Mr President We are Not Impressed by Your Speech
US President Barack Obama’s speech on Mideast and North Africa policy on May 19, 2011 came as a total disappointment. It was the usual recycling of USA PR policies with a little bit of tweaking and tailoring, to accommodate the latest changes in the Middle East. His speech can be summed up in one sentence, it is OK for USA to make horrendous decisions that affect other nation’s security and future as long as USA apologises later; regardless of the damages done or the thousands killed. Every decision and every policy are only about the interests of USA and have nothing to do with the claimed support of democracy. USA is now taking advantage of the people’s revolutions in the Middle East to clean its horrible record of aggression and to intervene indirectly in the home affairs of the Arab states, under false acts of kindness such as offering aid, investments and loans.
Obama began his speech by thanking the Secretary of State, Clinton, who achieved the highest record of carbon foot print of any other politician, while trying to impose the policies of the US on the Middle Eastern states. Obama reflected himself in his speech as a man who applauds the popular resistance in ‘some’ Middle Eastern countries but not of all, reflecting the usual selective policies of USA. Such selectivity reflects a hypocritical stance. He said that he admired those who rebelled against his previous allies in Egypt and Tunisia, yet he denied that same right to the Palestinians and other Arab nations fighting for their basic human rights; because such acknowledgement would harm USA interests.
We still remember his speech to the Muslim world from Cairo last year when he was supporting the corrupt Egyptian regime and willing to pour billions of US dollars to maintain USA’s interests in the region. Obama talked with pride of how America defeated terrorism in Afghanistan, ignoring the tragedies caused by the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan; the destruction, the killing of unarmed civilians and the excessive use of force in order to achieve USA interests.
Obama praised Alboazizi, the Tunisian peddler, who burned himself to death following an insult, forgetting the millions of people who were killed in cold blood as a result of the hegemonic policies of the USA that crushed their nation’s dignity. He forgotten about the ill fated Guantanamo prison and the screams of hundreds of innocent people abducted by USA hooligans from other sovereign countries and forced onboard flights under horrendous conditions to cross the seas to be tortured. The president of USA has forgotten about the Cast Lead massacre in Gaza, where children and women were burned alive by the USA made white phosphorus donated in military aid to Israel the bastard that was born in UK and brought up and protected by America.
Supporting democracy Mr President has one form and the democracy supporting package is not susceptible to disguise, manipulation or affected by oil prices. If you are really supporting democracy and human rights, show that by denouncing the human rights abuses in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other USA allies including Israel where the Israeli citizen of Palestinian origins is denied his basic rights even though he is totally committed to his duties as a tax payer. He criticized the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and their regimes, yet he brushed lightly on the horrors of the Bahraini and Yemeni regimes, describing them as allies. He criticized Iran and its nuclear program forgetting that his country and its ally Israel are the masters of terrorism.
The President’s habit of drawing a moral equivalence between the actions of the Palestinians and the Israelis while assessing blame for the conflict came as usual unfair and extremely biased. I could not believe my ears when he described the suffering of Israelis as families frightened for the lives of their children and the possibility of being attacked by a rocket, painting an innocent picture of a terrorist apartheid state that has nuclear weapons, while he underestimated the suffering of Palestinians by dwarfing their plight and limiting their problem by squeezing their worries in one problem; that they are stateless. He ignored all the massacres committed against the Palestinians, confiscation of their lands, denying them the basic rights of movement, education, progress, medical treatment, and forcing them to live under siege, in cantons, caged and confined behind walls. How can we trust someone that biased?
After talking about the American values and USA’s kind calls to respect human rights, democracy and women’s rights, from our long experience in USA’s politicians’ speeches, we anticipated that there is going to be a catch that will keep USA in control that would suit the new stage. Obama claimed that the good old America has requested of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to provide a plan to fund whatever needed to achieve stability and modernize Tunisia and Egypt, in other words, finish off the achievements of the revolutions and transfer their powers into the clutches of the colonial authorities through its suspicious indirect intervention in the affairs of the region, under pretexts of aid and investments and loans.
Mr President, we refuse your kind offer, the youth of the Middle East did not learn about freedom and democracy from the American values as you would like others to believe, because USA is linked to hypocrisy and exploitation. The young revolutionaries of the Arab region do not need your aid, your advice or your economic system. All they need is to keep USA policies as far as possible from their countries and keep its hands off their resources since they proved capable of overcoming the hardest obstacles of all on their own; as they have already managed to amputate two of USA’s tails in the region and are working on snapping the others. Iqbal Tamimi is the Director of Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK.