The sad irony of it all – the USA and the Arab world…

By Munzer A. Khair
Posted By Alex
Syria Comment
Feb 23rd, 2011

The amateur author of this outburst is a Syrian Arab, a Semite by ancestry and definition like all Arabs, and proud of it. He is also a part product of US Americana (AUB IC prep school in Beirut, Mount Hermon School for Boys in Massachusetts, dishwashing and waitering, AUB in Beirut, Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas, and even pre-Cheney Halliburton…) of which he is equally proud, fond and grateful.

This is a call on the United States to reexamine its stubborn, hypocritical and self-defeating “moral clarity” narrative that defined and severely limited American options in the Middle East, led to unnecessary confrontations and to an unhealthy sense of hopelessness among many Arabs. It prevented cooperation between the United States and leading Arab nationalists that could have facilitated solutions including a comprehensive settlement to the bitter Arab Israeli conflict. While the Arab world attempts to cleanse itself from hypocrite and failed leaderships, the United States should not pass the opportunity to proactively initiate the necessary changes on its part.


“Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that, before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East”. Fr. John Sheehan, Jesuit thinker.

In my recurrent use here below of the expression “One intrinsically noble nation, preeminent among all so-called Western democratic nations”, I seem to single out the USA. It just happens that the USA is at the forefront and the most prolific although the French and the English were never innocent bystanders at the beginning, before turning into subservient and really inconsequential yes men.

One great federated nation, preeminent among all so-called Western democratic nations, has been persistent in its policy of the democratic or not so democratic active pursuit of partitions, secessions, and breakaways. Witness: Korea, Cyprus, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and now Sudan. What comes next? it depends on what suits the United States… The same nation that suppressed, at the cost of some 2 million casualties, the truly democratic secession of its Southern Confederate states from its Northern states.

One great peace-loving nation, has been persistent in fighting wars, warranted, semi-warranted, unwarranted, or invented out of thin air (remember Iraq’s WMDs), always outside its frontiers, never on its soil….. Exactly like Israel. The only two times it happened, at Pearl Harbor, even if somewhat remote, and September 11th, it drove this self-proclaimed “rule of law, democratic and human rights” nation into a police/security state. Remember the post Pearl Harbor and World War II mid-desert concentration camps or cities of second generation Americans of Japanese and German origins? Remember the more recent ex-territorial torture “facilities”? Abu Ghuraib? Guantanamo (still on-going…)? Water boarding? The mercenary gung-ho “security” firms? The prevalent Homeland Security Act, Patriot Act, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act? Legalized wiretaps? Covert intrusion into all radio, phone, fax, email, sms, face book, twitter communications? The demonizing of Islam and the arbitrary suspicion/questioning/ harassment of Muslims, Arab or Asian-looking but genuine US and other citizens? The airport scans and intrusive pat-downs?

One great freedom-loving nation, has persisted in its mind-set of blindly supporting not so democratic kings, warlords or dictators – as long as they were useful – in its prevalent gung-ho policy of “Yes, he is a sonofabitch, but he is OUR sonofabitch!”. Remember Trujillo? Noriega? the Shah of Iran ? Pinochet? Saddam Husein (as long as he was fighting post-shah Iran)? Talibans and Al Qaida (as long as they were fighting and pushing the Soviet army out of Afghanistan)? Saudi Royal family (As long as their money was financing and arming the madrasas that produced the Talibans, Bin Laden and Al Qaida, as orchestrated by the CIA)? Qadhdhafi (after he got the message…)? Al Bashir (after he got the message…)?

One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” after failing to find the trumped up WMDs, has dismembered, vandalized and impoverished a proud and rich nation. The unnecessary war it led and its aftermath, regardless of the invading or local perpetrators, displaced, impoverished, jailed, maimed or killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein, murderous tyrant as he was, ever did or could have dreamed of doing if he had stayed in power.

One great one-man-one-vote nation, has persisted in its advocacy, promotion, support of, and commitment to “democratic elections” in the Arab world, as long as said democratic elections come out in its favor. . If not, God forbid, these elections, even if certified by international inspectors, suddenly and automatically turn into “terrorist” or “rogue” or “morally unacceptable to the international community”

Witness the Palestinian elections in Ghazza, where foreign and Western observers monitored what they labeled as one of the most transparent elections in the emerging world, but which was won by, Oops!, the “wrong” side, Hamas. The people of Ghazza had to suffer since that day.

