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True Reflections

March 7, 2006

— RIGHT

— side — — — —

MIKE GREEN

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When we look in the mirror we see ourselves as others see us. For me it is always a time for close scrutiny and criticism. It is when I am in front of the mirror that I am highly motivated to firm up those areas that need it, lose that extra weight I don't need, and resolve to get back in the gym as soon as possible.

But I don't spend all of my time in front of a mirror. And the motivations that arise &

stimulated to the surface of my psyche by my reflection &

can easily wane as I go about my busy day. And often (all too often) I find myself failing to prioritize the time to exercise on a regular basis. And without that exercise, the mirror continues to remind me that there are consequences.

It is that true reflection which provides genuine insight. And when we take a truthful look at our national reflection we can begin to see ourselves as others around the world see us.

Certainly we can put on a good face and be on our best behavior when we travel overseas or anywhere outside of the country. But the truth is that the United States isn't perceived by the world according to the antics of one highly impressive American or an idiotic one. The rest of the world views America through the decisions and actions of our government.

And if we take a very careful look at our government, we very well may not like what we see.

This is the problem the rest of the world has &

and it is tough for me when I hear the words of those who are deemed enemies of our government and they make more sense than those leaders we elect to represent us.

Case in point: The Associated Press published a story on Sunday where it quoted Ayman al-Zawahiri, purportedly the number two man in the al-Qaida organization. Al-Zawahiri said, "In the eyes of the West, they have the right to occupy our land, rob our wealth and then insult us and our religion, and humiliate our Qu'ran and our prophet (prayers be upon him). After that they give us lessons in freedom, justice and human rights."

When we gaze into the mirror of history, we find a true reflection that shows us al-Zawahiri is correct.

1953 &

The CIA launched Project Ajax in conjunction with British Intelligence. Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Teddy, cousin of FDR) led a covert operation specifically designed to undermine and remove from power the democratically elected leader of Iran.

Neither the U.S. nor Britain feared Islam when they conspired to control the oil flowing from the spigots of Iran in 1953. The British had even sued Iran in international court over control of its oil ... and lost. It was in the aftermath of losing that lawsuit that they desired the assistance of the U.S. government in going to war with Iran.

If the historical mirror holds the truth, then surely the U.S. and British were found lacking any moral ground in the actions taken against Islam in 1953.

1979, February &

The Iranian people were finally successful, after numerous revolutions, in ousting the U.S.-installed Shah, who ruled the country with an iron fist. History reveals that upon ushering the Ayatollah into leadership, there was no backlash against the U.S. or its diplomats living in the embassy in Tehran. In fact, the Ayatollah issued an edict that no one should harm the Americans. It appears that Islam wasn't quite the villianous violent religion the propaganda promotes.

1979, November &

President Jimmy Carter extends access to the Shah to come to the U.S. and students in Tehran react by capturing the U.S. Embassy, ironically the very place where Roosevelt had planned and carried out a coup of the Iranian government decades prior. The students demand that Carter release the Shah into Iranian custody to be held for numerous atrocities he committed while protected in power by the U.S. from 1953 to 1979. Additionally, the students wanted an apology from the United States.

It is apparent that Carter had to make a decision to either turn over a tyrant, that Human Rights organizations worldwide accused of being one of the top offenders of human rights during his reign, or risk losing the lives of innocent Americans. Carter chose to risk the lives of innocent Americans, claiming that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists.

The mirror of history reveals that Carter set the tone by calling the students terrorists. He dismissed their legitimate complaint and used his bully pulpit to paint the angry Iranians as crazed religious fanatics. Once again, history favors Islam in its confrontations with the west.

1980, January &

Less than three months from the date of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Carter stated in his State of the Union address that the entire Middle East region contained two-thirds of the world's oil reserves and represented "vital U.S. interests" for which we would use any means necessary to protect, including use military force. The historical mirror shows that the only country in the Middle East that the U.S. could lay claim to controlling oil flow from at that time was Iran ... which was lost after the fall of the Shah.

Carter's declaration, thereafter known as the "carter Doctrine," set the tone and the foundation upon which every American president since would make decisions.

Al-Zawahiri stated that the U.S. believes it has the right to occupy Muslim lands, rob Muslims of their wealth and insult them and their religion. The mirror reveals we did that much and more.

The U.S. befriended known tyrants, such as the Shah and Iran's next door neighbor, Saddam Hussein.

1980, September &

Iraq invades Iran. Only months after Carter's declaration of war, the U.S. assists Iraq in an all-out invasion of its neighbor. We would provide weapons of mass destruction to Hussein during the war. The world moved to sign a measure condemning such an invasion, but it was blocked by a permanent member of the UN Security Council. That member was you and me ... the United States.

1980 - 88 &

More than one million Muslims would die, nearly 2 million would be injured, and millions displaced in an eight-year war where it was discovered the U.S. and Israel worked together to assist Iran, even while the U.S. pretended to be the friend of Iraq.

At this point in history, the U.S. has pitted two Muslim nations against one another and paved the way for millions of Muslims to be severely impacted while the U.S. casually makes decisions that are based upon a foundation of economic pursuits in the region.

The mirror continues to favor the Muslims and provide a picture of a very powerful nation in the west that resorted to murder and mayhem in an effort to strategically manipulate world events in its favor.

