Harkin: Muslims Were “Basically on Our Side” After 9/11, Until Bush Squandered All That Good Feeling
Tom Harkin can “understand the frustration” of Hugo Chavez, who called George W. Bush “the devil.” Harkin adds:
We tend to forget that a few days after 9-1-1 thousands, thousands of Iranians marched in a candlelight procession in Teheran in support of the United States. Every Muslim country was basically on our side. Just think, in five years, President Bush has squandered all that.
This story reports:
[T]he West Bank town of Nablus, Palestinians cheered and distributed candy to passers-by, and Iraqi television played a patriotic song that began “Down with America!” as it showed the World Trade Center towers collapsing.
As this link shows, Palestinians celebrated in Lebanon:
Dozens of Palestinian refugees today fired into the air with joy at news of apparent anti-US terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, AFP correspondents witnessed.
Guerillas in military fatigues from various factions fired assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades into the air in the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp at the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, one correspondent said.
Camp residents, some still in pyjamas, interrupted afternoon rest to rush down to the streets and fire assault rifles into the air, they said.
At the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Palestinian fighters also went out to the streets as soon as they heard the news from their television sets to fire into the air with joy, an AFP correspondent said.
As did Lebanese:
“We’re ecstatic. Let America have a taste of what we’ve tasted,” said Ali Mareh, a Lebanese resident of Beirut.
“People are happy. America has always supported terrorism. They see how the innocent Palestinian children are killed and they back the Zionist army that does it. America has never been on the side of justice,” said Samir, a Lebanese.
Palestinians celebrated in East Jerusalem:
Palestinians who have often burned U.S. flags in protests during their 11-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation also celebrated in the streets of Arab East Jerusalem.
“I feel I am in a dream. I never believed that one day the United States would come to pay a price for its support to Israel,” said Mustafa, a 24-year-old Palestinian gunman.
Several dozen Palestinian youths gathered in Arab East Jerusalem to celebrate as well, honking out wedding tunes on their car horns. “We are so happy that America was hit. America is against us in supporting Israel,” Suleiman, one of the demonstrators, said.
Columnists were thrilled in Egypt:
Ahmad Murad, a columnist for the Nasserist weekly Al-Arabi, wrote, “In all honesty, and without beating around the bush: I am happy about [what happened to] America; I am happy about the great number of American dead.
. . . .
Acting Al-Arabi editor, Abd Al-Halim Qandil also insisted on his “rights,” saying: “Yes, we have the right to rejoice. This was the first step in a thousand-mile journey towards defeating America by a knockout.” Al-Arabi columnist Nur Al-Huda Zaki wrote: “I cannot hide my feelings; I cannot restrain my joy . . .
. . . .
Al Usbu’ columnist Muhammad Mustagab related what he felt as he watched the airliners crash into the World Trade Center: “[Those moments of] exquisite, incandescent hell were the most beautiful and precious moments of my life.”
Perhaps this crushing blow, and the scenes of jubilation from around the Third World, will act as a humbling experience once the dust has settled.
A Syrian writer described his feelings of ecstasy:
I felt like someone delivered from the grave; my lungs filled with air and I breathed in relief, as I’d never breathed before.
But he ultimately decided it was a bad thing that innocents died because of U.S. government policy (although hey! at least we got some
I can swear that among the victims in and around the World Trade Center are some who do not deserve mercy, because they belong to the suckers of the blood of the peoples. But a man cannot rejoice at the misfortune of others, or hate in light of the loss of life. My humanity, that the American and Zionist policy tried to numb and contaminate, ultimately conquers the hatred and enmity, and stands by mankind…
Well, good for him, then.
How could Bush squander all that?