Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] NMOC: anti-Americanism & anti-Semitism

Dave Schultz dschultz29@hotmail.com
Wed, 16 Apr 2003 19:09:32 -0400

Hi Tom,

Well put. I absolutely agree that criticism of one side of an issue 
shouldn't be seen as tacit support for the opposing side.
Though I must say, when those opposed to the war say "We like don't Saddam 
either" and I ask how he should be dealt with then, they say something like 
"give the inspectors more time" or "sit down at the table...." Riiiight.

But to try to define anti-Americanism, for me it's when it gets personal or 
simply ignorant of history.

Here in Canada over the last few months, we've had an aide to our Prime 
Minister call Bush a "moron", a Member of Parliament of the ruling Liberal 
Party saying of Americans "bastards... I hate them", and a goverment cabinet 
minister saying Bush is "not a stateman". And I suppose these spiteful 
comments prove what a stateman Chretien is, eh?
Not to mention what masterful control of his party he has?
So the above examples are to me clear examples of out-and-out 

On the ignorance front, there are those -including on this list, 
particularly from our Latino 'workers- who rant about how Americans just 
want to economically colonize the world, or portray all their international 
endeavors as bloodthirsty murder.
Look even if despite, y'know, the FACTS (75% of American oil comes right 
from the Americas!), you'd like to think that this war is just about 
Americans taking over the world or whatever, it's just inexcusable ignorance 
to claim that the U.S. only gets involved where oil or some other economic 
benefit is coming to them.

Let's review their record since the last Gulf War:
1. Played a major part in finally bringing peace to Northern Ireland.
2. Brokered the Oslo Accords that brought peace to Israel and the occupied 
territories from 1994-2000, and almost brokered a deal for a Palestinian 
state in 2000 (but it wasn't good enough for Arafat). Also, during the 6 
years of peace, 80% of the money used to build the infrastructure in the 
West Bank & Gaza and funding for the Palestinian Authority came from none 
other than the U.S. and Israel. Most of the rest from Europe. Only 3% from 
other Arab nations. Wonder how much they (including Hussein) have given to 
'martyrs', though? No one treats Palestinians worse than their fellow Arabs, 
but that's another thread...
3. Dayton Accord in 1995 finally ended 4 years of genocide in Bosnia, after 
years of fumbling by the UN. (Sound familiar?)
4. Pushed NATO into action in Kosovo in 1998 to end start of another 
5. Tried to bring humanitarian relief and fill power vacuum in Somalia 
1992-3. Granted they got a bloody nose, and this kept them out of Rwanda, to 
their shame... Then again, the massacre in Rwanda in 1994 only shows again 
how inept the UN is without American muscle.

Gee, the Balkans and Somalia don't have oil.
So to say Americans only look out for their own interest, and they only 
pretend to care about human rights in Iraq, reveals one's true plain 
anti-American bias.

Finally, I know this is a long thread already, and this is probably gonna 
open a whole new can of worms, but I have to get this off my chest...
It seems to me (and I've seen articles about this lately) that traditional 
anti-Semetism has now become the domain of the Left and not the Right. Lemme 
say that I can critique Israeli policy with the best of them. But see, when 
I point out that part of the war against Iraq is about protecting Israel, 
some say "So what? That's Israel's problem." Fine, you don't understand a 
damn thing about geopolitics and Truman's promise to Israel, fine. That's 
just ignorance. I can handle that. But then I try to point out why Israel is 
an important ally -that is, it's the only democracy in the region- and 
people laugh and talk about how Israel really is among the worst human 
rights abusers in the world, and why do they have a right to the nukes?- 
that to me crosses the line into the same territory of stupidy and willfull 
hatefulness as the anti-Americanists (and they are of course the same 

Anti-Zionism simply has become the acceptable face of anti-Semitism.

Every world leader, in the wake of 9-11, said to their citizens not to take 
retribution against fellow Muslim citizens (quite rightly). And aside from 
verbal harrassment, the only incident was a few bullets shot at the front 
window of an Arab community center in Texas, in a drive-by.
Yet some months later, when Israel occupied the West Bank after a 
particularly nasty string of suicide bombings, there were about a dozen 
synagogues burned to the ground throughout the western world. Several in 
France, at least one each in Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany, and 
one right here in Canada, in Saskatoon. Not to mention graffiti on a 
synagogue here in Ottawa, the likes of which never appeared on a mosque or 
muslim center after 9-11.
Yet not a single world leader condemned these attacks.
Chirac, Chretien, Schroeder, etc. all remained silent. Chirac only commented 
on them when finally pressed point-blank by a reporter. No one above the 
status of police chief of Saskatoon here in Canada has ever condemned the 
attack on their Jewish community -not their mayor, not the Premier of 
Saskatchewan, not our Prime Minister.

And so, when I look at the complete and utter hypocrisy between the 
treatment of western Arabs and Jews by the so-called leaders of France, 
Canada, Germany, and other European leaders, as someone whose grandfather 
escaped the Nazis, I can reach no other conclusion than that anti-Semitism 
in alive and well here in Canada and in Europe (where thinly-veiled 
anti-Semitic anti-Zionist remarks are nothing new).

And, when I see that Palestinian flags have become de-rigeur at anti-war 
protests, and anti-Zionist rhetoric has also become common there, I can 
reach no other conclusion than that, for some -not the majority, not even, 
let's hope, for many, but for a vocal minority of anti-war protesters (for 
most of those who are regular anti-American activists, let's say) - critique 
of American foreign policy is nothing more than an acceptable outlet for 
anti-Semitic hatred.

And then I say, goddamn right I support the war on terrorism!

Cheers,                            Dave

>From: Tom Davies <minuteparticular@yahoo.com.au>
>This line of reasoning seems to come up a lot, and I think it deserves a 
>response. I object to it on two grounds. First, it's kind of irrelevant. If 
>somebody offers a valid criticism of U.S. policy, then logically that 
>criticism is valid regardless of what else the person has or hasn't said.
>Second, there are some good reasons why it makes sense to spend one's time 
>criticizing U.S. policy rather than Saddam's regime (even when Saddam's 
>regime still existed). Most of us on this list are either Australians or 
>Americans, so it's *our* governments that have been involved in the 
>U.S.-led war on Iraq. Both of our countries call themselves democracies. 
>That means that we, as ordinary people, are supposed to be able to have 
>some influence over our governments -- and therefore, it seems to me, we 
>also have some degree of moral obligation to try to influence our 
>governments in the right direction. Also, the global debate over the war 
>has been, basically, about whether or not the U.S. should go to war, and 
>how other countries should respond to the U.S.'s actions. Given that U.S. 
>actions are the central issue in this debate, it seems obvious to me that 
>those actions are what should be discussed. Finally, to state that Iraq was 
>until recently governed by a despicable, murder!
>  ous, totalitarian regime is just stating the obvious. Criticism of U.S. 
>policy, on the other hand, frequently involves stating that which is not 
>already obvious to a lot of people, and hence is a lot more worth stating.
>p.s. I offer my condolences to those who are sick of this political 
>content. On the other hand, my subject line does indicate Very Little 
>Midnight Oil Content, and if you're reading this, you chose to open this 
>email anyway.
>p.p.s. One more thought: the Oils have sung many songs that criticize U.S. 
>policy. I don't think they've sung any anti-Saddam songs. Does that make 
>them anti-American, according to Mike's reasoning above?
>Opposition is true Friendship.
>William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
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