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Posted: 9/27/2001 8:01:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2001 8:01:24 PM EDT by TheBeesKnees]
i thought this article was worth reading: Chris Toensing, AlterNet September 25, 2001 Viewed on September 26, 2001 ------------------------------------------------- In December 1998, I met a waiter in the quiet Egyptian port of Suez. As I sipped tea in his cafe, he pulled up a chair to chat, as Egyptians often do to welcome strangers. Not long into our amiable repartee, he looked me in the eye. "Now I want to ask you a blunt question," he said. "Why do you Americans hate us?" I raised my eyebrows, so he explained what he meant and, in doing so, provided some insights into why others hate us. Numerous United Nations resolutions clearly define Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem as illegal. Yet Israel receives 40 percent of all US foreign aid, more than $3.5 billion annually in recent years, roughly $500 per Israeli citizen. (The average Egyptian will earn $656 this year.) Israel uses all of this aid to build new settlements on Palestinian land and to buy US-made warplanes and helicopter gunships. "Why do Americans support Israel when Israel represses Arabs?" the waiter asked. He went on: Evidence clearly shows that the US-led economic sanctions on Iraq punish Iraqi civilians while hardly touching Saddam Hussein's regime. A UNICEF study in 1999 backed him up, saying that 500,000 children under five would be alive today if sanctions did not exist. Surely Iraqi children are not enemies of international peace and security, the waiter expostulated, even if their ruler is a brutal dictator. The United States presses for continued sanctions because Hussein is flouting United Nations resolutions, but stands by Israel when it has flouted UN Resolution 242 (which urges Israel to withdraw from land occupied in the 1967 War) for over 30 years. Arabs and Muslims suffer from these and other US policies. The only logic this young Egyptian could see was that America was pursuing a worldwide war against Islam, in which the victims were overwhelmingly Muslim. America is a democracy, he concluded, so Americans must hate Muslims to endorse this war. I groaned inwardly. Here, I thought, was a person as woefully misinformed about America as most Americans are about the Middle East. Painstakingly, in my rusty Arabic, I explained that although the United States is a democracy, we Americans do not choose our government's allies, nor do we select its adversaries. We do not vote on the annual foreign aid budget. There are no referenda on the ballot asking whether the United States should send abundant aid to Israel, or whether the United States should pressure the UN Security Council into maintaining sanctions against Iraq, or whether the Fifth Fleet should prowl the Persian Gulf to protect our oil supply. Americans do have the ability to vote out of office politicians who embrace various foreign policies, but Americans rarely have accurate information about the effect of those policies, in the Middle East or elsewhere. If they knew, I argued, they would speak up in opposition, because Americans have a fundamental sense of fairness. I concurred that it was imperative to debunk Hollywood stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims as wild-eyed, Koran-waving fanatics. These are pernicious ideas that stand in the way of fair judgment. *continued
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 8:02:01 PM EDT
*cont Our conversation lasted for hours. When we reached a pause, the waiter invited me to dinner at his house. There I met his brother, a devout Muslim. He too asked me why America hates Arabs and Muslims. I spent two more hours talking with him. When I left, he told me warmly how happy he was "to connect with an American on a human level." He and I shook hands like old friends, as we agreed that both Americans and Arab Muslims should strive to puncture the myth that "we" are somehow essentially different from "them." A civilized human society cannot afford to think in those tribal terms. That type of thinking leads to despair, and thence to wholly unjustifiable disasters such as Americans have just experienced. Most Americans who have lived or traveled in the Arab world can relate similar experiences: Arabs are entirely capable of differentiating between a people and the actions of its government, or the values of a people and the political agenda of a narrow minority of them. What confuses, and, yes, angers them is that we do not seem to return the favor. Scant days after I returned from Suez to Cairo, President Clinton ordered US fighter-bombers to attack Iraq, ostensibly because Hussein had expelled UN weapons inspectors from his country. The "surgical strikes" of Operation Desert Fox, like previous and subsequent campaigns, maimed and killed defenseless Iraqi civilians. Meanwhile, virtually every news outlet in Egypt