BY DEBBIE MENON – A version of this article was first published in Khaleej Times

THE events that have unfolded in the past decade, we would never have thought would have occurred 10 years ago. Elements of changes in world power, focus upon the Middle East, battle cries of holy wars, nuclear threats, thousands of innocents taken in a single morning, and the list goes on.

Now, I am battling the impulse to generalize my anger at to “be prejudiced” against all Americans in general.

How can that be? I definitely know that most Americans are decent, good hearted, peaceful people who, while gullible perhaps, do not generally advocate the mass murder of others in the name of war on terror or war on anything. But in my emotions they are and my heart aches and I am angry at “Americans”.

If I, who has not directly suffered the loss of loved ones or the wanton destruction of her homeland, can feel such emotions, what about those closer to the conflict?

I was struck by an interview I watched on the BBC World News. A Lebanese woman was being interviewed, Zeina I think was her name. She described in heart wrenching detail the suffering of the Lebanese during the 2006 conflict with Israel. Nevertheless, when she was asked what she thought about the Israelis, She responded: “How can anyone put more value on one life over another? How can suffering be quantified? Of course, my heart goes out to the Israelis who have loved ones and who are living in fear as I am, and that’s why war is so terrible, because it harms everybody.”

I am not sure I could be so “Christian” if I were in her position. I do know that many Israelis work for peace and see Arabs as humans, etc, and not all Israelis support their government’s behavior. But, it is the US military and financial assistance to Israel that makes this conflict a much “bigger” and destructive act of hatred.

DeTocqueville once described America as a state of mind. I agree. That is the America I and the much of the world grew up believing in and reading about; an idyllic land, built upon ideals of freedom, equality of man, liberty and justice for all, those high and illustrious ideals of The Republic, reflecting the highest hopes and dreams of the glory of man.

But, as I grew older, I found that these were the Emperor’s false robes; that they covered a reality which fell short, far, far short of the ideal, if not exactly the antithesis of those ideals.

I am even more grievously outraged that America may have presented itself to the world as a defender and protector of man, when the richness of its false garments hid the jailor slaver. I now deplore and dislike what I see it has become, or has exposed itself for the “Raincoat Charlie” it has always been.

Might the ideal still be within the realm of achievability? I have my doubts. But, that is the way with ideals. And without them, we have nothing upon which to build hope.

The ugly nudity we see in America’s corpse today, is not the work of George Bush, the Republicans, nor the arrogant Americans, but is the product of its history. Neither is a root cause, they are but the effects of a long history. They are consequences.

As a corpse, the obvious becomes apparent; this thing is not growing or developing; it is corrupting, and the stench is becoming unbearable.

And, the fight they pursue, is it futile? Are they trying to beat life into a dead horse which never actually lived? Trying to beat a dream into reality? By doing so, are they perhaps forging what was a lovely and idyllic dream into a nightmare?

Civilian home bombed in Afghanistan

There is something which looks much like a war going on in Afghanistan… at least a lot of, or too many people are dieing in violent ways, and a great many of them have had their homes knocked or blown down. There seem to be a lot of foreigners involved, which probably has something to do with all of this.

How did it happen? How did the leaders of the “free world” become complicit in ethnic cleansing, murder and mayhem?

I have no answers. Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author distinctly elucidates in a nutshell:

“The United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of US benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists. Normally, the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret. “

Again, the question is, of course, do their children know the history?

“Mass movements do not usually rise until prevailing order has been discredited. The discrediting is not an automatic result of the blunders and abuses of those in power, but the deliberate work of men of words with a grievance.” – Eric Hoffer, The True Believer.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift a Navy lawyer, recently responded to a question by describing America in the same terms; an America undefined by racial, religious, ethnic or cultural circumstance, by geographic boundary, or cultural identity when he said; “America is a mix of every people in the world.  …Our territory is not homogenous.  What we are fixed by are our ideals.  That’s basically what America is.  We are a set of principles.  If we lose sight of those principles, then we lose sight of America.”

Debbie Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Her commentary has been published widely in Print and Online publications. She can be reached at: debbiemenon@gmail.com.  For  more go to : My Catbird Seat and visit her page:  Hello Debbie.


  1. Earlaiman on the 27. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    As I have stated earlier, and elsewhere, every soldier goes off to war armed and armored with various ideals and values worth fighting, killing and perhaps dieing for.

    These ideals are usually the first losses as soon as he goes into combat, right alongside the friend from boot camp who suddenly drops in a mess of blood and broken flesh alongside him.

    The world is never the same again for those who survive this combat.

    Today, with instant, detailed and often graphic and bloody exposure to every event in every corner of the world, to every lie being told or made-up about that event, the entire world is a battlefield, and everyone a soldier,

    Very few of the old mythical ideals are going to survive. We are going to have to learn to live with ourselves as we actually are, or change.

    I would suggest we start thinking about changing soon if we intend to survive as a civilized community of people.

    Some of of the value upon which we build our ideals and standards of acceptable social conduct simply do not seem to be consistent or compatible with survival of man as a viable earthly organism.


  2. rexw on the 27. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    “That’s basically what America is. We are a set of principles. If we lose sight of those principles, then we lose sight of America.”

    Well, if that is so, then they have lost sight of America because the principles have been eroded, so eroded that they may never recover.

    The mantra of double-speak has become the hypocrisy by which US governments have fooled the voting public for years. When the cheering is all over after an inauguration, Presidents go into survival mode. How little do I need need to do to survive until the next election. What decisions must I avoid to satisfy the lobbies that put me into power?

    In the case of the greatest disappointment in recent memory, Obama has satisfied the first criteria by having done nothing in the middle east except to say that the Gaza (Palestine) situation is ‘unsustainable’. About as worthy a comment in his life as Commander-in-Chief as his pathetic Secretary of State Clinton on the expansion of Jewish housing on the Left Bank as “unhelpful” giving her the award for ‘the master of overstatement’.

    Easier, of course, to satisfy the second criteria and that is to keep obeying the dictates of Israel from which Obama has not varied one iota.

    So it is not a case of losing sight of those principles but more properly stated it is a case of not having had any principles in the first place.

    So if this is as good as it gets, as much of a statesman as we are ever likely to see from the current incumbent, a one-term resident in Emanuel’s House, then things will just go on as they have been.

    Now that is definitely a case of a whole country being fixed by the ideals of one man who to date has subscribed to all the evil ideals of a foreign, hated state.

    And each day it continues, as before.

  3. Anthony Lawson on the 27. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    In this thoughtful article, Debbie Menon has captured the essence of what is wrong with the United States. If one could sum that up in a single word, I would choose: Apathy.

    Debbie rightly states that most Americans are decent, good hearted, peaceful people who, while gullible perhaps, do not generally advocate the mass murder of others in the name of war on terror or war on anything. I am not arguing with that statement, when I say that the truth is that they may not advocate the mass murder of others, but they certainly do very little to prevent it. I am looking at the statement from another perspective, which is that they ignore what is being done in their collective names.

    If we see a bus bearing down on a child who is just stepping off the curb, most of us would do all we could to prevent that child from coming to any harm. Yet Americans are made fully aware, on a daily basis, what their tax dollars and their military are doing to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and they must be aware of the new war-drums beating for a march against Iran, yet they will not reach out a hand, as they would towards an endangered child standing right beside them, to stop the carnage which they must know is going on, and will get even worse unless they do something to put a stop to the wild and murderous excesses that their own government, the people they have voted into office, are carrying out on a daily basis.

    My instinct is not to be friendly towards Americans, in general, for this reason. They must know what is going on, so they are just as guilty as we all would be if we did not try to stop any harm coming to an innocent little child standing right beside us.


    A GENOCIDAL ISRAELI CONTROLLED CYST ON THE BRAIN OF MANKIND, One that the festering wounds of the world all emerged from once the U.S. demonstrated to Stalin that it had nuclear weapons and wasn’t afraid to use them on innocent civilians in Japan in two cities with no military importance of any kind.

    America is a wealth grubbing, thieving band of Israeli gypsies, hunkered down in a base camp in the woods, living off stolen hubcaps and slot machine change.

    America is a militaristic, spoiled brat that sees the world as one more place to rape, pillage, and destroy, for the Almighty Dollar or Shekel.

    America is a puppet, a blood dripping, oil oozing, festering wound on the psyche of the rest of the world, it is a pelican tapping an S.O.S. on the hull of a ship, asking; “why are you killing me???”

    America is a blight on the planet, as is it’s master, Israel.

    America is dying, and thankfully, it’s coming at a time when it’s handler, Israel, too, is dying.

    Not a moment too soon, this death. Will the planet ever be able to live without the extreme maniacal hubris and greed of Israel and America???

    one can only hope, one can only hope..

  5. Robert H. Stiver on the 28. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    This is a great, reflective, philosophical essay by Debbie Menon. Today, I am ashamed to be an American, complicit by my very acquiescence in the worst of its “bad side” atrocities. If only there were politicians, academicians, journalists, clergypersons, common citizens who had enough intelligence and human decency to take Debbie’s words into deeper and mainstream levels….

    As always, based on my exposure to the Arabic language and culture a long 46 years ago, my mind, heart and soul grieve most for the hapless people of Palestine, under siege and endangered by the toxic combination of Zionist criminal psychosis and the co-dependent enabling of its wholly owned subsidiary, “my” America.

