Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Forget ISIS, Humanity Is at Stake
By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 7, 2015
Zionist planners of the unprovoked 2003 US invasion, occupation,
and destruction of Iraq (Pearle, Feith, and Wolfowitz) called
their initial wanton attacks on Baghdad "Shock and Awe."
I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the
matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud.
“I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General
Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman,
said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US
bombs blasting an Iraqi bridge, seconds after the Iraqi driver managed to
But then, a far more unjust invasion and war followed
in 2003, following a decade-long siege that cost Iraq a million of its
children and its entire economy.
It marked the end of sanity and
the dissipation of any past illusions that the United States was a friend
of the Arabs. Not only did the Americans destroy the central piece of our
civilizational and collective experience that spanned millennia, it took
pleasure in degrading us in the process. Their soldiers raped our women
with obvious delight. They tortured our men, and posed with the dead,
mutilated bodies in photographs - mementos to prolong the humiliation for
eternity; they butchered our people, explained in articulate terms as
necessary and unavoidable collateral damage; they blew up our mosques and
churches and refused to accept that what was done to Iraq over the course
of twenty years might possibly constitute war crimes.
expanded their war taking it as far as US bombers could reach; they
tortured and floated their prisoners aboard large ships, cunningly arguing
that torture in international waters does not constitute a crime; they
suspended their victims on crosses and photographed them for future
Their entertainers, media experts, intellectuals
and philosophers made careers from dissecting us, dehumanizing us,
belittling everything we hold dear; they did not spare a symbol, a
prophet, a tradition, values or set of morals. When we reacted and
protested out of despair, they further censured us for being intolerant to
view the humor in our demise; they used our angry shouts to further
highlight their sense of superiority and our imposed lowliness.
They claimed that we initiated it all. But they lied. It was their
unqualified, inflated sense of importance that made them assign September
11, 2001 as the inauguration of history. All that they did to us, all the
colonial experiences and the open-ended butchery of the brown man, the
black man, any man or woman who did not look like them or uphold their
values, was inconsequential.
All the millions who died in Iraq
were not considered a viable context to any historical understanding of
terrorism; in fact, terrorism became us; the whole concept of terror,
which is violence inflicted on innocent civilians for political ends,
abruptly became an entirely Arab and Muslim trait. In retrospect, the
US-Western-Israeli slaughter of the Vietnamese, Koreans, Cambodians,
Palestinians, Lebanese, Egyptians, South Americans, Africans, was spared
any censure. Yet, when Arabs attempted to resist, they were deemed the
originators of violence, the harbingers of terror.
they carried out massive social and demographic experiments in Iraq which
have been unleashed throughout the Middle East, since. They pitted their
victims against one another: the Shia against the Sunni, the Sunni against
the Sunni, the Arabs against the Kurds, and the Kurds against the Turks.
They called it a strategy, and congratulated themselves on a job well done
as they purportedly withdrew from Iraq. They disregarded the consequences
of tampering with civilizations that have evolved over the course of
When their experiments went awry, they blamed their
victims. Their entertainers, media experts, intellectuals and philosophers
flooded every public platform to inform the world that the vital mistake
of the Bush administration was the assumption that Arabs were ready for
democracy and that, unlike the Japanese and the Germans, Arabs were made
of different blood, flesh and tears. Meanwhile, the finest of Arab men
were raped in their jails, kidnapped in broad daylight, tortured aboard
large ships in international waters, where the Law did not apply.
When the Americans and their allies claimed that they had left the region,
they left behind bleeding, impoverished nations, licking their wounds and
searching for bodies under rubble in diverse and macabre landscapes. Yet,
the Americans, the British, the French and the Israelis, continue to stage
their democratic elections around the debate of who will hit us the
hardest, humiliate us the most, teach the most unforgettable lesson and,
in their late night comedies, they mock our pain.
sprang up like wild grass in a desert, multiplied, and roamed the streets
of Rabat, Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, calling for a revolution. We wanted
democracy for our sake, not Bush’s democracy tinged with blood; we wanted
equality, change and reforms and a world in which Gaza is not habitually
destroyed by Israel and children of Derra could protest without being
shot; where leaders do not pose as divinities and relish the endless
arsenals of their western benefactors. We sought a life in which freedom
is not a rickety dingy crossing the sea to some uncertain horizon where we
are treated as human rubbish on the streets of western lands.
However, we were crushed; pulverized; imprisoned, burnt, beaten and raped
and, once more, told that we are not yet ready for democracy; not ready to
be free, to breathe, to exist with even a speck of dignity.
Many of us are still honorably fighting for our communities; others
despaired: they carried arms and went to war, fighting whoever they
perceive to be an enemy, who were many. Others went mad, lost every sense
of humanity; exacted revenge, tragically believing that justice can be
achieved by doing unto others what they have done unto you. They were
joined by others who headed to the West, some of whom had escaped the
miseries of their homelands, but found that their utopia was marred with
alienation, racism and neglect, saturated with a smug sense of superiority
afflicted upon them by their old masters.
It became a vicious
cycle, and few seem interested now in revisiting General Schwarzkopf’s
conquests in Iraq and Vietnam - with his smug attitude and the amusement
of western journalists - to know what actually went wrong. They still
refuse to acknowledge history, the bleeding Palestinian wound, the
heartbroken Egyptian revolutionaries and the destroyed sense of Iraqi
nationhood, the hemorrhaging streets of Libya and the horrifying outcomes
of all the western terrorist wars, with blind, oil-hungry dominating
foreign policies that have shattered the Cradle of Civilization, like
However, this violence no longer affects Arabs
alone, although Arabs and Muslims remain the larger recipients of its
horror. When the militants, spawned by the US and their allies, felt
cornered, they fanned out to every corner of the globe, killing innocent
people and shouting the name of God in their final moment. Recently, they
came for the French, a day after they blew up the Lebanese, and few days
after the Russians; and, before that, the Turks and the Kurds, and,
simultaneously, the Syrians and the Iraqis.
Who is next? No one
really knows. We keep telling ourselves that 'it's just a transition' and
‘all will be well once the dust has settled’. But the Russians, the
Americans and everyone else continue bombing, each insisting that they are
bombing the right people for the right reason while, on the ground,
everyone is shooting at whoever they deem the enemy, the terrorist, a
designation that is often redefined. Yet, few speak out to recognize our
shared humanity and victimhood.
No - do not always expect the
initials ISIS to offer an explanation for all that goes wrong. Those who
orchestrated the war on Iraq and those feeding the war in Syria and arming
Israel cannot be vindicated.
The crux of the matter: we either
live in dignity together or continue to perish alone, warring tribes and
grief-stricken nations. This is not just about indiscriminate bombing -
our humanity, in fact, the future of the human race is at stake.
– Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20
years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant,
an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His
books include ‘Searching Jenin’, ‘The Second Palestinian Intifada’ and his
latest ‘My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story’. His website
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