Twenty years later, Tahseen Al-Khateeb was born in Jordan to a Palestinian refugee family. Without ever living in a English-speaking country, Al-Khateeb made himself comfortable enough with the language to render Charles Simic's The World Doesn't End into Arabic. He has also translated a handful of my poems, with an interest in doing a full-length book. Recently, Al-Khateeb approached me for an interview, and of course I agreed. Our conversation would be translated into Arabic and published in a Jordanian newspaper.
Outside of Israel,
Jordan has the largest
number of Palestinians at 3,240,000, and Jordan
also hosts over 600,000 Syrian refugees and 200,000 from Iraq. When Jews
and Americans raise hell, Jordan
is there to absorb refugees, and for this service, Jordan
receives substantial aid from the United States. Working with the
CIA, Jordan operates two black sites where "detainees" can be "rendered" to be
After its initial hostility to Israel, Jordan became the second Arab nation to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish Homeland. There is a 2010 Reuter photo of Jordan's King Abdullah II shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Bibi sits, the King stands and so must bow, and the caption also states that it's the Jordanian Monarch who greets Bibi, not the other way around. Reproduced at Iran's Press TV, this photo is greeted with derision. "You can clearly see in the picture who is acting as a master and who is as servant." "What, does the next picture show Abdullah kissing his ring?" "Everyone knows the scum works for the Brits; so was his father & his [granduncle] Faisal. He is just receiving instructions."
Propped up by the Brits, Faisal was King of Syria, then Iraq, and this forgettable figure is on record as saying, "We Arabs look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement." For his part, Abdullah II is half British, and from kindergarten through college, was educated entirely in the UK and USA. He even served in the British Army after graduating from England's Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. English is Abdullah II's primary language. What we have, then, is a line of rent-a-king for the West. For the right price, I'm sure you can hire a Jordanian King for your kid's bar mitzvah or church's nativity scene. Traditional costume and camel will cost extra.
Like Al-Khateeb's parents, I'm also a refugee, and like him and so many others, we're merely history's lesser victims, for we've only been uprooted, and not killed or maimed. Do we have a common enemy? Do you and I? It was my hope that the interview would be a vehicle to explore this question.
Tahseen asked, "As you have been lately involved in politics, how do look at the horrors done by the American Administration (s) to other nations: the invasion of Iraq and of Afghanistan, for instance? And what about their endless support for the Israelis despite their shameless war crimes against the Palestinians, whether in Gaza, or elsewhere?"
I began by stating the obvious, "Oil and Israel are the two reasons for American criminality against the Muslim world. Without these factors, Muslims would not be so demonized and attacked by Americans, and this pattern will continue as long as Israel and oil remain. Israel is an unprecedented historical mistake, for it makes no sense to claim a right of return for Jews after 2,000 years, but deny the same to Palestinians after six decades, though many have lost their homes much more recently, for this land grab is an ongoing process that won't end until all Palestinians disappear from 'the Jewish homeland.' It's tragic and farcical that a Chinese Jew can move to Jerusalem tomorrow, but not an exiled Palestinian who still has the key to his ancestral home. Israel is a violent concept that is executed and maintained with terror, and by this I mean American-sponsored Jewish terror, though these world class terrorists are so relentless with their propaganda, they have made "terrorist" nearly synonymous with their enemy, the Muslim. There is hope for Palestinians, however, for as the USA implodes, Israel will also go up in smoke. Working in tandem, the US and Israel have collapsed several Muslim governments and generated millions of refugees. The same fate awaits Israel, though its dissolution should be permanent, for only then will peace come.
Those living outside the US can't fathom the American media's extreme bias towards Israel. During the 2014 attack on Gaza, for example, American television viewers were only shown images of Palestinian buildings being blown up from afar, as if there were no people working or living in them. No corpses were seen being pulled from rubbles. While Palestinian victims stayed invisible, a single missing Israeli soldier had stories about him, with his portrait featured to emphasize his humanity. Unlike Palestinians, this Jew had a face. Female Israeli soldiers were shown sobbing over their fallen (male) comrades. When the massacre of Palestinians was finally over, there were articles about how quickly Gaza had gotten back to normal, so it was no big deal, you see, this butchering of 2,192 people (as compared to 77 deaths on the Israeli side). As if to prove this point, photos were shown of bustling Gaza streets, with kids happily playing.
On American television, there's a peculiar show called Inside Israeli Basketball. Since the level of hoops in Israel is not particularly high, and its b-ballers are entirely unknown to an American audience, there is no sporting reason for this program, except that basketball is only a pretext to display Israel in a banal, and hence benign, light. Game footage and practice scenes make up only a small part of this show, for the camera often follows the players or coaches of Maccabi Haifa, the featured team, all over Israel. (Everywhere, of course, except Gaza and other troubled spots.) In one scene, one might visit a lovely beach, while in another, enter a Palestinian restaurant. Here, two teammates, an Israeli and a black American, enjoy camel rides, and one can see that they're very chummy with each other. The American, Ike Ofoegbu, gushes, "Here in Israel, the guys are very nice. They speak English, first of all, so they can interact with you. They're really friendly ["] To finally be here in Israel is very exciting. I'm just blessed to be here." Highly unusual for a reality show, there is no rancor or argument in "Inside Israeli Basketball," and no trashy behavior at all. Here, you won't find any screaming, backstabbing, jealousy or drunkenness, though these are the staples of just about every other reality show on American television. Always depicting Israel in an idyllic and harmonious light, this show is no more than propaganda, then, a carefully crafted mask to hide the endless violence needed to maintain this sham nation."
Al-Khateeb followed up, "And what about what is happening now in Syria?"
I continued, "The US is trying to unseat Assad because he's a long time ally of Russia and Iran, as well as an enemy of Israel. Similarly, in trying to wrest Ukraine from the Russian orbit, the US has destroyed yet another country. Drenched in blood, the US kills, slanders, stages false flag incidents while fabricating charges against its enemies. With Syria, it's the poison gas accusation against Assad, while in Ukraine, it's the Malaysian Airliner that was likely shot down by America's Kiev puppets, and certainly not Russia. I'm not sure who first described this sanctimoniously immoral nation as 'The Empire of Chaos,' but it's very appropriate. As Vladimir Putin said, 'Anything the US touches turns into Libya or Iraq.'
Waging actual and/or economic war against much of humanity, the US has also destroyed meaningful discourse in the international arena, for it and its allies seem incapable of telling any truth. Whatever the US says, you can almost be certain that the opposite is true, for Uncle Sam is a habitual inverter of reality. Trapped among warped mirrors, it's no surprise that most Americans have become deranged. Though many half suspect their rulers don't have their interest in mind, they continue to vote for the same criminals or their fresher faced proteges. Though voting itself sanctions the entire rigged process, they dutifully line up and jerk a lever that may or may not register their non-choice, for an American voting contraption, like a slot machine, is responsive only to its own programming. The slithering media are now offering American progressives a new darling in Elizabeth Warren. Touted as an outsider, Warren will take the country in a new direction, it is said, so let's give her a listen. After voting to fund Israel during the last Gaza massacre, Warren explained that the Jewish State absolutely hated to cause civilian casualties, 'but when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself.'
In the United States, there are several layers of controlled dissent, with none effective at thwarting any of the country's prolific criminality. On television, you have highly paid buffoons such as Jon Stewart, real last name Leibowitz, and Stephen Colbert. In the "alternative media," there's the articulate and moral-sounding Democratic Party apologist The Nation, the politics-as-somewhat-edgy-entertainment Huffington Post and Amy Goodman's Democracy Now. Yes, there are genuine and highly astute observers such as Pepe Escobar, Dmitri Orlov, John Michael Greer, and Paul Craig Roberts, etc., but they're only read by a tiny percentage of the country, so even though they're crucial to our grasp of what's going on, they're negligible as inspiration for effective revolt. In short, Americans are in no shape to save themselves from their own government, much less curb their nation's evilness on the rest of the world.
Moreover, there's no resistance if there's no recognition of the enemy, and most Americans still think of their federal government as inept and bickering, and not essentially evil and working against them at every turn on behalf of the criminal banks, war profiteers and Israel. Saluting the stars and stripes, they send their sons and daughters to kill and die for the masters of war, fiat money crooks and Israel.
Stuck in a quicksand economy, Americans are becoming increasingly angry, but their rage has been deflected to false or, at best, secondary targets. Some blame the President, who's no more than a sock puppet, while others seethe at white racism, black criminality, illegal immigrants, China, Russia or, most preposterously, crazed Muslims.