America's Learning Curve
By Edward W. Miller
Statements by two well-known Muslims at opposite ends of the earth made headlines in October: Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian Prime Minister at the Islamic Conference in Putrajaya, Malayasia 17 Oct. 2003 discussed in depth the history of the Muslim peoples, the rise and fall of Islamic power and made a plea for greater economic and political cooperation amongst Muslims across the world. This single remark on Jews and the uses of their political power made headlines: "Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." The world's 1.4 billion Muslims "cannot be defeated by a few million Jews." (Assoc. Press)
On Al Jazeera Television, Bin Laden's latest message to Americans was broadcast 18 October: "He (Bush) is carrying out the demands of the Zionist lobby that helped him to enter the White House. These demands are to destroy the military strength of Iraq because it is too close to the Jews in Occupied Palestine, regardless of the harm that will happen to your people and your economy. He (Bush) is concealing his own ambitions and the ambitions of the Zionist lobby and their own desire for oil."
Columnist Dave Kersting added: "The vast number of grossly negligent US voters who simply don't bother to determine the elementary facts of the Israel-Palestine conflict-the perfectly obvious wrong of an officially 'Jewish' state forced into a multi-ethnic Palestine, should inspire massive reforms of media and public education, so our Planet Earth can be freed from this gruesome danger."
It seems pretty obvious to anyone searching the Net, that much of the world views America's incursions into both Afghanistan and now, Iraq in a different light than the White House, CNN or the FOX NEWS reports would suggest. Those massive world-wide demonstrations against Bush' s announced military adventure into Iraq should have raised red flags in Washington, but somehow, blinded by the smell of oil, and goaded by the promises of campaign cash from our armaments industry, the Halliburton group and our Zionist lobby, Bush Jr., with the help of an ignorant and non-caring Congress, plunged this Country headlong into what has become an economic as well as a humanitarian quagmire.
When one separates the real news from our media's half-truths and omissions a wholly different world appears. In Afghanistan this week, America's Special Forces and foreign military, despite their helicopter gunships and bombers, are fighting a losing battle against both a resurgent Taliban, and those Northern Alliance warlords who today raise more cash from their opium crops than our CIA pays them in bribes. The IMF reports Afghan opium also helps fund the Taliban, and supplies Europe with 86% of its heroin (Mideast International) There is still no security in that Country beyond the city limits of Kabul, where the recently-stationed NATO troops hide behind concrete barricades and razor wire. Today ( 18 Oct.) the Canadian Foreign Minister told the press: "No more Afghan troops from Canada."
Afghanistan's president, Karsai resplendent in his green robe, still hasn't received one tenth the cash promised months ago at the Tokyo summit, and those few voluntary NGO's brave enough to remain, are reluctant to send their men out into the countryside beyond the city limits of either Kabul or Kandahar. Afghanistan still lacks a transportation system, passable roadways, communication and postal facilities as well as potable water.
As for Iraq, the White House lauded the unanimous, 15/0 Resolution by the UN Security Council this week, promising UN assistance to a Bush who just days ago belittled the UN while his buddy Rumsfeld taunted an "Old Europe." Exposed to a critical eye, however, this UN Resolution contains neither a promise of foreign troop support in Iraq, nor cash to ease Bush's $87 Billion ongoing occupation Bill.
As both popular and congressional criticism of Bush's Iraqi campaign accelerates, the White House-Media "disinformation campaign" is also picking up speed. According to NEWSWEEK Oct. 17th, "The National Security Council recently formed four new committees to handle the situation in Iraq. One, devoted entirely to media coordination- stopping the bad news from overwhelming the good." The article says reporters are no longer permitted to visit hospitals or morgues in Iraq cities, to check on the number and type of dead and wounded.
The Guardian (HYPERLINK http://www.guardian.co.uk www.guardian.co.uk) on October 18th reports that the US Army hospital in Germany which acts as a triage facility for casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan, before selective patients are flown to the US, has just called in an additional 600 Army physicians and nurses who will be housed in temporary portable housing on base. Senator Ted Kennedy, an open critic of Bush's wars, recently visited Walter Reed Hospital in Washington where he was told that "some 1800 servicemen and women had been wounded in this war and that an average of seven new patients were arriving from Iraq each day." Kennedy reported: Many were ambushed driving along a road. Most lost limbs because their Humvees did not have the armor to protect them from the blasts of a rocket-propelled grenade or a booby-trap on the road. Kennedy has noted that: "Iraq was not a breeding ground for terrorism-our invasion has made it so." (Speech before Congress, 16 Oct. 2003)
Our president's Condoleeza Rice, always cooperative in disinformation, announced on CNN that Saddam Hussein had so badly neglected his people's infrastructure over the ten or so years prior to Gulf War I, that this neglect was adding significantly to the expense of rebuilding that Country. The truth is that even with the costs of his eight-year war with Iran, Saddam, before Gulf War I, was offering free medical care to every Iraqi citizen, free college tuition to Iraqi students, and even paid both tuition and living costs to Palestinian students he had welcomed into his Country after Israel closed their universities in the West Bank.
Saddam's people had enjoyed the highest standard of living of any Mideast peoples prior to the first Gulf War, with more women in business and the professions than other countries, and a 90 plus literacy rate. Saddam also funded the tuition's of Iraqi s taking graduate studies abroad. One major cause of anti-American feeling amongst Iraqis today has been the failure of the US occupation to restore any of the modalities to which Saddam's people had become accustomed prior to the Bush Gulf War I.
Another blatant example of a repeated official misrepresentation was the recent highly-publicized visit of our Secretary of State, Colin Powell to a cemetery in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, where, according to a much-exaggerated media story, Saddam had "gassed thousands of his own people." Powell, with news cameras running, laid a wreath on the graves of those "victims of Saddam's cruelty."
Coincidentally, perhaps, on October 17th on KPFA, the former CIA agent, appointed by Washington to cover Iraq before and after the Gulf War, Stephen Pelletier, reported that his CIA group had studied the Halabja gassing. Pellitier's specialists had determined, first, that the gas employed in the killing was of Iranian, not Iraqi origin, and second, that Saddam had never received from the US those helicopters from
which the supposed gas was spread. In addition, Pelletier noted, that there had not been "thousands gassed" as often reported in the media, but between 200 and 300 Kurds killed in the attack. For those interested, Pelletier's recent book: Iraq And The International Oil System, is available via Amazon.com.
As our quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan deepen, Washington, to keep Americans on edge and divert attention from the realities of two failed occupations, while fiercely denouncing "terrorism" is now issuing threats against both Iran and Syria, countries long targeted by Zionists as obstacles to their dreams of expansion. Only an alert and activist American public can curb this dangerous political maneuvering by Israel's lobby. In George Orwell's Animal Farm it was the apathy and indifference of society as a whole and its willingness to compromise truth and justice that enabled the tyrants (pigs) to seize power (Time Editor). Hopefully American's learning curve will begin to rise.Coastal Post Home Page