Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An American in Hezbollah's Tent

Excerpts from Rethinking Terrorism: A Jewish American Crosses into Hezbollah Territory:
I found myself in front of a squad of Jordanian police, explaining that I could not share in the bread they were offering because it was Eid al-Pesach, a holiday commemorating the Jewish escape from Egypt thousands of years ago.

They offered me yogurt and a spoon.

In all my travels in the Middle East I have repeatedly received the same welcome response.

This trip to Lebanon was no different than the other trips to the Middle East, says the author, which leads to the question:
How does the bombing start when we can we stand here chatting politely, drinking coffee, asking questions about Israel and Lebanese politics? Who are the people who start the bombing? Who are the kidnappers and the killers? And why can't they talk a little more first?

Why indeed? It is at least partially due to the incredible fear-mongering seen from the government and media. Fear is the most useful tool for governments bent on warmaking, and the media are their echo chamber. There is a dangerous and irrational anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hysteria, mostly fueled by the false, but fear-provoking equation: Muslim = Terrorist.

Howard Zinn reminded us of this in a recent address, by quoting Göring, who said: "Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same way in any country." (Emphasis mine)

Filed under Reflection

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