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Monumental American Hypocrisy
By EDWARD SAID
Al-Ahram, Feb. 13, 2003
"[T]he planners of this war, as Ralph Nader has forcefully said, are chicken hawks, that is, hawks who are too cowardly to do any fighting themselves. Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush, Cheney and others of that entirely civilian group were to a man in strong favour of the Vietnam War, yet each of them got a deferment based on privilege, and therefore never fought or so much as even served in the armed forces. Their belligerence is therefore morally repugnant and, in the literal sense, anti-democratic in the extreme. What this unrepresentative cabal seeks in a war with Iraq has nothing to do with actual military considerations."
"Isn't it outrageous that people of such a dubious caliber actually go on blathering about bringing democracy, modernisation, and liberalisation to the Middle East? God knows that the area needs it, as so many Arab and Muslim intellectuals and ordinary people have said over and over. But who appointed these characters as agents of progress anyway? And what entitles them to pontificate in so shameless a way when there are already so many injustices and abuses in their own country to be remedied? It's particularly galling that Perle, about as unqualified a person as it is imaginable to be on any subject touching on democracy and justice, should have been an election adviser to Netanyahu's extreme right-wing government during the period 1996-9, in which he counseled the renegade Israeli to scrap any and all peace attempts, to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and try to get rid of as many Palestinians as possible. This man now talks about bringing democracy to the Middle East . . ."
"[W]hat is so monumentally hypocritical about the official U.S. position is that literally everything Powell has accused the Ba'athists of has been the stock in trade of every Israeli government since 1948, and at no time more flagrantly than since the occupation of 1967. Torture, illegal detention, assassination, assaults against civilians with missiles, helicopters and jet fighters, annexation of territory, transportation of civilians from one place to another for the purpose of imprisonment, mass killing (as in Qana, Jenin, Sabra and Shatilla to mention only the most obvious), denial of rights to free passage and unimpeded civilian movement, education, medical aid, use of civilians as human shields, humiliation, punishment of families, house demolitions on a mass scale, destruction of agricultural land, expropriation of water, illegal settlement, economic pauperisation, attacks on hospitals, medical workers and ambulances, killing of U.N. personnel . . ."
"Bush declares that Sharon, who is a war criminal by any standard, is a man of peace, as if to spit on the innocent Palestinians' lives that have been lost and ravaged by Sharon and his criminal army. And he has the gall to say that he acts in God's name, and that he (and his administration) act to serve 'a just and faithful God.' And, more astounding yet, he lectures the world on Saddam's flouting of U.N. resolutions even as he supports a country, Israel, that has flouted at least 64 of them on a daily basis for more than half a century."
"That Bush and Sharon have contempt for the non-white people of this world is clear. The question is, how long can they keep getting away with it?"