There are still some who believe that an information campaign could win friends in the West, particularly in America, with an eye to putting aside our Arab, Islamic, and Humanitarian issues. I personally believe that this is a difficult scenario. First of all, we have to point out that establishing dealings and agreements with Europe is easier than with the United States. Europeans are more cultured and more aware of the world around them. The European press reports international news and developments to a much greater extent than its American counterpart. In addition, in Europe, there are actual differences between the parties vying to share their views with citizens. However, the task of establishing interaction and understanding, even in the United States, is not impossible.
Take for example what happened during Washington’s war in Vietnam. Under the auspices of fighting what was then known as the communism threat, the overwhelming majority of the American public initially supported American intervention in Vietnam. However, little by little, as the bodies of soldiers started arriving on American soil and the civilian death toll rose, the American public turned away from its previous position. They took to the streets in protest, demanding that the administration withdraw the troops and eventually forcing the administration to do just that. Notice that the Vietnamese were simultaneously fighting and negotiating. At the same time, it was the American Anti-war movement that launched the campaign to raise awareness about what was really going on in Vietnam, using the media to do so. Indeed, they coined the phrase “words are weapons”, a phrase born of the idea that average Americans, awash in secularism and consumerism, have no awareness of the world beyond their narrow imaginations.
For this reason therefore, those with neither religion nor reason cannot be made aware by media alone, as some think, but rather by an integrated approach. Perhaps we send them a strong message by continuing armed resistance. We also send softer messages such as insinuating the disruption of Arab oil or capital, scanning the joint Arab defense agreement, and prohibiting the passage of war ships through the Suez Canal. However, these messages must be accompanied by a clarification of our position. As long as there is no false justification for strife or armed conflict. As long as the American capitalists invest in the Arab world. As long as the Arab world can import American goods. As long as all this is done within a framework of mutual fairness that assures that armed conflicts will benefit neither the major arms monopolies nor the Zionist state. In this case, then the American people can surely coexist with us.
As I’ve already stated, a confrontation with the United States would be difficult. It would not be impossible. If Arabs collectively decide not to buy American products then the manufacturers for those products will lobby in our interest. Perhaps we would replace those boycotted goods with goods from France, or Germany, or Japan, or China, or India. Maybe Arab capitalists would be encouraged to start manufacturing locally. Then there is the Arab fortune held in American banks – a fortune estimated at around 700 billion dollars and representing a huge buttress for the American dollar. Withdrawing 10 percent of this fortune, on top of a new self-sufficiency, would be a strong indication of Arab anger. All of this would be a message to the American people to look again at their government’s distinctly anti-Arab positions.
This confrontation must take place at both the popular and the government levels. If the government is not able to respond, then perhaps the citizen groups can. However, we have to remind ourselves that the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would have a profound impact on America itself. An end in Iraq would be the end of the American dream of Empire. This would then affect Israel, a nation which lives in a perpetual state of war – the cold war, the war against communism, the war against the Arab nations, and the war against terrorism. If America were to step back and develop a new foreign policy not based on interference in the affairs of other nations and no longer striving for global hegemony, then Israel would find itself in a state of genuine crisis which would ultimately cause Israel to disintegrate. I say again that this is an incredibly difficult issue, but it is not impossible. We must also remember that the United States is capable of attempting hegemony in alternate ways, for example by signing agreements with “friendly” governments and then building bases in their countries. A change in the means is not necessarily a change in the end.
Let’s go back to how Arab, and even Islamist, expression tend to distinguish between the American people and the American Administration, saying that they are with the American people and against the government and its military methods. However, these ”good” and “moral” people have not been provoked or incited by their government’s crimes against humanity, nor have they yet availed themselves of the mechanism of democracy to put a stop to it. This is a bizarre situation and must be examined.
I submit that a division of labor exists in the United States. Under this division of labor, a select elite in the federal courts and federal government is allocated all issues of defense, security, and foreign policy. All other matters, such as firefighting, mail, education, health care, water purification and some internal security issues such as traffic, are left for the masses. As for the major policy decisions (foreign policy, the defense budget, the intelligence budget) that determine the course of the nation’s future, these are left for the select elite, themselves controlled by the military industrial complex, to do with what they want according to their priorities and their interests, not those of the American people.
The American press mirrors this division of labor. International news and political analyses are published primarily in the elite newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. As for the local papers and the tabloids read by the masses, they allocate “the World” half a column. The rest of the paper reports scandals and local news, with the largest portion being set aside for celebrity news and scandals, advertisements, occasions, coupons, and the like. (I can never forget January 6, 1967, when the local paper in the city where I lived in America reported the outbreak of war in Badat Satur. The front page that day had a report of a new road opening!) According to a curious statistic, just 24 percent of Americans were able to name the last two presidents. Meanwhile, the number grew to 77 percent when they were asked to name the seven dwarves. It is rare to find an American who knows the process of political decision-making in his country, or the goals of its foreign policy. Moreover, as most parties have different programs for raising awareness and political indoctrination, the average American citizen is the easy prey of the media and the division of labor imposed upon him, both rendering him unable to understand his country’s foreign policy and its military incursions into the entire inhabited world. This is especially true when the country creates justification for its aggressive military operations and political interference in the matters of other nations by means of high-minded speeches, colored by the language of American patriotism and bursting with righteousness. Indeed, they talk about “American values” such as democracy, human rights, and homeland security. They resort to fear mongering, playing on the American citizen’s fear of the “Enemy” – once the Communist and now the Islamic Terrorist! This enemy is steeped in emotion and myth. The enemy hates democracy and resents the American way of life and high level of consumerism American enjoy. With this in mind let’s go back to the American protest against Washington’s foreign policy. It began among scholars at universities who recognized the smell of lies in what the ruling elite handed them. After a period, the protest moved, inevitablly, into the streets and among the masses.
God is Great.