A Different Lens
By Jason Miller
04 October, 2005
Remember in September of 2001, when the
US President (appointed by Katherine Harris) dissembled to the American
public about why the Middle Eastern "terrorists" hate America?
In case you forgot,
here is what he told us:
are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in
this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are
self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our
freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with
How ironic that
the man who utilized his brother's governorship, Katherine Harris's
lust for power, and a corrupt decision rendered by the Supreme Court
to steal the 2000 presidential election would pontificate to Americans
about democratic elections in the US and self-appointed leaders in the
Middle East. Since it is a given that such a virtuous "born again"
Christian could not have been lying, it is obvious that temporary amnesia
prevented him from recalling voter disenfranchisement, his regimes
plans to strip its citizens' freedoms with the Patriot Act, and his
nearly absolute intolerance for dissent.
Reality is too
Complicated to Conform to Your Fairy Tale, Mr. Bush
Why do the "terrorists"
and other people of the Middle East hate us? The truth is much more
complicated than George Bush's disingenuous, propagandistic explanation
to the American public. However, Bush's assertion was accurate in one
sense. When he said, "They hate what we see right here in this
chamber," he captured the true focus of the ire of the Arab world:
the US government.
Since the internal
combustion engine became an indispensable aspect of economic vitality,
the United States government has invaded, exploited, manipulated and
cheated Arab nations in its ongoing quest to purloin their precious
oil. Preying upon internal strife and ongoing unrest amongst varying
factions and sects of the Islamic faith, the US government has raped
the people of the Middle East for decades. Terrorism is the symptom,
not the disease. Acts of retaliation against the US are the result of
victimized people attempting to thwart their over-powering, deceitful
oppressors in Washington.
Show Me the Democracy
Consider the fact
that the power-brokers in Washington DC have long supported, and continue
to support, a repressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia known as the House
of Saud. Washington maintains this incestuous relationship with these
iron-fisted rulers to ensure a steady supply of crude oil and to guarantee
they have an ally to host regional military bases from which to further
their goal of global hegemony. (The US has recently significantly diminished
its military presence in Saudi Arabia, but once it has established a
stable occupation in Iraq, it is quite likely US forces will return
to the Saudi Kingdom in large numbers). Over the years, the world's
"champion of freedom" has consistently looked the other way
as the Saudi government has enforced Shari'a Law. This ruthless monarchy
has routinely flogged and imprisoned alleged homosexuals without a trial.
Political parties have not been allowed allowed. The House of Saud has
allowed virtually no freedom of expression. Saudi citizens have often
been detained and tortured arbitrarily. Saudi women have been treated
as second class citizens. With full knowledge of these human rights
abuses, the US government continues to pump billions of dollars of oil
money into the over-flowing coffers of the House of Saud and to provide
the muscle to ensure that the Saudi monarchs retain power.
In August, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia reported that relations
with the US "couldn't be better". Leaders from both nations
work tenaciously to preserve this reprehensible symbiosis.
to Pour Gasoline on the Fire, George
Perhaps the most
poignant and timely illustration of the US government fueling Arab antipathy
is Iraq. In 1963, the US helped sponsor a coup which brought Saddam
Hussein's Ba'ath Party to power. King Hussein of Jordan has confirmed
that the CIA located Iraqi Communists for the Ba'athists, who in turn
tortured and killed these members of their opposition. Once Saddam came
to power in 1979, the US became his staunch ally, pushing for Iran's
defeat in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980's. Providing money (via
loans from Middle Eastern US allies), conventional weapons (through
US allies), and the precursors to biological weapons (directly from
the CDC) to Hussein (despite realizing he was committing genocide by
killing tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and using chemical weapons
against Iran), the US government again showed its willingness to support
a brutal tyranny to further its own interests.
Once the Iran-Iraq
war ended and Hussein became expendable, the US government deftly deceived
Hussein into invading Kuwait in 1990. Bush I declared Hussein to be
the sworn enemy of the US and launched the Gulf War. Hussein was defeated
but remained in power. Throughout the next decade, harsh UN economic
sanctions spear-headed by the US resulted in the death of tens of thousands
of innocent Iraqi civilians. The sanctions left Hussein, their alleged
target, virtually unscathed.
In 2003, Bush II,
with the aid of the sycophantic Tony Blair, launched the illegal invasion
and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq. They based their incursion
on the false pretexts that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and
that he was an ally of Osama bin Laden. Evidence abounds (i.e. the Downing
Street Memos) that Bush lied to the American public and Congress so
he could secure the authority he needed to expand the American Empire.
In an egregious violation of international law, the US invasion has
resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, the establishment
of a puppet government, and the beginning of long-term US occupation
of Iraq (twelve permanent US military bases are under construction).
1. The US supported
Hussein when he killed tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980's.
