Skip to comments.An open letter to President Bush [From a Saudi Arabian writer]
Posted on 04/23/2002 4:25:25 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
Dear President Bush,
I hope you will appreciate the spirit in which this letter is being written. I have been a long-time admirer of the political principles of the American Founding Fathers. However, I am also someone who has come to the conclusion that those principles have been so consistently undermined in recent times that they have little or no relevance now.
My intention is to give you a firsthand but objective account of how people in the Arab world perceive the US role in the tragedy that has befallen the Palestinian people in their historic, but criminally occupied lands.
You are soon to meet Crown Prince Abdullah, who embodies the qualities of integrity, truth, honor and conviction. He is a leader who speaks according to the strong logic of his mind and the deep passion of his heart. He never minces his words, which when spoken in your presence in a few days time, I am sure, will provide you if you listen and act on his advice with the key to bringing about real, lasting peace in the Middle East.
The Arab people from Morocco, where three million recently peacefully demonstrated in support of the Palestinians, to here in the Arabian Gulf were to a man shocked into utter disbelief at your description of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a "man of peace". The reason is that at the same time you issued a statement that held President Yasser Arafat besieged in a room, guns pointing at him from every direction accountable for all the violence, both in the occupied Palestinian territory and in Israel itself.
Worse still, 72 hours after Sharon insisted that Arafat condemn terrorism in Arabic, you yourself repeated the same words. At least as a consequence every Arab man, woman and child do I really need to emphasize the total Arab unity regarding this matter? knows exactly what it feels like to be slapped in the face.
Please explain, Mr. President, how the following scenario could be either logical or moral?
There is, on the one hand, an attack of genocidal proportions on a defenseless people by a nuclear power that is illegally occupying that defenseless peoples land, and it is carrying out that barbaric attack with military hardware supplied free of charge by the United States. On the other hand, the United States condemns with neither a hint of sympathy nor understanding the hopeless acts of that occupied peoples resistance.
In any case, Mr. President, when you are speaking of Israels rights, the Israelis are carrying out their unspeakable acts of repression. And as if to reveal their pride on how completely immoral that repression has become, a senior Israeli officer earlier this year urged the army: "Analyze the lessons of how the German Army acted in the Warsaw ghetto."
This was not just empty rhetoric. Consider this list of just what the Israelis have been doing: shooting at Palestinian ambulances and medical personnel; imposing a blanket ban on independent media reports; deliberately executing Palestinian children "for sport" (according to Chris Hedges in The New York Times); leaving the wounded to die a slow death in the street where they fell; burying hundreds alive after demolishing their homes on them; engaging in a chilling process of rounding up all Palestinian males between the ages of 15 and 50, writing numbers on their wrists and foreheads; afterward torturing them in what seems to have all the hallmarks of a concentration camp; and even using Palestinian civilians, stripped to their underwear in the middle of the street, as human shields.
Mr. President, the Israelis are clearly so out of control that they have begun to resemble the Nazi regime which committed so many unforgivable crimes against the defenseless Jews of the world. Indeed, the Portuguese Nobel laureate for literature, Jose Saramago, has spoken of the "spirit of Auschwitz" in depicting the recent horrors carried out in the name of the Jewish state in the occupied territories. A Belgian MP recently put the matter bluntly. "Israel," he said, "is making a concentration camp out of the West Bank."
In light of the above, it should not surprise you to learn that Arabs the world over hold you "personally responsible" for not reining in this unbridled terror. The Israeli barbarism, and the pitiful Palestinian suffering, is a test for your moral leadership much more than it could ever be a test of the leadership of a besieged and humiliated Arafat.
While the UN envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, describes Israels actions as "morally repugnant", we hear only US threats to veto resolutions calling for a UN probe into the Jenin massacre. For this and many other reasons, you have united the whole world as never before in their criticism of your alliance with the Jewish state. In fact, even Israeli intellectuals are in despair at your failure to rein in Sharon. Gideon Samet, for example, went as far as to write in Haaretz: "When it comes to terror and the Arabs, the United States has become more Israeli than the Israelis raining abuse and demonizing the Palestinians."
