The al-Jazeera interview with Jane Novak [Archives:2005/897/Letters to the Editor]
By Taha Abdulla Baharoon
The I have been following the live debate program broadcast by Al Jazeera on 15/11/05 with regard to the visit of President Ali Abdulla Saleh to Washington DC but was disappointed to see Jane Novak persistently evading to answer the question repeatedly posed by the presenter of the program Hafiz Mirazi as to why she decided to become an expert on Yemen Affairs when she has never been to Yemen herself and the fact that she doesn't speak a word of Arabic. One must therefore conclude that her decision is based on the principle of “eenie meenie miney moe catch a nigga by his toe”
One prime fact which Jane Novak is, or pretend to be, unaware of is the fact that there are handful self-styled Arab liberals, mostly born or bred in America, who are working hard to paint a good picture of America and these now face an up-hill job. This is evident in the fact that all those who are regarded as friends by the US automatically become suspects and vice versa. Under this vicious circle of mistrust and counter mistrust, between the US and the Arab World, even dictators of the region have now found safety and refuge amongst their own people since they are now regarded by their own people as 'their own sons of a bitch' an expression coined by Henry Kissinger when he spoke of the former dictator and president of Indonesia, General Suharto, also former US ally, saying: “He may be son of a bitch, but our own son of bitch”. There are indeed quite many “sons of a bitch” currently running the show in our countries, but these are our own nonetheless. It is better to live under them then under foreign occupation as the situation is in Iraq now. Important factor for Jane Novak to realize is that bitterness towards the US isn't in short supply in the Middle East and is now transforming itself into hatred and is on its way to becoming immeasurable. She should therefore concentrate to make things better at home first. Perhaps, she could work for the change of the biased American policy against the Arab World.
According to Thomas Friedman, on BBC Hard Talk, Americans seem to careless about Anti- American feelings in the Arab World, and this what makes things even worse, because it puts the spin on the already existing vicious circle of bitterness at a time when handful Arabs liberals are losing the battle and President Bush still firmly clings on his favourite expression of the “The civilized world”, when referring to anything western, forgetting the fact that it is the “civilized world” that started the two world wars including holocaust.