This is why we dislike US policy [Archives:2003/670/Viewpoint]

September 22 2003

I have been asked by a number of a few American friends why we in the Arab press seem to dislike US policies. It is true that we dislike the current US policy and seem to be in no agreement whatsoever with the current US government. That is true and that doesn't mean that we are against the USA as a country or nation. In fact we, along with tens of millions of Americans, are indeed against the current policies because for us, they seem to be misguided and wrong.
Take for example the latest UN vote on the deportation or threatening of the safety of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The whole world has rejected this threat except for Israel and the USA. The problem is that this act of the United States is seen as a blind support to Israel regardless of everything.
This comes after the USA vetoed the Security Council text on Tuesday that would have prevented Israel by force to deport or harm Yasser Arafat. The USA's claim was also funny for many analysts. The justification that the text failed to explicitly condemn “Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade as organizations responsible for acts of terrorism” and call for the dismantlement of “an infrastructure, which supports these terror operations wherever located.” Has been called 'ridiculous' by many observers in the Arab world because it implies that as long as the text does not condemn those factions, then Yasser Arafat can indeed be killed or sent to exile.
In other words, the USA is getting isolated more and more everyday as it is holding tight to Israel in every way possible.
This drives many people to rethink about this extremely strong alliance between the two countries. Many have come to think that perhaps the Jewish lobby in the White House is so strong that it almost controls every political decision in the country. There may be reasons known, there may be reasons unknown, but for sure, we see that the unity between the two allies is unbreakable.
Any way, coming to the point of US policy, we see that the rift between the USA and the Arab world is widening every day. The US strategy in Iraq has caused many to think about interests of the USA in oil and domination of the region. They may be wrong. But unless the USA proves otherwise, their assumption could still hold. Unless the USA proves that Weapons of Mass Destruction were actually there. And Unless its administration confirms that Iraq is a major source of terrorism, then all the justifications for the war could fall apart and leave the US administration speechless and unable to justify cleverly to the world why it had gone into a war so devastating, expensive, and with an unknown future.
We in the Arab press are only reflecting a popular opinion here in the region. We are also confident that this opinion is in most of the world. After all, why would the overwhelming majority of nations vote against the removal of Arafat? Could the whole world be wrong and the current US administration and Israel be right?
The American public is slowly and steadily beginning to realize that their government is no angel. It commits mistakes. But when the American public supports those mistakes including going to war with no justification, then it will have to pay in the long run. But I am sure that they will understand why the rest of the world has a different opinion, and numbers are also indicating that more Americans are aware that the US policy should change, and change drastically for us and the world to regain our confidence in US foreign policy.