ran pictures of grinning US seamen painting "Happy Ramadan" on the missiles destined for Baghdad. Those pictures mocked the suffering of Muslims, just as they mocked my attempts at playing cultural ambassador. To the Arab and Muslim world, Americans project an image of utter indifference to the Iraqi civilian casualties of sanctions and bombing -- people who were also "moms and dads, friends and neighbors," as President Bush said of the Americans we mourn today. During Desert Fox, there was no outrage at the callous black humor of the missile-painters, or the purposeful insult to Islam's holy month. Despite the obvious failure of bombing to achieve our stated objective (ridding Iraq of Hussein), and the harm done to innocents in the process, no mass anti-war movement spilled into our streets to force a change in US policy. Hardly anyone has suggested since that US officials should be held accountable for willful acts of terror, though terror is surely what Iraqis must feel when bombs rain from the sky. Only days after Desert Fox, the Iraq story faded from the front pages entirely, and the nation returned to its obsession with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. What could that waiter in Suez have been thinking of my careful distinctions then? He does not have "links" to Osama bin Laden. He is not a prospective suicide bomber, nor would he defend their indefensible actions. Today I have no doubt that he feels intense sympathy for "us." After watching unjust US policies continue for years without apology, after hearing of incidents of racist anti-Arab backlash following the execrable crimes of Sept. 11, perhaps he also senses great tragedy in that the hijackers spoke to Americans in a language the US government speaks all too well abroad. Chris Toensing is the editor of Middle East Report, published by the Middle East Research and Information Project, a Washington, DC-based think tank. -----------------------------------
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 8:12:55 PM EDT
The other side of the coin? Well, at least another opinion worth reading. I'm sure many would disagree (& agree) with him. Thanks for posting that interesting viewpoint.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 8:29:27 PM EDT
^thanks yeah, its great to look at everyone simply as people, on an individual level, instead of entire cultures or nations which can all be deemed an "enemy" if need be. that goes for both sides of this conflict. [b]When I left, he told me warmly how happy he was "to connect with an American on a human level." He and I shook hands like old friends, as we agreed that both Americans and Arab Muslims should strive to puncture the myth that "we" are somehow essentially different from "them." A civilized human society cannot afford to think in those tribal terms. That type of thinking leads to despair, and thence to wholly unjustifiable disasters such as Americans have just experienced. Most Americans who have lived or traveled in the Arab world can relate similar experiences: Arabs are entirely capable of differentiating between a people and the actions of its government, or the values of a people and the political agenda of a narrow minority of them. [/b] i especially liked that part
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:16:56 PM EDT
A big part of it is because the sheeple are heavily influenced by hollywood. Everyone has probably seen dozens of those "middle eastern terrorist" movies. That is why all of the major studios have recently increased their security to such a great extent, they are afraid of payback.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:22:49 PM EDT
[b]When I left, he told me warmly how happy he was "to connect with an American on a human level." He and I shook hands like old friends, as we agreed that both Americans and Arab Muslims should strive to puncture the myth that "we" are somehow essentially different from "them." A civilized human society cannot afford to think in those tribal terms. That type of thinking leads to despair, and thence to wholly unjustifiable disasters such as Americans have just experienced. Most Americans who have lived or traveled in the Arab world can relate similar experiences: Arabs are entirely capable of differentiating between a people and the actions of its government, or the values of a people and the political agenda of a narrow minority of them.[/b] Lovely worded article. Now all he has to do is get Osama to buy into it.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:24:53 PM EDT
I think a lot of us would like to hear Israel's point of veiw on this subject.. the coin has many sides.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:38:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2001 9:37:57 PM EDT by HKocher]
Originally Posted By TheBeesKnees: ...Numerous United Nations resolutions clearly define Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem as illegal...
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Illegal, hmmm. Shows how screwed up the UN is. Let's see, you and a couple of your buddy nations (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq) decide to bushwack your neighbor. You get your ass kicked, and lose some territory in the process. Sounds like justice to me. So let's say 4 guys jump you in the alley for your wallet, and you kick the crap out of them. Then you take $20 bucks from the bad guys to pay to dryclean their blood out of your jacket. Now YOU are the bad guy??? It's simply a case of sour grapes. These nations have NO problem uniting against a common enemy (a nation with few allies other than the US), but when the US financially aids that lone nation, they cry injustice??? So what, Israel buys arms from us. Hell, we've given/sold arms to plenty of Mid-eastern nations over the years. How about the Ruskies? They've sold/given arms to just about every nation on the planet. You don't see all these poor, 'oppressed' nations ganging up against Russia for all the poor women and children gunned down by AK47s, and run down by T-62/64 tanks. IMHO the reason they hate us: the Israelis have been mopping the floor with their asses over and over again throughout the last 50 years. That's a battle they can't win, so they spread the pain to us, to make themselves feel a bit better. But they don't have the balls to do it through conventional warfare. "Why do Americans hate us?" Better question, "why do we (Muslims) keep picking on the little guy (Israelis) and keep getting our collective asses whooped."
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:40:07 PM EDT
Quote from article -
Arabs are entirely capable of differentiating between a people and the actions of its government, or the values of a people and the political agenda of a narrow minority of them.
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Well, I for one am quite happy to hear that! I just hope the restaurant owner in the quiet port of Suez was not one of those individuals who were dancing in the streets when they heard of the terrorist atack on America. But that's right, [u]they[/u] are the ones who can easily differentiate between the people and the actions of their government! Does anyone think that Saddam Hussein is not the sole reason for the misery, starvation, and death (if that's what is actually occurring) of his own people. All he has to do to rid his country of these sanctions is to obey the treaty which he agreed to and his agents signed on his behalf at the conclusion of the Gulf War! You know, like eschewing the production of weapons of mass destruction, that sort of thing! Eric The(Simple,Ain'tIt?)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 9:51:39 PM EDT
Hasn't Egypt gotten about the same amount of dollars in foreign aid ,every year, as Israel for the past 20 years? 3 Billion? 4 billion? What have they done for us? If they want to be against us now, why not spend that money here in the U.S. ?
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 1:19:46 AM EDT
In reality, this so-called "racist anti-Arab backlash" is quite small considering how pissed people are. It just goes to show we are capable of differentiating between the race and the person MUCH more so than they are. How often do you see Americans dancing in the street yelling death to Saudi Arabia? If you're looking for tolerance, the Middle East is certainly not the place (especially Saudi Arabia). Sure, we have boneheads, but considering we have a population of 260 million, these cases are extremely isolated.
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 7:11:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: A big part of it is because the sheeple are heavily influenced by hollywood. Everyone has probably seen dozens of those "middle eastern terrorist" movies. That is why all of the major studios have recently increased their security to such a great extent, they are afraid of payback.
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Most of which in the past (I used to watch these kind of movies as a kid but don't anymore so I don't know what's available now) were made by Golan-Globus (Israelis). Delta force type movies, etc.
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 7:29:14 AM EDT
Do you see Americans in the street burning Palestinian or Iranian flags? No. Do you see Americans kidnapping Arabs working or travelling in the US? No. Do you see us ramming jets into the buildings of Cairo, Beruit, etc? No. See us bomb their embassies? No. This is all crap Arabs pull on us, and it's so de rigeur that you pretty much expect Arabs to hate your guts and not care what they think. They hate Israel? Can't they just deal, tolerate, and accept that one tiny little sliver of the Middle East is occupied by Jews? Can't they find some sort of agreement for peace? The US and Israel bent over backwards to work something out, but Arafat's people and all the Arabs will not stand for any kind of genuine peace. Don't look at our alliance with Israel on racial identity grounds; look at it from a political aspect. Israel's a free market democracy, and all Arab countries are dictatorships. All of them. Arabs have been from colonialism and imperialism for 60 years, and their countries are goddamn messes because they can't get their political acts together. Look at what Israel's achieved. If it wasn't for the Jews, Palestine under Arab rule would just be a dirt poor tinpot dictatorship.
