Who will lead the United States, Israel, Egypt or Vietnam?

In an article written by Molly Moore of the Washington Post, ” Report calls Israel partner in faulty Iraq intelligence” (December 5, 2003), Moore reports that an Israeli general admits to the fact that intelligence information used to support the US led Coalition’s military campaign in Iraq originated in Israel. The article says that Brig. General Shlomo Brom wrote in an analysis for Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies that, ” Israeli intelligence services and political leaders provided an exaggerated assessment of Iraqi capabilities, raising the possibility that the intelligence picture was manipulated.” He also said, ” The failures of this war indicate weaknesses and inherent flaws within Israeli intelligence and among Israeli decision makers.” The article says further ” Israeli officials frequently told foreign journalists before the war that Israel and the United States were sharing information, particularly regarding the possibility of Iraqi missiles and non conventional weapons that could be used against Israel.” Nothing surprising. What is surprising is that even though much of the world questioned the cause of the war, with many analysts, East and West suggesting that Israel was providing faulty intelligence and instigating this war for its own reasons, it seems that US political and military leaders proceeded to war with unwarranted full faith and confidence in the faulty information, or total disregard for the possibility that American men and women were being sent into combat where their lives would be put at risk, at a cost of billions of dollars to US taxpayers, and all to appease Israel. The Israel/ Iraqi war nexus has received even closer scrutiny since details of a controversial document called “Clean Break” have been made public. The four horsemen of Israel authored Clean Break. Three of them have subsequently, and ironically ascended to top non-elected policy positions in the United States, two at the US Pentagon, and one at the American Enterprise Institute. The document was also the focus of a conference sponsored by members of Congress and aired over C-Span. Conferees revealed that the horsemen, Feith, Perle, Wursmer and Netanyahu had decided as far back as the 1990s that they would use the United States to ride shot-gun for Israel throughout the Middle East, and into Iraq. The document implies that the demise of Iraq is key to Israel’s ability to strengthen its bargaining position with the Arab nation/ states. This relationship would be desirable, according to the document, until such time as Israel was strategically (economically, and militarily) positioned to go it alone, making a Clean Break from the United States.

Much of the intelligence, as well as the tactics that are employed by the United States in respect to security, the war on terrorism, and even the war in Iraq are believed to be either influenced, or directly dictated by Israel. Increasingly it seems that our national worldview is shaped less and less by US interests, culture and values, and more by Israeli interests and perspectives, which as we all know originate from a Zionist worldview and agenda. News that Israel will manage the security arrangements for the upcoming Olympics in Greece is an example of how Israel’s way with the world is becoming popular, not only in the United States, but also in other countries as well, which serves to expand along with it, the influence of Zionism. The problem with this is that Israeli Zionist promote torture as a legitimate and reliable tool for extracting information from suspects, even though international law prohibits the use of torture, and common sense dictates that people say almost anything you want to hear if you torture them, which might explain why Israel manages to kill so many Palestinian civilians in its now suspect raids into Palestinian territory, and it might also explain their distaste for due legal process, and trials. They advocate and employ targeted political assassinations as a way to mitigate disputes, and they also employ and advocate collective punishment, and use excessive force, and have demonstrated an arrogant disrespect and disregard for the law, including Jewish religious laws. Israel endorses, and has carried out preemptive strikes against suspect targets that often result in civilian causalities, including the killing of children and women, and destruction of private property, while causing hostilities and hatred between peoples that make peace difficult, if not impossible to achieve. All of these immoral and illegal tactics are also becoming increasingly familiar, and troubling trademarks of Paul Bremer’s strategy in Iraq. It is, as General Brom characterizes Israel’s tactics, “extreme.” According to Moore, Brom wrote ” problems lie in getting carried away with extremes, as was clearly the case with Israeli intelligence on Iraq.”

The United States, due to our sometimes naïve affection for friendships, and our tradition of freedom and respect for diversity, debate and opinion, has become somewhat like an idiot cousin who just tags along with whoever claims to be our friend. We are like the gentle giant in Of Mice and Men who loves something to death, not recognizing our own strength, or at least not being as impressed by who we are as some others might be. It doesn’t seem to matter enough to us, or those who hold positions of influence, that often times our so-called friends are friendly only because it serves their interest, or that they could care less about the United States, or what price the American people ultimately pay to pal along. Of course we have those who would trade US security, American lives or whatever they could for wealth, power, and worse of all the advancement of their ideologies and worldview.

