Monday, August 08, 2005

Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)

Is America in Iraq for Oil...?? Or Freedom and Democracy??

Although in our countries there isn't much doubt in peoples minds about this question, I was surprised that there are many Americans who would disagree and would tell you that it is about freedom.

One of those people commented on one of my postings and said :

"it's more about helping our fellow human beings in the Middle East achieve freedom so they will no longer feel helpless and turn to terrorism to gain a sense of control over their lives."

Is it just me or does there seem to be a big misunderstanding..? I actually loose sleep at night over this topic. Some Arabs would say that they are not only against the American government but also the American people for voting for Bush. They say that logicaly since many Americans vote for Bush then they like what Bush is doing to us. Well this comment that I quoted earlier should make us realize why some Americans do vote for Bush and they think they are actually doing something good for humanity by doing so.

The American governmant realizes that although many Americans have little knowledge of the world around them they still have an approach of deeply held principles and values. And therefore if they are to be convinced of something these principles must be brought forth. Afterall who would say no to helping other people gain liberty, especially if it means they would stop being terrorists. And who would say no to fighting "the axis of evil". If that was what I knew on the issue I would support Bush as well.

To some Americans this is a reality, why?? Because of the media . I read something in a book the other day which said that among FOX viewers greater attention to news increased the liklihood of misperceptions. ANd then it stated that FOX news emerged from the war as the most popular cable news network.

This might get you depressed, however there is hope. Because once people start realizing the truth, they oppose their governments actions. That is actually happening now, support for the invasion has inflated when Americans realized that 1) there is no link between Saddam and Alqaeda, 2) There were no Weapons of Mass destruction and 3) that global public opinion is not on their side.

These realizations have been made too late and its not even full realization of the situation but this is not surprising especially that in recent years the American gov. has abolished many rules designed to foster diversity in the media. SO now the news media is limited to a few national networks.

The solution is simple and very clear to me, if Americans were more "informed" and knew what was actually happening, they themselves would oppose it. However, according to Hook, the largest group of the American population, the Mass Public, are not informed and not interested in foreign policy and therefore have little impact.

(It is worth noting that there are many Americans who are informed and do oppose Bush, some are more anti-American foreign policy than some arabs I have met)

15 Comments:

Blogger Lito said...

Hey, I am with you, I agree with everything you did write. Nice text by te way.
I am from Brazil (and don't know how I ended here in your blog) but I lived in California for 4 months this year and I could see that not all american people is on Bush's side. As you said, is just the part of them that is not connected with the news around the world and the truth about the war (OIL). Unfortunetally they are the most part of american people. But this is changing, I guess.
One good thing that you can do is tell everyone you know to watch Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11", he tells everything on it.

So, it was a pleasure to be here. Take care and keep hopefull as we do down here.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

Hiya Lito

I thought Michael Moore's movie was great as well. But sometimes when somebody is used to hearing one thing all their lives, they block out whats differet. I know Americans who have seen it and say that its all lies. But yes you are right this is slowly changing.

Thanx for your comment

1:28 PM  
Blogger TariqKhonji said...

Look, this is an overly simplistic view of American foreign policy. There is no doubt that the US is doing what is good for itself. It does have oil interests clearly. BUT, that doesn't mean that the US doesn't also want to see democracy in this part of the world. They have realised that this situations is creating fundamentalism which is targetting them.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

Hi Tariq

You say that AMerica does want to see democracy in our part of the world. You know if that was true I would be very happy. Sadly it is not. There are many countries in our part of the world that could be democractic with a snap from America. Bahrain is just one example. ANother example is Yemen, it is worth mentioning that Osama Bin Ladin is originally Yemeni and the second highest number of Guantanamo detainees are form Yemen. Then why doesn't the US want democracy there.

Not only do they not wage war for democracies... no, they support the dictators in those countries. If you are right then why did the US stage military coups against so many democratically elected leaders around the world. The list of dictators supported by the US is a very long one.

It is not I who says that America does not give a damn about anything but its interests. No, AMerican foreign policy speaks for itself.

1:45 AM  
Blogger jimmmy said...

do you know how much oil the u.s. could buy with the hundreds of billions of dollars it has spent in iraq since 2003?
this "snap" you speak of to magically turn kingdoms and dictatorships into democracies- what does that entail (i'm assuming it's a metaphor- or can president bush really just snap his fingers?)?

"Although in our countries there isn't much doubt in peoples minds about this question"

you mean in "your" countries, with all of it's freedom of speech and free press? i'm surprised to read this sentence, as i have come from mahmood's den, who has convinced me that "your" media isn't worth the gum on the bottom of my shoe.

the news media is not pro war, and is not homogenous. there are 4,000 newspapers and magazines published in the u.s., many national t.v. networks, and cable networks (note about fow news- it may be the most popular cable network, but most people don't get their news from cable networks!). saying that one cable network is bad, and then extrapolating that ALL media is bad is both lazy and stupid.
it is worth noting that many people are informed, and do support bush, so that iraq can be a democratic model for the middle east.
i do hope you open your ears to all of the diversity available from the united states ministry of information. oops! we don't have one...er... hey! did you ever find it odd that YOU are a part of the american media now? isn't that something?

