The last topic in our discussion of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controvery is Reverend Wright’s comment placing the blame for the September 11 bombing of the Wolrd Trade Center on the United States. I would make the target of that blame a bit more specific: the onus falls on the United States governemt and its Middle East policy – note the use of the singular because the US policy in the Middle East has been, if nothing else, consistent and extremely narrow in focus – since the 1950s. That policy started with good intentions and an honorable focus – the right of the state of Israel to exist – but it has become more than that: it has become an unsweving, uncritical support of Israel without consideration for the rest of the people of the Middle East. In other words, it has gone from a pro-Israel to an anti-Arab focus,
The only time we make any concessions to the Arabs, and/or force Israel to make some accommodations, is when we need more oil. That is what happened in the late 70s and early 80s during the OPEC – remember them – oil embargo. We need oil again – just look at the prices at the gas pump – and so President Vush is now in the Middle East trying to convince, probably more like bully, our “friends” there, like Saudi Arabia, to increase the flow of oil to the United States. But, I suspect, if the past few years are any indication, Bush will not mave much luck. The Arabs are not nearly as stupid as some American politicans might like them to be.
It is this lack of political consideration for the interest of the majority of the people of the Middle East, the Arabs, that has led to and fueled the everincreasing influence of the Arab nationalist extremeists – under their cover of Islamic fundamentalism – to target the United States as their “Evil Empire.” We are the Dark Side to these Arab jedi. That is the real reason we are the target of what President Bush and hus political and Christian fundamentalist allies call “terrorism.” Once man’s terrorism is another man’s holy warL a fact we have chosen to ignore and trample on, further proving to the extremists that they are right in their assessment of the US as the “Evil Empire.”
This is why Jeremiah Wright said the US is to blame for 9-11, and you know, he’s right.
Please bo not misunderstand my remarks. I am not saying that the US should remove its support of Israel or that Israel does not have the right to exist. Far from it, But I am saying we need a much more balanced Middle East policy; for instance, we need to get Israel to be as adamant in its support of a Palestinian state as they expect the Arab nations to be in support of Israel’s right to exist – and perhaps if Israel were less recalcitrant, it would see less recalcitrance on the part of its neighbors.
Also, Gaza and Sinai were not part of the irignial agreement establishing the state of Israel. Both were taken by force with American military support and Israel should be required to renounce claims to both. Thes claims are as spurious as Iraq’s claims to Kuwait and we invaded Iraq for that one. I don’t think we sent troops to Gaza or Sinai to drive out the Israelis.
Finally, and this perhaps is the one change that will occur in my lifetime, we need to get rid of the “Crusader” mentality that has permeated US foreign policy in the Middle East under both Presidents named Bush, but especially Dubya. He sounds like Peter the Hermit and Pope Urban II all rolled into one. American foreign policy should not be based on a Christians versus infidels perspective. We are not divinely ordained to retake the Holy Land keep the pilgrimage sites open.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims, not matter how fundamentalist any of these three groups might be, all worship the same God. We all are children of Abraham. We all are children of the Book. No matter how much we all may differ politically and even theologically, we must always focus on this common bond, and remember that the differences are really raither superficial.
There has been a very long history of the interrelationships between the Children of Abraham It is time we put an end to those internecine rivalries and focused on our commonality. This is what God wants us to do – the God of Abramaham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. Contrary to what various fundamentalist “prophets” of dissension and violence may preach, YHWH, Jehovah and Allah are all the same God and all His worshippers belong to the same religion. We all are one family – the Children of God. Time we starting acting like it.
This was going to be a political essay; instead it turned into a sermon. So be it. Ot is appropriate that it became a sermon since the issues that separate Jews, Christians, and Muslims are coated with religious propaganda, religious distortions, and religious bigotry. I will probably get chastised by fringe elements from all three “religions.” Such is the life of a heretic, but I truly believe what I have said here, and truly believe that the road to the kingdom of heaven is closed to us until we accept the Oneness of God.
Selah and Amen! Shalon! Peace! Salaam!