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 8:28:12 AM EDT
I just posted a thread called 'An Arab Moment of Truth', which is the title of a commentary by David Pryce-Jones on NationalReviewOnline at: [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/15oct01/pj101501.shtml[/url] That commentary pretty much puts the whole deal in perspective. Eric The(JustThoughtI'dHelp)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 9:11:54 AM EDT
Interesting points, but I think I can sum up an answer for him in the following way: We don't hate all Arabs, just murdering bastards Flying a Giant Fuel air Bomb with innocent people on board into a building full of more innocent people in the name of the god of Islam, and then pictures and stories about Arabs dancing in the streets with joy about it. If you allow the shit to stay in your house, then don't whine when the neighbors bitch about the stink...clean it up. Then they just might find the respect that the majority of Arabs who are not evil murdering Godless bastards deserve.
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 9:32:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: I just posted a thread called 'An Arab Moment of Truth', which is the title of a commentary by David Pryce-Jones on NationalReviewOnline at: [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/15oct01/pj101501.shtml[/url] That commentary pretty much puts the whole deal in perspective. Eric The(JustThoughtI'dHelp)Hun[>]:)]
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THX
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 10:02:59 AM EDT
"So let's say 4 guys jump you in the alley for your wallet, and you kick the crap out of them. Then you take $20 bucks from the bad guys to pay to dryclean their blood out of your jacket. Now YOU are the bad guy???" posted by HKocher I hope your breath isn't like your analogy cause it really stinks. This is more like someone comes into your house and starts living there, eating you food and kicking the crap outta you. Your brothers then come over and try to kick him out but he kung fues their collective asses all over the place till they give up. He then takes their money. Well yes, this Bruce Lee dude is an asshole and that is exactly what Israel did after WWII to the Palestinians. Oh, what's that, you forgot about the Palestinians. Well how convenient... If you're going to make an analogy then make it a good one. If you just want to bitch about something then stick with something simple like the price of rice in China. I'm sure that will make good reading [:D]
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 10:13:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2001 10:12:50 AM EDT by rg00red]
Apparently this Egyptian man doesn't realize that his own country has supported on many occasions over the last 50 the complete destruction of the Israelis. Despite the help of Syria and Jordan on a number of occasions the Eyptians have not succeeded in their goals. [b]The reason that we support the Israelis is that the Arabs seek to destroy an entire race of people, not out of loyalty to the Palestinians, but out of pure hate and will to destroy something better and more valuable to the world than themselves.[/b] Has anyone here been to the Middle East? I've been to both Egypt and Israel. Israel is by far the more civilized nation. It always have been, long before they became the focus of our foreign policy in the region. All the crap in the news about Islam being a religion of peace makes me sick. Islam spread so quickly because the Arabs invaded surrounding areas and killed anybody who didn't convert. The imams an sultans actively supported the slaughter of non-Muslim people. The current problems in Yugoslavia were caused by the Muslims killing hundreds of thousands 600 years ago when they invaded the area. People hate Muslims because they are violent hateful people far above the average religion and they then proceed to lie their damn asses off by claiming that they are all about "peace." The only peace they seek is the total destruction of all the world's other people. "Do what you will, just don't piss on my back and tell me its raining."
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 10:21:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By retrodog: I hope your breath isn't like your analogy cause it really stinks.
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Yeah..., well... You're ugly! Anyway, we can go back and forth all day about who owns what, when and where, until we trace it back a couple thousand years and watch it change hands a hundred times over,. But I bore easily. And I can bitch about whatever I wish, thank you!
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 10:31:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2001 10:32:10 AM EDT by rg00red]
retrodog: Your rather simplistic understanding of how the world works is kind of inspiring. [size=3]People use force to get what they want. The Israelis had the power and will to take the land that had once belonged to them, but was FORCEFULLY taken away. The same thing that happened to them a thousand years ago is happening to the Palestinians now. Do I feel sorry for the Palestinians, no. They can't stand up like men and fight for their homes, despite the help of the 3 most powerful nations in the Middle East and millions in funding from rich anti-Semitic Arabs. They lost. Stop feeling sorry for them.[/size=3] "Do what you will, just don't let your own anti-Semitism let you side with the enemy of civilization."
