Apr 14, 2003
When Saddam Hussein's statue was pulled down in Baghdad, there was a small celebration on the streets of Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn and the greater Detroit area is the center of the largest Arabic community in the U.S., including exiles from Iraq.
The celebration was featured in news headlines and front-page pictures throughout the U.S., even internationally. It seemed as though this whole community supported the U.S. war on Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though the people in the streets were obviously happy about the fact that Saddam Hussein fell, this does not mean that everyone agreed with the way the U.S. was conducting this war.
But the media doesn't seem much concerned about the truth. Previous demonstrations – larger ones, in fact – in this same community went largely unreported, or if reported, minimized. But, then, those demonstrations opposed the U.S. government's war on the people of Iraq. Others protested the racial profiling, surveillance and illegal detention of hundreds of ordinary Arabic people in the U.S.
Those demonstrations may have gone unreported. But not unnoticed! Some who dared attend the demonstrations received FBI phone calls, summoning them for questioning.
The media has been talking a lot about freedom and democracy lately – by which they apparently mean freedom to think as the government thinks and democracy as long as no one opposes the government.