January 27, 2004

Honesty is the Best Policy

I just finished watching Richard Perle on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. First a disclaimer that my wife and I have for the most part stopped watching the network and cable news, but we do watch the Daily Show, NOW with Bill Moyers, Charlie Rose and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn amongst others that have a little more journalistic bite and go deeper. It is sad and ironic that comedy is becoming a better outlet to address important issues in some cases over mainstream media.

Jon Stewart asked why when the report that came out detailing Saudi ties to 9/11 was information in report blacked out? Perle replied, "We had become so accustomed to thinking of the Saudi's as friends and allies, that we were going on auto pilot." When John asked him what we should do about that, Perle replied, "It should be enough to say to them that what they've been doing is dangerous for us and even for them."

Actually Perle is right on the money, but how come we don't realize that we are experiencing the same kind of blindness to our relationship with Israel? The problem with our relationship with Saudi Arabia is that we are trading blood for oil by purchasing their oil while they try to keep their corrupt regime in power by propping it up through their unholy alliance with the Wahhabis. To keep the Wahhabis happy, the monarchy gives money to support their ideology as long as the Wahabis export this frustration outside the country and keep those unhappy with the Saudi regime in check.

We have same kind of relationship with Israel where we are willing to trade the injustice in their treatment of the Palestinians for their unconditional support of the US. Ironically this relationship is greatly influenced by the religious world view of many in the current US administration and Congress who view the relationship with Israel as having a Biblical sanction and therefore not subject to reassessment, reevaluation or reconsideration. See the front page Sunday edition article in my hometown paper the Austin American Statesman “America's Christian Zionists take Israel by storm-U.S. evangelical Christians have become influential supporters of the Jewish state” and a recent piece on NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS entitled "God and Politics in the Holy Land".

Perle was suggesting that our invasion of Iraq was justified, because it encouraged Gaddafi to terminate his WMD programs and would encourage other countries like Syria and Iran to give up their WMD. Jon correctly pointed out that we don't want countries to have WMD's unless they are our allies - like Pakistan. What about Israel? They have WMD's but that doesn't seem to concern us in the least.

We need to be honest with ourselves about our relationships with all of our friends and allies. Otherwise we will continue hear from people throughout the world that they love our country, but not our polices, because they don’t see them applied fairly and evenhandedly. We need to take this same honest look at ourselves, otherwise we will fail to apply our own standards to ourselves. Case in point, Richard Perle’s statement on Charlie Rose earlier this month that, “Democracies don’t make wars.” I thought we just did, but I’ll leave that one for another day. :)

Posted by Yahya at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)