The US, Israel, and the Middle East

I carefully read news about the latest development in the Middle East. The neocon magazine, The Weekly Standard, has for sure to be read to understand America's mind. Not surprising at all to find such articles in the latest edition of this magazine: Its Our [Americans] War; Bomb over Beirut, Hezbollah starts a war; or the most "justifiable" one, Israel's Enemy is America's.

Reading such article from the weekly Standard, I am not surprised at all because the magazine claims itself as a proud member of the lobby. Some of them are radical Jews who view Arabs as ugly as Osama bin Laden view Americans.

What disappointed me is to find that even New York Time justifies Israeli assault on Gaza and Lebanon. Read their editorial on July 13,
"Kidnapping Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips for the release of Arab prisoners is horrible behavior for groups that claim international recognition and political legitimacy, as Hamas and Hezbollah do. The same applies to lobbying rockets over IsraelĂ‚’s borders in the hope that they might kill unsuspecting civilians. In response to such unacceptable provocations, Israeli forces are now engaged in major military operations in Gaza, to the south, and in Lebanon, to the north."
They call it "horrible behavior" without giving any explanation why such horrible behavior happened. They fail to mention, let alone to condemn, kidnapping civilian Palestinians while they sleep well in their bed. Which one is more horrible? Victimizing civilian or military personnel illegally occupying Palestinian land? On July 14th in the case of another kidnapping, this time by Hezbollah, NYT once again made a provocative statement similar to the article in the Weekly Standard, in which it puts Israel and the US in an interchangeable pronoun:

Israel's incursion into Lebanon after the kidnapping on Wednesday of two Israeli soldiers by the militant group Hezbollah is far more than another flare-up on a tense border. It must also be seen as a spinoff of a general counterattack against American and Israeli power in the region by Iran and Syria, operating through sub-state actors like Hezbollah and the Palestinian organization Hamas.
You see, "... it must also be seen as a spinoff of a general counterattack against American and Israeli power." Hey, is there any American involved in that kidnapping? Is there any American died in that case? Did Hizbollah or Hamas attack any American warship or jet?

I wrote a piece in the Jakarta Post last year to demand that Muslim distinguish between American and the Bush administration so that we can build a good communication between two sides. What NYT does is realy disappointing. It calls to divide the world between "us", the whole Americans, and "them". It does not mention who are they, but "not us" means Arab and Muslim (when it clearly point to Iran, a non Arab state).

As Israel continues its assault on Lebanon, NYT keeps supporting the attacks that has caused more than 60 civilians dead. Today editorial said,

"... it is important to be clear about not only who is responsible for the latest outbreak, but who stands to gain most from its continued escalation. Both questions have the same answer: Hamas and Hezbollah. And Israel needs to be careful that its far-reaching military responses, however legally and morally justified, do not end up advancing the political agenda that Hamas and Hezbollah hard-liners had in mind when they conceived and executed the kidnappings of Israeli soldiers that detonated the fighting."

Two important things are in this statement: first, to NYT, Israeli attacks are totally legal and good. Second, NYT believes that violence is a strategy that Hamas and Hezbollah dream about. Can you believe it? Who has killed civilian and occupy the land? Who pursuviolentnt steps here? Why NYT does not refer to the news it also reports that both Israel and the US do not want negotiation way. Bush, on the contrary, rejected Lebanese PM demand on cease-fire.

I have easy time to promote common ground for understanding and communication between Muslim and Americans; but when I am faced with such a mainstream media behavior, I have hard time to understand what Americans really want. I will see if the mainstream of Americans let such a non-neutral media brainwash their political life.

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