Why Do They Hate Our Freedoms So Much?
Sun 1st Sep 2013
Former President Bush Junior, not remembered for being remotely articulate, claimed that "our enemies hate our freedoms".
Of course, he was wrong. Indeed, almost everyone in the world takes note of the American ideal of 'freedom' and many try to emulate it. Sadly, what they emulate is not the freedom itself but its manifestations: excessive consumption, unthinking acquisitive greed, retail fashion obsession and meaningless mind bogglingly cretinous popular culture.
President Eisenhower, one of the last remotely logical Presidents in a country apparently devoid of reason in its foreign politics, got it right when he believed that the campaign of hatred against America did not emanate from Arab Governments but from the Arab people outraged by Western double standards and hypocrisy.
Obama said, in his famous Cairo speech, that there should be a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He committed his presidency to this achievable aim. He repeated, in his Jerusalem speech some years later, the same aspiration when he asked Israelis to put themselves in Palestinian shoes and to have some compassion for them.
Yet, as one would expect, based on previous promises, nothing has happened and very little ever will.
The hatred that both Bush and Eisenhower spoke of is increasing incrementally as the USA and its poodle allies like President Hollande prepare to strike Syria to punish its Government for harming their civilians.
Yet, not a word about Israel occupying Palestinian territories, demolishing Palestinian homes, ethnically cleansing the Negev of Palestinian Bedouins, opening fire on Palestinian demonstrators, using phosphorus bombs in Gaza, littering Southern Lebanon with mines that still regularly injure and kill children... the list is endless.
Furthermore, President Assad of Syria, whose regime is abominably inhuman and dictatorial, will be targeted for punishment. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, whose forces have killed a large number of their own citizens and imprisoned democratically elected government members, including the President, had never carried out a "coup", according to US Secretary of State John Kerry. So when Assad and al-Sisi behave in the same way, the first is a criminal and the second is a friend.
In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE many dissidents have been imprisoned with the flimsiest of trumped up charges and human rights groups speak of a large number killed. Not a peep from the United States or Britain. They are our friends, as was President Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. And in the aftermath of Iraq being forcibly democratised, tens of thousands continue to die with barely a mention in the Western Press because Iraq is boring news now. Never mind the innocent victims.
Of course, nothing excuses the behaviour of President Assad's army in harming innocent Syrian citizens. Indeed, if a punitive strike against Syria would end this internecine civil war and produce democracy, I would be the first to cheer.
However, such a strike will do nothing of the sort. If Assad goes, his replacements have not particularly covered themselves with glory, whoever they may be.
More to the point, if President Assad is an unsavoury man, and I believe that he is, so is General al-Sisi, Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Abbas, Prime Minister Hananieh, President Karzai, former Prime Minister Blair, Prime Minister Cameron, ex President Bush, President Obama...
We are all alike. Opportunistic, greedy, hypocritical, dishonest... but some carry it infinitely better than others.
And the Syrians are about to find out that the moral high ground selectively sits astride a Tomahawk Missile.