  6. Ivan.New Zealand on the 28. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    Cowardise is the problem.No people that sit on their fat arses murdering Pakistani children by remote control can be considered “Human”.

  7. Patricia Blair on the 29. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    America’s Independence Day is July 4th. I don’t celebrate it anymore, for in essence we are all immigrants, occupying by ethnic cleansing. I have just written my opinion to Civil Beat. The Constitution of the United States; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men(women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Nice words written by my ancestors but not upheld. If one is to condemn, one would have to condemn citizens in all countries would they not? Perhaps it would be better to focus on what we want, show examples of a better way to exist. Peace to all!

  8. rexw on the 29. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    I agree with the fact that there are a lot of things that need changing, Patricia, and many of us are trying to address those things as time allows.
    I guess we all have to have enough confidence to realise that the insidious going on’s in places like Washington and the ownership of your elected representatives by the Zionists, just cannot continue, not because the Zionists will lose control of their tainted media, or that Fox News will start to tell the truth or that the NYT will realise that there are two sides in the Middle East, but because we will persevere and make the apathetic peoples of the US realise, over time, that their country has been hijacked, badly and needs to return to the rightful owners.

    But even collectively, we do not own media groups, just computers that hook us into a communication tool (when the Zionists have not taken us off the air by internet piracy) as today.
    It is all we can do other than wait as I said above, for the people to see the Israeli lobby for what it is, a fifth column spy network in the belly of the US, working for the destruction of your way of life and mine and everyone else as well.

    So it’s hoping and working towards the wake up call that needs to be made before Israel and its mad dog attitudes run amok with any one of 250 nuclear warheads because it doesn’t know what else to do, how to communicate with other humans beings, such is the nature of the beast. It is suffering from psychotic criminality which means Palestinian deaths, destruction, child killing, expansion of land grabs, apartheid and cruelty beyond measure.

    Israel has had 60 years to realise that there is a ‘better way to exist’.
    They have chosen not to do this and because they have the US over a self-generated barrel, called subservience, they are having some success. But, it has to end, Patricia, for the sake of all the world.

  9. Debbie on the 29. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    “Israel has had 60 years to realize that there is a ‘better way to exist’.
    They have chosen not to do this and because they have the US over a self-generated barrel, called subservience, they are having some success. But, it has to end, Patricia, for the sake of all the world.” Amen.

    The Israeli recipe for dealing with the world: “If force does not work, use more force.”
    Turkey is the Key
    By Israel Shamir

    Israel will drag the US and the rest of the world into conflict and war with everyone else who dares oppose Israel.
    Israel must be stopped by force or whatever it takes to stop it. This cannot be allowed to continue.


  10. nothing short of insurrection and overthrowing it will END IT on the 29. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    At the risk of being called an ‘agent provocateur’ like one of the other Catbird authors once called me for my post, I am going to state for the record that the ONLY WAY TO RESTORE LIBERTY is to do what was dictated years ago; “occasionally the TREE OF LIBERTY must be watered with the blood of Patriots and TYRANTS!!”

    It’s kind of that time again, they won’t leave voluntarily unless we do exactly what was done in Iceland and ENCIRCLE THEM!!!!

    At that point, if they still decide to defy us and stay put, then we put fire hoses into the air shafts to the basement, and drown them all there.

    I have no aversion to doing whatever is necessary to RESTORE LIBERTY to this country, inclusive of taking it to the extreme that nobody wants to talk about.

    If they don’t understand John F. Kennedy’s words; “Those who make Peaceful revolution possible, make VIOLENT REVOLUTION INEVITABLE..”

    He was right then, and those words are right today.

    Either we throw them the f*ck out, or we are forever doomed to suffer at their merciless hands.

    In the aftermath of such a revolution, it should be noted that NEVER AGAIN as zionist jews always use, SHALL ISRAELI or ANY NATION’S DUAL CITIZENS HOLD POWER IN OUR GOVERNMENT EVER AGAIN!!

    And if we don’t make it punishable by FIRING SQUAD, then we are doomed to repeat this over and over again for no good reason I can think of.

    The time is now. We must act and we MUST THROW THEM ALL OUT OF OFFICE, and if necessary (per Iceland, it can work peacefully) by FORCE!!!!

  11. robertsgt40 on the 30. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    All great nations point throughout history at some point, are subverted. My country, the U.S., is no different. There is a “power behind the throne” that eventually destroys that nation. It is a cancer that has always killed the host nation. England, Spain, the Greeks, the Romans, all were subverted. It is financial, economic, political and social in nature. When folks finally objectively examine the facts, they will find the common cause.

  12. Jay C. on the 19. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    AMERICA is WAR !!! http://www.ANTIWAR.com

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