Just after 9/11, many prominent American political leaders said: “Today I feel like an Israeli”. This was a common sentiment echoed days after the murderous attack by Arab Islamists on US soil.
Now President George W Bush is getting a first-hand lesson of what it is like to be the Prime Minister of Israel.
His soldiers; men and women are being killed and/or wounded just about everyday. Non Arab civilians who are working to make Iraq a better place are also being killed, injured or kidnapped also just about everyday.
Iraqis who want a better country for themselves, families and friends who cooperate with the Americans have a very short life expectancy as well.
Iraqi soldiers and police who the Americans have trained and armed to take over the policing and military stability of Iraq after the June 30, 2004 transfer of power, are just as likely to cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Or worse, shoot an American in the back.
Iraqis have recently tortured and mutilated 4 Americans who were there to help, and then hung what was left of them from the superstructure of a bridge for all to see.
Instead of being appalled by this spectacle, the Arab media loved it. And so did many of the Iraqi people and other Arabs throughout the Middle East.
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned lynching to make you feel good about yourself.
The Americans are fighting combatants who are not Iraqis. Men from Syria, Iran, Jordan, and from elsewhere in the Arab world are part of the killing machine, none of whom wear uniforms or give a damn for the Geneva rules of war. They play by their own rules.
How do the Americans fight an enemy they can’t see; who takes their money, their training, their trust; and when the Americans least expect it, the enemy shows himself, but by then it’s too late, and more Americans go home in flag draped coffins?
How do the Americans deal with an enemy so divided amongst itself, that to please one faction, means to garner hatred from the other?
How do the Americans respect the religion of Mohamed, when the Mosques are used to incite hatred towards Americans?
How do the Americans avoid attacking Mosques, when the Mosques are used to plan attacks against Americans, and hide their combatants as well as weapons and explosives?
And what should the Americans do when the sanctuary of the Mosque is used to shoot at Americans, much like the Palestinian Arabs did from April 2, 2002 to the Israelis for 39 days from the Christian Church of the Nativity?
Yet; when the Americans move on a Mosque, the Arab world roars its disapproval at the invasion of the holy place by the infidels.
When the Israelis showed enormous restraint in not storming the Church of the Nativity, they were nonetheless blamed for the mess, while it was the armed Palestinians who violated the Church.
When a few Americans roughed-up, frightened, and humiliated some Arab prisoners, the world went wild, especially the American media who were outraged at the thought that Americans could do such a thing.
The world, much less the Arab world, never speaks of the hospitals, schools, social services, new buildings, roads, bridges, plumbing, sewage treatment, communications and a free press the Americans have brought to Iraq at enormous sacrifice.
The world speaks only of the occupation. Sound familiar?
Where do America’s Arab allies stand? Do they support the American struggle to modernize and democratize Iraq? It seems not.
What about the EU? Silence.
What about the UN? More silence.
America can do 1,000 things right and receive nothing for it. But let America do one thing wrong, and the 1,000 things done right, count for even less.
The Arabs can do 1,000 things wrong, and for some reason it’s never their fault. But let the Arabs do one thing right. And the whole world will forget the 1,000 things they did wrong.
On October 12, 2000; 2 Israeli army reservists got lost near Ramallah while heading to their base. They were captured by Palestinians, brought to a Palestinian police station where they were lynched and had their flesh torn from their bodies before a cheering mob. All of which was caught on-camera.
Palestinians who tore at the living flesh of the two Israeli Jews with their bare hands, raised them in front of the cameras in a blood soaked demonstration of pride in accomplishment.
There was no “official” international outrage. No condemnation from the UN. And certainly no remorse or shame from anyone in the Arab world.
Yet; now that a few American soldiers have been caught in the act of abusing Arab prisoners, which is nothing in comparison to what the Arabs do to their prisoners, the Americans are doing back-flips to punish the guilty.
Talk about a double standard.
The President has weighed in with all the prestige of the White House. Congress has made it one of their most important priorities to suitably punish those who are guilty.
That’s the American way.
At least now, when the President of the United States of America sits in judgment of Israel, he has a better understanding of what it means to be an Israeli Prime Minister, and the evil the Israelis must keep at bay for their very survival.
Mr President: Welcome to the REAL reality of Israel and the Middle East. It’s just too bad the experience is so painful.