Commentary, by John Aravosis
Why is it that some in the Middle East, and their allies in Europe, feel that it's immoral for the US to help Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a moral imperative for America to liberate Muslims in Palestine? This Muslim double standard has been at the forefront of criticism of the US during the war against the Taleban and Al-Qaeda, and the intellectual paucity underlying it is getting to be too much to take.
Yes, there are reasons one could be opposed to the war in Afghanistan. But the ones being given by America's foes and friends alike are pretty transparent.
The fact remains that a Muslim government (the Taleban), with the help of over 10,000 Arabs (also Muslims), subjugated nearly 25 million Muslim Afghanis for the past five years. Where is the Middle Eastern and European angst about that oppression of Muslims? Then there is the daily killing of Muslims, by Muslims, in Kashmir and on the Indian/Pakistani border. Where is the Muslim world's outrage about that ongoing atrocity? Or how about Saddam Hussein's ongoing slaughter of his own people - the man even used chemical weapons against his own Muslim towns. Is there Middle Eastern and European outrage about that little travesty? And how about Iraq's ongoing harassment of Muslim Kuwait, and the fact that there are still Kuwaitis missing from the Gulf War over ten years ago. Any consternation about those suffering Muslims?
No, the suffering Muslims that Middle Easterners and Europeans fret about are the Afghani Muslims the US government is actually in the process of saving. They're not concerned about those same Muslim women and children being oppressed under a brutal dictatorship. No, that was fine. But once the US comes in and liberates those same Muslims, suddenly America is the bad guy.
The situation gets even better when you throw Israel into the equation. The same detractors, while not wanting to outright condone the September 11 attacks on America (that would be too intellectually honest), love to throw around the opinion that America got what it deserved, or at the very least, America must understand that its policies in the Middle East have fueled terror.
Now let's look a little closer at that canard. When the US gets involved to save Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Kosovo, we're blamed for it. But when we don't get involved to help Muslims in Palestine, rather than being lauded for finally not getting involved, we're again blamed. In addition to that damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't hypocrisy, the anti-Americans don't quite seem to understand the logical extension of their argument. If it's ok for the Palestinians to kill Americans and Europeans who don't support them enough, then isn't it ok for Israelis to launch terror attacks against the French, the Greeks and other world powers who don't support Israel enough. I mean, fair is fair. And while we're at it, under the same logic, the Afghan people and the Iraqi people, and the Kuwaitis and Kosovars too, now have free license to blow up innocent civilians in the Arab world and Europe - since those governments and peoples didn't do nearly enough to help liberate those Muslims while they were oppressed. The rule this crowd would like to have us follow is that if you don't help a particular group of people to their satisfaction, they have the right to blow up thousands of your innocent women and children. Lovely. And they call our position immoral.
But, of course, you won't hear that kind of admission out of the hate-America-first crowd, because their anger and opposition isn't based on logic - it's based on bigotry. They simply hate America for being America, and always will, regardless of its policies.