Friday, May 27, 2005

Letter from the Dead Sea

The Honorable,

Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator Gordon Smith

Congresswoman Jane Harman

Congressman Christopher Shays

You have taken the trouble of traveling five thousand miles to join us by the Dead Sea, and "learn and open doors for us". We are most grateful.

I need to talk to you candidly and freely; diplomacy may blur issues as diplomacy is meant to do. So, without mincing words, I confess to disagreeing with much of what you said.

You all talked about the war on Iraq. None of you mentioned the Bush administration's stated reasons for war. Instead, you said it was the intention of the US to spread democracy in Iraq and the whole Middle East.

Is this true? The Bush administration declared war on Iraq insisting that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed and produced weapons of mass destruction, and had connections with Al Qaeda. It only spoke about democracy and freedom when its reasons for war were proved to be false. All of them were utterly and completely discredited, including the attempt to buy yellow cake from Niger.

Still, we all want democracy, and I would love to see it in every Arab country, none of which is democratic. But we demand an American type of democracy, the democracy you enjoy at home and not the export variety, which you are peddling among us. One example suffices: you denied Yasser Arafat the opportunity to run again, knowing that he will win; then you forced on him the office of prime minister to bypass him. He created it grudgingly. Now that there is a Palestinian Prime Minister, no administration official has spoken to him or visited him. You talked about "democracy" while Abu Alaa was addressing another group next door. Please, explain yourselves to him.

We want American democracy, not an export variety tailored by the neo cons to suit Israel's interests.

By the way, don't misread Abu Mazen. He is no Uncle Tom. He will do what is required of him, but he will not provoke a Palestinian civil war by attempting to disarm Hamas and other Islamist groups. Miss Harman was the most sensible among you - maybe because she is a democrat - but she still thinks that Abu Mazen must disarm Hamas. This is civil war, as Hamas will never disarm willingly. I know its leadership personally and my expertise is first hand, not long distance like your so-called terrorism experts. It is the duty of Abu Mazen to disarm all Palestinian groups after a settlement is sealed. But not under occupation.

Senator Hatch was right to say that your country suffered from terrible terrorism, and that you want to defeat it around the world, and that you want us to help you. It is our own duty to help you. I am ashamed to admit that terrorism sprang from our midst and we are responsible before anyone else to combat it and eliminate the unhealthy environment which breeds terrorists.

But Senator Hatch also spoke about Iranians he met in Davos; who love America and democracy. Believe it or not, we all love America and democracy. It does not follow however, that a change in government in Tehran would mean a change in heart. On the subject you are the most keen on, Iran's nuclear program, the conservatives and the liberals are united in seeking the bomb. It is a matter of national pride. My first hand knowledge and experience in my region tell me that Iran is pursuing a military nuclear program. Iran does not support terrorist organizations. It supports national liberation movements. I say this while I fully oppose suicide bombings and write against them regularly.

Congressman Shays claimed that Syrians say to you: tell us what we are doing wrong and we'll stop it. When they want to know what you know about them. You don't want that, but want them to stop whatever they are doing. I insist that you don't want to help Syria so that it might help you. Last year I met your ambassador Margaret Scoby in Damascus. She is a very capable and straight talking diplomat. She told me that the Syrians must withdrew from Lebanon, close the border with Iraq, throw out Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Syria to any country other than Lebanon, and liberalize the Syrian economy. I asked her what would the US give in return and she said nothing. These are things that Syria must do.

I object to a great deal in Syria but your position is not that of a party that wants a deal.

Senator Smith said that the US has a colonialist past. This is true but I fear that you are trying hard to catch up. Still, this is less important than something the Republican Senator said, to which I protest vehemently. Asked about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land he managed to say that the Jewish people were persecuted and brutalized all over the world and not just in the Middle East.

Now I know that history is written by the winners, but you are not going to get out of this bit of tragic history; the witnesses are still there. The Jews were massacred by white Christian Europeans, not by darker skinned Arabs or Muslims. The US and its allies did not interfere quickly enough when they could, and as a result, six million Jews lost their lives in the Nazi Holocaust. On the other hand, all the massacres between the Palestinians and Jews (later Israelis) since 1920 would not come up to one afternoon in Treblinka.

I heard you all and, at times, I was in despair, but at the end of the hour, I said to myself that you are at least trying to learn. For that I am grateful.

With respect,

Jihad Al Khazen.


Blogger James Swiderski said...


How can you fault Bush ? After 911, Saddamm refused to cooperate with international inspectors to prove to us he didn't have WMDs. Only the presence of 100,000 plus troops on his border FORCED him to resume the inspections regime. This is not a man who can be deterred. He tried to assasinate former President Bush when he was visiting Kuwait. What Soviet leader ever tried that and risked certain war with the U.S. ?

The U.S was INVITED in by scared Arabs when Sadddam invaded Kuwait in 1991. He was our ally before that. Arab pleas for help and our answer to the call made Saddaam our enemy. Any you fault us for demanding certainty that our enemy lacked WMD's ? After 911 ?

In the end, he had a desire to require them, a plan, and not much more. Now, the only moral option is turn Iraq over to representative ELECTED by the Iraqi people. We did that. We are defending those people who were elected. Those people ASK us to REMAIN IN IRAQ. The elected representatives of Iraq call his liberators, their prime minister visits our war wounded and calls them heroes. He asks us NOT to set a timetable. What kind of nonsense are you speaking. Should we ignore the elected representatives of Iraq in determining the best policy for Iraq ?

9:25 AM  

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