Witness Lebanon 2009: according to Wikileaks, 100 Million Dollars were injected just to fly Lebanese emigrants from Brazil and Latin America to North Lebanon in order to vote for America’s “allies”. Lebanon between 2005 and 2010: according to no less than Jeffrey Feltman, during a recent hearing in Congress, 500 Million Dollars were spent just to pay ad-campaigns, operated by Lebanese US inspired “NGOs”, aiming at tarnishing Hezbollah’s image in Lebanese opinion.

Terrorist? Rogue? Morally unacceptable? Says who? Whose morality? Who are the holier-than-thou’s doing the accepting or the condemning? Israel and the USA, closely followed by the European Union and the UN Security Council.

One great egalitarian nation, is hopelessly mired in periodically recurring “democratic” elections (State congress(es), State senate(s),State governor(s), US congress, US Senate, US president), and thus constantly subjecting candidates to the pressures and extortion of lobbying, direct or indirect funding and block voting (read, among many vested interests, AIPAC, the Industrial/Military Complex, Big Oil, Big Banks, etc…)

How can an independent-minded, patriotic, well-meaning and honest party or candidate of statesman caliber stand a chance?

Here is what one highly respected US ex-senator, AIPAC’d out of his senate seat, once wrote:

For many years I have felt that the situation in the Middle East was very nearly hopeless. The fundamental problem for us is that we have lost our freedom of action in the Middle East and are committed to policies that promote neither our own national interest nor the cause of peace.

AIPAC (the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and its allied organizations have effective working control of the electoral process. They can elect or defeat nearly any congressman or senator that they wish, with their money and coordinated organization.

J. William Fulbright (American politician, 1905-95):
The Price of Empire [1989] ch. 6, (p.183)

George Bush Senior had a similar scathing experience with AIPAC when he said the wrong thing in one of his speeches. He lost his re-election as president of the United States of America. Exceptional for an untarnished president.

We might, but history will not, forget the blind but active, direct, diplomatic, military, financial, media support of the implantation of a foreign body in the Arabic and Islamic world and the resulting rape of Palestine, the new diaspora of the Palestinians. Does the word “diaspora” sound familiar to the newer rabid million or so Jews imported from post-soviet East Europe and Russia, as compared to our otherwise Jewish Semitic cousins with whom we had lived peacefully for some 1400 years?. We will not forget the programmed humiliation of the Palestinian and eradication of his identity, the military kangaroo or civilian rubber stamp courts that legalized the jailing of thousands, the confiscation of lands, the razing of houses, the destruction of century-old olive groves, the humiliation, starving, thirsting (while ever growing Zionist implantations have grass lawns and gardens…), cluster and phosphorous bombing, maiming, murder, assassination of Palestinians, the land and water grabbing, the dislocation and renaming of Palestinian cities and communes, the quarantine and siege of Palestinian cities turning in effect large parts of what is left of Palestine into detention camps, the infamous “wall” (an anachronism, coming after the razing of the Berlin wall… reverting the Israelis by their own will and doing into a rich ghetto, but still a ghetto), the diminution, eradication, desecration of some of the holiest shrines of Islam, reducing the birthplace of Christianity to a few and isolated spots, and worst of all the international brain wash turning colonizing occupants into romantic settlers .

In their inborn naivety, the Arabs go hat-in-hand imploring the USA against these Israeli actions, forgetting that the Israelis did and continue to do in Palestine exactly what the US Americans did to the red Indians, an exact copy: From a handful of English puritan immigrants in a small enclave in Massachusetts (where they were well received in all hospitality, and helped to survive, by the native red Indians) to the gradual land encroaching and land grabbing, the “settler” halo, the repeated conclusion and almost immediate break of treaty after treaty, driving some hot-blooded young tribesmen in pure desperation into isolated irrational acts of vengeance resulting in the deliberate settler and army massacres of men, women and children, the displacement of “treaty Indians” from fertile or hunting lands into reservations in arid lifeless, waterless, plant less lands (the so-called “bad lands” of cinema cowboy lore), the eradication of the red Indian in his identity and culture, the transformation of the proud red indian into a drunken lowly servant, etc…..

