home Current Affairs An Open Letter to the American People

An Open Letter to the American People

To all Americans who have been horrified by the dreadful scenes of the charred and mutilated bodies of their fellow countrymen and women dragged through the streets and hung from bridges in Iraq , I would like to say a few indispensable wo

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First, you must know and believe that such abominable acts are absolute anathema to everything the Arab culture and the religion of Islam stand for.

When prophet Mohammad entered Mecca as a conqueror after long years of forced exile, he didn’t shed a drop of blood. On the contrary, the legendary forgiveness bestowed upon those very people who drove him from his home and were bent on killing him was immortalised when he declared, upon entering the holy city, that those who take shelter in the house of Abu Sufian, his defeated arch enemy, shall be safe. The prophet then addressed the leaders of the vanquished city and their followers, absolving them: “Go, for you are free”.

The same spirit of magnanimous compassion was indelibly carved in history books by Saladin towards one of the worst perpetrators of unprovoked barbarity in the history of mankind, the Crusaders.

When the cross-bearing armies of mediaeval Europe marched upon Jerusalem , they massacred more Jews and Christians on their journey route than the Muslims they killed when they arrived. The unrivalled atrocities they committed against the defenceless inhabitants of this region explain why their name still evokes an historic mistrust of the West among the people of these lands (the devouring of barbecued Arab babies impaled on spits by the Crusaders in Ma’ara in Syria for their tender meat is just one example of Crusader bestiality).

Yet when Saladin decimated their forces in Hittin and liberated Jerusalem , there was no vengeance or retribution – no Guantanamo Bay camps, although it would have been warranted against those cannibals. Contrast the infinite benevolence and nobility of this victorious Muslim warrior with the rivers of blood in the streets of Jerusalem when the Crusaders raped the holy city.

This is the true spirit of Islam and the exemplary manifestation of the natural generosity inherent in the Arab culture, despite the individual acts of cruelty that litter the history of every nation.

This is also why nothing in the world can ever justify what happened to the bodies of those four Americans in Falujah, even if they were combatant soldiers.

However, the American people must put the blame for this horrific crime where it rightly belongs, at the doorsteps of George W. Bush and his dishonest administration for sending Americans to die based on totally indefensible pretexts.

In America today, you are gradually beginning to discover the enormity of the deceptions and the extent of the deliberate fabrications peddled by Dubya and Co. to justify their despicable war in Iraq, thanks to the courage of defecting and former members of this corrupt administration.

Now you must seriously ask yourselves why so many Americans had to die and are dying everyday in the worsening Iraqi quagmire. You must ask for what end this heavy price is being paid, in terms of both American and Iraqi lives.

To rid Iraq of a brutal dictator?

It would indeed be a glorious day for the Arab nation when the butcher of Baghdad is brought to trial to answer for his crimes. But such a trial would be a pointless charade and a very sick joke if only Saddam and his henchmen sat in the dock.

In any crime under any legal system in the world, accomplices, co-conspirators and collaborators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law as conscientiously as the principal parties are. For there to be any pretence of justice in any court of law, the party who knowingly hands over the murder weapon, provides the cover and drives the getaway car, must be as answerable as the one who pulls the trigger.

Although Baghdad was once the metropolitan centre of the world where the science of chemistry was discovered, it is common knowledge that modern Iraq never produced the raw materials to manufacture the chemical weapons used by Saddam two decades ago. And it is no secret who sold him these evil devices of murder when he was the obedient good boy of the West.

To put Saddam on trial today and exonerate the American and European politicians who backed his regime throughout its murderous reign, the same politicians who equipped him with mustard gas to use on a daily basis against the Iranians throughout the eighties and against the Kurds in 1988, is a mockery of justice and the sickest of all jokes.

Indeed, one needs to be possessed of unique arrogance to come today, when chemical weapons have been proven no longer to exist in Iraq, and posthumously lament the victims of such weapons, while the father of your current President, along with members of the same administration shedding these crocodile tears – of whom a notable Donald Rumsfeld comes to mind – were instrumental in personally delivering such weapons at the very time when they were being used, overseeing that Saddam never ran out of ammunition.

