19 May 2007 04:31


  • [SW Column] ( Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal - Iviews* - Thank you, President Bush for your Eid greetings, we are indeed greatly indebted. :Posted on 11 Dec 2002

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of SW.



Thank you Mr. President

Thank you, President Bush for your Eid greetings, we are indeed greatly indebted. And thank you for telling us, one more time, that your new war is not against Islam and Muslims.

12/11/2002 - Political - Article Ref: IV0212-1804
By: Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
Iviews* -


Thank you, President Bush for your Eid greetings, we are indeed greatly indebted. And thank you for telling us, one more time, that your new war is not against Islam and Muslims. It was time that you reminded us that we should not take the B-52 bombers showering bombs on our cities so personally. Indeed, the six Iraqis who died on the first day of December are not to be counted among the dead; they were illegal combatants, working in an oil factory.

As Muslims, we are grateful to you for all the food packages that were sent down from the Afghan skies during the last year. Had we been the children of Israel, it would have reminded us of our great past when Manna and Salva was sent down by God. Let me assure you, Mr. President, American peanut butter tastes so good that our Afghan children became so keen to pick up the food packages that they could not even distinguish between the food packages and thousands of canister bombs that your B-52 bombers left behind in their wasteland. But, of course, it was their bad luck; we will just add them to the list of collateral damage. That way, we will not have to go through the tedious ritual of calculating the number of dead.

I am sorry to hear that things are not going well back home. Some unpatriotic Americans have started to ask questions about your war of terror, excuse me, war on terror. They ask for results for the 40 billion dollars you so graciously and hurriedly sanctioned for the great war. That little audio cassette that recently surfaced at the Al-Jazeera did not help much, I suppose. Although you have the Al-Jazeera's Kabul correspondent firmly locked up in a cage at camp X-ray (and thank God, the international union of journalists has not made a peep about him), this little island of a network keeps coming up with trouble after trouble.

You were, however, more successful with Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, the German Justice Minister who so rudely compared your new war policies to that of Adolf Hitler; thank goodness, she was quickly sacked by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for poisoning the relations. I must also congratulate you on quickly getting rid of Mme. Francoise Ducros, the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien's Director of Communications, who so ungratefully called you a moron despite all the soft lumber that American companies so cheaply buy from Canada in order to help their economy.

Mr. President, it is heartening to know that the new Department of Homeland Security is finally off to a grand start. With an operational budget of $37.5 billion and nearly 170,000 federal employees, it should keep the homeland secure. Just let no American walk out of your great country without the protection of pilot-less drones for streets of the world have become very dangerous for them.

I hope that with your ambassador in London so ardently standing behind you in your war after war, it should not be difficult to soon control all the unruly streets. Whatever happened the other day in Amman should never be allowed to happen again. I think it would not be a bad idea to send a little congratulatory note to your distant relative in Amman for taking care of the matter so promptly. I hear the little town of Mann is also grateful to you for bringing all the world attention to this tribal region. The price those little rabbles had to pay was not much, I suppose, compared to what the Afghans have paid. It was merely a double digit number that they lost. But we will not call it war against Muslims; after all, it was their own king whose army was doing the job.

Mr. President, in your Eid greetings, you have rightly told us that the new year is full of promises. We look forward to the new ventures. Afghanistan is indeed becoming a little too dull and although great news is in store regarding Iraq, Hans Blix and his team of inspectors are taking too long. Please hurry up or else the current rating will start to go down and you know very well how difficult it is to whip up the hysteria once it has subsided.

You know that anthrax cannot be used again to create fear. (By the way, the little leak leading to the US military was plugged very well and I sincerely hope that all patriotic Americans will remember never to ask any questions about anthrax.) So, what are we going to do next time? How would you generate new waves of fear? I suppose those little Napoleons in thousands of homeland security offices would come up with something. Perhaps, you should ask them to start cooking something like the danger of a bio-engineered mosquito bringing a deadly virus. That would be something!

It is my sincere hope, Mr President, that in the new year, you will not be so lenient with men who keep bothering you with their silly questions about Afghanistan. I was shocked to read a report by one Robert Fisk who sketched a graphic picture of little children being blown up in the deserts of Khost. He also had the nerve to draw world attention to the endless queue of mutilated civilians sitting outside the hospital in Herat, hoping to get an artificial leg. Likewise, people who keep mentioning international laws, protocols and agreements should be stopped from reminding the world that in your war of terror (excuse my slip again, Mr. President), you have not even spared ambassadors. No one has the right to remind the world that Ambassador Mullah Zaeef is still locked up in a cage in Camp X-ray.

I am glad to know that early in 2003, Germans will take charge of the Afghan ordeal. It would be their boys who would risk their lives for this grand show which, we all know, will only last for as long as money keeps coming. But I am afraid, Afghans are rather notorious for their tenacity. There is little hope that what the Soviet Union could not achieve with 140,000 men, we can achieve without large-scale disasters soon erupting all over this unruly land. Those who keep saying that the Afghan adventure is headed for disaster should all be locked up with the "illegal combatants". (By the way, that was an excellent invention for which its inventor should be amply rewarded.)

That reminds me to say that events like the appearance of those four pictures of C-130 planes carrying their human cargo to Camp X-ray should not be allowed to happen again. They do bring the specter of war crimes being launched in some court, somewhere in the world although you have rightly declined to sign the international charter which would put the American soldiers in risk. But the images of those shackled men, which recently flashed on millions of computer screens around the world, was not nice, to say the least.

I am also sad to know that some Edward Saids are still around. They keep talking about an impossible linkage: the suffering of Palestinians, so carefully crafted by a 2.1 billion dollar annual aid to Israel and numerous supplements. They have maps, numbers and pictures which they keep showing to the world. The appearance of a new great wall here, barbed fences there, burned olive orchards, destroyed homes, pieces of dead bodies scattered on streets, made-in-America gun ships and helicopters bombing the refugee camps. Of course, your war is not against Muslims and certainly there is no link between the suffering of Palestinians and the catastrophes Americans continue to experience abroad. No, the world should accept the verdict of your "man of peace" who looks forward to his new term which will complete the task of fortification of Israel.

And finally, let me close by thanking you, once again, Mr. President, for the opportunity you so graciously provided to some of our Muslim brothers and sisters to come and visit you and Laura at the White House at the beginning of the month of Ramadan. That great occasion will always be remembered by them and their children and their children. They are eternally grateful to you and Laura. I am sure you also value their friendship because they the harbingers of an intellectual northern alliance you so desperately need at this time. With all the best wishes for your new year adventures I am, yours sincerely.

Dr Muzaffar Iqbal is a freelance writer






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