Sunday, February 4, 2007

More Benefits of U.S. Policies and Propaganda

***Improved Life for Iraqis . . .

Washington Post Feb 4
“AMMAN, Jordan - Inside his cold, crumbling apartment, Saad Ali teeters on the fringes of life. Once a popular singer in his native Baghdad, he is now unemployed. To pay his $45 monthly rent, he borrows from friends. To bathe, he boils water on a tiny heater. He sleeps on a frayed mattress, under a tattered blanket. Outside, Ali, 35, avoids police officers and disguises his Arabic with a Jordanian dialect. He returns home before 10 p.m. to stay clear of government checkpoints. Like hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees here, he fears being deported to Iraq.”

***Better Understanding of Palestinians and Islam. . .

The Christian Science Monitor Jan 29
“The police say a group of football players from Guilford College — estimates range from 5 to 15 — beat up three Palestinian students, two of whom are among those who come to Guilford from a Quaker high school in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The third was a friend who attends North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The Palestinian men said they were taunted with racial slurs and called 'terrorists' as they were beaten and kicked.

“National hate crime experts contend the fact that such an alleged attack could take place at a school like Guilford – voted by Newsweek as the 'hottest for social conscience' in 2006 – is a reflection of how deeply distrust of Islam now permeates the United States. For data, they point to polls, such as one done by CBS last April. It found that 45 percent of Americans now have a negative view of Islam – more than 9 percentage points higher than in the tense months following the 9/11 attacks. And a Washington Post poll found that the number of Americans who believe Islam stokes violence has more than doubled – from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent in March 2006.
‘What we have here is a climate where Islamaphobia is not only considered mainstream, it's considered patriotic by some, and that's something that makes these kinds of attacks even more despicable.’”

Comment: The mass of people do not change their attitudes based on their own observations, research, and thinking. If they are interested enough to pay any attention at all to issues, most of them blindly follow the Pied Piper of television, movies, newspapers, magazines, and political statements. If Americans have a more negative view of Islam and Muslims than they did in the months after 9/11, it is because they have been taught and persuaded to have that view.

***Greater Hope for the Future. . .

NEWSWEEK Jan 22 issue
“Hassan Ali, a sociologist at the Iraq Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, estimates that at least 1 million Iraqi kids have seen their lives damaged by the war—they've lost parents and homes, watched as their communities have been torn apart by sectarian furies. ‘These children will come to believe in the principles of force and violence,’ says Ali. ‘There's no question that society as a whole is going to feel the effects in the future’—and not only Iraqi society. From the Middle East to Europe to America, violence may well beget violence around the world for years to come.”


I highly recommend a film I recently rented from Netflix: THE INNER TOUR. It follows a group -- mostly Palestinians -- on a bus tour of Israel. It is the only way they can enter and see what is for some of them their former native home. Their unguarded conversations with one another eliminate any need for documentary commentary. This DVD is truly eye-opening.

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