I would like now to address some of the misunderstandings that exist in our Arab world about America. I know that Americans think of their country as the leader of the free world who defends freedom in all countries of the world. I want to talk about the other side of America which is not known unfortunately by the vast majority of Americans. America’s foreign policy in our part of the world can be described as anything but fair and humane. Most Arabs think that Americans are tough and are ready to do anything to protect their interests around the world. We know that the Americans freely elect their administrations and that makes us feel that they support their administrations’ foreign policy. When I told Susanne how we feel about America’s involvement in our region, she assured me that most Americans simply do not completely know about what is being done in their names and they would strongly oppose these kind of harsh and inhumane actions against the people of this region. There are many examples I can bring but for now I will bring 2 clear examples of evil things done by different American administrations in our region.

After Iraq invaded Kuwait, the UN imposed harsh sanctions against Iraq and these sanctions were forced by British and American military from 1990 until the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I will quote the following from the Wikipedia article about the Iraq sanctions:

The Iraq sanctions were perhaps the toughest, most comprehensive sanctions in history, and have caused much controversy over the increased child-and-infant mortality, poverty, and suffering inflicted on the Iraqi people, marked by two senior UN representatives in Iraq resigning in protest.

Some researchers say that over a million Iraqis, disproportionately children, died as a result of the sanctions, although other estimates have ranged as low as 170,000 children. UNICEF announced that 500,000 child deaths have occurred as a result of the sanctions. The sanctions resulted in high rates of malnutrition, lack of medical supplies, and diseases from lack of clean water. Chlorine, was desperately needed to disinfect water supplies, but it was banned from the country due to the potential that it may be used as part of a chemical weapon. On May 10, 1996, Madeleine Albright (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations at the time) appeared on 60 Minutes and was confronted with statistics of half a million children under five having died as a result of the sanctions. She replied “we think the price is worth it.

How can any human being agree with medicine and food being blocked from sick Iraqi children? How can any human being say that the death of half a million Iraqi children was worth it? Isn’t that comment the cruelest comment any politician could say? How would any American feel if an Arab said that the death of half a million American children under the age of 5 was worth it? These sanctions were applied during the whole 8 years of the Clinton’s administration and also were applied for 3 years after George Bush was elected until he ordered Iraq to be invaded and that caused the death of other hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. I believe that officials in both administrations should be brought to justice for what they caused by forcing these inhumane sanctions.  When I told Susanne about the consequences of these evil sanctions, she was so surprised and she told me,” Jesus taught us to feed our enemies when they are hungry, and the Iraqi children aren’t even our enemies! I had no idea about these sanctions and how they were affecting the ordinary people so drastically!  I oppose abortion because I  oppose the killing of innocent lives.  I never would have been supportive of something that killed so many people.  I think most other Americans would agree. “

When Bush went on a trip to Israel few months ago to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel’s establishment, he gave a speech at the Israeli parliament. I will quote just few sentences from his speech,” My only regret is that one of Israel’s greatest leaders is not here to share this moment. He is a warrior for the ages, a man of peace, a friend. The prayers of the American people are with Ariel Sharon. (Applause.)

I will mention some facts about Ariel Sharon for those of you who don’t know much about him. Sharon is Israeli’s worst criminal. And his history is full of crimes against humanity since he was of young age. These are facts about him according to Wikipedia:

Unit 101 undertook a series of military raids against Palestinians and neighboring Arab states that helped bolster Israeli morale and fortify its deterrent image. The unit was known for targeting civilians , notably in the widely condemned Qibya massacre in the fall of 1953, in which 69 Palestinian civilians, some of them children, were killed by Sharon’s troops in a reprisal attack on their West Bank village.

Ariel Sharon as a defense minister planned the 1982 invasion of Lebanon in which thousands of civilians were killed and Sharon was given the nickname,”The butcher of Beirut”. According to the Israelis themselves Sharon was directly responsible for the worst massacre that happened in the modern history of the Middle East, Sabra and Shatila massacre, in which more than 2500 Palestinian civilians most of them were women and children were butchered in a refugee camp. A Belgian court gathered enough evidences to persecute Ariel Sharon as a war criminal but pressures from the US government on the Belgian government and the assassination of the main Lebanese witness by the Israeli Mossad led to the end of this case.

Here is the president of the United States clearly glorifying the number one terrorist in the Middle East. American politicians always say that glorifying terrorism is as bad as terrorism itself. I cannot agree with them even more concerning that. Why are we supposed to be easy concerning someone glorifying the person who murdered thousands of our innocents? Don’t people assume that we actually have something called “pride” and we feel angry whenever we see someone trashing the lives of our people?

I do not want anyone to think I am attacking America by what I wrote in this article. I know most Americans don’t know about these things and they would be disgusted if they knew what their politicians are really doing in our region. Understandably Arabs feel frustrated and trashed by the way the American administrations deal with our region and they think that most Americans simply don’t care about our suffering. As I mentioned in my previous article, the only way to destroy the walls of mistrust between our people is to discuss things honestly instead of accusing people. Accusing others with false accusations will only cause tension and anger. Why not hear the other point of view before judging? When are we going to stop judging others by what we hear in the media?

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