Monday, April 10, 2006

Demonizing Zerqawi/ Demonizing Jordanians

A very interesting article on MSNBC discusses a deliberate attempt by the US military to overemphasize the role of Abu Musab Zerqawi in the troubles in Iraq. While I have no problem with highlighting the damage this criminal is doing, I am concerned by a deliberate attempt to foster xenophobia in Iraq for this purpose. The article states that one goal of the media campaign is to "Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response". Since the US wants to demonize the resistance by overemphasizing the importance of Zerqawi, one must wonder if they actually have incentive to catch him at all.

Now, Jordan has had trouble dealing with the complexities of the situation in Iraq, at time suffering attacks on it's embassy in Baghdad, having staff and private citizens kidnapped and finally terror attacks by Iraqis on Jordanian soil. So, in the midst of this situation, the US military is trying to elicit anti foreign response for the purpose drumming up support for their occupation of Iraq. Since we are the foreigners in question, and since we are supposed to be allies in this idiotic "war on terror", I find this to be outrageous.

Now, the fact that Ahmad Chalabi and the Iranians have issues with Jordan and are trying to make use of these issues for political gain is well known and can even be understood in the context to the political situation in Iraq and the historical background that surrounds these relationships. But now we find out that the Americans are playing this game as well. Since so many people are trying to villainize Jordan and Jordanians across political and sectarian lines, it must become difficult for the average Iraqi not to conclude that the bad guys are us. I guess that the only exceptions are the million Iraqis now living in Jordan.

Anyway, since the US is actively fostering xenophobia in Iraq, I believe that it must acknowledge and bear responsibility for the results. Specifically, the mistreatment of Palestinians in Iraq is probably a direct result of this effort. Of course, Human Rights Watch wants to lay the burden of their attempt to flee on Jordan's shoulders. Talk about adding insult to injury. Fellow blogger Issam is right in saying that this is not our responsibility.

I believe that the US government owes Jordanians a public apology for this. The government should accept nothing less.

UPDATE: The article mysteriously disappeared from the MSNBC web site. A jist of it is in the Gulf Times, along with a denial by the US military.


At 7:54 AM, Blogger JasonSpalding said...

Has the Arabic community provided anything of value in the world during the last 100 years? Help me put the Arabic people into context. I have a hard time understanding why they feel persecuted.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Jason: Of course, the issue is too complex to explain in a post such as this. Briefly, some of our problems are related to coming up to speed with the west, and others are related to direct interference with the west in our affairs. Persecution is fealt for a number of reasons, including the establishment of Israel and the resulting displacement of the Palestinians; supporting and enabling dictatorships by the west and finally the occupation of Iraq. George Bush himself has said that if he were Iraqi he would fight the United States.

While the Arabs have their problems, I am quite sure that ultimately we will overcome them. There are many intellegent and talented Arabs. You can go to the nearest university in your area and meet some of them. If you like, you can learn more by reading Arab blogs. You can start with You will see that there are interesting thoughts, lively debates and interest in the details which shape the way we are. I hope you will come to better understand Arabs and be less judgmental. Arabs are more like Americans than you might imagine.

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Khalaf,
I saw your comment on Laith's blog about how you need to luanch IE for Jeeran, Yes i have that problem too, BUT there is solution, there is a firefox extention that lets you open such websites in firefox itself, in an embeded tab, its called IE Tab, i find it very useful, you can get it here:
Hope you find it useful :)

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Thanks Bakkouz. Works great.


Post a Comment

<< Home