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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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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