The view in what is called the Arab street can be summarized thus: Israeli sympathizers have clearly managed to infiltrate every area of the US government, to the extent that it has become crippled by their presence and is unable to deal with Israel as it would any other rogue state. And who could blame them for thinking this? Consider how the US moved mountains indeed, not infrequently blew mountains to pieces in its drive to implement UN resolutions on so many issues from Korea to Iraq to Afghanistan but has remained surprisingly silent when it comes to implementing UN resolutions 242 and 338.
And then, why did not Mr. Powell visit the Jenin camp to view for himself what had happened? What could justify silence in the face of the alleged massacres there, when it was because of a massacre of innocents on Sept. 11 that the United States launched its own so-called war against terror? Why is Sharon being treated like a world statesman, a "true brother and friend" of the United States no less, when even an Israeli court found him "indirectly responsible" for the massacres at Sabra and Shatila in 1982, in which almost 2,000 Palestinian civilians were killed after being trapped by the Israeli Army? Sharons hands drip with the blood of the innocent, and still his appetite remains unsatiated. How could Powell stand next to such a war criminal, only weeks after he said in public that he wishes he had "liquidated" Arafat when he "had the chance" back in Beirut? Is it simply impossible that a crime Sharon will personally commit, a resolution he will deliberately ignore, will one day be just one too many for the United States?
The Palestinian activists who blow themselves up take such desperate decisions because they have lost all hope for the future. By making it clear that the answer to that question is no, you have correspondingly made it clear to the Palestinian people that they have no reason to hope for justice and dignity. In this sense, you push them toward their final acts of pathetic self-sacrifice, because in effect you are telling them that this is the only chance they will ever get to make a difference and be listened to. How totally marginalized and abused does a young, innocent boy have to be to grow up into a man so frustrated and despairing that he decides blowing himself and others up is the best thing he can do with his life?
Mr. President, the Arab people want to live in peace. No Arab mother wants her son or daughter to die. To suggest otherwise would be an affront to humanity. But so would be asking them to settle for anything less than peace with dignity.
The Palestinians do not want to live in Reservations or in Bantustans.
They want their own sovereign country in which they can exercise their God-given right to self-determination, and plan for their childrens future a future that is so normal and full of potential that the idea of suicide bombings becomes alien to them as well.
They are asking for no more than what is right, morally and politically. And for that reason, God will help them overcome.
(A concerned human being)
Lips moving? Lying again... what is your Westernized name? Did you say "Larry"??
The real message from the House of Saud to America
let me guess, will his advice be along the lines of "just kill all Israelis, Jews, any non-Muslim, and voila, lasting peace in the Middle East!"??
Thank you for writing, you smelly piece of towel-headed trash. Your letter reminded me of something: if two guys talk politics on a street corner in Saudi Arabia, they get disemboweled in the name of Allah.
So, shut the hell up, you camel-riding goat farmer. The day a rag-head lectures me on tolerance and peace, well, it'll be a chilly day in hades.
In summary, you can pound a big pile of sand right up your azz. And if you write to me again, I may just send our people over there to take our oil back, and the whole lot of you will be driving cabs, assuming you have actual streets and roads.
Again, thanks for writing, you towel-headed follower of a made-up religion.
Herein lie the seeds of WWIII. As a civilized nation we wish to avoid this. We may not have a choice.
While a significant number of Islams want to eliminate the Jews and Christians of the world, we sit and hope that this can be avoided. They already have a big advantage when we think like this. As a civilized nation, we must make certain that our civilization prevails in the upcoming conflict, because it will come. We are only biding our time.
We are a civilized nation fighting barbarians. Much of the world is too frightened and/or morally blind to come to our aid.
Furthermore, as a civilized nation, we have certain disadvantages against an uncivilized opponent. However, it is the fact that we are, in fact, civilized, that makes the fight worth fighting. We should not and cannot give that up.
We have an obligation to eliminate terrorism and simultaneously avoid WWIII, if we can.
Although I believe we have a moral obligation to make the effort, I personally believe the effort is failing. It is very possible that we have already passed the point of no return.
It looks to me like we are headed for WWIII. If we are, millions of people will die. Even so, the fight is worth fighting.