A few weeks ago, Donald Sensing
posted an excellent article
by one Fawaz Turki, an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq who has since adopted a "revisionist view" of the conflict:
At issue here is whether the Iraqi people have benefited from the overthrow of the Baathist regime and whether the American occupation will eventually benefit their country even more. I'm convinced - and berate me here from your patriotic bleachers, if you must - that what we have seen in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates in recent months may turn out to be the most serendipitous event in its modern history. ...
Washington may not succeed in turning Iraq into a "beacon of democracy" but it will succeed, after all is said and done, in turning it into a society of laws and institutions where citizens, along with high-school kids, are protected against arbitrary arrest, incarceration, torture and execution.
Intrigued by Turki's commendable self-critical attitude, I looked up some of his other writings. To be sure, he has been a relentless critic of US foreign policy, but he does appear to have a good understanding of America and it's virtues as well. He lays this out in his article Only in America, Folks
No, I said, the relentless criticism that he has been reading in my column over the years is of American politics - or more accurately American foreign policy - not the American political system. When he began to carp about "Jewish power" on the Hill, I explained that when Arab-Americans, along with Muslim Americans, one day become smart enough, organized enough and influential enough to exercise their constitutional right to lobby Congress effectively, as the Jewish community is doing today, which is what the whole shebang of "Jewish power" is about, then I'll take my hat off to them.
There's nothing sinister or arcane about the process. Organize your community, get the votes out, and lobby your leaders, demanding that they represent your interests. Then sit back and see how the system will work for you.
It is an excellent article and he makes a point I've long thought obvious, but have rarely seen - that Muslim Americans need to "one day become smart enough, organized enough and influential enough to exercise their constitutional right to lobby Congress effectively, as the Jewish community is doing today." Fawaz Turki is a critic of my country, yes, but he is a reasonable critic who makes valid points and does not respond with reflexive hatred of all things American. Check out his stuff
, it's good reading...