Response to Open Letter from McCain Supporters

You asked in your letter why Arab Muslims showed such excited support for Democrats, and you seemed to show sincere surprise about this, so I am going to tell you why.

Muslims and Arabs support Democrats against Republicans because since 9/11 Republicans have, by the best available counts, killed more than 1 million Muslims in Iraq alone, and displaced many millions more than that, have tortured Muslims routinely, sometimes to the point of killing them, many times torturing and killing completely innocent people (for instance torturing to death the taxi driver known even to his interrogators at Bagram Air Force Base to be completely innocent even of having fought against American soldiers); Republicans have turned the Nuremberg conventions into a joke, have turned the Bill of Rights into a doormat, have blatantly and callously followed a program of serving hidden agendas while lying to all people including all Americans, including all Muslims, about the things they have done, the extent of their crimes against our people, and all the while mouthing their love for freedom and democracy and liberty.  Republicans have plundered this country, enriching their friends, the leaders of bands of hired thugs like Blackwater, and Dick Cheney’s friends at Halliburton, at the expense not only of the American people but directly at the expense of American soldiers, even to the point of electrocuting American soldiers in badly-made contractor-built showers.  The waste of such contracting companies is truly appalling–sometimes destroying entire new trucks in order to justify buying new ones at taxpayer expense, with a margin that accrues to the contractor.  The real theme of George Bush’s presidency has been to let the big eat the small.  Therefore banks are able to charge usurious interest rates with the full force of the law behind them to take their rights against weak individuals with neither the technical expertise nor the bargaining power to secure good deals for themselves–when they are unable to collect their loans, these banks are given the country’s money directly.  Large companies are given carte blanche to destroy individuals, their own employees, in similar fashion, because those employees are without any bargaining power. 

Although the "surge" has been declared a success, and even the Obama campaign seems to consider this success a given–Muslims are aware that civilian deaths never really stopped.  Last week alone, approximately 292 civilians were killed in Iraq (according to statistics published by Iraq Body Count)–and this statistic is not out of proportion with previous weeks or, unfortunately, with the weeks likely to come.  The surge has been made a "success" by literally building tall walls around every enclave of Baghdad.  Would a foreign occupying force have accomplished "success" if it walled New York, separating Chinatown from Little Italy, and making the financial district a "green zone"?  This is just obviously not a good long-term solution.  The surge appears to have stalled attacks against American forces, and in fact it seems that the biggest success of the surge has been this reduction in American casualties.  But what many people don’t seem to consider is that one continuous, agonizing American casualty is the amount of American money spent to sustain this war in Iraq. $2 billion a week, to maintain pressure on a lever whose fulcrum lies just outside our country, and whose opposite side lies in a country on the other side of the world–Anti-American fighters are able, with pennies against the million dollar bill, to maintain enough force against that lever to keep it in a balanced position.  Al Qaeda hasn’t forgotten this, and that is why they have expressed their desire that John McCain take office to carry on the military policies of the Bush administration. 

In Dearborn many residents are from southern Lebanon–their families and family homes were shelled literally with American arms delivered to Israel in the heat of the war.  They either know people killed there or even saw people killed.  Their own families cowered in their homes while Israeli jets bombed at will in their towns.  Literally American arms were used against their families, and sent to their enemies by Republicans.

Is there any need to mention the many statements of prominent Republicans (and Christian leaders close to Republican leaders) who routinely make the ugliest attacks against our religion?

Healthcare is a remote hope for many Americans, and even for Americans with insurance, the "big eats small" mentality gives those insurance companies the ability to deny justified claims in order to enrich themselves.

Not to mention that Republicans have nursed the animosity of the American people against Muslims and Arabs in order to further their own political ambitions, and in order to justify their increasingly dictatorial overreaches of power–mainly it is the administration of George Bush which has done this, but the Republican party and right-wing pundits have been in lockstep from 9/11.  John McCain may have at times argued against the torture that is happening at Guantanamo, but at times he also justified it, saying that these were "bad people."  Muslims are intensely aware that many of those imprisoned at Guantanamo are completely innocent–having been sold into bondage by callous Pakistanis as "Taliban" or "Al-Qaeda" fighters when they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  For those who were fighters, the Republican administration universally laughed off attempts to apply the Nuremberg rules of Prisoners of War to them.  And it beggars our minds to perceive that Republicans insist on denying the fact of many of their detainees’ innocence in order to pursue myopic tactical political objectives.  While John McCain might be less guilty of the Hitler-like demagoguery of Tancredo, or the stupid dissimulation of Mitt Romney, McCain nevertheless considers it a funny event to send cigarettes to Iran in order to kill the people there, or funny enough to merit a song if we bomb Iran. 

McCain also has lied many times in order to justify the continuation of the war in Iraq.  Republicans have denied responsibility for the very crimes that they personally directed, and the most blatant example of this is Donald Rumsfeld directing the torture at Abu Ghraib, personally instructing that prisoners be dressed in women’s underwear.  Muslims are conscious, although the rest of the country seems oblivious to it, that the electrical lines attached to the genitalia of Muslims in the pictures from Abu Ghraib are not to "simulate" electrical torture.  They know that the prisoners there were not pushed into "simulated" sexual positions, but that they were subjected to intense and deliberate sustained sexual assault.  The prisoner who was pictured standing on a bucket, with the hood over his head, his arms extended to the sides, joked afterwards that the Americans brought electricity to his genitalia before they brought electricity to his house.  So while Republicans may think they are hiding the secrets of their crimes of the past 7 years, it should be known that these crimes are an open secret that weighs heavily on the backs of all Muslims and Arabs in this country–and other Americans know too.  While they are called "Islamofascists" by the very Republicans who persecute them, the reality is the opposite–the position of Muslims post-9/11 is equivalent to the position of the Jews in pre-WWII Germany, every day hearing the violent rhetoric that in fact could easily turn into pogroms against them.  The greatest irony is that the vilification of Muslims is the loudest from the very victims of that time.

So to sum all this up, many prominent Republicans are perceived by Muslims and Arabs as un-indicted war criminals who, despite their crimes, expect to live out peaceful lives in American prosperity, while they have deliberately consigned many many others (and especially Muslims) to long and slow deaths, to further either obviously evil political ends (of revenge), or to further arcane and secret political objectives which they deny.  And these prominent Republicans, along with many from their party, have made it a staple of their political rhetoric to hack at the religion of Islam to score points with the basest members of their base, who in their Faustian bargain with Republican leaders, give their support in exchange for the demonization of Muslims.

This is why Arabs and Muslims fervently support Democrats and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Adil James


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