Saturday, January 08, 2005
American "Jews" In Iraq
Columnist/writer Thomas Friedman was interviewed on Real Time With Bill Maher Friday evening and was asked him about the situation where Iraqis are starting to call American troops “jews”. Friedman’s response seemed to fly over the heads of Maher and the audience, but he struck a nerve with me by stating that the “Iraqi people don’t know the Americans yet.”
Obviously the term “jew” is meant as a derogatory term by Iraqis, but the word could just as well be “zoogies” or “pricks” or “fart faces” . . . the point being that Iraqis despise American presence, regardless of what they call them. There is something extra to the Iraqis use of the term “jew”, however. Iraqis are by now aware, as are most other people on this planet outside the United States, who is really calling the shots in the Iraq war and USA Middle East policies. Apparently, the Iraqi people know the Americans better than the Americans know themselves!
Are the Iraqis supposed to forget about the first 18 months of the war because our behavior and actions against innocent people are not in the “American” image? Are we excused for not being ourselves, while thousands of innocents suffer and die? It’s more simple than that . . . This IS the American way and has been since the first colonists battled Indians for land and survival. Conquest is deeply ingrained in the American mind set and culture.
The Iraqis knew who we were BEFORE we attacked them in March, 2003, having suffered through 12 years of devastating and inhuman US-enforced sanctions that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. They are more aware of our criminal government and its unholy alliance with oil corporations than we are. Most Iraqis, I am sure, are also aware that the American people are basically good people, but they have been deceived to go along with government actions and policies.
There is no excuse for US actions in Iraq. What’s done is done and that is how things should be judged. The responsible person accepts responsibility for his actions and by doing so learns from them. We cannot turn the clock back to March, 2003 and go from there, knowing what we do now. If Americans are too ignorant and non-caring about what their government is doing to other people in the world then that is what we are . . . not patriotic Americans or heroic Americans or humane Americans . . . Just plain ignorant and fooled and non-caring Americans and that is what we have to accept, just like an alcoholic admitting his addiction.
The Iraqis don’t know Americans yet? I think that should be worded “the Americans don’t know the Iraqis yet.” If American troops were truly dying for REAL democratic ideals, instead of just occupying a nation for the benefit of powerful corporations like Halliburton, I am sure the Iraqi people would have put up little or no resistance. How would Bush supporters feel if a foreign nation demonized their "hero" Bush and attacked our nation to replace him? I am sure they would not like it very much! They do not respect the true aspirations of Iraqis, most of whom had no problems at all with Saddam Hussein as their leader.