Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/47/Letters to the Editor]

November 19 2001

Dear Editor,
I am a student at Bard College in the US and I’d like to express my gratitude to Yemen Times and its approach for accuracy of fact and understanding. I value the information I find in this newspaper because I can see what is really happening in other parts of the globe from the perspective of the oppressed. It is a relief that there are some people dedicated to disseminate reports and views that are actually not opinion or manipulated information by corporations, like the New York Times or more particularly CNN, in fact the entire American press.
I read in an article that US is engaged in a worldwide effort to promote US views. They are planning to set up some Arab media with US influences. Even the Pentagon has made a contract with a public relations company to deal with the public opinion. They want to appear as if they are doing something legitimate. Please do not yield to western pressure and do make more editorials, reports and articles unveiling the real motives and giving a comprehensive picture of the events.
I am opposed to the US, so what? To accuse somebody of being opposed to US actions has some contextual problems. In the first place, what does the person mean by “you oppose to US?” It is an accusation without arguments since it only expresses superfluous emotions rather than having a real cause. If I could tell how US media is manipulating and waging huge propaganda war upon its own citizens. The person who accused you of propagandist is being misled in his observation because they are under biased information and propaganda bombardment. Just an example, in a TV program called 60 minutes, they were trying to show to the Americans how Pakistani population was at the US side and the fundamentalist opposition was a tiny group. That is an outright lie and the person in charge of directing this program knows it. The same day, I was reading an anti-imperialist article by Arundhati Roy in a magazine called Indian Outlook (I’m not sure). The magazine conducted a poll and came up with the results that 85% or so among Pakistani population sympathize with Osama bin Laden. Who is being propagandist? It also funny that they accused you of propaganda against all the facts, historical records which make this conclusion possible. That tells you that, after you took so much time to create this article and trying to be comprehensive, these people still cannot use their heads! In my opinion, they lack the capacity of evaluation. Their only conclusion is “propaganda.”
I have much to say against the US. No one here is concerned with what I know. There are some who disagree with the US but do not take an active role. For example, in Italy high school students took over the streets to show their opposition with the US actions in Afghanistan along with continuous protest all over Europe as well across the Arab world. To think that American high school students would take the streets of Washington DC to protest is something totally out of reality. Teenagers in the US are only concerned with material conformity. Of course there are some exceptions, but they are few.
I feel a mounting anger too even though I am not Muslim and I live in the filthiest country in the world, the United States. I have much to say and the only thing I wanted to communicate is my sympathy or gratitude for the existence of Yemen Times. Unlike “commercial” newspapers such as New York Times, your website does not even have advertisement along with the article. That makes your publication more admirable. And they accused you of “propagandist!”
My plans for the future are vague but I am seriously considering on serving another country than the US. So I’d like to have some suggestions for any internship program or any humanitarian organization in the Arab world. The idea of a united Arab world is very attractive. However, those countries are so destroyed that I would be glad to help or make a contribution either directly in the field there or indirectly from the US. Are there any websites where I could find information?
I’d like to know what skills are really helpful in order to contribute to the Arab cause.
Lastly, I have red some articles making the connection of the illegitimate US “invasion” or “conquest” on Afghanistan soil and, consequently, they murdering of innocent civilians as a result of oil interests there. Part of the Bush administration have close ties with the oil industry, including Bush himself. Condolleza Rice has worked for Chevron and there is even an oil ship named after her. Cheney is an expert on the subject. Bush is involved in this sector as his father was. This clearly connects with the motor industry. The US operation was planned way before landing on Afghan soil. The article could include geopolitics, geo-economics factors and an Arab perspective of the involvement of the opportunistic Britain.
Diego Andreios U.
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
American answers your question(s) and I dare you to publish this, the truth you so boldly want Americans to know about! The problem is, you can’t handle the truth.
Now, as for your first question…let me start to answer by turning it around on you? Why do you support the Palestinians and other Arab ”terrorists” who have been attacking Israel for 120 years? Why is it that you so detest the only ”legitimate democracy” in the region whose leaders are elected and not anointed. A country who has a parliament, not a royal family. A duly elected leadership, not a dictatorial regime. A country that has an undeniable right to exist, yet by implication you buy into the notion that it ought not have this right and simply decry its actions of ”self-defense”. That is the answer to your question. We support Israel because they are a democracy who’s legitimacy is without question but have to live in a neighborhood full of Arab extremists who believe Israel should be eliminated. Who do you expect us to support? Terrorists like ”Arafat”? What moral ground does your question stand on? Until you come to understand and accept the undeniable right of Israel you will never, ever have peace because we will never, ever let Israel be destroyed and eliminated. We believe in freedom and democracy and we defend it wherever it is being attacked. It is truly that simple. Arabs have a collective decision to make. What is it about freedom and democracy that you so dislike and do you really want to get into it with America? You say that the average American does not understand middle eastern history – this is ridiculous and assumes that only pointy headed “intellectuals” can truly understand the middle east. I suppose you are referring to the ilk that populates Berkeley? Look, my family came to America in the mid 1600’s. We have fought for freedom and democracy in the French and Indian war, the revolutionary war, the war of 1812, the civil war, WWI, WWII. My great grandfather was a colonel in the Civil war. Don’t lecture this American on history. We here in America understand war too; you talk about Muslims who have died as if we here in America do not know death and destruction. You need to learn our history as well…if you did you might be a far different editorial writer and carry a hell of a lot more credibility outside of your own neck of the woods.
Bill Danielson 
[email protected]
Dear Mr Bill
Although your letter contains exaggerated and inaccurate information and ideas concerning the Palestinian issue, the Arabs and Muslims in general, I have decided to publish your letter as it is. I don’t think you need to challenge me concerning the publication of your unfriendly letter because we in Yemen Times are open-minded and find no embarrassment in publishing our readers letters even if they contain very strong criticism against us.