Monday, April 12, 2004

Disliking US Policies, Not America

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi,

I didn’t mean to provoke, but my last article “Why Muslims Hate America” angered many readers.
Many thought by “America” I meant the great country, civilization and people we admire and respect — of course not. Muslims dislike certain American policies. They protest against attitudes and actions that hurt their interests, affect their lives and insult their dignity. They include: Support for Israel’s criminal policies and waging a destructive war on a big lie (WMD) and destroying and colonizing two Muslim nations.
What was this neocon, pro-Israeli administration thinking? Did it expect 1.5 billion Muslims to enjoy being raped and robbed? Sorry to disappoint, but we do react naturally to aggression and hate — we hate and hit back, sometimes in the same barbaric way, if on a smaller scale. “Why was it wrong for the US to depose Saddam Hussein?” a reader asked.
It wasn’t the goal but the process — and look at the results. Is the world today a better and safer place? Is Iraq now as previously advertised? “If you were Bush, how would you have reacted to Sept. 11?”
I would start by asking why and working on the roots of the problems. I would be courageous enough to admit my mistakes and fix them. If my support for Sharon’s criminal policies is giving me a bad name, I would correct my position to better reflect my nation’s noble principles. I would work for peace and prosperity in a region I either neglected or where I supported the wrong sides — dictators and oppressive regimes. I wouldn’t blame others for my sins. Saddam was US-made, so were the Taleban. They brought us all to the miserable state we are in.
Fixing mistakes of this magnitude is not a job for generals alone. Bombs don’t fix, they destroy. They are not simple answers to complicated questions. So, let’s take our time and work harder and smarter for just, practical and lasting solutions — such as the formula of two viable states, Palestine and Israel, approved by the Arabs, supported by the UN and US, and rejected only by Sharon.
A reader shot back: “Exactly how were your bad guys the creatures of America?”They were installed by the CIA against their people’s will, and supported against their political opponents and neighbors. They only became bad guys when they began damaging US interests. Remember Saddam’s and the Taleban’s war on Iran and some Arab leaders’ liquidation of Islamic parties? Why were they then good guys?
It is never too late to do the right thing. If America were to correct its policies today, I assure you tomorrow it would become once more the world’s greatest role model — the beacon of justice, freedom and democracy.

No comments: