The history of this conflict, like all conflicts, is married to the recent past. And it is a catholic marriage. Watching George Bush talking of ‘drawing a line in the sand’ did not just evoke the memory of his father but of his father’s wars. Maybe this time around it really is a ‘no choice’ war. But let us all be aware that the killing of innocent Afghan civilians will only enhance the appeal of Osama Bin Laden as a cult figure, dead or alive.
The senior George Bush was President or Vice President during the invasion of Grenada, the invasion of Panama, our central American wars, the Iran/Contra scandal, The Iran/Iraq war, the breakout of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the Falklands war, the green light given to Ariel Sharon to invade Lebanon in 1982 and the Gulf War.
Over the last month, as our collective attention has turned to the disaster in New York City and the war against the Taliban and Bin Laden, more mass graves have been dug up in Bosnia. Just this week, Milosovic was indicted for another war crime. This time, for his war crimes in Croatia during the first round of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Before the Serbs turned their knives on Bosnian Muslims, they focused their anger on Catholic Croatians. It was the Senior Bush who first decided to ignore the Balkans.
But the Balkans would not be ignored. It took almost a decade for the United States to finally take care of Milosovic. By then, 250,000 civilian lives had been squandered.
Bosnia and Croatia where somehow not as important as Kuwait. The first Bush administration imposed an arms embargo and went on its merry way. And Clinton inherited a vicious genocidal war, which he compounded by sending a wimpy Warren Christopher to deal with the murderous Milosovic. It was a virtual green light to intensify the ethnic slaughter. So when full-scale genocide broke out in Rwanda, Clinton’s administration deemed intervention outside the scope of our ‘national interest’.
Make no mistake, every Muslim and Arab took notice of how quickly America reacted to the invasion of Kuwait and how the Clinton administration looked on passively while Sarajevo was mercilessly pounded for a thousand days. It should be noted that the Bosnians, in their desperate fight for survival, did not ask for a single American soldier. They only wanted the right to buy arms to defend themselves against further atrocities. But the Clinton Administration said no. Why? Because polls from our media barons. Dick Morris who has joined the ‘FOX’ circus claims to have been the shadow president who directed Bill Clinton’s every move. If you want to know how we ended up with such an irrational ‘Israel First’ foreign policy, consider the fact that Morris (aka ‘President Charlie’) now works for Rupert Murdoch, an intimate buddy of Ariel Sharon.
Moving on to the Gulf war. Those of us who opposed that war, which was half the country before the first bomb fell on Baghdad, were left as a tiny minority when Bush Senior hurried us off to battle. As a triumphant majority celebrated our ‘sanitary’ victories in Desert Storm, the anti-war movement was reduced to a few brave voices. And, although we were few, time and mounting casualties are testament that we were not wrong. That war was a disastrous mistake. If we had been fighting for freedom, why is Kuwait and Saudi Arabia still absolute monarchies? Sadam wanted the oil to pay the bills that had accumulated from the Iran/Iraq war, a war we encouraged him to launch to contain ‘Khomeni’. Now we have Bin Ladin to contend with. War breeds war. Intervention breeds more intervention. And the Israel Firsters always get their policies engraved in the American agenda.
While America administered a cruel embargo on Iraq, long after the last Iraqi soldier left Kuwait, lavish subsidies were sent to Israel to shore up its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, South Lebanon, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. The establishment of permanent American Military bases in Saudi Arabia were seen as just another foreign occupation by the militant Wahabis. It doesn’t take a genius or a Phd in Farsi to figure out how that went down in the Middle East.
In return for his services to Israeli interests, George Bush senior was hounded out of office by the Israeli lobby. Why? He dared to take issue with Shamir and his housing minister, Ariel Sharon. When Howard Baker offered the Israelis a phone number to dial for peace, they dialed the lobby and had them evict Bush Senior from the White House. Although George Senior had emerged from the Gulf War with a 90% approval rating, a militantly pro-Israeli media turned their heavy weapons on him when he dared to criticize illegal Israeli settlements and he was history.
It is rumored that George Bush Junior was determined to avoid his father’s mistake of taking on the lobby. So, he ignored the Palestinian independence uprising for the campaign. Having won the election fairly, but with a very slim margin, he knew better than to pick a fight with the New York Times over Israel. So, Sharon was given a green light to ‘win the war’ against the Palestinians. Thomas Friedman and William Safire insisted on it and Sulzberger threatened to challenge the ‘Bushies’ legitimacy if Sharon was not accommodated. Friedman loved to torment the White House with his letters to the ‘Bushies’.
Of late, we learn, that our President has visions of a Palestinian State. Over night, he has transformed himself from an isolationist to building what is probably the largest coalition in the history of the world. The war crimes inflicted on America on 911 have clarified many minds. Bush is obviously a quick study. It has been a month since the atrocity and it would be a major mistake to doubt his absolute commitment to doing what is in the American national interest, lobby or no lobby. Bush now has a one item agenda. He wants to take America back to September 10, 2001 and move on from there. Only this time there will be real airport security, reliable intelligence, an American foreign policy as good as the American people, a more robust relationship with our real allies (NATO), a vastly diminished Israeli lobby and a healthy relation with Afghanis and all the people of the Middle East.
The most remarkable thing about the president’s press conference was his appeal for American children to collect funds for starving Afghani children. In this existential campaign, money is no object. The State Department could have just written a big fat check, but George Bush wants the American public involved in the solution. He needs Americans to pay attention as a buffer against the Israeli lobby and its entrenched loyalists in the mass media and at the highest level of our government. A charm offensive is on to combat what he described in his speech as the ‘vitrolic hate’ of America by a radical minority in the Middle East. George Bush is fully aware that America’s foreign policy needs some major fine tuning and will need urgent public relations work to market the goodness of America to the people of that vast oil-rich poverty plagued region of the world. Donations to this fund can be sent directly to The Afghani Children’s Fund, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave N.W, DC 20500. It is a way for Americans to demonstrate their good will to the people of the Middle East.
If you think the Israel Firsters in the mass media are going to try to help Bush out, think again. They are desperate to undermine a coalition that will be based on international legitimacy. Next thing you know, Sharon will be indicted for his war crimes. And his pal Rupert Murdoch wants the keys to America’s nuclear arsenal before that happens. The FOX network and SKY, both Murdoch enterprises, have spared no effort to prod the American government to escalate the war and break up this coalition before it is too firmly glued together.
The attempts to fix our discredited foreign policies is not sitting well with the pro-Israeli media pundits, who seem to monopolize every Middle East debate. Don’t they ever get tired of saying ‘You’re right’ or ‘I agree with you’? They have urgent reasons to be so redundant. They are desperate to have Americans ignore that our disastrous ‘Israel First’ policies were made possible by the narrow ethnic agendas of the lords and masters of the American mass media monopolies. And while they are at it, they have some new ‘Israel First’ agendas to stuff down our throats.
If you want to know what the Israeli Lobby is up to, take a look at the New York Times. In article after article since 911 they have attempted to insulate themselves and the rest of the Lobby from their well-documented history as agents for a foreign state while continuing to lobby on behalf of Ariel Sharon, Friedman’s favorite war criminal.
FOX and the New York Times, CNN and the rest of the Israeli propaganda machine have a five point agenda. First, they need to consolidate their ‘media’ power and maintain their franchise as ‘reliable’ and ‘objective’ sources of information. If they think no one has noticed their ethnicity, even as they call for the ethnic profiling of Arab-Americans, they should take a poll. They will not be reassured.
They also need to take back the initiative from the President of the United States, who seems to be suddenly steering an independent course. He might turn out to be an ‘America Firster’, like most Texans. What is absolutely certain is that the lobby wants to bring down the coalition and return to the situation that existed until September 10, when Israel was deemed more important than NATO, Russia and China combined. Third, they are desperate to escalate the war and provoke America into a war with Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria and the Sudan. Some of them want America to also shun Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Saudi Arabia and bomb El Jazira. Their fourth goal is to bury the Israeli/conflict and allow Sharon to continue his repression in a dark corner, away from the public glare. Finally, they are desperate to retain their control over the narrative of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, lest Americans start asking questions about the history of mass media collaboration with the Israeli government. It is all in their archives and they know the evidence is very incriminating and very Un-American. So, if they can’t tell you the truth, they will flood you with volumes of ‘information’ and ‘expert’ opinion.
The journalism of so many of these mass media outlets has consistently aligned perfectly with Israeli governments, no matter how extreme their agenda. Any nay sayers, like Patrick Buchanan on the right or Chomsky on the left, were pulverized as anti-semites or self-hating Jews. Take a hard look at Sulzberger, Thomas Friedman, Jeff Greenberg, William Safire, Ted Koppel, Aaron Brown, Larry King, Chris Mathews, Charles Krauthammer, George Will and every FOX anchor. Every one of these ‘journalists’ are perfectly willing to go to work on sabotaging the Anglo-American led coalition because it does not meet favor in Tel Aviv. Watch how many Israelis and American Jewish pundits get invited as ‘experts’ on these shows? Why don’t they ever ask these ‘experts’ about Sharon’s criminal past? The BBC does. Read Robert Fisk’s incredible accounts of Sharon and Sabra and Shatila in The Independent of London and compare his coverage to the boys at the New York Times. The difference in coverage is because Sulzberger and his crew are certified belligerents in the Middle East conflict.
Ask yourself why Peres gets more air time than Tony Blair, when the administration is obviously trying to distance itself from a blatantly racist Israeli government. Chris Mathews, Larry King and Charlie Rose never miss an opportunity to grovel with Shimon Peres or Barak or Benjamin Netenyahu. How come they never ask them any difficult questions and always accept their answers as the Gospel truth? Did you ever notice how they never challenge an Israeli speaker? How come Chris Mathews lowers the decibel of his obnoxious voice in the presence of Israeli officials? Why doesn’t he just go back to his real job and find Chandra Levy?
Chris Mathews is a mercenary. But not quite as bad as the racist creeps that toil for Rupert Murdoch. Listening in on some of the ‘debates’ on FOX TV is like crashing in on an all Yiddish party. Their zeal in worshipping a war criminal like Ariel Sharon is truly disturbing. At FOX, The fourth estate has become a fifth column disseminating Israeli agendas. Even now, after their recommended policies have led to a national and international disaster, these Israeli lobby pros will not hesitate in coercing American officials into adapting Israeli policies.
Because of the ethnic domination of the mass media by folks like Sulzberger and Rupert Murdoch, we get a very ‘complicated’ story, full of distractions, devoid of any hope for a rational solution. They are ‘experts’ on all manner of subjects, including other people’s religious beliefs. They have Israelis to tell you the Likud position and American Zionists to give you the “Palestinian” position. Arab-Americans get on the payroll of these media titans by becoming intellectual quislings, like Fouad Adjami who knows how to say things like ‘Yes, I agree with you, Rupert, but are you satisfied with the shine on your shoes?’
Forget the ‘experts’ telling you what to think. If they are experts at anything, their talents are limited to marketing whatever policy the Israeli Lobby wants to stuff down our throat. Upon further inquiry, most Americans will find a much simpler story and one worth just a little effort to investigate as private responsible citizens. Please do it for yourself, for your kids, for your country, for your planet, for the human race. Responsible Americans should not be neutral on mass media manipulation in times of war, especially when it is for the benefit of a foreign country. And Israel is a very foreign country. We should send a clear message to our media titans that we have had enough deception, already.
Call up the New York Times or CNN or FOX. Ask them why it is that not a single major Jewish leader or Publisher or Journalist in America has denounced Ariel Sharon’s war crimes in Qibya and Sabra and Shatila. Indeed, they have spent a year sanitizing Sharon’s criminal war record and defaming the Palestinians for daring to revolt against this thug and the Israeli occupation goons. The intellectual dwarfs at FOX and CNN can easily claim stupidity or ignorance and move on. But you have to believe there is no where in hell for the New York Times to hide decades of deceptive journalism.
This is a different kind of war and George Bush is going to have to fight on a number of fronts. If he is forced to look over his shoulder for ‘Israel Firsters’ mounting assaults on behalf of Ariel Sharon, he will certainly be distracted from doing what needs to be done.
At this time of national crisis, Bush does not need the additional burden of fending off Rupert Murdoch and Sulzberger. That is something Americans can take care of, by mailing a vote of confidence to the White House. Send a little contribution to the fund he has set up for Afghani children. Show the world that America understands why George Bush is launching a badly needed charm offensive in the Middle East. Your dollar will give Bush a green light to ignore the Israel Firsters and concentrate on the national interest in building good will among all the people of our precious planet, starting with the little children in Afghanistan. And while we are at it, let us all keep an eye on the media lords who have proven over the course of the last fifty years that they have dual loyalties that should be held suspect in times of war and it times of peace.
The FOX network is as detrimental to the national interest as the Bin Laden Cult. Rupert Murdoch is a sleazy racist tabloid publisher who has way too much influence on our governors. Unplug FOX and boycott any product advertised on their network. Watching FOX is like going to a KKK rally. This is a free country. Let Murdoch burn all the crosses he wants. Just make sure he doesn’t continue doing it in your living room. Never ignore the fact that the New York Times is an ethnic newspaper that is considered a belligerent in the Middle East conflict. Diminishing the power of Sulzberger’s rag will do a lot to neutralize the power of the Israeli lobby over our foreign policy.
So, be very aware of the Israeli Lobby and join George Bush in lighting a candle for an Afghani Child.
Mr. Ahmed Amr is Editor of NileMedia.com in Seattle and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).