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l November 03' l

The Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

l Vol 3, No 7 l


America's Dubious Allies   

Gary Fitleberg

Are Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia America’s allies or are they against America and the democracy and freedom of Western civilization? Should America continue to support these alleged allies? The answer may lie in the media of these alleged allies of America.


On September 11, 2001, an act of hitherto unimaginable evil was perpetrated against the United States, as civilian airplanes full of ordinary people were utilized as weapons of annihilation in an effort to destroy not only many thousands of lives, but major symbols of the American economic, military, and political system.


Throughout the world there were expressions of false solidarity with the U.S. and outrage at the terrorists. When President George W. Bush declared that each country would have to decide if they were with the U.S. or with the terrorists, almost all of them quickly announced they wanted to be part of the coalition on terror. But reality has painted a completely different picture thus far. Take Iraq for example. The “War on Terrorism” led by America received strong opposition to any attack on Iraq. Especially vociferous opposition from France; a nation allegedly believing in the ideals of democracy and freedom. But that’s another story!!!


When it comes to the Muslim world, it turns not to be all that simple. Nations America has long considered allies who are “friendly” and “moderate” have turned out to be harboring an astonishing depth of animosity and hatred toward America.


This alarming deep feeling is most prevalent among the elite (including above all the “spiritual leaders”), the man in the street (apparently reflected in opinion polls and street demonstrations), and is perpetuated by the state-controlled media of the Arab/Islamist Middle East nations.


Much of the media is directly owned and operated by the corrupt dictatorships and governments in these respective nations. It is extremely significant that there is little if anything to distinguish outright government-owned from quasi-independent media. All media in these nations are controlled by the rulers to perpetuate their own political agenda. In other words, not one Arab/Islamist nation enjoys freedom of the press. One can conclude that the remarks and sentiments in the media is a direct opinion of the government’s rulers in these corrupt dictatorships and governments of these largely monarchies.


Let us now focus on Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia!!! A sampling of the media of these Middle Eastern nations traditionally viewed as our allies indicates otherwise!!!


While there is some variation between countries (the Jordanian media is much more less prone to promoting anti-American feeling), certain themes tend to emerge overall. One is the pervasive joy within the population at American suffering. Another is blaming the victim (a common Arab propaganda strategy); it is American support for Israel that is responsible for anti-American terror, or more broadly, it is the very nature of the United States as “oppressor” or the “civilization” as one Saudi described as “that arose on the skulls of others.” Yet another theme, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. was denial of Arab involvement (e.g. the Israel’s and their intelligence agency Mossad did the dirty deed). Another ongoing theme is the claim of “moral equivalency”!!! President Bush and/or Rumsfeld are equa! ted with Bin Laden as zealots who would impose their vision upon the world. Some turn events on their head to claim the U.S. is the real terrorist.


While it is particularly striking is the hatred and violent anti-American incitement coming from the Muslim spiritual leaders. In the Arab/Islamist world, where religion and state are not separated as they are in Western civilization, imams, (blind) mullahs, and sheiks leading mosques have positions of influence and importance not enjoyed by religious leaders here in America. Their sermons are broadcast on state-controlled radio and television and printed as political propaganda in newspapers to reach the broadest possible audience.


A few religious authorities, including the Chief Mufti of Saudi Arabia, have indeed condemned the attack on the U.S. as contrary to Islamic law, but those who have spoken out are surprisingly few. Most have been silent or openly supportive of Bin Laden.


A few words about this endlessly repeated theme that American support for Israel is the “root cause” of hostility toward the America. This is not only a constant in the Arab media (on this point Jordanian media is as forceful as others) but is the central argument of the rulers who press this false premise and thesis upon President Bush and each and every Western leader with whom the meet at every conceivable opportunity it is not just Israel whom they plan to defeat. America, Western civilization and the ideals of democracy and freedom are the objective ultimately.


The argument is a seductive one because it suggests that all U.S. problems with the Islamic world will disappear if it abandons Israel to the Arab world. Changing a single element of foreign policy will not solve the “root cause” of the real problem: hatred, incitement, terrorism and violence. One perpetuated for political reasons in the Arab/Islamist media.


