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Cross-border attacks in Syria and Pakistan are not coincidence
By Ray Hanania — The Bush administration will start a war for oil. And one week before a presidential election, with his Republican party’s candidate waning in the polls, the Bush Administration will also start a war for politics.
That’s exactly what took place this weekend when, in separate incidents, American military forces struck targets in both Syria and in Pakistan.
On Sunday, a military “Drone,” or unmanned jet, crossed the border of Afghanistan and struck a civilian village in Pakistan, killing 20 people in South Waziristan Sunday.
Because there is no independent proof – the only reporters allowed to accompany military missions are embedded propagandists — there is no way to confirm the military’s typical response that the targets were militants or that the attack killed several leaders of the Taliban.
Pakistan’s media, however, and members of the new ruling coalition insist the dead are civilians.
At about the same time as the drone assault, U.S. military helicopters crossed the Iraq border into Syria and attacked a Farm near the town of Abu Kamal, killing eight people.
Because Syria is far more sensitive than Pakistan – it is a complicated aspect of the political racism of American foreign policy where Arabs are easier to kill than Pakistanis – the U.S. military did not face the same pressure to explain anything in the Syrian attack. Unnamed military officials were quoted as saying that the attack was part of an effort to crack down on Syrian militants crossing into Iraq to “kill American soldiers.”
That’s the catch phrase that justifies the murder of anyone in the war zone, civilian or not. If the attacks happen to result in the murder of innocent civilians, as long as they are Pakistani or Syrian, it is acceptable.
In fact, despite the mounting evidence, most American voters went to sleep Sunday night believing the media spin that the site in Pakistan was a Taliban haven and the target in Syria was a militant compound.
The deaths of Pakistani and Arab civilians are meaningless in American politics. The bigger concern is the heated political war between presidential candidates John McCain, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Although McCain insists he is a maverick, he more than Obama is likely to continue President Bush’s war in Iraq. McCain more than Obama will continue to help Vice President Dick Cheney’s “former” company Halliburton enjoy billions in war related contracts. McCain more than Obama will stir up the fears of voters that regardless of whether the cross-border strikes were justified or not, the situation will worsen and there will be another terrorist attack like the one on Sept. 11, 2001.
Military sources threw out just enough information to help Americans see past the civilian killings, as alleged by the media and governments in both Pakistan and in Syrian.
The area in Pakistan is “a known” Taliban hangout. The area in Syrian, which is more important in terms of pushing American voters buttons, is about 60 miles southeast of the place where an Israeli air strike damaged an alleged Syrian plutonium plant.
There’s the other word. Israel. If Israel somehow has something to do with any attacks, Americans are more willing to accept and not question them. Bush didn’t invade Iraq to protect Israel, but it was an important secondary consideration.
The American media won’t be spending much time investigating the attacks or sifting through the evidence at the site which included a home where a man named Daoud Mohammed Abdullah, his wife and his four sons once lived.
The civilian family members killed when American soldiers stormed from the helicopters and entered the home guns blazing and grenades flying.
Watch the debate as it unfolds. All anyone will care about is how the attacks — not the deaths, though – will impact the final vote count on Tuesday, Nov. 4, election day.
Will it help McCain overcome Obama’s lead?
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host. He can be reached at www.ArabWritersGroup.com and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This post has already been read 72 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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