In defense of the USA [Archives:2002/29/Focus]

July 15 2002

Osama Bin Laden and his followers have altered the world view about Muslims. If I see a young Muslim man or woman squeezing peaches in the produce section of a grocery store, I wonder if they will prostitute themselves as suicide bombers and blow me and my wheelchair to bits. The men involved in 9/11 lived and worked in the US, blending into our society. How do I know others wont do the same? European countries now shift to the right by demanding elected leaders curb the flow of Muslim immigrants entering such countries as France, Germany, Sweden, and Austria. Mexico recently expelled a group of Muslims on a mission to convert followers. Not a good idea in a very Catholic country.
Not every American supports Israel. In fact, many American Jews object to Israels heavy hand towards the Palestinians. It is a bold-faced lie that all Jews who worked in the World Trade Center stayed home on 9/11. Many of the victims who perished when the massive buildings crumbled were Jewish. Some were even Muslim. A lot were immigrants. Despite your beliefs that America is the great Satan, a lot of us support the rights of the Palestinian people. On June 15th, the Arizona Republic reported on successful attempts by American doctors in Phoenix to treat a Palestinian boy wounded by Israeli gunfire. At the same time, however, we deplore the use of suicide bombs. In some ways, fundamentalist Muslims remind me of the Communists. Its either their way or no way at all. How tragic it would be to live in a world where everyone and everything is the same. What happened to diversity?
Although I love my country, we have made mistakes, sometimes big ones. But the US is not the only country to err. What about the devastating civil war in Sudan where Muslims and Christians are at war in the south? Lets not forget the East Timor incidents. Arent Kurds Muslims too? Yet few people in your world seem bothered about them. Move on to China. Dont you care? True, the US has caused harm to Afghanistan. Wasnt anyone concerned when Russia invaded? What the Russians didnt destroy local warlords did, all without our help. The world is full of mistakes, not all of which are caused by the US.
Sharon and Arafat, act like bickering schoolboys fighting a ridiculous war where people on both sides lose. Fighting the Israeli bully with suicide bombs is a losing battle. Ever think of how South Africa ended years of oppression? Not one suicide bomb was used. There were massive world wide protests, boycotts, letter writing campaigns, etc. that forced the white government out of office. Undoubtedly, Israels aggression must be reined in. They get away with far too much brutality. They even bullied the UN by refusing to cooperate with an investigation into Jenin. But the continued use of suicide bombs threatens the world order and I am sick of it all. I am sick of being blamed for every stinking thing that goes wrong.
Osama Bin Laden should stop and put his money where it is really needed. The Middle East has a staggering poverty rate. Millions are illiterate and unemployed. He does nothing to change that. His only talent is spreading hate and instilling fear of Muslims. Is that what you want? God is shamed by us all.