Ominous signs of the times [Archives:2003/666/Opinion]

September 8 2003

I. Wheelchairs vs. Supersonic F-16s
The attempted attack on Sheikh Ahmed Yassine et al last Saturday clearly underscores the obvious reliance on real terror by the Israeli War Machine. It goes without saying that the Government of Ariel Sharon will not stop anywhere to carry out its agenda of eliminating any resistance that stands in its way of completing the Zionization of the Holy Land. Much of the credit for this unabashed behavior, which should really not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the bloody rise of the “Hebrew State”, is of course attributed to the very cozy neo-con-'evangelical'-Zionist alliance that is comfortably in place in Washington D.C. The fact of the matter is that Sheikh Ahmed Yassine represented a thorny problem for the Zionist state, not so much because of the threat to Israel's existence the almost incapacitated symbolic leader of Hamas posed, but because of the obvious mismatch reflected in the continuous dual between the radical resistance movement of Hamas and the chauvinistic dogmatic Zionist state. In other words, the obvious appearance of the almost paralyzed (which is symbolic of the real state of being of all the Palestinians) vs. the highly armed Zionist War Machine had to be eliminated. This obvious mismatch might have posed some kind of a slight embarrassment to the prevalent polished PR image of the Jewish State, as a modern humane democracy amidst a region of wild barbarians. With Ahmed Yassine out of the way, then the rest of the able bodied Palestinians can become open prey for the Israeli Apache Attack Helicopters and F-15 and F-16 Fighters. Not that such public relations imagery really mattered that much to the Zionist demagogues, it nevertheless underlies the resolve of the Zionist state to take full advantage of the green light given by the Bush Administration to Ariel Sharon to expand on the Zionist agenda, while the “anti-terror” fever is still high. There is no telling how long the fever will continue, especially in the wake of the continuous failure of the War Hawks in the Bush Administration to come up with genuine successes in any of their “anti-terror” objectives, not to mention the rising concerns amongst many Americans that the Bush II Era is proving more of a nightmare, than a relief from the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11. One would hope that the many supporters of the “Hebrew State” for “evangelical” reasons, will come to realize that without a genuine moral fabric to really stand on, the Zionist state is indeed one of the most ruthless war machines of modern times, and accordingly this support is morally self-defeating.

II. What About Freedom of the Press?
The continuous challenges faced by Al-Jazeera Satellite TV in trying to deliver its pioneering message of expanding press freedom has not just only come from within the region, but even from the supposed defender of human rights and free expression, Uncle Sam. One can understand why many Arab regimes might wish that this progressive media experiment of the State of Qatar, since its highly professional and objective news reporting has provided a successful model of objective news broadcasting and a real free forum for uncontrolled/uncensored expression of opinion. This is something that many of the existing Arab regimes have not come to stomach as part and parcel of the modern strides in communication and free information flow. What is amazing is that the White House War Office has no grounds for encouraging the successful development of functioning Arab democratic institutions, because this is in line with the Zionist philosophy that enhanced democracy in the region works against the long term Zionist agenda, especially in the dissemination of the facts pertaining to the implementation of this agenda on the ground. One remembers how Al-Jazeera was specifically targeted by Allied or “Coalition” Forces, in both the Afghanistan and Iraq adventures. In fact the Al-Jazeera correspondent, Taysir Allouni was luckily spared early martyrdom, in both cases. Allouni, who holds Spanish citizenship has been arrested last week for reasons that have yet to become clear. The Spanish authorities claim the reasons as being his alleged “support” of two Al-Qa'eda suspects. Surely, this arrest does not enhance Spain's image as a defender of human rights and press freedom. Even if we assume that Allouni might have had previous contacts with Al-Qa'eda suspects, which should not be a mystery, since Allouni did cover Afghanistan for Al-Jazeera before 9/11 and during the “War against the Taliban and Al-Qa'eda” thereafter. Thus, the observer can only view the action of the Spanish authorities as a hindrance to the free operation of a professional journalist, who enjoys a good reputation for objective “on the scene” coverage of very dangerous war situations. Allouni never showed any sympathies for Al-Qa'eda or terrorist acts or even some anti US sentiment in his reporting. Accordingly, this observer joins the hundreds of members in the international press, who condone this flagrant violation of a fellow journalist's right to carry out his professional duties without obstruction. One also hopes that the Spanish authorities will not allow themselves to succumb to the wishes of those who are against press freedom in the Arab World, unless the Arab press meets the criteria set by the Bush War Office, in which case no media channel will have any audience.