AND SO IT GOES...!!
The other night, I was inspired to write this, to highlight the
contrasts, and the differing openion of one American family regarding
the war in Iraq. It is the norm, in this house that every Sunday, you
will find some ten to fifteen people, eating, drinking, and often times
in a heated discussions in every corner, and, that hot summer Sunday,
was no exception. So, I was wandering out loud, to my wife, and adult
American children, about how we in America interpret the loss or success
of the " War on Iraq". It was an open democratic forum of free for all
discussion, as we say, no bars hold.
Now just take a moment to ponder this picture, a Libyan Father, "
liberal Democrat" an ultra liberal American wife, and twelve men and
women, four are " meta- meta " as the Italians say. The others were
spouses and grandchildren. And the subject ...! " Bush's War " as I so"
provocatively" put it. because, I as one who was, and is always
probing, felt that when one poses a question, one should take some
liberty, in constructing that line of questioning without influencing ,
or constricting the flow of ideas, or responses to those questions.
My oldest daughter Hala, a brilliant, women with Ph d, and still chasing
after yet another. She is the ideal upper crust, high power, corporate
American women, plus, the mother of a well trained, well seasoned son,
in special forces, the other son, is a TV producer.
Supported by her artful gift of persuasion, she began to dominate the
floor, a tactic, a negotiator would take first hand in an attempt to
influence others, or, at least, bring a sense of doubt, to those whom
are not yet, "in line".
For very obvious reasons. She was not interested in how it all began,
yet, she was quick in promoting the American conservatives call to go
out there and " clean" the place up and declare victory, then let the
Iraqi people, do as the see fit, but keep our forces in a friendly areas
to protect our " strategic" interests.
My son, Rami, along with his American wife who is as far as I can tell,
are, left of center democrats, and very well accomplishes
scholastically, he countered by asking us, don't we need to trace the
cause of the illness before we begin to rush to administer the cure,
don't we have to search for the cure..? or, are we going to shift the
paradigm each and every time we embark on a new adventure in the name of
strategic interest...! and the advancement of our democratic ideals...!
it was an invitation to anyone to jump in and take it from that point.
The special forces son, offered his qualified, soldier like openion, I
as a soldier, just like any other soldier, carry out my orders, I as a
citizen of this land, have rights, and damn very well will express
my feelings, my opinions, to my superiors honestly without fear of
retaliation. As to how, the was was started, and why... I have my
hunches.. but I don't go to war chasing after hunches. I then asked
Adam, do you mean to say that you'll speak truth to power..? you're damn
My wife took it from that point with a lecturer's tone, you have to back
track your steps, to get to the present point, and while we do that ,one
must count how many, fiascoes, how many blunders and how many
un-democratic acts were committed in the name of our democratic
My daughter Amal, the liberal arts, social scientist, and die hard
advocate for battered women and abused children, sitting next to her
African-American husband, took the floor away from her mother in mid
sentence. She began in her usual way of driving the point with
penetrating sense of sarcastic show and tell . she said, Let me take off
my shoes, because , the fingers on my hands are not enough to count the
bad things we've done to others throughout our short history as a nation
among nation. hell, no wander they call us the " Ugly " Americans. how
many times, we've toppled governments, and how many times poisoned
leader so that we can plant our puppets in other countries so that they
can do our bad deeds on our behalf, in the name of democracy, and
strategic interests. Her husband, added, that was our contribution to
the spread of the American way across the big pond. not to mention the
works of art, and the humane treatments to our own native Americans, and
the African- Americans for over three hundred years, and it's still going.
Aden, my young son, the college professional student, and, a US Marine,
jumped quick. Well frankly, I am tired as hell from having to hear all
the bad things we've done to the world... and yet, they still coming in
droves to our shores, wanting to join the American experience, others,
kings, and so called leaders, wanting to kiss our asses, and ask for a
handouts, why, Dad.. if we stopped giving all the free hand outs, we
will have plenty of money to feed our poor, re-build our cities, and
tell the rest, we will be friends, as long as we take care of our people
first. and when you call on us to save your Arabian asses from your
dictators, then we will have to use our power... all our power to get
the job done. Amen to that, brother... said his sister... Hala.
