Everyone in the Arab World is denouncing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his attacks against the people of Jordan these days.
It’s politically correct, even though suicide bombings happen elsewhere and no one says a word, especially when the victims are civilians in Israel.
The truth is Zarqawi has a fundamental core base of support in the Arab World, despite the harsh attacks, the strong words of denunciation, and the tragedy Zarqawi brought on his own people –” he’s Jordanian and most of the victims of the triple suicide bombings were Arab and Muslim.
And, if we want to win the “War on Terrorism,” we had better wake-up.
Zarqawi’s attacks in Amman, Jordan did cause great human tragedy. It is hard for anyone to watch as the bodies of innocent civilians are dragged out of the carnage of what used to be a wedding or a popular hotel.
Yet, deep down, most Arabs and Muslims will forgive Zarqawi, mainly because his attacks are striking home.
For example, many Arabs are wondering out loud why Jordan’s King Abdullah, who claims to be the voice of freedom and Democracy in the Middle East, continues to remain silent as Israel reeks havoc on the Palestinian civilian population.
Israel’s continued abuses of Palestinian rights are outrageous. Yes, Israel has a right to fight the terrorists, but they have no right to destroy the lives of innocent family members who are related to suicide bombers.
Israel will destroy the home of the bomber’s family and even destroy the homes of neighbors in what Israel calls collective punishment.
Israel continues to murder Palestinians it asserts are “terrorists.” And some may be, but don’t they have to abide by international laws? If someone is a terrorist, shouldn’t they prove it in a court of law before they simply snuff out his or her life using an American-made missile that often also kills scores of nearby innocent Palestinian civilians?
Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian lands, is building the immoral and ugly “Wall” that they misleading call a “fence,” and although they have “withdrawn” from the Gaza Strip, the fact is they continue to treat the entire population like prisoners in one large, ugly prison.
Worse, if you criticize Israel, officials in the United States are the first to stand up and denounce the critics. They don’t care about the Palestinians.
And it’s not just in Palestine.
What about in Iraq, where more and more we learn about torture and violations of human rights?
The alleged purpose of the war in Iraq was to free the Iraqi people. They’re not free. They’re living in a Hell, imprisoned under a new dictatorship that is different only from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny by the fact that the Americans are better are “spinning” their actions.
How else can you explain the outrageous decision by the United States to avoid applying the fundamental basic rights of the Fourth Geneva Conventions to Arab prisoners?
Americans should remember that how we mistreat our prisoners will be exactly how other will mistreat our soldiers when they become prisoners.
Why isn’t King Abdullah talking about all this?
Why isn’t that other “Democratic” leader, Egypt’s President Husni Mubarak also denouncing American atrocities in Iraq or Israel’s continued violation of Palestinian rights in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Eact Jerusalem?
The Arab and Muslim “street” recognizes that Zarqawi is the only person who is championing the rights of the downtrodden. He is the only one who is speaking out against the injustices. He is the only one doing something to fight back.
They know that war is about violence and death, and they are learning from Israeli and the American policies that innocent people are killed and brushed aside all the time without anyone complaining.
So while they are outraged at the death of innocent Arabs and civilians in Amman, Jordan, they also are asking themselves quietly why they should be outraged when the American and Israeli publics are not outraged at all by their own governments’ abuses?
Israel and the United States must begin to impose the same standard of value on the life of an Arab, a Palestinian or a Muslim. The United States should force their tyrant allies, including in Egypt, to impose real Democracy and respect the rights of all civilians.
The American government must firmly punish those engaged in torture, military abuses and embrace true freedoms not just for those with whom they agree, but with everyone.
Until that happens, Zarqawi will remain the only available answer to the growing discontent in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.
That’s a frightening future that can only be blamed on the injustices that Americans are willing to turn their back on in Iraq, Israel and the rest of the Middle East.