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 11:42:20 AM EDT
"Yeah..., well... You're ugly! Anyway, we can go back and forth all day about who owns what, when and where, until we trace it back a couple thousand years and watch it change hands a hundred times over,. But I bore easily. And I can bitch about whatever I wish, thank you!" Posted by HKocher I'm not really ugly and your breath probably doesn't really stink, well not too much anyway. I'm not going back 1000 years, just the last 50, and that's plenty recent enough to contribute to today's problems. Just pointing out a flaw in your analogy. But I really did get a kick out of the "ugly" remark. That was pretty good [:D] "retrodog: Your rather simplistic understanding of how the world works is kind of inspiring. People use force to get what they want. The Israelis had the power and will to take the land that had once belonged to them, but was FORCEFULLY taken away. The same thing that happened to them a thousand years ago is happening to the Palestinians now. Do I feel sorry for the Palestinians, no. They can't stand up like men and fight for their homes, despite the help of the 3 most powerful nations in the Middle East and millions in funding from rich anti-Semitic Arabs. They lost. Stop feeling sorry for them. "Do what you will,just don't let your own anti-Semitism let you side with the enemy of civilization." Posted by rg00red I'm not feeling sorry for them, just making a more accurate analogy. Your reading words into what I typed. You're so ready to jump on some liberal Palestinian-hugging slug that you aim your frustration at me. Well I'm the wrong guy. And I'm glad you find my simplistic look at things inspiring cause I find yours the same way. You are the one who just doesn't get it. You need to think of your enemy as evil and wrong before you can clear your concious. You choose to believe that the Palestinians have no right to hate us or reason to do so. I believe that they do and also that I will drop any one of them who lifts a hand against me or my country. I also am not anti-jew. I worked on their weapon systems and fighters directly for them and will do it again in a heartbeat. I like Jews fine. I just don't have this inner simplistic need to believe that they are right in every thing they do. We usually aren't and I don't really care about that either, this is my country and I'll support it anyway. It's always interesting to watch the simpleminded like you. People who need to be spoon fed the little stories about how we need to have slavery cause they aren't really people, or we need to kill the Indians cause they aren't really people, or we need to arm the Contras cause they are fighting communism blah blah blah. Well it's people like you who pose the biggest threat to this country's security. You could open your eyes tomorrow and disagree with something and then become a traitor. Grow up and get with the program. This is your country right or wrong. I don't need to hate the people we screw over. It just may be that it's in the country's best interest. I'm also not advocating genicide on groups of people who stand in our way but that has been performed before locally. I just don't need the comfort of your "my country is doing the right thing and nobody has the right to hate us" mentality. That's for little kids and weak minded individuals. That's why they don't let people like you work in the agency. Grow up, you anti-intellect.
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 11:50:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2001 11:50:25 AM EDT by HKocher]
Originally Posted By retrodog: But I really did get a kick out of the "ugly" remark. That was pretty good [:D]
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Thanks, I thought you might enjoy that. If you are trying to convey the point, that there isn't just one set of 'bad' guys in this situation, I agree with you. My analogy was oversimplified as you pointed out, but it's hard to make sense over the big picture of who's who in the never-ending land grab...
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 12:05:21 PM EDT
HKocher, fair enough Oh, and everybody else, before you think I was implying an approval for killing the Indians,,, I was not. I was also not approving of slavery, that sucked as well. I'm just saying that I wouldn't have denied them (the indians and blacks) the right to hate us for it. That is all. And as such, I won't deny the Palestinians the right to hate us for supporting the Israelis. But I sure as hell will shoot any one of them that I see trying to attack my country, in a heartbeat. That's just the way it is,,, and I can sleep with it. The first step in any war is to de-humanize the enemy. It is only after that is achieved that you can get the "Extreme Prejudice" that is required for a sucessful war campaign. At least that is what you need for the simple-minded masses anyway.
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