The Pendulum Swung

There was a time, actually, not so very long ago, that I would have made a bet that Israel had the worst public relations in the world. Aw, but that was before I realized that we, in the United States , also had a tiger by the tail, the same as Israel.

Arlene Peck

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There was a time, actually, not so very long ago, that I would have made a bet that Israel had the worst public relations in the world. Aw, but that was before I realized that we, in the United States , also had a tiger by the tail, the same as Israel.

We also have an election coming up and like most of my fellow Americans, I am walking around confused as to which of these two men would be the lesser evil. I have voted in every election since reaching voting age; this is the first time I have no idea for whom to cast my ballot. I hate them both.

George Bush, as bad as he may be, is supposedly better for Israel. According to a recent Zogby report, the vast majority of Arab Americans favor John Kerry. That, folks, is an issue that concerns me greatly. Kerry's billionaire wife, Theresa, from what I've heard , makes donations to organizations that fund Hamas. A lot of issues worry me. In the past couple of years, I've watched my country go from a favorite tourism spot for the rest of the world to a hated entity.

In addition, I resent the billions and billions of dollars going into the 'rebuilding' of Iraq. They hate us and want us dead. Nor am I happy about paying almost $3.00 for a gallon of gas. Our economy is down the tubes and our entire work force is being farmed out. All of the one-time American employees now seem to be originating from India. We are not happy campers.

We are also at the stage now where our daily press, despite the overwhelming evidence otherwise, is stressing how our government wants to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq. We have never dealt with an entire culture that breeds terrorism and haven't the faintest idea how to deal with it now . We, as Americans, are naive and have absolutely no conception of the mindset of the Islamic fundamentalist.

I receive a lot of e-mail and one, that I think perfectly shows the mentality of the enemy , is from a young Arab girl in Jordan . She has been questioning what her father and brothers, who are members of Hamas, tell her. This is the most recent message I received from her (original, uncorrected text).

"hi Mrs

"maybe you are wondering why i wasen't writing to you the last days; My father knew about me; he saw somthing that i had written about islam; he got very angry; he had beaten me and he said that i was no longer his girl; and that i was a kafir so i was his slave. he raped me in front of my mother... then he denied me to go out of my room; i'm writing to you from his laptop that my mother had succeeded to pass to me; so i have to hurry


The most recent 'incident' (and, it's a biggie), surrounds the deplorable pictures that the Arab world is making into a PR bonanza. Do you remember the mileage the CNNs and BBCs of the world made out of "poor, downtrodden Arab boys throwing stones at the big, bad Israeli soldiers"? Or what about that set-up picture that went around the world of the kid hovering behind his father while under attack by the Israelis? One picture is worth a thousand words and folks, our enemies are loving the pictures of the abuses of Iraqi prisoner s. We are going to pay dearly for them.

I, like everyone of conscience, am also appalled by the scenes of treatment of captive prisoners at the hands of our soldiers. Yet, these humiliated and mistreated prisoners are alive. They will once again return to their families and loved ones. (Do terrorists have loved ones?) And they will probably be compensated in the millions by our tax dollars.

I don't have a doubt in my mind that had the situation been the other way, these same Iraqis would kill, burn and mutilate our soldiers. And, as a finale, they'd pass out candy, shoot rifles and celebrate while serving the victims' intestines on platters for the crowd. Hey, they've already done that in Israel. And remember how they dragged the burned American corpse through the streets? So we in the United States are now facing the very same statute of conduct that Israel has been living under. I don't remember the world-wide cry when it happened to Israel.

They are savages and barbarians with absolutely no reverence for life. While countries like Israel, and we as Americans, cannot betray the principles and values that we stand for, it's open season for the world of Islam. They can shoot down an eight-month pregnant woman with her four little girls and have it reported as 'fighters in conflict.'

What I have never been able to fathom is how scenes of Arab atrocities are glazed over and cheered by much of the world. And it's interesting how now the pendulum has swung and my fellow countrymen are facing the same harsh criticism that Israel has faced. The usual suspects of the anti-Semitic press seem confused. As usual, they allude to the perceived United States tilt toward Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. And how such a case alienates Iraqis and Arabs in general. However, if the truth be told, we are finally coming to grips with the fact that land has nothing to do with the jihad or the ingrained hatred. We are fighting the same enemy and it's beginning to sink in.

I'm in no way condoning torture and believe that the Geneva Convention is something to be upheld. The stupid conduct by a few is coming down heavily on our country and we will pay for it. These soldiers who did such stupid and evil things put their fellow soldiers in great danger, because the savages will see themselves as having justification to do what comes naturally for them.

The recent transgressions by American soldiers are detrimental to our international image. In the same way, the hundred or so soldiers who made their displeasure with the Israeli defense policy so public a while back harmed Israel when their story hit the world of electronic news.

Again, I believe that the actions of a few have already cost us. We are Americans and I've always believed that Americans don't do things like the pictures showed. But, then again, I used to believe that the United Nations was a good thing, and that cigarettes were cool and couldn't do any damage.