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Arabs Speak Out



                                                                Nonie Darwish

I arrived at LAX on the eve of our national disaster 9/11. I had visited the Middle East and Europe after 20 years of being away. My trip was an eye-opener to the rapidly accelerating anti-American propaganda and lies in the various Middle East news papers. I was also saddened by watching CNN International who, unfortunately, was not helping much to counter the misinformation and the lies.  The most popular Western International cable network could have been a great asset in spreading the truth, but instead, it chooses not to so and instead choose to criticize and belittle Bush internationally.  In France, I heard some French people criticize Bush and say that even CNN agrees! Most Arab homes watch CNN, but what I saw and heard nightly was just outrageous and amazing! That cable network, in my opinion, tries to keep their Arab friends happy at the expense of distorting the truth about the USA. It is taking “being objective” too far, almost to the point of no credibility.


In the airplane on the way home on 9/10, my daughter and I were happy to be back home. That was the first time my 18 year old, traveled outside the USA. She told me “Mom thank you for bringing me to the world in my country, the USA.” I was thrilled the trip had such an impact on her even though she enjoyed most of it. We both felt not optimistic about conditions in the Middle East and woke up the next morning to the horror of 9/11. 


The sad truth about the Middle East is that it is dominated by Islamic Supremacists.  They are extremist and tyrannical. In their minds the whole world is conspiring against them, and of course at the top of the list are Israel and the USA.  The fanatics deny reality even if you hit them on the head with it.  The Egyptian airplane disaster about a year ago, in their minds, was a conspiracy by the US to kill the 30 Egyptian officers on the plane, never mind the facts of the investigation. A large number of Egyptians believe that the outrageous aggression of Saddam Hussein against another Arab country was because the US ambassador gave him the OK when she supposedly told him “we are neutral in this struggle”.  To them this was a conspiracy to enable the US to place forces in the Gulf.  Never mind that the US was called and begged by Kuwait and other states to intervene.  There is little reporting in Mideast papers of the numerous suicide bomb attacks on Israel and only news of the counter raid attacks on the Palestinians.  The last outrage I heard from some quite educated Middle Eastern people, was that the suicide attack on New York and Washington D.C. was a conspiracy by Israel.  If this was true, why then all the terrorists on the airplanes were Moslem and Middle Eastern. How many suicide high jacked airplanes has Israel been responsible for historically? If Israel was that powerful, how come it is the victim of terrorist activities almost on a weekly basis lately?  When I asked these questions of Mideast youth I was put down as having become too Americanized!


The misinformation and propaganda against the US and Israel also serves well several Middle Eastern Governments. The so-called “moderate” Governments are threatened from within by extremists and this kind of propaganda gives the extremists the impression that their governments also hate America and Israel. I have noticed that several Arab leaders accuse each other of being an agent of the US. They accuse the leadership in Egypt and Saudi Arabia of that. I even heard an Egyptian accusing Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein of being Agents of the US! I almost felt I was in the Twilight Zone when I heard that!  In the meantime, blaming outside forces for the people’s misery helps the corrupt Middle East dictatorships to stay in power since the people’s attention is diverted to the outside and away from detecting the internal corruption that is the real and direct cause of the people’s misery.  There are many wealthy Egyptians living abroad who took off after defrauding Egyptian Banks of almost a billion dollar in unsecured loans! The level of corruption at all levels is very high and to divert the attention of the people is very convenient for the status quo to remain. “The enemy is outside not among us” mentality is how evil survives in this part of the world.



The visit to my birth place left me with deep feelings of fear, shame and pessimism. Why didn’t we see that coming?  Liberalism in the US obscured our vision to a dangerous level. Our Embassies and our intelligence agents should report to our Congress. What went wrong? Is it possible that our media was busy reporting the political struggle between our parties and accusing caring and conscientious officials of being bigots and racists? The US media elite failed to report to us on the extent of the danger awaiting us from the Middle East. Can any one dare speak about restricting the borders or Moslem fanatic hostility against the US and Israel? We even accept the anti-Semitic remarks by Louis Farakhan in the name of ‘racial harmony’ throughout the world; CNN was campaigning against and portraying Bush as an aggressor. During the past eight years, the US suffered from an administration that weakened our military and God knows what happened behind the scenes.  It is clear that Clinton was more interested in a legacy of his choosing rather than a truce between Palestinians and Israel. That resulted in that the balance of power in the Middle East shifted to the Palestinians who ever since acted with destructive arrogance.


It is time for all Americans not only to unite, but also to be proud of the impact of the US on the world. America is the shining haven of freedom and wealth and we should celebrate it. We are feeding the world and it is time for the Middle East to realize that. The very same Mideast youth who were criticizing US policy in the Middle East were in the same breath asking me for information about immigration!!  I don’t know what would happen to countries like Egypt, without the financial aid it gets annually from the USA.  Most Egyptians know nothing about it and they think any wealth in the country comes from the graces of their own government.


It is past time for the US to stop its dependence on oil from the Middle East... Let us get our oil from friendly non-Arab countries and let’s get it from our own resources in Alaska.  Let us stop pampering all these dictatorships. Stop environmental and animal right extremists dictating policy.  If we need the Alaska oil then we should get it and end being hostage to these outrageous regimes. I am sure with our technology it could be done without harming the environment. And finally, it is time that all US citizens of Middle Eastern and Moslem origin step up to the plate and publicly acknowledges how this great nation saved them from tyranny.