Sunday, August 01, 2004

War on terrorism lies undermine American Safety, July 30, 2004

By Ray Hanania

The most frightening aspect of the so-called "war on terrorism" is not that it is so far an utter failure -- Americans are anything but safer today. What's truly frightening is how much this failure relies on lies, half-truths and exaggerations.

Why do advocates of the "war on terrorism" lie? I suspect it is because they are using the "war on terrorism" as a cover for other priorities that are more important to them than the safety of Americans.

The illegal invasion of Iraq is one of those agendas.

Support of Israel's brutality against the Palestinians is another.

America invaded Iraq, in part, to ease the pressures on Israel, not to make America a safer place to live.

And, Americans arrested and jailed many Muslim and Arab Americans and closed down their organizations because this country wanted to help undermine Israel's critics.

Lies are not evident immediately. You can't hide them forever. Eventually they surface. Many Americans are wondering if we are losing hundreds of American lives to make Israel a safer place and to allow Israel to steal more Palestinian lands and properties and rights.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein never collaborated with al-Qaeda. Iraq was never a threat to the United States. It makes one wonder if Saddam Hussein really is guilty of all those other claims that he murdered his own people with poison gas, and that he tortured political prisoners to death.

The amazing thing about a lie is the willingness of a mob to believe it when it fits nicely into what they want to believe. And America today has a mob mentality when it comes to the Middle East, Arabs, Muslims and terrorism.

This week, attorneys for the Holy Land Foundation, an organization accused of having terrorist ties immediately after Sept. 11, filed a suit against the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The suit claims that the evidence the government used to close the charitable organization and jail its leaders was fabricated. Wow. I'm shocked. The government accused the Texas-based organization of funneling money to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that is battling Israel and moderate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem.

But while Hamas is a terrorist organization fighting Israel, it is not a terrorist organization that has threatened the United States or American interests, nor has it embraced anti-American rhetoric and threats.

It's hard to believe, but it seems clear that the government widened the "war on terrorism" to help Israel politically. The Holy Land Foundation is critical of Israel and raises lots of money, so why not say they are supporting Hamas so Israel can destroy the Holy Land Foundation, too? Well, there is a new wrinkle.

It turns out the Justice Department relied on evidence that was translated from Arabic into English by Israeli agents. And what do you think was discovered finally two years after that evidence was used in court against the Holy Land Foundation and its leaders?

Well, it turns out the Israeli translations are not translations at all. The Israelis added things into the translations they provided, including the lie that the Holy Land Foundation was sending money to Hamas.

In fact, when you remove these lies and fabrications, you discover that there is no evidence that the Holy Land Foundation did anything except maybe criticize Israel. Why lie? It is the only way Ashcroft, President Bush and Israel can achieve their real goals, which have nothing to do with the "war on terrorism," except maybe to weaken that fight to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States.

Bush and Israel both wanted to exploit Sept. 11 suffering to achieve their personal objectives. But eventually, lies surface. And eventually, more and more people realize that the failures of our war on terrorism have little to do with battling terrorism and everything to do with individuals who have priorities other than defending this country. What we really need is a war on the "lies of the war on terrorism."

But that assumes the priority is to protect American lives.

To find out more about Ray Hanania, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at COPYRIGHT 2004 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC

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