While some in Western civilization, including many policy-makers, still cling to this belief and illusion rather stubbornly, largely because the “problem” (Israel/Jews) will go away it is quite clear the real problem against Western civilization remains here to stay. Holding out hope for an easy solution is definitely expedient but is not the honest or moral answer.


Bernard Lewis, the foremost expert on the Middle East, provokes a wake-up call. In an article in the Washingtom Post of September 10, 2002, Lewis points out that the roots of current Muslim, especially Arab hostility go far deeper. Islam of rmany centuries was the greatest civilization on earth and its military forces were triumphantly on the march. Everything then changed drastically. Instead of invading and dominating Christendom, Muslims were invaded and dominated by Christian powers.


Lewis writes “The resulting frustration and anger at what seemed a both natural and divine law has been growing for centuries and have reached a climax in our own time.” Given that the U.S. is now the unchallenged leader of the West, says Lewis, it is inevitably the chief target of the frustration and anger. In addition to hatred there is contempt for what Muslims perceive as the degeneracy and immorality of the American way of life. At the same time, there is fear because of the perception of its potential influence on Muslim societies. Lewis notes that when Ayatollah Khoemeini repeatedly called America “the Great Satan” this is what he referred to: Satan is not an imperialist explorer but a tempter, a seducer who, in the words of the Holy Koran “whispers in t! he hearts of men”!!!


Opinion polls revealing the deep pervasiveness of anti-American sentiment strongly suggest that we can no longer afford to ignore the true “root cause” of hatred, incitement, terrorism and violence as instigated in the Arab/Islamist state-controlled media shaping public attitudes. Israel turned a blind eye to the endless incitement against her churned out by the Palestinian Authority’s political propaganda in the media and press after the so-called “peace process” was initiated in 1993. Israel eventually and unfortunately reaped the consequences of its denial in the eruption of unrelieved unconstrained hatred, incitement, terrorism and violence in the form of homicide bombers.


Let’s explore a few facts!!! Egypt and Jordan receive substantial American aid – in the case of Egypt $2.1 billion a year and Jordan $220 million. While Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth precludes the need for financial aid, it has long enjoyed the military protection of America and our alleged “ally” has also enjoyed an specially relationship over many years. Despite the fact that the Saudis have voted against America in the U.N. over 73% of the time!!!


Moreover, America has leverage. Before Congress votes large sums in aid (or in the case of Saudi Arabia we provide our best weapons systems) to these “allies”, our legislators might insist upon being informed of all government-controlled media accurately and completely. Before Congress there is an investigation into the “education” process fomented in the school textbooks in Saudi Arabia presently. We must also thoroughly investigate our alleged “allies” Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and all other recipient of U.S. assistance.


The U.S. Government’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service provides daily translations from foreign media worldwide.


An article in National Review On-Line urges the Secretary of State to be required to compile and issue a quarterly report to Congress on anti-American and anti-Israel invective in the media of these countries. The latter is very important given that these countries all claim to be promoting the “peace process”!!!


Egypt and Jordan have both signed peace treaties with Israel. Relentless promotion of hatred and incitement by these “peace partners” can only contribute to the decrease regional stability in the Middle East.


Political leaders in these countries must realize that anti-American incitement and promotion of anti-Israel terror bare a cost and that their intolerance will no longer be tolerated.


As former Ambassador and U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross has clearly observed. “You can not continue to extol the virtues of the suicide [homicide] bombers and talk about how the United States must also pay, without there being a consequence in terms of attitude. They cannot continue to use their media as a release for outrage and for anger…within those media which basically are not free except to dispense certain hatreds.” Ross concluded, “They cannot use those media to create a climate of legitimacy for this kind of behavior and that is exactly what they’ve done.”


Are Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia America’s allies or are they against America and the democracy and freedom of Western civilization? Should America continue to support these alleged allies? The answer may lie in the media of these alleged allies of America.


If we believe that ideas and words have consequences, Americans must be deeply concerned about the hatred toward the U.S. fostered by government-controlled media in countries we view as allies bent on the intent of the destruction of our Western way of life – with democracy and freedom as the foundation!!!


The American eagle of democracy and freedom must not blink but clearly think about it’s alleged allies Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia!!!


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