1990, July 25 &

The U.S. continues to seek friendship with Saddam Hussein, despite knowledge of his use of chemical weapons, the oppression of various peoples in Iraq and his violent tendencies taken out on Iraqis ad nauseam. The mirror shows a very arrogant, heartless and sinister U.S. government seeking to take advantage of an arrogant, heartless, violent leader. There is no honor among thieves.

1990, Aug. 2 &

Iraq invades Kuwait. The U.S. screams to the world that Iraq is a threat to the entire planet.

1990, October 30 &

The U.S. calculates how it will invade Iraq, based upon the premise that Kuwait needs to be liberated. Over the course of the next 15 years, more than 10 million people would be slaughtered in places like Rwanda, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and other regions that would be ignored by the very same power that focused its attention like a laser upon Iraq.

1991 &

The U.S. would convince Saudi Arabia, the very seat of Islam itself, to allow us to use its lands to "liberate" Kuwait. The U.S. promises not to use Saudi Arabia's holy lands as a staging ground to invade another Muslim country. When the smoke cleared, the U.S. had sent 500,000 troops into the headquarters of Islam and used that nation to invade Iraq, where it would set up military control over the northern and southern regions on a permanent basis.

1993 &

The Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that influences more than 70 Muslim groups worldwide, and the same organization that called for the defense of Afghanistan against Soviet aggression (1979-89), launched its first strike against the "Great Satan that speaks with forked tongue." The World Trade Center Towers were bombed. The U.S. government was warned to leave the Middle East.

1995 &

The U.S. air base in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia was bombed. The U.S. government was warned to leave the Middle East.

1996 &

The U.S. air base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was bombed. The U.S. government was warned to leave the Middle East.

1998 &

Simultaneous bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The U.S. government was warned to leave the Middle East.

2000 &

The USS Cole was bombed in Yemen. The U.S. government was warned to leave the Middle East.

2001 &

Simultaneous attacks on the economic, defense and political headquarters of the U.S. were launched. The U.S was warned to leave the Middle East.

The American citizenry was shocked as it was afforded its first real glance into an ongoing war between the U.S. government and Islamic forces. We were told this was the beginning. We were told there was no rationale for such an unprovoked attack upon innocent citizens of the United States. But what we weren't told was that ordinary citizens weren't the target of this attack. Rather, it was a military strike. And like military strikes that our government launches against others, civilians are often casualties. We call it collateral damage.

We were warned that our government was involved in clandestine operations globally and within the Middle East that the American people truly needed to learn about, scrutinize and put a stop to. Instead, we gave Carte Blanche to our government to do what it pleased.

Instead of the U.S. leaving the Middle East it decided to delve deeper into it. Today, both Afghanistan and Iraq are under U.S. control. Meanwhile, in the past week alone, several articles have appeared in British newspapers claiming that senior military officials are seeking a method of complete withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan by the summer of 2008.

The mirror of history reveals that at each fork in the road, the U.S. chose to act aggressively toward Muslims and their lands, while disrespecting sovereign powers in the Middle East, causing millions of deaths and blaming Islam itself for the problems created by leaders in the White House and Pentagon.

That doesn't mean Islam has a clean slate. The mirror also has some painful revelations about Muslims as well. But in relation to the conflict between Islam and the United States, the mirror of history is clear ... we are the aggressors. We initiated the problems. We made decisions based upon an unadulterated pursuit of wealth and power.

And in looking in the mirror, we are supposed to evaluate ourselves, scrutinize our own body and determine where our flaws are and correct them.

If the criticisms we hear about us are true, then pointing the finger at others and blaming them in one way or another for the problems we create isn't an adequate solution.

Our government doesn't measure up to the standards we hold ourselves to in our individual lives. The methods in which we spend money, exercise power and interrelate with others ought to be reflected in the methods employed by our government. But, unfortunately, those who we consider our enemies have provided us with the mirror of truth in their criticisms.

And it is time we began to consider correcting our government's behavior here at home and abroad, or find ourselves suffering the consequences that the mirror indicates is in store unless we change our ways.

Look around the globe and survey the 192 recognized nations of the world. In 135 of them you will find a total of nearly 400,000 U.S. military troops. Great Britain, in all of its imperialistic ways, can only boast 35,000 forward deployed troops. It is the nation with the second-most deployed troops in multiple countries around the globe. France is next with 28,000. Russia has 17,000.

Check out the Islamic countries. Check the facts inherent in the numbers and strengths of the Arab military. See which countries are encroaching upon others around the globe. Iran, in all of its history, has never been a threat to the United States. Put all of the Arab states together and tiny Israel could take care of them alone.

Where is the threat?

The U.S. sits stop the planet pretending that every movement must be squashed because it is a potential threat to our dominion.

The Roman Empire, in all its majestic glory in its greatest moment in time, could only wish to have had the power and might contained in the empire of the United States. And when oppressed peoples around the globe complain to the American people that our government is out of control, instead of circling the wagons, accusing others of hating us for no reason, we ought to take a good, long, hard look at the numerous secret agencies within our government structure, as well as the decisions our government makes ... and the basis upon which it makes them.

After all, if this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, then why are the people continually kept in the dark?

The answer: because we choose the dark. We cannot see the mirror of truth surrounded by darkness.

To respond to this column send email to mgreen@dailytidings.com. Only those responses containing the writer's name, city and phone number (for verification purposes only) will appear on our site. Mike Green is an award-winning columnist and author of, "The WHOLE truth about the U.S. War on Terror: answers to every question you never knew to ask

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— RIGHT Side

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