Now pops up, in reality not so unexpectedly, the current Egyptian “situation” where we witnessed really genuine democratic mass protests of the prevalent portion of some 80 million people against marginalization, hunger, unemployment and oppression. The 1.5 billion US Dollar aid to Egypt, reportedly 35 billion since 1978, goes in almost its totality to arming and maintaining an army that is committed by treaty not to fight the nation’s only credible threat in the region: Israel (see U of Maryland annual polls). The other part goes to the police and security apparatus (light armored troop carriers, careening deliberate hit-and-run killer vans, tear gas, sniper rifles, etc… that have recently graced our TV screens, plus the personnel training as well as the eavesdropping and other “security” equipment that we do not see…). A fat lot of good this does to the diminished, hungry, jobless, homeless Egyptian…

The role of a once proud Egyptian fighting army has been reduced to fantasia parades and, more essentially, preserving the security of Israel (for one blatant example, enforcing the Israel-dictated inhuman blockade of Ghazza into the underfed, under heated, underpowered concentration and assassination camp it has become, epitomized in Omar Suleiman’s reported whisper in Israel’s ear “Ghazza should go hungry but not starve).

Against this deplorable situation, what is the USA’s “democratic, freedom-loving and humanitarian” preoccupation and knee-jerk response? The sacrosanct security of Israel….. Utterly mind boggling!

One is tempted to regrettably conclude that this intrinsically noble USA is totally confused, misled and out of touch! For better or worse for us, and for the rest of the world, it is the only remaining super power at the present and near future. The proclaimed change from Bush to Obama is only a change in style; it is not a change in essence. The infamously insidious position papers were written, and firmly dug in, years ago by the likes of Abrams, Feith, Kristal, Perle, Wolfowitz and Co.

When will the brain wash be sanitized and the blindfolds removed?

We are humiliated. frustrated, disgusted and fed up, awaiting in anxiety the next eruption that the implant of a belligerent state in our midst is fermenting, or being driven in pure desperation into the booby traps of intolerance and extremism.

Munzer A. Khair,
Damascus, Feb 4th 2011

Comments (63)

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51. Shai said:


Pretty scary… But I disagree with the last sentence: “Let’s root for it, without being in the middle of it.”

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February 24th, 2011, 3:53 pm


52. GHat Albird said:

ALEX. TO paraphrase # 50 “Governments get their legitimacy and rights from the consent of the governed. That is not the case in Syria. Not that anybody is going to stop the Syrian regime from saying whatever they want, but saying that they have rights is a stretch.”

In the USA it is different. It does not matter what shameful, disgusting, or downright criminal, acts the Zionist state carries out whether this might be starving Palestinians into submission, denying them medical supplies, slaughtering innocent people, or even attacking American military ships such as the U.S.S. Liberty.

American politicians cheer it on and protect it in the United Nations. ( like the 14 to one vote recently ) There is no barbarism carried out by the Zionist state that American politicians have not slavishly defended to their utmost. There is no limit to the amount of hatred they are willing to suffer for the sake of defending the barbarity of the Zionist state.

It is a testimony to the Zionist domination in America, that the Zionist state can repeatedly humiliate American presidents.

In conclusion then Alex, authoritarian regimes do not have rights like the gpvernments that get their legitimacy and rights from the consent of the governed.

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February 24th, 2011, 4:11 pm


53. Alex said:

Shai, Ghat, AIG

If you read Mr. Khair’s article, and only agree to some degree with half its content … it won’t be easy to not realize that the US might not anymore be able to manage this process of promoting democracy and “goodness” while clearly seeking its own interests … often at the expense of a large number of casualties in some oil rich country.

Everyone, starting with the United states, needs to reexamine the old ways of doing business … if you want Iran to fear people power, you should too … not only your people, but people anywhere on this planet where you have interests that you used to bribe a Mubarak-puppet to protect.

The US has the “a shining city upon a hill” self image and foundation… if it is not turned into a real, and not an allegorical foundation, something might collapse.

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February 24th, 2011, 5:03 pm


54. Ken Hoop said:

Fact is, sites like have it right.

