Bias reports on all sides [Archives:2003/632/Letters to the Editor]

April 21 2003

Chris G.
Minneapolis, MN
United States of America

I read the news sources of the world, like the Yemen Times, Washington Post, The Guardian in the UK, and many more sources online. Many people of the United States of America (U.S.A.) do the same and we express our views openly. To think that the only news we get is the sanitized media of our public television is to stereotype a nation. American news is sanitized so not to offend the masses. Like al-Jazirah, the American media services are driven by ratings. They deliver what the public wants to hear, and during a time of war, Americans are looking for news that either comforts them or reassures them that their intentions are good. Its political correctness may go too far at times, but for those who wish to investigate an issue further, the resources are readily available to them.
In my readings, I have found that the views of the counties of the world are biased on all sides. I am not against the reasons for the U.S.A. going into Iraq, but I due believe that there may have been other solutions with less drastic consequences.
Your remark about the idea that “some Americans never think that they may be wrong!”, goes both ways. The same is true for Muslin nations of the world. The U.S.A., however, has an obligation to the world to help ensure peace as the only remaining “Super Power”. I, however, think that we all know that the United States is no 'Angel'. It does what is in its own best interests in regards to economics, politics, and the public safety. It has not always been true to its values either, but it is going in what I consider a good direction. People recognize the problems in the system and take the steps to correct and revise these issues through civil means.
Yes, some Americans, like me, see the U.S.A. as a “Super Power” and think of the United States as one of many leaders the free world. Like you, we debate the values and beliefs of many differing people and religions, but many Americans feel that their democracy and freedoms allow them the right to share and promote their views. That is the basis of the founding principles of this nation and the many freedoms presented within our nation's Bill of Rights. The same freedoms that allow Americans the right to free speech also allows them to protest and hold rallies. It allows the people to criticize the government and our president. It allows us to look beyond the current conservative views of the United States Republican political party and see that the country is made up of much more than George Bush and its current elected representatives. The hatred for the U.S.A. by the people of the world is their right and is a freedom that they are allowed to express. I have no issues with people hating a country as long as they try to resolve the issues through non-violent means rather than resorting to extremes like war, Jihad, or martyrdom. Education and communication create polarized views, but it also provides the means to resolve the issues through civilized actions.
In your editorial you said, “I find it truly disgusting to see how the President has almost tearful expressions of sadness for the loss of a few American soldiers killed or imprisoned, while neglecting the fact that hundreds of innocent Iraqi civilians have died. President Bush accuses Iraqi soldiers of being terrorists, while it seems to me, and many others, that the contrary is true. How can an invader call himself a liberator while a person who defends his country with his life be called a terrorist?”
My only response to add to this is that I partially agree with you. The President of the United States must deliver his messages in a form that will gain public support for his actions. If he acknowledged the pains of the Iraqi people, he would undermine the goal that he has presented to his troops and cause them to question their duty and assignment. Also, the Iraqi's who defend their county are also doing their job and following the duty of a soldier. But to leave your post as a soldier and assume the role of a civilian only to attack your enemy makes every civilian suspicious of being the combatant or terrorist. If the Iraqi soldiers were to support their country, they would do so as soldiers and not as anonymous combatants.
You ask if we feel that this war is just. I do not know that answer. My only hope is that United Nations, who presented an ultimatum to Iraq, realizes that there are issues with Iraq that need to be resolved but no course of action could be agreed upon. These issues and potential threats undermine the stability of the Middle East and need to be addressed. In the mean time, let us just pray that the conflict is resolved soon so we can help the people of Iraq get their lives back in order without threats, both foreign and domestic.
The thinking that is expressed through out the Middle East puts as much fear in me as President Bush pursuing war with Iraq. What scares me more is if the United States finds weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the regime change is successful, will the Middle Eastern nations pull back from such a critical view of the situation. Will our actions have been justified? I fear that the Arab nations may be so set on a Jihad with the west that there will be no peace in the world for years or decades to come. The war in Iraq is about more than weapons or regime change. I feel that the rest of the world at some level supports the intentions but is opposed to the means by which they were achieved. The question is, “Could Iraq have ever changed without the war?” We will never know.