2. Economic sanctions
imposed by the UN (due to great pressure exerted by the US), caused
the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
3. The US government
has killed over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians since the illegal occupation
began in 2003. They justify their state terrorism by calling these murdered
victims "collateral damage".
Number of Middle
Eastern "Conventional Terrorist"-inflicted civilian deaths
(in the WTC Attack): 2,726
Number of US "State
Terrorist"-inflicted civilian deaths in Iraq (since Hussein took
power in 1979): Hundreds of Thousands (and counting)
Tell us again why
they hate us, Bush II? And tell us, who are the real terrorists?
As Ye Sow, So
Shall Ye Reap
Iran, a member of
the triumvirate Bush cited as the "Axis of Evil", is another
Arab victim of US state terrorism. In 1953, through Operation Ajax,
the CIA led a coup which replaced Iran's nationalist leader, Dr. Mohammed
Mossadegh, with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the infamous Shah of Iran.
The Shah outlawed the existence of rival political parties and created
SAVAK, his secret police force. SAVAK vigorously pursued and crushed
dissent against the Shah's government. The Shah routinely tortured dissidents
in the infamous Evin Prison. US government support of the Shah and of
his "Westernization" of Iraq both infuriated the populace
of Iraq and eventually led to the Shah's ouster in 1979. His successor
was the virulently anti-American Ayatollah Khomeni. Violence spawns
violence. Hatred begets hatred.
supporting Iraq, the US played both ends against the middle to jockey
for strategic advantage by supporting some factions within Iran during
the Iran-Iraq war, thereby perpetuating a conflict that killed over
a million Arabs. Today, the Bush regime continues to enhance the choler
of many in the Middle East with its hypocritical efforts to prevent
Iran from developing nuclear power while beating the drums for another
unprovoked war against a sovereign Arab nation.
US and Israel:
Hypocrisy, Double Standards, and More State Terrorism
Despite the numerous
examples of the US government's detrimental intervention in Middle Eastern
affairs, the most flagrant violation of Arab identity and sovereignty
has occurred in Palestine. Since its founding in 1947-48, Israel has
treated the Palestinians much like the US government treated Native
Americans and Afrikaners treated the indigenous population of South
Africa. Despite their repugnant violations of human rights, the US has
remained a staunch ally to Israel. In fact, Israels government
has followed its benefactors lead by consistently employing state terrorism
against the Palestinians.
To gain perspective
on the grossly disproportionate amount of money the US has expended
in aiding Israel, consider that from 1949 to 1998, the US supplied more
money to the 5.8 million people of Israel than it did to the 1,054,000,000
people of Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. When
Israel was founded, it controlled 78% of Palestine and half of Jerusalem.
Israelis displaced 750,000 Palestinians and have fought four wars with
various Arab nations throughout Israel's existence because of their
reside in the "reservations" of Gaza, the West Bank, and half
of the city of Jerusalem. Israel has allowed" them to occupy
22% of Palestine, but has denied Palestinians full autonomy within their
meager allotted territories. While Israelis have denied the right of
Palestinian Arabs to form a sovereign nation, the US government has
continued to pressure Middle Eastern governments to officially recognize
the state of Israel. I just cannot imagine why that would infuriate
Arabs. Can you?
Israeli state terrorism
has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians
who have been denied their right to statehood. Yet when the Palestinians
strike back against Israel, they are labeled as "terrorists".
Such has been the perverse argument of the US government for decades.
If a state-backed military action kills innocent civilians, those murdered
are called "collateral damage", and the killings are "justified".
Yet if a group (or individual) opposing an imperialist, tyrannical nation
attacks that nation's military or citizens, the US leaders brand them
as "terrorists". Why are violence, killing, and mayhem justified
for some, but not for others? Murder of civilians is a crime, whether
it is by a state or by individuals.
Manure is a More
Accurate Description of What Bush is Spreading
Inciting still more
Arab fury, Bush II cloaks his imperial ambitions in Iraq under the guise
of "spreading democracy". Democracy in the United States is
a media produced camouflage for a government "of the rich, by the
rich and for the rich", as evidenced by the Patriot Act, Jose Padilla,
the 2000 election, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib, the military industrial
complex, the obscene power of corporations, thinly-veiled Social Darwinism
and racism, and the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is now
quite obvious to the casual observer that the US government is deeply
corrupt and avaricious, and has the mechanisms in place to implement
an overt tyranny to protect the interests of wealthy plutocrats while
essentially enslaving the rest of the population. While they have yet
to utilize their new-found powers on a wide scale, they do have them.
Democracy is a scarce commodity in the US, and America certainly is
in no position to spread it to the rest of the world.
