The ugly face of America [Archives:2006/965/Opinion]

July 20 2006

Atif Awad
It is due to a kind of naivety or stupidity or both that bewilderment is shown in the eyes of many Arabs whenever an inhuman savage act is discovered to be perpetrated by an American soldier in Iraq. This is a stance similar to those regarding what happened in Abu Ghraib prison, in Haditha and the incident when wounded elderly men were killed in a mosque in the town of Fallujah, as well as the crime of the American soldier in the city of Mahmoudia when he killed an entire family of a father, the wife and their two daughters and then raped the eldest daughter of 15 and then killed her, to be surprising. What is left untold is even more unsightly and brutal. The more tragic thing is that many Arabs show surprise in response to every such incident or practices committed by an American occupying soldier that is revealed. Worse than that is that many of this nation consider these practices to be exceptions perpetrated by just a few members of the American army.

Such Arabs think that America has a cultural and civilized depth and the Americans really are sponsors of human rights in the world and that America is an oasis of freedoms. Such convictions have taken possession of those Arabs, whether out of good will or those having interests with the Americans. In this case it really arouses surprise and bewilderment. Those Arabs clinging to the tail of the American experiment and believe America is an advocate of human rights and freedom have been surprised by practices perpetrated by this American soldier or that, considering them as an exception to the American experiment. Those Arabs are themselves the cause of amazement and surprise and derision. They themselves are the worst affliction to the entire Arab nation.

We address them by commenting that if the disclosed practices carried out by the American soldier with a feeling of much security in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Fallujah, Baghdad and the killing of a girl after raping her and killing her family members, are against the American morals and policy and exceptional of the American occupying army, what term can be given to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the secret prisons in different countries in the world? In all these places America shows disdain for humanity and practice all sorts of brutal torture. These are well-designed acts not perpetrated by a low-ranked soldier in the American army or a low-level politician that can be counted as exceptional acts. They are planned, designed and adopted acts that the senior American politicians and military have drawn up beforehand. They are also part of the American role in Palestine embodied by the limitless American support for the Israelis for the annihilation of the Palestinian people. Is this also an exception arousing bewilderment?

America has an ugly face that does not know anything other than beastly acts and satanic schemes in its practices against all sons of this nation. America does this not just out of hatred of the Arabs. If those stupid ones' sight had extended further to Vietnam, Nagasaki and Hiroshima and Latin America they would have known what an ugly face America possesses and that they do not deserve to be astonished by it, unless they have an Arab blindness.

Atif Awad is an Egyptian journalist and short story writer residing in Yemen.