My first taste of Middle East politics came way back in 2000 when all hell broke loose after Ariel Sharon's infamous visit to Temple Mount. Before that i didn't really care about what happened in the rest of the world because my country, Sierra Leone, was in a hell of it's own. So during the relative calm of the new millenium this event drew my attention to a complicated conflict that had been going on decades before i was born. The level of hatred involved was astonishing and was the main thing that caught my attention. The way my 13 year old brain interepreted it was that the Palestinians were fighting for their freedom and the right to their land and Israelis were struggling against "terrorists"( i just don't like that word). This was better than a movie, a great novel, or a "reality show" this was real, exciting, brutal and i was hooked.
Fast forward a year and the U.S was hit on September 11th 2001. I still remember that day and how strange everything seemed, how very un-real the television images were. The U.S attacked on their home soil? no way!!!!!!!!!. The first two questions that came to mind, to i'm sure alot of people, were "who would dare?" and just simply "why?". George Bush would want us to believe that these men were jealous of American freedoms and has embarked on what is nothing more than a crusade to spread his ideology across the world. The world needs freedom and democracy and they need it NOW! a quick fix, using a syringe instead of pills to cure this world of "Islamic terrorism". I put those two words in inverted commas because there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. There's terrorism and there's Islam, the two are incompatible.
The "Why?" question the america people were asking was given the wrong answer. They hate our freedom and democracy . What Freedom i ask? Is this the same America that for hundreds of years considered blacks to be less than human and treated them as such? the same America that murdered, raped, lynched and stripped of all identity millions of people?thrived on the free labour for so many years? is this the same America that helps to fund the occupation and heavy handedness of the Jewish state against the palestinians and other arabs? Is this the same America that supports arab dictatorships, yet brand "undemocratic" and "evil" those that dare stand up?? Freedom is the wrong answer. i can hear the people that are screaming "anti-american!", "anti-semite!" and i say to you this I'm not anti-american ( i'm anti-american FOREIGN POLICY) nor am i anti-semitic whether u believe it or not is up to you. And no i don't have a jewish friend to prove it lol. The Hollywood-like propaganda speeches Bush dishes out is hard to swallow and to think that man has the most destructive force in human history( the U.S military) at his disposal is extremely worrying.
I'm against anything and everything that includes oppression and needless suffering and though America is not the only culprit it's right up there with the worst. Foreign policy is the obvious reason why america is disliked, the bias it shows( israeli occupation, Lebanon war in 2006) makes lot of Middle Eastern people angry. How the state of Israel can do no wrong in the eyes of America is astonishing and deeply disturbing.Is Israel always right? was it right in killing at least 1000 civilians in a month? "Militants hide among civilians!" is the cry i hear, Did British forces flatten Northern Ireland because the IRA were amongst civilians? i'll leave that for you to answer.
Iraq is supposedly a front on the so-called war on terror and countless civilians perish for the fight,in america's eyes, for the ever elusive freedom. Are Iraqis better off now than under Saddam? HELL NO!!!!! is FREEDOM brought about by an invading force( whose primary interest is energy) going to last? would america spend some 300 billion dollars just because it felt iraq should be free and not harbour "terrorists"( even though Binladen and Saddam didn't like each other)?Will America win in Iraq? will Nato win in Afghanistan? You'd have to be either uncommonly optimistic or have chosen to hide the cloud of ignorance and fear that is hanging over the average westerner to believe in victory.
so as America prepares to send thousands of it's "freedom fighters" to Iraq they should remember a few things. Freedom and democracy cannot be brought by an invading force, Freedom and democracy are an illusion under the current occupation, Freedom cannot be brought by a country that doesn't practice what it so dramitically preaches (Guantanamo Bay anyone?). Genuine Freedom like so many things is a desire shared by all ( not only Americans!!!!) and can only come from within. I'm no expert at all this but i have chosen to do what many in the "Free World" are afraid of, ASK QUESTIONS and get ANSWERS not PROPAGANDA.