On The Daily Show,
Kurt Vonnegut skewered the US version of democracy and the absurd notion
that America could spread democracy to other nations when
after a hundred years you have to let your slaves go. After 150 years
you have to let your women vote. And at the beginning of democracy there's
quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing
So, again I pose
the question Bush II and his adherents. Why do "terrorists"
and other Middle Easterners hate the US?
a Two Way Street
perpetrators of 9/11 (if one believes that Arab terrorists actually
committed the act), the members of the resistance in Iraq who have bombed
Iraqi civilians, and members of Hamas who have killed Israeli civilians,
have committed acts of terror. However, the number of murders they have
committed pales in comparison to the "collateral damage" inflicted
by the US government and the civilians killed by its proxies. Besides,
not all acts committed by Hamas or similar groups are acts of terrorism.
Some of the acts the US government labels as "terrorism" are
carried out by sovereign nations (or oppressed people) defending themselves
against imperial aggressors.
What is my conclusion?
Both the US government and Arab organizations (which truly commit terrorist
acts) are abominations because they kill for political or ideological
What Does the
Real Majority Want?
US citizens and Middle Easterners thirst for a peaceful solution to
a conflict which has festered far too long. What rational-minded individual
wants to live in nearly constant fear of a terrorist attack? Neither
the Christian faith, which many Americans practice, nor the Islamic
faith, which is the dominant religion in the Middle East, promotes killing
or violence. Many Arabs and Americans simply want to find a means to
co-exist with minimal conflict.
extremists like Pat Robertson and the terrorists comprising the Bush
regime have juxtaposed Christianity as the "good" against
the "evil" Islamic faith. They have used this false dichotomy
to whip uneducated and uninformed Americans into a furor against the
Arab world, enabling the US and Israeli governments to continue committing
egregious acts of state terrorism. Fundamentalist Islamic clerics have
turned many of their followers against "the Great Satan",
fueling acts of individual terrorism against the US, its Western allies,
and its allies in the Arab world.
Goals: US Hegemony vs. Arab Survival
Perpetual war benefits
the small minority who sit atop the food chain. The poor and working
class suffer and die while society's elite, wealthy leaders grow richer
and more powerful. While Arabs share in the responsibility for the conflict
in the Middle East, much of the responsibility falls squarely on the
shoulders of the state terrorists who have operated from their command
centers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and
Langley over the last several decades. Arab "terrorism" is
a reaction to years of victimization at the hands of the US government
and its proxies in the Middle East. The way to end "terrorism"
is for the American people to engage in a non-violent revolution to
replace the abhorrence in Washington which masquerades as a democracy,
to withdraw from Iraq, to close US military bases in the Middle East
and around the world, to stop supporting Israel's ethnic cleansing of
the Palestinians, and to redirect this nation toward humanitarian objectives
rather than military ones. 5% of the world's population does not need
to account for 50% of the world's military expenditures. America simply
needs to reduce its military to a force large enough to defend itself
and scrap its imperial ambitions.
Power to the
A true victory in
the war on terror would involve eradicating the US terrorist
state and criminally prosecuting those who have perpetrated the associated
war crimes. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and many others in that foul administration
belong in Guantanamo Bay with those they have deemed to be terrorists.
The most dangerous terrorists on Earth move about freely, wield great
power, enjoy immense wealth, and reside openly in Washington, DC. Corrupt,
bellicose, avaricious war-mongers represent a fraction of the US population
yet they harbor almost all of the power and wealth in the world's only
remaining superpower nation. Arrests and prosecutions through US and
international courts, tax revolts, protests, nation-wide strikes/walkouts
by union and non-union employees alike, massive consumer boycotts, increased
education of the American public, increased unity amongst the proponents
of social justice, and the emergence of a powerful spiritual leader
whose true goal is to achieve social justice are needed to excise the
cancer in Washington which plagues the world.
II edges the US closer and closer to tyranny as he imposes the elites'
Social Darwinism upon the poor and working class by butchering social
welfare program budgets, weakening unions, lowering taxes on the wealthy,
working to dismantle Social Security, protecting and empowering corporations,
and deregulating businesses. During the New Orleans debacle, the US
government's response revealed glimpses of a US military machine prepared
to employ state terrorism domestically. Katrina was a wake-up call for
the people. Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers, his former personal
attorney who has no experience as a judge, to fill the US Supreme Court
vacancy continues an unprecedented pattern of incredibly corrupt cronyism.
Miers' virtually assured approval by a Republican-controlled Senate
will complete the trifecta necessary for Bush II to control each branch
of the US government. Social justice and peace can still prevail, but
the elitists and war-mongers hold a significant advantage in the struggle,
and are strengthening their hand.
We the People have
a lot of wood to chop.....
Jason Miller is a 38 year old activist writer with a degree in
liberal arts. He works in the transportation industry, and is a husband,
and a father to three boys. His affiliations include Amnesty International,
the ACLU and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
He welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org
or comments on his blog at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.