The Arabs are sick and tired of this brazen hypocrisy.

None of us is buying this whole greater Middle East initiative nonsense either. None of us believes that the United States and its British ally have finally realized that they should stop installing and sustaining oppressive regimes in the Middle East , as they have actively done for the last half century. Why not?

Because only recently, when another brutal dictator was too afraid to be found alone in a rat hole one day and decided to transform his country into another Western stooge regime, he was immediately embraced by the United States and Britain. Tony Blair, who personally flew to Libya two weeks ago to greet the born again – but still as brutal as ever – dictator, accepted his repentance for disobeying the West – and to hell with the entire Libyan people and their aspirations for democracy.

So, no, we don’t believe the empty promises of George W. Bush, and neither should you.

You must tell your President in the strongest possible terms that Americans have absolutely no business whatsoever being in Iraq. They have no business interfering in who should rule or not rule that country. They have no business? Or do they?

In fact, it is now very clear to most Americans that this whole bloody war was all about business. Ask Dick Cheney about Halliburton and he will tell you. Indeed, the Bush administration’s screaming hunger for Iraqi rebuilding contracts for Bush cronies is so scandalous that one cannot but wonder whether the arrogance of this administration has any limits at all.

Recently, when some European governments objected to the policy of awarding rebuilding contracts exclusively to firms from coalition countries, George W. Bush responded by saying that it is only fair that the countries who did the fighting and risked their armies to be rewarded with the profits of the rebuilding work.

So let me get this straight. The parties who caused untold wanton destruction have the priority to profit from the rebuilding contracts using the money of the country they have just destroyed? Fine. Then cancel the bidding results of the open tender to rebuild the two towers in New York and award the contract directly to Osama Bin Laden’s former construction company, for he’s the one who knocked them down!

A sign of a perverted mind, no one would disagree. The same perverted mind that had the nerve to link Iraq to the 9/11 atrocities in order to justify the war, despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. In fact, before the war, Iraq was completely free of a single Al Qaida cell. Now, thanks to the irresponsible and idiotic adventures of the Pentagon, Iraq is a wasteland of immeasurable chaos; a blooming carnival of extremism in a borderless destination welcoming all sorts of Islamic fundamentalist lunatics, the very terrorists this administration claims it wants to fight.

The Arabs have had enough of such destructive policies from successive American administrations, whose only interest in this region apart from oil has been to finance Israeli aggression and shield Israel from any accountability for its actions.

Maybe you are not aware of the heavy toll Israel exacts directly from your earnings, but this outlaw state has so far received in excess of a hundred billion dollars straight from your very pockets, more than a staggering third of total US foreign aid. What Israel has provided in return, apart from the subjugation of the Palestinian people under the longest and most brutal illegal military occupation in history, is an irreparable damage to America ‘s popularity in this region, which is manifesting itself in acts of desperation that are getting uglier and uglier every day.

Yet you, the American people, can change all of this.

Sometimes I do not blame American Presidents for taking their people for a ride, because despite its foreign policy excesses, America is still a democracy where people get to choose who rules them. The people just need to wake up from their apathetic slumber and take action.

Some of you may say that it is impossible to seek a change to American foreign policy whoever is in Congress or in the White House, since all superpowers in history have been directed by the same pursuit of selfish interests.

But I am pleading with you to do precisely that. Follow your genuine self interests. Elect politicians who would put America and American lives first. Leaders who would stand up against the Israeli lobby and discard the burdensome liabilities that drain your resources. Leaders who are not controlled by the ‘industrial military complex’, or any other complex for that matter.

You, the American people, have to make the choice. The alternative is to continue down this bottomless pit of military spending and disastrous foreign interventions, which no matter how long can last, will eventually lead – again, like all superpowers in history – to inevitable self destruction.

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Zaid Nabulsi

Zaid Nabulsi is a lawyer. He spent many years working for the United Nations in Geneva. He has a passion for (glorious) Harley Davidson bikes.