Al-Ahram Weekly Online   5 - 11 June 2008
Issue No. 900
Reader's corner
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Readers' corner

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Just say 'Yes'

Sir-- If it can be proven that US military planes transport opium to be processed into heroin in Turkey 'Opium of the masses' (29 May-4 June), it would further stigmatise the Bushites as a gangster regime, and its role in turning the US polity into a gangster power system; what Michael Parenti calls "the gangster nature of the state". Unfortunately, the American people simply do not wish to know this. The problem in communicating the simple truth is not ignorance, but emotional denial, not wanting to know. It does not help matters that the American people have been so brain-damaged by TV.

Other critics are careful not to threaten the legitimacy of the American polity, denying all conspiracies ending in white men getting murdered. This recalls the Lonely Assassin theory of JFK, a lone assassin murdering because he was lonely in his childhood. The possibility of American military planes distributing drugs is something that even outspoken critics of the US find too disturbing to contemplate.

Soon enough it will bother us, too. Inevitably these drugs will find their way to the US population to a much greater degree than they already have, increasing our vast prison population. The increase in drugs may be part of a larger political strategy. The war on drugs is obviously increasing drug traffic. Besides the enormous profits involved, there may be a geo-strategic policy involved by the Bushites, since the increase is so dramatic. It would be very useful to discover in detail what this is. Your work in helping to retard this drug infestation, by exposing it, is increasingly vital.

Morley Hofnor
Los Angeles

Chemical warfare

Sir-- The US military transporting drugs as claimed in 'Opium of the masses' (29 May-4 June) is of course nothing new to me but to many readers, it will be. The use of drugs as a weapon for weakening or eradicating the enemy is nothing short of chemical warfare, no? The Bedouins of Israel is a film documenting the operations of Israel's Green Patrol, which effectively wiped out the Bedouins. It involved a carefully planned, long-term strategy which began by destroying their livelihood by killing or stealing tens of thousands of Bedouin sheep, cutting down their massive tents in the night, harassment, etc. After the Bedouins lost their sheep, tents and the life they had for a millennia, the Green Patrol "invited" them to live in squalid shantytowns next to wealthy Israeli resorts and offered them jobs, paying them in shekels. Without recourse, the Bedouins moved to the shantytowns, often next to raw sewage and other terrible conditions and took service jobs in the resorts. Finally, the Israelis introduced heroin to the Bedouin youth, wiping out two generations of those who could potentially rebel against their "captors". It all equals genocide, by my own definition of the term.

Portions of the documentary were filmed covertly in government planning rooms in Tel Aviv. Most of it is filmed on location, as they say, with interviews of outraged older Bedouins who lost their culture and their lives. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a series on CNN, showing how grateful the Bedouins are for now having a better life, automobiles, better food, healthcare, etc. Israel gives tours of Bedouin "museums" (also shown on the film) in which they take tourists through the "ancient history of the Bedouins". These morbid museums show their artefacts, Israeli interpretations of their former customs and culture and even full size Bedouin mannequins dressed in traditional clothing -- very much like how US museums show the "former" native Americans -- who were defeated with decapitation of their political leaders, slaughter, gunpowder, blankets infested with small pox and the white man's drug of the day: "firewater".

Les Blough

Any invasion doomed

Sir-- In 'Who is the enemy?' (22-28 May) the author states, "Given the huge advantages over the Soviet experience, and given the possibility to learn from Soviet mistakes, there really is no excuse for the current tragedy unfolding with no end in sight."

It doesn't matter how many lessons you learn or how many mistakes you do or don't repeat. You don't occupy another country (unless they first started a world war, like Germany). If you do, for a significant length of time, you will invariably alienate the population and run afoul of your luck.

John Wilkinson

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