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Open letter to Bush from an Arab girl

Mehtab Singh

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Open letter to Bush from an Arab girl


2 August 2006

President Bush,

It has become extremely difficult to give you the benefit of the doubt on Lebanon, for you have left no doubt in our minds. We are now certain — like many of us have always been — that your foreign policy is completely biased towards Israel, and you have made no effort to hide this fact. Just out of curiosity: are they also drafted in Tel Aviv?

It is your choice, Mr Bush, to support Israel, just like it is our — the entire Arab and Muslim world’s — choice to support Lebanon. You insist that Israel has the right to defend itself. Defending oneself, I believe, is a universal right, not exclusive to Israel.

"The first Qana massacre did not quench the Israeli thirst for blood," it is said, graphically describing yet another Israeli crime against the innocents of Lebanon. In Qana, 57 armless, defenseless civilians died in an Israeli air strike, 37 of them were children. Maybe these numbers don’t matter to you, Mr Bush; they are mere numbers of the nameless Lebanese dead. But they matter to more than 200 million Arabs in the Middle East.

I quote our late president, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who in 1973 had said, "Arab oil is not dearer than Arab blood." But it seems that Iraqi oil is dearer than American blood. I am somewhat relieved to arrive at this conclusion. At least there’s no racism against a certain group of people. Everybody is a potential sacrifice to secure US interests, even if it means sacrificing a whole nation.

No, Mr Bush, we will not accept, nor will we allow the sacrifice of more Lebanese civilians. A ceasefire should have been enforced two weeks ago. Was there a need for 37 children to die before you decided it was time for a ceasefire? How many more, Mr Bush, should die before you decide to stop sending those bloody weapons to Israel? Perhaps we can afford a sacrifice that will rein in your generosity towards Israel permanently.

We have a dream for a new Middle East. Not the "New Middle East" that you’ve been brainstorming in your Oval Office. It is the new Middle East that Middle Easterners have been dreaming of; a Middle East with no violence, and no US-made weapons to fuel that violence. It is a dream only we, Middle Easterners, are allowed to dream and realise it.

In Arabic we have a saying that goes, "They murder the murdered and walk in his funeral." Allow me to interpret this for you, Mr Bush: Your precision-guided missiles shipment has arrived in Tel Aviv. These missiles will "precisely" fall onto Lebanese villages; kill hundreds; and displace thousands more. (Evidently, we’ve just witnessed the first "precise" target in Qana.)

Yet you have "compassionately" been able to send aid to Beirut, at the same time, with supplies for the thousands of people directly and fatally affected by your vocal, (im)moral and military support for Israel. Please include US flags in your aid shipment to Beirut; they must have burned all the US flags in stock.

Mr Bush, Lebanon can and will be rebuilt, but lost lives cannot be restored. Your credibility and your government’s credibility have long been lost — irretrievably lost like those lost innocent lives. People will not forget this though. They will not turn the other cheek; they will retaliate — just like you had chosen to retaliate after 9/11. Retaliation is a value you have successfully promoted by putting it into practice, always.

I was born too late to see how the British Empire had collapsed, but right on time to see how the American Empire is falling apart. Mr Bush, You will surely be remembered in history for hastening that process.

With no more respect to offer,

Mira Al Hussein

Mira Al Hussein is a UAE national writer based in Dubai who has had a brief stint with the KT. She can be reached at Mira.AlHussein@zu.ac.ae

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It really is a disgrace what is happening in the middle east, what makes it all the more sickening is the majority of people (sheeps) swallow the propaganda fed to them.


Israeli Propaganda - Never Had It So Good

Assaf Shariv, media adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, boasted to the Jerusalem Post last week that Israelis have been interviewed by the foreign press four times as much as spokespeople for the Palestinians and Lebanese. Shariv cited a poll of Sky News viewers that found that 80 percent believe Israel's attacks on Lebanon were justified. A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Gideon Meir, added: "We have never had it so good. The hasbara [propaganda] effort is a well-oiled machine." (Gil Hoffman, 'Israel calls up media "reserves",' Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2006; http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?



British and American journalists are certainly willing recipients of Israeli and US-UK propaganda. Thus, the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, "embarked last night on a mission to the Middle East to stitch together a peace plan", the Guardian declared on July 24. (Ewen MacAskill, Ian Black and Brian Whitaker, 'Rice finally sets out in search of ceasefire formula,' The Guardian, July 24, 2006)

Unfortunately, "any deal put together by Ms Rice will take a minimum of a week to negotiate, allowing Israel the freedom to continue its war". Perhaps this is a Natural Law of diplomatic negotiations, although honest journalists recognise that the timescale could be reduced - to the time it takes to make a phone call from the White House, to be precise - if peace, rather than US-Israeli interests, was on the Rice agenda. The Guardian writers sidled a little closer to the truth when they wrote:

"Agreement on a ceasefire will be harder to pin down. Ms Rice has made it clear that America does not want a quick fix ceasefire that keeps Hizbullah intact."

Agreement is indeed made harder by the fact that the United States is backing Israel's slaughter to the hilt - notably by supplying the state of the art missiles, bombs, attack helicopters and jets doing the killing. The Guardian noted that the world is witnessing "one of the slowest international responses to a crisis of such gravity". The New York Times made a nonsense of that observation last Saturday:

"The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday." (David S. Cloud and Helene Cooper, 'US Speeds Up Bomb Delivery For the Israelis,' New York Times, July 22, 2006)

An arms-sale package last year approved Israel's purchase of as many as 100 GBU-28's, which are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete bunkers. The package also includes satellite-guided bombs. But still, Rice is on a "mission" to stitch together a "peace plan" according to the Guardian in its scruplously unbiased news reporting.

Dr. Doug Rokke, former Director of the US Army's Depleted Uranium project wrote on July 24:

"The delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker busters bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States to Israel for use against targets in Lebanon will result in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the middle east."

Rokke added:

"The use of uranium weapons is absolutely unacceptable, and a crime against humanity. Consequently the citizens of the world and all governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use. I must demand that Israel now provide medical care to all DU casualties in Lebanon and clean up all DU contamination." (Rokke, 'Depleted Uranium Situation Worsens Requiring Immediate Action By President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert,' July 25, 2006)

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The difference is that Israel has a much larger arsenal and much more destructive weapons and also support from the powerful west. Whereas hezbollah rockets are inferior and maybe kill a handful of innocent people Israel are bombing a whole nation into the stone age. I think you have to agree that is a big difference. I am not defending hezbollah, they are a bunch of idiots but things should be kept in perspective.

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