Sunday, March 16, 2003

American Anger

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

It seems that my article last week on American fear and its Crusader war struck a raw nerve in America. The Internet coverage received by the article provoked the wrath of a large number of American readers and protests from some American friends.
Some responses were related to the tale I relayed of the American passengers who decided to cancel or change their flights after seeing a number of Middle Eastern passengers traveling with them.
It seems this story gave the impression that Americans are a fearful people, a quality that does not suit the sons of an empire dominating the world.
There were also objections to the conclusions I made following my recent visit to the US and the discussions I had there with a number of American thinkers and intellectuals on the Iraqi standoff.
I said Washington was implementing the agenda of an alliance of Zionists, Crusaders, and oil and arms businesses to establish its global hegemony.
I also pointed out that the plan to attack Iraq was originally proposed in a study presented by Richard Perle, an influential consultant of the administration, to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996. The plan was later resubmitted to the Bush administration. These comments did not go down well with my critics.
My assertion that the Americans’ fear was not spontaneous but created by the US leadership to bring about a feeling that their security is under threat also appears to have been provocative. My argument here was that the administration created the present situation to win public support for any tough political or military action, even at the expense of the country’s constitution. I concluded the article by saying that terrorism begets fear and fear begets terrorism — and in the end the injustice of it all will come back to haunt the aggressor.
I told the critics that I was not expressing my own view. It was also the view of several noted American thinkers, politicians, lawyers and media professional whose names I mentioned in the article. So I was not expressing my view as an Arab, but the shared view of many Americans and Europeans.
All Americans I quoted were white, and some were even Republicans.
The accusation that the article was anti-Semitic and anti-Christian becomes meaningless when you consider the presence among the people I quoted of Christian thinker William Baker and Jewish lawyer Stanley Cohen — as well as many others who belonged to various Christian churches.
In fact, this was the very reason that prompted me to use the word Crusaders instead of Christians, and Zionists in place of Jews. As I strongly oppose the linking of Islam to terrorism and terrorists, I tried my best to avoid the same mistake by linking these gruesome political movements to Christianity and Judaism.
As Muslims, we believe that Christianity and Judaism are two divine religions. Our faith cannot be complete without believing in their prophets and books.
On the contrary, Zionists and Crusaders form two movements which use religion as a cover to achieve their vested, racist political and economic interests at the expense of others. Mainstream Christianity and Judaism do not support the ideas of these two extremist school of thoughts.
The state of fear and horror created by the two administrations in the US and Israel is a reflection of the breathless, fearful world as it now watches how the American cowboys manage the Iraqi crisis. Mark my words, ladies and gentlemen: The “made in USA” Iraqi crisis, and the expected invasion will not be a quick fix, as some US strategists hope.
The new swamp the aggressors and invaders will find themselves in will be more dangerous than the ones the US managed to get itself into in Nicaragua, Angola, Korea and Vietnam. The vicious circle of fear and terrorism created by the new crisis will be the worst and bloodiest of them all. How and why? I will try to answer that in my next article.
Arab News Features 16 March 2003

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