10:47 AM  
Blogger mikes said...

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Comscore put out reoprt on blogs entitled Behavior in the Blogosphere . Filled with nice little typical blog stats.
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Drop by and check it out if you get time :-)

Best wishes

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11:49 AM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

Yes Jimmy I know how much oil America could buy, but that’s nothing compared to CONTROLLING the oil fields!!

About the “snap” well it entails stopping the support for dictators. I am not saying that we want Americas help to get our democracy, I am saying that America shouldn’t stand in the way of people who are fighting for their freedom. The ruling family in Bahrain is an American puppet. Not only is America not democratizing the country, it is doing the opposite and making democracy nearly impossible for the people to achieve.

Mahmood is right, our media is bad and controlled by the government. However, the media does not represent the people. What I am talking about is the people’s opinion of the war. Why do you think America has lost its legitimacy in our part of the world?? Because they want to spread democracy….. I don’t think so!

“it is worth noting that many people are informed, and do support bush, so that Iraq can be a democratic model for the middle east.”
That is a contradiction. If people are informed they would know that Bush doesn’t give a rats ass about democracy in the Middle East.

Yes there are many newspapers and t.v. networks but there is a growing concentration of media outlet. And the news media is limited to a few national networks. Although the media is supposed to be free of economic pressures, most major stockholders are banks.

There is also something called political overlaps, an example of that would be General Electric (GE) which not only owns NBC, its affiliated cable news networks, and more than 200 local stations, but also serves as a primary defense contractor to the Pentagon.

Furthermore the American media is characterized as US-centric, conflict oriented, superficial and arbitrary. All these things make it very hard for the average American to be informed objectively on what is happening around the world. Let us not forget the spin control tactics used by government officials to shape good coverage of gov. actions.

And the news organizations have been known to support government framing of foreign policy problems and simplifying them so that they are understood by American citizens in ways that favor government positions. (ex. Saddam = Hitler)

Government officials have powerful allies in the corporations that own media outlets. And Fox was just one example.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Lito said...

Even if this little dream about US fighting only for democracy in Iraq was true, who said America could go there and change the way a country stands??
It is not America business if a country has a dictatorship or a democracy or whatever. If the country can live like that, nobody else should go there to change it. Unless they ask for help and such thing have never happened in Iraq.
The biggest mistake about US invasion in Iraq (besides the meaningless deaths) is that they used to say that it was because of the weapons of mass distruction Saddam had and 9/11 atacks, even though everybody else (and United Nations!!!) said all of that was not true several times. And American government also knew that, of course, but Mr. Bush nedded a reason to get into Iraq.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Lamya said...

Lito, I cannot agree more with you.Jimmy,get your facts right. The US gov. should stop blabing about spreading democracy when they're doing the absolute opposite of that. Wonder why democracy is mentioned only when they want to invade a country with huge oil reserves but never talk about it when sending military aid for dictators to level opposition with the ground. I'd say that the US should just let countries live the way they want, but it's in too deep to pull out of"the "democratizing the Middle East" trend. Want democracy to stop terrorism? Stop fueling the yemeni dictatorship and push for reform; empower the opposition and cilvil society and implement development funds instead of military aid. But when the US has mutual inetersts with the puppit government, who gives a shit about democracy?
P.S. Lito I want to know how you like Lola's gov. just interested to know an insider's point of view.

9:25 PM  
Blogger jimmmy said...

"Yes Jimmy I know how much oil America could buy, but that’s nothing compared to CONTROLLING the oil fields!!"

...can we talk again when the iraqi constitution is finalized in a few days (actually, i'll be driving around the arctic circe at the time, but let's get back together in early september, ok?)? after that, i will ask the question, "where is the money from iraqi oil sales going"? the answer will probably be that it is still going to iraq, except, this time it will be going to an ELECTED government, and not a genocidal maniac who liked to invade his neighbors and adorn his myriad palaces with distastefull gold-plated toilet paper dispensers while his people where dying of starvation.

why is it that iraqi's are consistantly less ctitical of the international forces in iraq than other middle east countries? it's a question that constantly weighs on my mind. seems they want the terrorists blowing up their CHILDREN, MEN, WOMEN and ELECTED officials out less than they want the mnf forces out. they know who are killing their own people...why don't you....oh, that free media thing again. it really is quite important, isn't it?

hey! you've got some really great supporters out there, though!... consider lamya, who considers human rights activism to be a hobby, and who's hero is che guevara, who personally killed dozens of political dissidents with a bullet in the head. here's her brilliant blogger profile:

"politically involved human rights activist whose idol is Che Guevara and comes from Yemen and studies in the States"

hey, don't get me wrong... che's great if you leave out all the communist executions sans trial, imprisonments for decades with kangaroo courts, fascist decrees, and fifty years of assorted brutal actions consumate with guerilla wars. great job, fuckwit. there's a reason boats only flow in one direction in the caribbean- NORTH. you don't see the central americans, mexicans, south americans, cubans, haitans, dominicans, etc., risking their lives flowing the other way, genius.

about the "snap". who does bahrain sell their oil to? it isn't only to america. EVERY country in the world uses it, if you want a democratic revolution then overthrow the government, by arms if necessary, and stop blaming the u.s for NOT doing it for you. there are plenty of countries around the world that have done it for themselves, are prosporous (even without oil, imagine that!), and who are supported by the united states. what ever happened to personal responsability?
your problem is that your country has large reserves of petroleum, along with most of the rest of the middle east. would you like the united states to say this:

"We should all look to a future when every government respects the will of its citizens -- because the ideal of democracy is universal. For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East -- and we achieved neither. Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people."

...our secretary of state said that in egypt, of all places, or would you like the united states to be like every other country in the entire world and make NO political statements about the lack of democracy in the middle east?

"“it is worth noting that many people are informed, and do support bush, so that Iraq can be a democratic model for the middle east.”
That is a contradiction. If people are informed they would know that Bush doesn’t give a rats ass about democracy in the Middle East."

and yet we see in president bush's second re-election speech, "To the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America Stands with you."

so for it... if you don't have u.s. support, THEN you can point fingers all you want.

"There is also something called political overlaps, an example of that would be General Electric (GE) which not only owns NBC, its affiliated cable news networks, and more than 200 local stations, but also serves as a primary defense contractor to the Pentagon"

GE is one of the largest companies in the world, but it is not a "primary defense contractor to the pentagon". it designs civilian and military jet engines. it also designs light bulbs, and magnetic resonance machines, and washing machines, and dryers, and electric stoves, and gas stoves, fire detecters, and dishwashers, and trash compactors, and air conditioners, and vcrs, and cd players, and dvd players, and probably most of the electronics you can think of. it's jet engine contracts comprise a very small portion of it's profits, yet- every time msnbc or nbc news mentions any information on 'GE' products, the t.v. anchors mention the their company is owned by GM. same with MSNBC on mentioning 'microsoft'. it couldn't be more fair.

if 'FOX' is one example, give me more. the last poll i saw stated the 74% of american journalists were democrats, 12% republicans, and the rest considered themselves neutral.

jimmmy

12:48 AM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

I doubt America would have a government in Iraq that wont be its puppet. As my Foreign Policy prof. always says “if it doesn’t work out for the American gov. they’ll just put another Saddam who will do as they say”. And by the way, we hate Saddam more than you do, and we know what he has done. This doesn’t mean we want the American forces, who are more interested in controlling the ministry of oil than protecting innocent people’s lives, to invade Iraq!

“why is it that iraqi's are consistantly less ctitical of the international forces in iraq than other middle east countries?”
Yes free media is quite important because if you had access to it you would know that the Iraqis don’t want the Americans in their country either. SO you thought they would throw roses at the American soldiers…. Don’t make me laugh!

I have a question for you… why is it so impossible for you to discuss politics and at the same time respect the person you’re discussing it with? I didn’t see anyone else disrespecting you for your beliefs. If one of your goals in writing is to convince people, you should respect them.

Lets go on. Bahrain… well you are a very smart man aren’t you. Why don’t we Bahrainis overthrow the government by arms if necessary huh…. Man thanks, why didn’t we think of that.

Is it possible for you to understand that it is in Americas best interest that our government stays and that is why America won’t allow anybody to overthrow the government. Thanks for having faith in us though, maybe some day we will be strong enough to defeat the Alkhalifas and the American fifth fleet in Bahrain!

About Iran, yes we saw how America stood with the Iranian people by toppling Mossadiq and putting the Shah into power. Sorry if I don’t have tears of joy in my eyes becuz Bush used the liberty freedom trick (AGAIN!)


So you say “GE is one of the largest companies in the world, but it is not a "primary defense contractor to the pentagon". Hmmm I wonder, to believe you, or an academic book that I had to study for my foreign policy class. I know you prolly think you are more credible but sorry I’ll have to pass.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Lamya said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Lamya said...

It really makes me sad how some people try to make a point by faking info and using g-rated terms. My sympathies to those who can never make an arguement because they only want to hear the echo of their own biased opinions. It's such a sad sad situation.
I'm glad there's always a "Zainab" putting facts on the table instead of pittiful emotions and F words people with no cause use as proof.

10:02 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

What happened to this blog? Was it put to the sword by Belwyn, Two Seas Liberal and Jimmy?

12:44 PM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

Hiya Hedgehog

I dont know what you mean exactly, but I am moving from one State to another permanently and I am busy packing. There will more posts comming once I am on my new campus.

Take care everyone

11:41 PM  

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