Ray Hanania’s Column
The United States is a nation of contradictions, more than it can ever be the standard of moral righteousness.
And while this may seem like a problem for Americans, the imbalance that exists between what is right for Americans and what is right for everyone else threatens to undermine the Arab and the Islamic world.
This imbalance is strikingly obvious to any fair-minded observer. And fair minded observation these days is a scarcity in the United States. Here are a few examples.
The first contradiction is the War on Terrorism itself. While the United States has used its definition of terrorism as a foundation to literally destroy Afghanistan, a nation accused but never convicted of a single crime, the same United States government has turned its back on acts of terrorism by its own allies. The worst terrorists being the Government of the State of Israel.
Another contradiction is the American disregard for individual rights. For many years, the United States was the self-anointed champion of civil rights, speaking out against violations in every foreign country, except those where it has a significant foreign policy interest, such as Israel, several banana republics in South America, and even in Pakistan which, with the help of the CIA helped undermine a Democratically elected government to replace it with the Musharref military dictatorship.
The most outrageous civil rights violations is the American Governments refusal to adhere to the Geneva Conventions which define how nations may treat prisoners of war. When the United States needed the Geneva Conventions to protect their own soldiers held by the Nazis and the Japanese during World War II, in North Korea, Vietnam, and in several other countries during military skirmishes, it now says the Geneva Conventions have no applicability to the “prisoners” it has taken in its own “War on Terrorism.” It is and it isn’t a “wear,” depending on the issues the United States is addressing.
The United States also refuses to accept responsibility for its role ion creating the very terrorist it today hunts. The saber rattling against Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein, ignores the fact that Hussein is the product of American foreign policy intrigues.
Osama Bin Laden and his “al Qaeda” organization may well be guilty of plotting the horrendous terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center on September 11 which resulted in the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians. But Bin Laden is a product of American intervention in Afghanistan, when the country was crucial to its international policy of reigning in the power of its once primary rival, the Soviet Union.
Although American politicians unequivocally denounce “suicide bombings,” all one has to do is watch the Hollywood film, Pearl Harbor, to understand the real hypocrisy in this claim. The man chosen to lead the strike against Japan months after Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, openly advocates suicide attacks as justified against someone who has committed a wrong against you.
Many of the weapons Al-Qaeda has used in defending itself against the “war-not-a-war” in Afghanistan are American-supplied and American made.
The first clue that the American led war on terrorism is not a war on terrorism at all, is the fact that the United States is ignoring the acts of terrorism by the Government of Israel against the Palestinians.
In fact, American politicians are openly urging Israel’s government to take an even more aggressive campaign against the Palestinians. More aggressive than Ariel Sharon, a fanatic who has set new standards for how far an extremist can go with his extremism.
The second clue is the debate now taking place in the United States about which country should be attacked next. The United States has established a bulkhead in Afghanistan, giving it enormous positioning power against its only other real international threat since the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Chinese. And with that achieved, it can look elsewhere for “war-not-a-war” opportunities.
Nearly every country being discussed as the “next target” in the “war-not-a-war” on terrorism, is an Arab or a Muslim country. Although you think they are planning to attack Iraq or maybe Yemen, the real target is the much wealthier nation of Saudi Arabia.
The United States won’t actually invade Saudi Arabia, but American politicians are relentless in their slander of Saudi Arabia, preparing the American people for the new justification that drastic measures may be needed to undermine the control the “Arabs” have over oil.
It is all right for the United States to squeeze profits from its multiple products shipped to foreign countries, but Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil producing countries are forbidden from maximizing the profits from their own, single resource, which is oil.
In its unbridled arrogance and unprecedented hypocrisy, American government leaders are conveniently ignoring the fact that Saudi Arabia has served the interests of the United States more than it has served its own interests.
During the Cold War, the Saudi’s served to keep the Soviets from extending their communist influence into the Arab World.
And, Americans continue to berate the Saudis for the “high price of oil,” even though Americans pay less for their gasoline than nearly every other non-Arab country.
The “War on Terrorism” is not a war on terrorism at all.
Instead, it is a cleverly disguised war on the Arab World and its two most important pillars, Islam and the future of Palestine.
When this war is over, the Western leaders hope to find themselves dominating a New World Order that subjugates Arab countries while reigning in Islam, the world’s fastest growing religion.
Can the Arab World survive? Or, will it crumble under the pressures of the assault and their own weaknesses as a cohesive, national entity?
(Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American writer based in Chicago and a regular contributor to MMN. His columns are archived on the web at www.hanania.com)