Another example of the influence perhaps being peddled in the United States by foreign governments who are out for their own interests, and who could care less about how their propaganda, or unscrupulous practices impacts the quality of life for Americans, our traditions, and ideals, is an article published by Newsday and written by an Egyptian student, Laila Sada who is studying journalism and Near East Studies at New York University, in the United States. Do you wonder how an Egyptian grad student gets published in Newsday? She writes in the article ” Veils can cover real images of Islam” the following: ” In Egypt, I found that the veil has become increasingly central to women’s discourse and identity. I found that faith, once largely private, was forced to take on a public face and be used as a statement…back in New York, I discovered that the veil which is really tangential to the practice of Islam, has taken on importance for Muslim women living in the United States as well…” She asks innocently ” Is wearing the veil as a sign of solidarity no longer optional in a post September 11th world?” Solidarity with whom, one might ask, and what does wearing a scarf have to do with September 11th? She concludes her article saying, ” I’m afraid that until women focus more on interaction and open dialogue with non-Muslims and less on positioning ourselves as “us vs. them” all we do is stretch the boundaries that separate us without actually taking down the barriers. For me, sustaining a dialogue that leads to mutual understanding is the truest expression of faith and solidarity that I can show and be comfortable with.” Ms. Sada had perhaps forgotten as she wrote her article, that when she writes “us” in the United States, it gives the impression that she is talking to American Muslim women, not Egyptian women. That is an important distinction since for “us” the veil is a non-dialogue starter. Our Constitution protects religious and political speech and so for whatever reason a Muslim, or any other woman, including women of other faiths who wear scarves, or other head coverings are concerned, it’s no body’s business why they do so. Interfaith and other types of dialogue among people of different faiths etc., is an ongoing, and common practice and tradition between Muslims and other religious and non-religious groups in the United States, and we don’t need Mubarak’s guidance on that, thank you. We have learned that freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to politically and religiously associate and gather publicly, voting and women’s rights has helped to prevent our society from being polarized by religious, or political, or gender differences, and these traditions have saved not a few of us from disappearance. Nor are we interested in internationalizing the issue. Ironically, or perhaps incidentally, Ms. Sada is published just as Egypt convenes a meeting to call for a Palestinian cease-fire against Israel, and France pronounces that it could never tolerate the wearing of the veil in public schools because it is not only a religious, but also an aggressive political symbol, and Harvard Professor Alan Derkowitz calls for further polarization between the Church and the State, suggesting that marriage should be declared a holy sacrement and separated from the state who could then oversee gay unions, while the religious institutions would oversee marriage between people of opposite sexes. Whereas there is no respectable conspiracy theory that would allow any linkage between these events, they do perhaps portray a common sort of effort to advance a certain world -view that is obviously, if not radically secular, and a favor from Egypt, the price of which might be religious freedom in the United States is also perhaps an element of this secular siege.

Not too long ago in Egypt, women were persecuted and sometimes disappeared for wearing the veil. The same is true of men who wore beards. Praying too often in the mosque could also get you a disappearance, as would unfavorably critiquing the government. Women wearing the veil in increased numbers might be very frightening in the former French colony, but it’s not so scary in the United States, and neither should it be. If you want to divide the American people, or stir up a little anti-religious, more secularism sentiment here, you’ll have to work harder, Israel, and the neo-con Israel first crowd has just about worn us out on the Islam as the demon, anti-American faith routine. One of the results of U.S. anti-Islam fatigue is a determination on the part of American Muslims to resist having our faith politicized by anyone, even foreign Muslims, or exploited, or dictated by any foreign government, or their operatives, male or female.

There are other examples of just how vulnerable the United States has become to foreign meddling and intrigue, and also how ignorant we are of the potential damage that can be done to our country by people who have not understood the real meanings of the words of US patriotism that sound so simple and naïve when repeated like a mantra, yet to us, they mean more than anything in this world, other than our faith in God. They are our private treasures, and the secrets of our individual and national power. How many of us grimaced as a recently naturalized and former Vietnamese national took exception to the Patriot Act after announcing that he was its primary author?

In his farewell Speech to the U.S. government, the first President of the United States George Washington made a statement that is as profound as it has proved to be prophetic. He said:” Nothing is more essential than permanent inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments should be excluded, and that in place of them, amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated.” He said: ” The nation that indulges towards another a habitual hatred, or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.” He also said, ” It is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another. It must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character, that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.” He added that his intent in saying such things was to “warn against the mischief’s of foreign intrigue, and to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

The war on terrorism has introduced us to unique, yet sobering challenges. Recognizing that we cannot stand alone in a world that is so diverse, and so dangerous we must reacquaint ourselves with the type of patriotism that is not arrogant, but that is akin to the type of love of country that great men like General Washington enjoyed. They knew the price of freedom, since the days of colonial servitude, for them, was not so distant a memory. They garnered the world’s respect for their courage, integrity and most of all their insistence that the American conscience would be the voice of its own people, and that it would be led by those who had experience and proven ability, and courage to lead the United States as true patriots.

Recently someone suggested that U.S military deployments throughout the world might have left the United States vulnerable to attack. Well, what does that say about Gun control? Yet, guns are only one of America’s weapons; the others are freedom, independence, and women.