Sunday, May 16, 2004

To My American Readers, With Love

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi, Arab News

It is refreshing to learn that some of you agree with at least some of what I stand for. I appreciate and learn from your critical, independent, humane and global views. Together, we could start a global movement against all kinds of abuse, extremism and terror.
But there are also readers who insist that there is a difference between the crimes of a better class of people, who can do no wrong, and the lesser breed, whose similar or smaller crimes are inexcusable. I would only say to them: This is the mentality of the super-race, the crusaders and Zionists that gave rise to Bin Laden and his kind.
After centuries of imperialism and a concomitant flood of this rubbish, we cannot take it anymore. Either a crime is a crime and a criminal is a criminal regardless of color and race, or we have the law of the jungle, the Wild West, and all lawsuits are void.
I would ask this — hopefully — small number of vocal readers: Why does the US so adamantly refuse to join the World Court of Justice? Why would it force every member to sign a bilateral agreement not to persecute any American for war crimes? Why does it, on the other hand, preserve the right to persecute anyone, even prisoners of war, outside the international judicial system and without regard for the global conventions it is a signatory to?
You rightly regard the crimes of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as not representative of America. I lived in beautiful America with very beautiful Americans, and I wholeheartedly agree. How come, then, that you insist that the crimes of Muslim terrorists are representative of 1.5 billion Muslims, and blame Islam and Saudi Arabia for the extremist misreadings of Islam and the terrorist acts of a minority?
The double standards go on. You regard the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians, Afghani and Iraqi women and children as collateral damage, the barbaric violence of your soldiers as natural reactions in the fog of war. And then you turn around and tell us that the savage burning of four mercenaries and killing of militant Israeli settlers — land thieves — by rogue elements with valid complaints are indefensible crimes that all of us should pay or apologize for.
“War is Hell,” and if you start a fight you better roll with the punches. If you don’t like the heat, get the hell out of our kitchen. You shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Finally, if I sound angry, then wait until you hear from the Muslim street. For the sake of all of us peace lovers, I hope you don’t wait too long.

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