America has just experienced the most spectacular and deadly terror attack in modern history. Four hijacked passenger planes were flown directly into the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. Thousands of Americans were maimed and killed. The cost of this tragedy to American taxpayers is not known yet, but you can expect it to be tens of billions of dollars. This dastardly attack will undoubtedly cause America to suffer huge economic losses and change the way Americans have leisurely lived and traveled for decades. It may even lead to an American and worldwide depression.
These terrible acts of terrorism must be fought with every ounce of American resolve. And those who commit such heinous acts must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. No such act must ever be permitted on American soil.
We Americans must ask ourselves why we are hated by such groups. Why do people sacrifice their lives to bring terror on our soil? Why is there terrorism against the United States of America? Unless we understand the “why” of these acts, we can never completely prevent such acts in the future. For every nation is vulnerable, and always will be, to those who are willing to sacrifice their lives to kill others. That’s why it is equally important, if not more so, to find out what causes terrorism as it is to strike back at terrorism.
The news media have done its best to tell us who is responsible for this bloody attack on the American people but nobody yet has told us why the attack took place. All that we know is that a bunch of “Arab Muslim cowards” committed this act.
Calling the attackers “cowards” may not be the best way to describe them. The terrorists committed an indescribably horrible and ruthless act against the American people, but calling them cowards is not the best description. Kamikazes may be misguided, but sacrificing one’s own life for a cause has never been called cowardice. And using words such as cowards or madmen doesn’t answer the question of why these horrendous acts occurred, unless one thinks every coward and madman wants to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Those descriptions help prevent people from discovering the reason why the event actually occurred. And, if we want to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future, it is absolutely vital to understand “why.”
Maybe a good question to ask is why these “crazy,” “cowardly,” Arabs never attack Switzerland or Sweden? What could it be that these countries do, or don’t do that causes them to be ignored while we are targeted.
Let me be direct and come straight to the point. The cause of this terrorism is our involvement in and support of the criminal behavior of the Israeli government. You can be certain that you will never hear this accusation from the controlled news media, but nevertheless, let the truth be known. It may not be the “political correct” response, but political correctness is not one of my concerns.
You see, the Palestinians and many of their Arab allies have been the target of a half-century of unrelenting Israeli terrorism. Israel took over Palestine and drove out over 800,000 people from their homes through horrendous acts of terrorism. Among those acts was the sadistic massacre of over 250 Palestinian old men, women and children at Deir Yassin. After the bloodletting, the Jews then purposely publicized the event so as to make the people flee in panic from their homes and businesses from which they still haven’t been allowed to return.
The terror also was applied to the British, such as the horrendous bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Not only did they establish their Israeli state over Palestinian land, the Jews took the Palestinians’ personal property: their land, farms, homes and businesses. After driving out the Palestinian refugees and refusing their return, they then passed an “abandonment land” law that gave it to the Jews.
In 1980s Israel killed an estimated 40,000 civilians as it invaded the nation of Lebanon and relentlessly bombed and attacked cities and villages, including the ancient and beautiful city of Beirut. The current Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, oversaw the massacre of thousands of refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon.
And what about Iraq? Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the death of 500,000 Iraqi children from starvation due to UN sanctions, “acceptable and worth it” during a CBS interview on “60 Minutes” a few years ago. In other words, it’s worth having 500,000 Iraqi children die in misery in order to safeguard Israel’s position.
It has not stopped since. Israel has more prisoners per capita than any other nation of the world, more than Stalinist Russia, or Red China during their worst periods. It routinely tortures its Palestinian prisoners, and is in fact the only nation in the modern world that legally sanctions torture.
Israel has targeted and assassinated thousands of Palestinian leaders, and this includes scholars, clerics, businessmen, philosophers and poets, anyone who inspires the Palestinian people to restoration of their homeland. These assassinations have occurred all over the world, even in the United States.
In the process, they have killed many thousands of women and children. Even today, while America reads of the World Trade Center Tragedy, Israeli troops have killed 20 Palestinians in less than 72 hours, including two young Palestinian girls, ages 9 and 11 and one Palestinian boy, age 14. Ariel Sharon is taking advantage of America’s tragedy to hide any news coverage of his continued carnage and destruction to the Palestinian people.
In addition to the many human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Amnesty International, in 1999, reported that “Since 1987 the Israeli authorities have demolished at least 2,650 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem…. As a result 16,700 Palestinians (including 7,300 children) have lost their homes.”
In addition, the Israelis have uprooted over 100,000 olive trees which were, in many cases, the only sources of income for these Palestinian farmers. These homes and olive trees were demolished with American made bulldozers while the leaders in Washington looked the other way, giving the green light to these Israeli barbaric acts.
And it has not just been the Palestinians who have suffered Israeli terror. In April 1996 the Israeli military targeted a Lebanese Refugee Camp in Qana, Lebanon that killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children, in which a U.N. investigation found Israel to be at fault. When a vote was taken in the United Nations to condemn Israel for the killings, the United States was the only country to vote against the condemnation. What does that tell the rest of the world?
Every Palestinian and Arab is aware that Israel’s half century of terror could never have occurred without the active financial, military, and diplomatic support of the United States. They know that the Jewish Lobby has dominant control of American Mideast Policy.
They know that almost every bomb that kills their people comes from America. Every bullet, every tank, every fighter plane, is manufactured or paid for by American dollars. It is America’s billions of dollars of support that have enabled the Jewish state to terrorize the Arab people for half a century.
That is why the Arabs hate us; and that is why they are trying to strike back at us. That is why we will continue to be vulnerable to men who willingly give up their lives to avenge their people. Striking back at the terrorists is important, but getting to the source of terrorism is even more important.
It’s time to get tough with Israel.
James J. David is a retired Brigadier General, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, and the National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington DC. He served nearly 3 years of Army active duty in and around the Middle East from 1967-1969.