The position of traditional orthodox Judaism thru the millenia
forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came.

Zionism was a modernist invention as much as “Christian Zionism.”

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February 24th, 2011, 5:09 pm


55. AIG said:


How is the US managing the process in Libya? It is not.
People want democracy and freedom not because they are American promoted ideas, but in spite of this fact. The people in the Arab world by and large hate US foreign policy, but that does not mean they like dictators. So I guess I don’t understand what you mean. What is happening is not about the US. It is about the Arab people and their impatience with their governments and there is nothing much the US can do.

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February 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm


56. Alex said:


Yes, what is happening has been until now about removing dictators who a majority of the people badly want to remove.

But in my opinion (just an opinion) the United States’ ability to continue claiming the moral high ground without actually adhering to and upholding universally (or in local culture) recognized standards of justice or goodness, will be negatively affected (at some point) after old style puppet dictators are gone.

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February 24th, 2011, 5:33 pm


57. Akbar Palace said:

Another Syria Comment Anti-semite?

The position of traditional orthodox Judaism thru the millenia
forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came.

Ken Hoop,

Can you cite where in “traditional orthodox Judaism” it “forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came”?

Even tiny groups of anti-Zionist Jews live in Israel:

Despite their opposition of the Zionist State, they love the Holy Land and aim to protect it from secularism and bloodshed. Many Satmar Hasidim visit and even live in Israel…

Apparently, living in Israel is “kosher” for both Zionist and anti-Zionsts alike q:o)

Zionism was a modernist invention as much as “Christian Zionism.”

Zionism and “Christian Zionism” for that matter are based on the old and new testament, respectively. Jewish prayers for the past hundreds and thousands of years have mentioned our return to Zion (aka Jerusalem), so I don’t know what you consider “modernist”:

Ken Hoop,

Are you the same anti-semitic “Ken Hoop” that comes up with a simple Google search?

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February 24th, 2011, 7:51 pm


58. Akbar Palace said:

What is happening is not about the US. It is about the Arab people and their impatience with their governments and there is nothing much the US can do.


On QN’s forum everyone agree with you on this. It’s plain as day. It’s a totally internal “struggle”. Nothing to do with “Zionism”, nothing to do with BB or Sharon, nothing to do with the Golan or the Palestinians, nothing to do with walls, yachts, ollve trees or gum laced with aphrodisiacs.

I sense when things aren’t looking good for our despot friends who REALLY control the ME, they like to start wars…

In english, we call this a “diversion”. As usual, it won’t work, but I’m sure it will be tried.

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February 24th, 2011, 7:59 pm


59. Shami said:

Why discuss ,all honest people hate this kind of unproductive capitalism and the syrian intelligentsia is mostly pro left,even those with artistocratic background,btw,did you hear about asad-makhlouf mafia ?this economy of cronies and relatives, its connection to the conservative syrian business community and khaliji capitalism ?
About sectarianism ,it doesnt concern us as people,it’s a regime problem ,the minorities are told by Bashar that they should fear democracy in Syria.

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February 25th, 2011, 1:42 am


60. الاثير السوري said:

The sad irony of it all – the USA and the Arab world…

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February 26th, 2011, 10:46 am


61. Gaia Servadio said:

American foreign policy has always been dictated by money, backing the golden horse and making political and ethical mistakes. It has been disastrous in the Middle East but also in Europe (even backing Berlusconi!) Their intelligence,mainly ambassadors, have misinformed out of greed and ignorance.The consequences have been horrible and we now live in a world unnecessarily divided.
Who writes is a woman, who has been a correspondent and now a writer, embittered and saddened by what Mr Khair writes since she knows it is the truth.

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February 28th, 2011, 4:47 am


62. Michael Hughes: Iraq War in Retrospect: Toppling Saddam Not Worth the Cost - said:

[…] during a quarter of a century. As Munzer A. Khair earlier this year eloquently put it: One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” […]

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December 28th, 2011, 2:21 pm


63. Iraq War in Retrospect: Toppling Saddam Not Worth the Cost « pakpotpourri said:

[…] during a quarter of a century. As Munzer A. Khair earlier this year eloquently put it: One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” […]

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December 28th, 2011, 9:23 pm


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