Never a dull moment in the Ben Hameda House...said Aaron, the TV fellow,
but, he posed his question to me... Now that you opened this discussion,
with only one question, what have you got to contribute.. to it.
It took several visits to several specialists to determine the course of
treatment, to combat my illness, I said. Don't you remember those
days..? So, I say, yes we have to look to our past, in order to correct
our future endeavors.
And, in order to protect our freedoms, and liberties, at home, respect,
other peoples rights, and liberties as well, otherwise, what good to
speak of liberty.
We can still engage with other nations, in trade, exploration, and
exchange of ideas, as long as we can be honest, and deal as real
partners with other nations, as I see it now... we only take...take. and
when we give... we give the crumbs... the scrap of our table. So,
peoples of the world are envious of our modern technology, and our
advancements, but, no one wants even small handouts, with strings
attached, or, chains around their necks.
I, will never forget a class room discussion, at Georgetown one day,
when the professor, in an answer to a question , stated that the US is
giving millions of Dollars to many countries, and went on to say
,pointing to me, that Libya is a shining example .
I beg to differ with you, my good professor I lauded. That sum of 10
Million Dollars that my the Government of my country receives, is not a
gift..don't you know... It is a part of a legal binding contractual
agreement, and an annual payment for the lease of that prime chunk of
real Estate called Wheelus Air Base. So, it might be prudent at this
time, to correct the record.
The, " not so learned" professor, hit back with that old song,... but
,we built it to protect " you people" from communism... don't you see it
now... No. I said, and the reason is very clear and very simple... you
see things from your focal point, and only your, whereas, if you step
outside your shoes, you will realize, that , " oil and water" will not
mix, Islam and Communism will never walk in lockstep. So, the truth
is, you built the Base to protect your sole many interests in the
Middle East sea.
The other point that I had to contribute to the discussion, seventeen,
clandestine operations, on other leaders, and other sovereign nations,
including this big one in Iraq.
So, I say, It is Bush's war, now that three fourths of the American
people have come to believe that all the reasons to start this war, were
big fabrications, by the Neo-cons, and Neo-Zionists. and from my
prospective, America won the war.
1- eliminating, an Arab leader that they nourished, and supported his
ugly crimes for a number of years, and when openly supported the
Palestinians, he had to be eliminated, as for his crimes, one only needs
to look at those African, and South American Leaders, and their on going
crimes against Innocent people.
2- The mission was accomplished, when we saw the lawlessness, and the
looting of Iraqis, wealth.. and the on going mayhem, and the ever raging
fires of ugly killings of Muslims by Muslims in their own streets, "
Devide and conquer".
3- The innocent lives, those beautiful people that were, and still being
killed every day.. are a devastation to us here in the US, and to the
4- the Billions of dollars that are being spent each and every day...
could have been used to feed the poor, rebuild the economy of all the
African continent , and America would have been placed as the eternal
leader and fried of all the people, not just one nation, or one special
group of people.
5- Now, more than ever before, the Arabs in general, and the Muslims of
the Middle east, are so divided, so scattered, in distrust of each
other, and the west, likes it just fine...
6- when democratic people, cast their ballots, and declared their choice
of leadership, and , when that leadership was not to the liking of our
American democratic ways.. America, demanded that history must correct
itself, to meet Americas/ Israel interest in the region.
7- futile attempts to shift the discussion from the bigger issue "
Palestine" by successfully creating yet another problem in the
region.... And so it goes
So, my dear Family, although, we still have the best democratic system..
and we guard our liberties ...we must always keep open eyes for those
who, from time to time come on the stage with their imperialistic
agenda, to corrupt our democracy.
And, in as much, as I presented only a few examples of how America
actually won. There will never be a winner...in any war.
Abdulhamid Mustafa Ben Hameda
Libyan Radio/ Libyan news agency