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By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday May 17, 2013
In a fantasy world, one might look at both controversies and think they are legitimate concerns facing the American people. But in the real world, both controversies are being driven by right wing politics posturing for the 2016 presidential elections.
It’s symptomatic of the problems the right has caused this country since Sept. 11, 2001 in which Republicans exploited terrorism to give themselves a mandate of power driven by fear and emotion rather than solutions.
So many rights were violated when the Republican fanatics were in control of the administration of former President George W. Bush. So many lives were lost because of real lies that meant something, like the claim that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
American soldiers invaded Iraq, and killed not only Iraqi soldiers but thousands of innocent civilians. So many American soldiers lost their lives there needlessly, too, because the conflict didn’t bring democracy to Iraq or safety to America from terrorism. Instead, the misguided Iraq war brought profits to Halliburton, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s multi-national corporation. It gave President Bush some revenge against a dictator who once threatened his father, also former President George H.W. Bush.
The Tea Party fanatics are whining that they were targeted by the IRS. What does that mean? It means that they were given extra scrutiny, much in the same way that our country gives extra-scrutiny to a lot of folks who happen to be Middle Eastern despite the fact there is no evidence of them doing anything. Targeted. Harassed. Investigated. Nothing.
This isn’t a new practice that followed Sept. 11 terrorism. It has been happening for years, driven by racism and political corruption.
After serving two years active duty during the Vietnam War, the FBI investigated me for more than two years accusing me of being a “terrorist.” Why? Because I happen to be an American Arab. My brother was a Marine. My dad was in the 5th Army and my uncle served in the Navy, both during World War II.
What the Tea Party is going through is nothing compared to what others experience. Write a book about it. I did. And quit whining.
Frankly, I am sick and tired of the right wing nut jobs holding this country hostage, dividing our society with racist hatred and polarizing our nation.
You should be, too.
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This post has already been read 117 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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