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CNN American TV carried scenes of Palestinians dancing in the streets at the news of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Grieving Americans were outraged. Is there more to this than meets the eye? CNN boasted that it was the last American TV news service to have a correspondent in Kabul. The next day it was announced that the Afghan government had asked him to leave.

Then the Iranian news service sent out this item: " Palestinian journalists have expressed outrage at faked reports by the American television network CNN showing Palestinian youths "celebrating" recent tragic events in the United States. Following meticulous scrutiny, the footage shown on CNN turned out to be footage dating back to the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when many Palestinians did indeed identify with Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein. The Palestinian Journalists' Association strongly condemned "CNN's journalistic treachery." "It is nothing short of a modern-day blood libel, when CNN falsely and maliciously tells the world that Palestinian youths are celebrating the death of thousands of innocent Americans. It is actually inciting the world to hate and kill Palestinians." In a statement released Monday, the association said the "abominable feat showed how vindictive and how hateful CNN can be, and how detached from journalistic ethics it is." The statement also demanded that the Palestinian Authority stop all forms of cooperation with CNN. From the very inception, Palestinians doubted the authenticity And credibility of CNN films to that effect. Palestinian officials actually complained to CNN about the repetitive showing of the films in question, but CNN officials refused to acknowledge their sin, saying only they would investigate the matter."

CNN does not seem to have denied the charge. It is plausible, given that US commercial television is mostly about ratings and revenue. I am wondering if CNN correspondent Christiana Amanpour had some part in this. Her father is Iranian and she knows the languages of the area. She may have incurred Iranian displeasure. In any case, American Arabs are very angry. They have been the target of repeated attacks, despite the requests of US leaders. US Zionists have a ready audience, but practically no one listens to them-. They view Congressmen like Tom Lantos as propagandists for the Israeli government.

They were enraged by a TV interview given by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke as though Israel were the innocent victim of Arab terrorists. He charged that Iran was trying to turn back a thousand years of history. They describe Israeli treatment of Palestinians as terrorism of the worst kind. The Zionists tried to turn history back more than a thousand years when Zionist terrorists like the Stern gang committed atrocities, like bombing the King David Hotel, and caused many deaths. The British gave its mandate back to the League of Nations. The Balfour Declaration stipulated that the Jewish home must not prejudice the prejudice the rights of non-Jewish communities,

Arabs recall the circumstances in which Truman recognized Israel. In St. Louis he had run in cooperation with a Jewish friend a haberdashery which went bankrupt. When the Israel question came up, Truman consulted him, and he persuaded Truman to recognize it. The Balfour Declaration was ridiculed, and from that stem all the present troubles. Until then, Jews had held a respected position in Arab countries.

My comment: I hate to say "I told you so", but having lived through all this I have long predicted that it would lead to serious trouble, possibly World War III. Since it is now commonly said that the world is at war, this is indeed World War III. We are now in the process of trying to unscramble eggs. Americans refuse to face the reality of the Arab world. Former Senator Warren Rudman, a highly respected member if the US Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, said he had attended a meeting in Sharm el Shaikh with Arab leaders of all kinds from all the Arab countries, not terrorists but responsible people, and they all expressed their hatred of the United States. He was puzzled and wondered why. It is the US they hate, not Western European countries, so it is not just envy, but the Israel question. The Bush government seems now to realize that and is moderating its Middle East policy accordingly.

The world is wondering now what course the US will follow. Many are concerned that the US may find itself in another Vietnam. When I watch TV scenes of the imposing US fleet heading for the area, I am reminded of the Spanish grand armada. I hope history does not repeat itself. Meanwhile, we can continue to weep over the innocent victims of the World Trade Center tragedy.

Ronald Hilton - 9/21/01