Saturday, March 24, 2007

The crushing fear that stalks America

The country is not at war. It is the US military that is engaged in an Iraqi conflict

By Robert Fisk

"There's a helluva difference between Cairo University and the campus of Valdosta in the Deep South of the United States. I visited both this week and I feel like I've been travelling on a gloomy spaceship - or maybe a time machine - with just two distant constellations to guide my journey. One is clearly named Iraq; the other is Fear. They have a lot in common......

But the questions I was asked after class told it all. Why didn't "we" leave Iraq? Are "we" going to attack Iran? Did "we" really believe in democracy in the Middle East? In fact "our" shadow clearly hung over these young people.

Thirty hours later, I flicked on the television in my Valdosta, Georgia, hotel room and there was a bejewelled lady on Fox TV telling American viewers that if "we" left Iraq, the "jihadists" would come after us. "They want a Caliphate that will take over the world," she shrieked about a report that two children had deliberately been placed in an Iraqi car bomb which then exploded. She ranted on about how Muslim "jihadists" had been doing this "since the 1970s in Lebanon". It was tosh, of course. Children were never locked into car bombs in Beirut - and there weren't any "jihadists" around in the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s. But fear had been sown. Now that the House of Representatives is talking about the US withdrawal by August 2008, fear seems to drip off the trees in America....."

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