Barack Obama took a laudable forward step that was as rich in symbolism as in substantive action when he granted his first television interview to the Arab television station Al Arabiya.
In the same context it would be a grand international cleansing agent for Obama’s new administration to eliminate the term “war on terrorism.”
This does not mean that terrorism would become theretofore accepted at any level or context. It would mean that a term propagandists Bush, Cheney and other administrative figures that served to demonize Arabs in the international sphere would be removed from bureaucratic lexicon.
The same Dick Cheney that reveled in using this term also delivered a final self-righteous parting shot before leaving office in stating that Guantanamo should remain open because it was achieving results and was being maintained in a “clean” fashion. Never had the term “cleanliness is next to godliness” been more maligned.
Bush and Cheney have long basked themselves in self-praise over how safe they had kept America and how successful they had been in their anti-terrorism endeavors. How many terrorists have been tried and convicted after long detentions at Guantanamo after their legal rights had been thoroughly usurped?
What about rendition? Isn’t rendition a fancy term for kidnapping applied to a broader international stage? How many Arabs who had been whisked off without any court order or any legal mandate have been ultimately tried and convicted of terrorist activities?
Once that Bush and Cheney subjected Arabs to what constituted a “Mark of Cain”, incidents of anti-Arab detention and discrimination increased.
Located within that context were incidents at American airports. Was it a coincidence that Arabs were singled out in numbers that far outweighed their actual median population figures?
How about the cautionary words from Afghanistan’s president about the numbers of civilians that have been recently killed by American troops? Remember the indiscriminate bombing that occurred in Afghanistan by American aircraft following 9/11?
The answer was “We are going after the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center.” Such a response! Launch a cowboy style attack spree more reflective of Arizona’s famous “Gun Fight at the O.K. Corral” than an orderly pursuit of justice.
How many of us recall the 9,000 Afghan peasant farmers killed in such attacks? What did they have to do with 9/11? Did they deserve to die?
It was interesting that despite using 9/11 at every turn, up to and including launching preventive detention against U.S. citizens and snooping into reading matter of citizens at public libraries, oddly enough the one thing that the Bush-Cheney regime steadfastly refused to do was launch an independent investigation of the 9/11 attacks.
Their response? According to no lesser authority than Dick Cheney they were too busy investigating terrorism of the present and future to investigate actions of the past.
Brilliant reasoning! Attention all police. If you have had three bank robberies occur in specific areas of your cities do not investigate them since this will hamper you from preventing future robberies.