Friday, July 21, 2006

Why should Americans care?

I was watching a report on the CNN about the situation in the Middle East when the presentor pointed to Lebanon and Israel saying ,"This area in the northern Africa has been unstable for a long time". I was shocked to hear that given that the CNN is the "most trusted" in news. I switched to another news channel (I believe it was NBC or CNN-headlnes) and watched someone talking about the history of the region , started with "Palestenians are basically Syrians".

Americans know very few about the Middle East. Very few know that many of its coutnries are part ofAsia, very few can identify correctly the countries in the region. Very few know about the history of the region or recognize what are Reolsutions 242 or 338 or what the six-day war was or how the Jewish groups murdered the UN envoys to the region in 1948.

Very few know that thanks to Harry Truman's blind support to Israel and his fear from losing the Jewish vote in the US, Israel could have not been founded given the huge opposition to its independence in 1948. Very few Americans recognize that no country has refused is still refusing to comply with UN resolutions more than Israel did. Very few know what Sabra and Shatilla was and that Ariel Sharon was convicted by an Israeli court to be responsible for the slaughter of Palestenians only to become the Israeli prime minister 20 years later and be called "man of peace" several times by W Bush.

Very few Americans can identify Iraq on the map. Very few know that Saddam became Iraq's president in the 1970s and was supported by the US that time until 1990. Very few know that the Arabic radical Islamic groups had extremely low popularity among Arabs until the US started funding them heavily in the 1970s. Very few American know that Arab Christians exist. Very few know that Syria's al-Asad and Iraq's Saddam regimes were the most anti-Islamic regimes in the Arab world, even collecting Islamists in hundreds and killing them brutally during their regimes. All of the above are facts and not a personal opinion.

I love Americans and I find them very friendly, tolerant and kind-hearted. A lot of the most prominent figures in the world were Americans and they have made a positive change in the world. When it comes to politics and knowledge of the outside world, their lack of knowledge is awefully sad, mainly because the rest of the world pays for it.


Why should an average American bother to know all this about the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict? The answer is that the US has been paying billions of dollars every year to Israel. That's all taxpayers money. The US has struck Iraq based on a lie that Saddam Hussain had connections with al Qaeda and any Arab with mediocre intelligence would know this is so untrue.

Basically hundreds of billions of dollars of people's money have been spent on wars and operations that benefit less than 1% of Americans while the 99% are paying the price of detoriorating quality of their own life, increasing hatred towards America and Americans and continuous bloodshed committed in the name of fighting terrorism. In a democratic country like the US, people can make a change and we've seen this before in America. I hope that people will become more interested in the conflict there and try to learn more about the history of the region.

14 comments:

Linda said...

very well said Fares

now how do we get people to know this?

Abed. Hamdan said...

I think it's our responsiblity to show them the truth, right ??

great post. thx

madas said...

I had an answer ready when i read the subject... why should Americans care? but i found satisfactory anwers to this question in your post. But to add something... they should care, because whatever policy is made there affects what people will eat that season in our side of the world, if poor people in this part of the world can afford the price of heating and energy (depends on what is dreamt in the brains of those running the world bank), and what movies they will see on our local TV and if they can send money to help their families in Palestine or if that money will be considered support to terrorism. The support that is sent to Israel every year has a major effect on our lives, either through these wars in Lebanon or Palestine or Iraq... Please Hareegs, they have a lot to answer for and to care about.

hamede said...

Thank you.

Naj said...

Great post ... you are right..and i see this worse than the actual war that some of us are wittnessing.
i hope we can change this, becasue i am sure many are aware of such crisis.
by the way, i liked the name "Hareega" it is also common in Palestine.

Thanks,

Hareega said...

Linda part of it could be the media. I'm glad Al-JAzeera is starting a broadcast in English soon, that's a step in the right direction.

abed-hamdan- totaly agree.

Madas- many Americans do not recognize that. They don't know how much money are they paying to keep Israel safe and how much they're spending in Iraq, and sadly enough the extremely high price of these operations might not show up immediately but many years later. I can't imagine one Iraqi, Palestenian or Lebanese childing growing up praising America for its role in the Middle East. They are not asking questions like "How did the removal of Saddam make america safer" or "How does the security of Israel affect my security"...etc. They jsut buy most of the media sells here.

Naj... thank you for visiting. Hareega is an awesome name ;) it works everywhere !

Khalidah said...

Great post as usual Hareega and I agree with Abed on this one ..

The media and propaganda play a major role in raising awareness about what goes on in other parts of the world other than the geographical area that we live in ..

We have a huge responsibility and I hope that more of the educated people become aware and accountable

the mutaweena from pasadena said...

Very true, sadly, most of us (americans) are willfully ignorant of the history and geography of the middle east, willful being the key word. Our beholdence to israel is sickening, we will back them to the point of WW3, if you check the wallets of most of bush's senior advisors you will membership cards for the likud party and i am only half kidding when i say this. Americans do care, but the messages they receive about the middle east are couched to make us worry about security, oil and terrorism, the ideals of right and wrong and fairplay don't enter into it. We (the government) will sit by and not a utter a word against israel as it bombs and burns and turns back lebanons clock 20 years.

the mutaweena from pasadena said...

Very true, sadly, most of us (americans) are willfully ignorant of the history and geography of the middle east, willful being the key word. Our beholdence to israel is sickening, we will back them to the point of WW3, if you check the wallets of most of bush's senior advisors you will membership cards for the likud party and i am only half kidding when i say this. Americans do care, but the messages they receive about the middle east are couched to make us worry about security, oil and terrorism, the ideals of right and wrong and fairplay don't enter into it. We (the government) will sit by and not a utter a word against israel as it bombs and burns and turns back lebanons clock 20 years.

(Tealover) said...

I was reading your post .. and was thinking that it all has to do with media .. I also was thinking that I should comment and say , Aljazeera is about to open an international channel .. but you've just mentioned that in your comment :) .. here most of us seek the info. because we simply live it.. but there , they are far away from sensing it . Americans are totally absorbed in their own lives , that's why they wont really care to negotiate or argue what their media gives to them .. but the fact that an Arabic news channel has emptied a foot step for itself, and made its name creditable among the other international media would- in my opinion- prepare the people of America to hear another view .. or at least it will make them curious to compare the info. Or I hope it would ..

Nice post .

bassel said...

sadly tealover, americans don't watch satellite channels, only cable channels

Hareega said...

Khalidah part of the problem is that most of the money Arabs have is in thehands of the ignorant and the careless. Nothing good can happen with that.

mutaweena-pasadena...
thank you for your reply. I'm sure that Americans care about having peace in the middle east but they need to keep asking questions and look for answers and most of them are not doing that. They get their answers from Fox News and Comedy Central (which is a great show btw!) but they barely know any hsitory.

Tealover.... i'm optimistic about al Jazeera although i can imagine bill o'reily screaming and asking the american government to prevent this peace of weapon of mass destruction from reaching the minds of american people!

bassel, Americans have the resources they need to get news and info but they don't care or somehow they believe they should not care.

Honestly-Us said...

If the Americans pull out of the region, what will the Middle East look like? By pull out I mean, troops, money, oil money, everything. I really would like to know !!

hareega said...

honestly-US...
In case that happened and it never will, at least anytime soon, it will not be a one-way decision. IF the US decided it has no interest in the regions' oil, gulf countries have the right to stop exporting oil to the US and pull out alll their investments in the US. Can you imagine this happening??