The recent visit by U.S. President Bush to the Gulf evoked harsh reactions from Qatari columnists, who maligned Bush personally and castigated him over his policy. In their columns, they called Bush a "despised guest" and rejected his anti-Iran statements. They also stated that while the U.S. purports to represent democracy, peace and human rights, in reality it starts wars, employs terrorism against other countries, tramples human rights, and plunders the resources of other peoples.
The following are excerpts from the article.
"Bush – a Liar, Cheat, Murderer, and... Expert in Barbaric State Terrorism – Has Come to Ignite the Fire of Internal Strife [in Our Region]"
Columnist Huda Jad wrote in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, under the headline "Bush Issues Threats and Warnings... and We Keep Silent":
"[Bush] – a liar, cheat, murderer, and, even more than that, an expert in barbaric state terrorism – has come to ignite the fire of internal strife [in our region]. He is fanning the flames of civil strife in Palestine, craving bloodshed... [He seeks to generate] creative chaos out of which the so-called Jewish state will emerge, and in order to promote a package of American interests, most of which remain hidden!
"He comes disguised as a gentle dove seeking compromise, peace and an end to war – but he knows he is the fox that has drunk deeply of the blood of our children, the thief who has stolen the best lands in Iraq and who continues to plunder [this country]. He is the contractor [who employed] the gang of murderous thugs who slaughtered our children with their missiles... He hates Muslims and 'fascist' Islam, as he calls it!
"Why did Bush come to the Middle East? Why did [he come] – a representative of America, which guarantees the security of Israel and supplies all its military needs and advanced [military] equipment, while pressuring the Arab governments to the point where they can hardly breathe? [America,] which lavishes aid on Israel but is tight-fisted when it comes to other countries, and which shows its affection for its beloved [Israel] by humiliating, subordinating and robbing the Arabs...
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"Bush has come to the Middle East [to issue] a veiled or open threat, constantly repeating that Iran poses a danger to the security of the world. His statements may prompt us to ask him: 'If Iran is such a threat to world security, what can be said about America, which [is carrying out] a large-scale occupation plan to consolidate its reign of power, exploitation, robbery and plunder? [America] steals the wealth of [other] peoples and imposes its democracy of tanks, behaves thuggishly and employs state terrorism, attacks the defenseless with missiles – yet has the gall to speak about longed-for peace and about legitimate rights. What shall we say about democratic America, which has trampled people's rights and their humanity in the prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and in other secret [facilities] around the world, that are known to Bush, to his security apparatuses, and to the 'heroic' Arabs who collaborate with him?"
"The Very Skies of the Gulf Grew Pitch Black with Sorrow, in Protest Over the Visit By This International Leader of Terrorism"
In an article in the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Qatari columnist Muhammad Salah Al-Musaffir accused the U.S. of committing crimes against the Muslims and Arabs: "It would be no exaggeration to say that Bush's visit to the Gulf is the most loathsome visit, which evoked the widest [possible] objection among the public. The very skies of the Gulf grew pitch black with sorrow, in protest over the visit by this international leader of terrorism and perpetrator of the greatest crimes against the Muslim and Arab nation, known as George Bush Jr. As [Bush] traveled from one Gulf state to the other, the sky wept torrents of rain to wash away the shame and filth [left behind by] this despicable guest.
"So let me clarify and explain that the leaders may have rolled out the red carpet for him in the palaces and airports of the Gulf, and they may have given him a sword so that he can take part in the [traditional] Arab sword dance – a sword at which he stared without understanding its value in our culture, namely that it is the sword of truth against falsehood – but all this does not convince any of the Arab people, regardless of their political orientation, that [Bush] is a welcome guest. Our leaders displayed good hospitality, but not necessarily out of affection or respect for this despised guest...
"The history of the Bush family in our Arab homeland is a history of humiliation for us all. Bush Sr. destroyed Iraq in Desert Storm, and, regrettably, [he did so] first with Arab assistance and later with [the help of] Iranian aspirations. Bush Jr. came to complete the terrorist mission by occupying Iraq, and took [measures] unprecedented in history against its people, culture, unity and future. He terrorized our leaders and frightened them with [slogans of] democracy, reform and human rights. [As a result], the majority [of Arab leaders] tyrannized their people, persecuted them, and tortured them in the most despicable manner under the guise of fighting terrorism and its supporters – all this in order to appease the leader of international terror, George Bush Jr.
"While urging our leaders to respect human rights and democracy, he violates human rights in the most heinous and aggressive manner [imaginable]. The jails and detention camps inside and outside the U.S. are teeming with Arab and Muslim prisoners, and the television screens in the U.S. and the world have witnessed these inhuman crimes...
"Bush has come to the Gulf to frighten us about Iran... but we [wish to] pose a question to Mr. Bush: Who was it that strengthened Iran's [influence] in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon? Wasn't this [the result of your] stupid policy, of the arrogance and of your threatening [military] forces, and of your occupation of Iraq? You stated in your Abu Dhabi speech that the extremists in the region hate their governments because they refuse to consent to their dark ambitions. We would like to inform you and others in the West that the extremists in our Arab world, and other extremists [elsewhere] – if they hate their governments, it is because these [governments] are implementing your wishes and aggressive policies against our Arab and Muslim nation..."
"Democracy Is Not a Product that Can Be Imported and Exported"
In an article in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, columnist Husam Al-Dhawi assessed that nothing good would come of Bush's visit, and said that the U.S. cannot impose democracy on other countries: "U.S. President George Bush, who is visiting the region, is waving slogans of peace and democracy, but the only things that really interest him are protecting Israel and the oil... Much has been said about this visit, but nobody can hide the truth about what Bush [really] wants – which is to brush up his image in the final year of his presidency... That is why he has embarked on [wild] military escapades around the world, even though they reinforce the negative image of the U.S. [prevalent] among many nations, and deepen the crisis in his [own] country, from which he cannot extricate himself...
"We acknowledge that the Arab homelands are not sufficiently democratic. But we [also] know that democracy is not a product that can be imported and exported. [Moreover], there is no single model of democracy that should be emulated – [rather, democracy] is the result of internal political, cultural and social development. So it will not be the U.S. that will construct our democracy for us; any talk of this sort is nothing but a game of [empty] slogans. Bush talks a great deal, yet reality remains the same, and nothing changes..."