” and SHOUT to our government that we need to debate our foreign policy, we need to debate our blind support of Israel, we need to debate our sanctions on Iraq, our military presence in the Gulf, debate the need of campaign financing, debate the war on Afghanistan, debate Social Security, Medicare, and Health Care for our children, our poor crumbling educational system, our lack of world education and so much more.
If we all do, nothing can stop us from reclaiming our country and future for peace here and abroad. God bless Americans and God bless all souls yearning for peace and justice. Amen
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. He lives in the Washington DC area.