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April 06, 2002
An open letter to George W. Bush

From Salim Hoss


Mr. President:

If this is what your glorification of freedom, democracy, and human rights implies; if the murder of human beings the terrorizing of children, the demolition of houses, precipitating bloodshed among the innocent, setting ablaze all means of livelihood, constitute your human values; if crushing a whole population, uprooting it from its terrain, dispersing it all over, are your supreme values; if those were your objectives in supplying Israel with weaponry and lavishly bestowing your money on it, thus conferring your political and moral support on its atrocities, hollow would be any values principles and objectives.

Down with the freedom you purportedly extol, down with the democracy you ostensibly espouse, down with the human rights you proclaim, should a recurrence of human calamity in Palestine be their outgrowth.

America is Israel s partner in massacring the innocent, the intimidation of children, the dissipation of earning assets and the disbanding of families. By what right does Israel extort Arab territories? By what right does an Israeli settle in a Palestinian s home? By what right may an Israeli determine other people s lives on a land not his own?

By what logic does the American president stand by as spectator, at times as instigator, as catastrophes unveil by force of American money and weapons and under the American political umbrella? By what logic does the American president keep silent vis-a-vis atrocious crimes perpetrated under the banner of a policy dwarfing the oppression of tyrants, the indulgence of aggressors, and the crushing force of arrogance?

You have opted, Mr. President, to be an ally of the slaughterer of the epoch, Sharon. So do not blame us if we cast his onus on you. In fact you have made yourself, whether purposely or inadvertently, an accomplice in his crimes. If America has ceased in our view to be as you claim that luminous torch of freedom democracy and human rights, you are in fact responsible for the stark transformation in our outlook. Israel is in reality exercising its belligerence by force of America s capabilities, renown and assets, all being in its name.

Those deplorable suicidal operations which you brand as terrorism have they not ever for a moment prompted you to ask yourself the question: Why would a young boy or girl be willing to sacrifice himself or herself with utter peace of mind and full determination? A population that harbors such a regrettable phenomenon and such an option is indeed determined not to surrender or kneel. The whole Arab nation stands wholeheartedly behind the Palestinian people in their strife for their basic rights. How do you label the phenomenon of a whole people standing ready to sacrifice half its numbers in struggle and martyrdom so that the other half will regain human dignity on its own land? We beseech God to inspire in you a moment of conscience and freedom away from the yoke of Zionist hegemony so that you may do justice to a people that does not aspire to anything further than freedom and dignity. Why would you insist on denying others certain basic rights which you are enjoying aplenty?

Salim Hoss is a former Prime Minister of Lebanon and MP

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