July - Sept 2004, Other

Weapons of Mass Destruction

By Ghadah Ali Gutierrez

It has recently been reported in the media that the alleged weapons of mass destruction that were the impetus for an entire war do not exist. While top U.S. officials, including the President himself, are busy trying to deflect the blame, the bottom line is, this war should not have been fought.

Since the very inception of George W. Bush’s term as President, it has been obvious to myself and other members of the Muslim Community that Bush’s sole purpose in getting elected was to finish what his daddy couldn’t, namely the capture of Saddam Hussein. It has been a personal vendetta that has cost untold lives, not only of Muslims, but of Americans and non-Americans as well.

Few know of George Bush’s policy of promising citizenship to Mexican nationals who fight in the war. Basically, if you fight for a country that is not yours and live to tell about it, you can apply for citizenship. Nearly every day the Spanish-language channels report on young men and women killed in the line of duty. Somehow, these losses are seldom reported on the American television channels. Just as Shoshanna Johnson’s contribution to the U.S. was all but ignored by the press in favor of Jessica Lynch, the non-reporting of the deaths of our non-citizen soldiers reeks of blatant racism.

While there is no denying that Saddam Hussein should have been removed from power, how can the President possibly rationalize spending billions of dollars and utilizing all of the resources of this country to engage in this war? The war against Iraq was and is, unnecessary. President Bush’s “War on Terrorism” has, from its inception been a thinly veiled excuse to further ravage already poverty-stricken Muslim countries. The few terrorists caught cannot possibly justify the number of innocent lives lost to his personal agenda. This is not a war on terrorism; this is George W. Bush’s revenge.

How many Muslims have had to register with the newly formed Dept. of Homeland Security? Why is this being perpetuated upon all Middle Eastern immigrants, yet not upon Europeans? Terrorists can come from any country, yet Bush has deliberately focused his efforts on countries with dark-skinned inhabitants.

Coincidentally right before an election year, George Bush decided to grant work visas to Mexican immigrants. Bush has consistently instituted policies detrimental to immigrants, both legal and illegal. His track record has not, in any way, indicated that he cares one whit for our brothers and sisters across the border. President Bush has done nothing to stop the senseless killings by ranchers in Arizona of illegal immigrants. To my knowledge, he has done nothing but tap dance around the issue. Additionally, he has consistently ignored the dangers immigrants face in crossing the deserts, he has not assisted nor supported any of the humanitarian organizations active in leaving water and food in the desert for the survival of immigrants. He has repeatedly snubbed Mexican President Vicente Fox’s attempts to engage in dialogue that would mutually benefit both countries. But now that an election is coming, suddenly George W. Bush is the friend of our raza!

Despite his frequent appearances on Spanish-language shows such as Sabado Gigante, George W. Bush does not care about Latinos, either in this country or in Mexico. The recent talks to provide work visas are nothing more than a pathetic re-election ploy. The likelihood of this plan actually being instituted is minimal, and the chances of it continuing past election year are even less.

I encourage all Muslims, both Latino and non-Latino to register to vote this election year. While in some circles, it is considered haram to vote for a non-believer, in this case, it may be the lesser of two evils. There are approximately 6 million Muslims citizens of the United States. If even a portion of the U.S. Muslims voted, it would perhaps be a substantial enough number to oust Bush and elect a president that would be more receptive to immigration reform and less receptive to bombing countries for the good-ole-boy fun of it. If all Muslims voted, it would be enough votes to ensure that this time, the election is conducted legally and fairly. It would be enough to ensure that someone more suitable would be in charge of running this country.

The bottom line is that we have to live in this country, and with Bush in power, our rights will continue to erode until we find ourselves in another holocaust situation. Our children and grandchildren have to live here as well; there is no guarantee that our current power-hungry president will not eventually eliminate our right to practice our own religion. George W. Bush has already been responsible for the deaths of at least ten thousand Iraqis. Don’t let him be responsible for any more killing! Please consider taking some responsibility in the political future of our country and get out and VOTE!