Munir Daair: Expendable Truths

By Munir Daair
Special to

Spin doctors thrive among the ignorant. They know most of us out there are so busy scratching the back of our heads we can’t tell if it’s potato or potatoe.

Check this out.

How many of us are familiar with the second Camp David meeting? The one Bill Clinton played god father signing on his presidential legacy. It’s amazing how the Middle-East has become the legacy building region for US presidents. Remember that nice guy from Georgia, Jimmy Carter and the first Camp David. He recently wrote a very telling book about how Israel is bullying the Palestinians and doesn’t want peace. Pity he didn’t listen during his presidency. Talk about hindsight being 20/20. Now we have another Middle East conference ala Bush and Condi just when they are about to leave office. Assuming Bush is leaving. I still have my doubts.

Anyway, back to our subject.

Spin doctors tell us Clinton and Barak gave Arafat a fantastic deal and Arafat rejected it. What they skip saying is how the deal divided Palestine into cantons controlled by Israeli checkpoints supervising Palestinian movement. Imagine having Chinese and German checkpoints in Delhi and London. The deal also denied Palestinians control of their borders and airspace. Palestinians’ water was to be rationed by the Israelis who could shut it down at will. Effectively, Arafat was asked to legitimize Israel’s occupation. Arafat was also required to sign away for all times all claims of Palestinians right of return to their lands. Ever heard of a leader’s right to sign away personal properties of his people? I don’t really know in which kangaroo court such a deal would stand when challenged by the property owner. Had Arafat signed the “fantastic” deal he would have had a Palestinian civil war in his hands, just like the one we have now with Abbas who seems willing to sign.

Spin doctors tell us Arafat just walked away without making counter proposals. What counter proposals? All those UN resolutions, negotiated Oslo agreements and the Madrid conference rejected by Israel and conveniently skipped by spin doctors are not enough?

Then there is the spin about Hamas’ coup. I can’t fathom the fish out there swallowing that spin line hook and sinker. Hamas is the legitimately elected government of Palestine with a parliamentary majority, stupid! Why would they overthrow Abbas? He hardly controls his Fatah party which, following Arafat’s “natural” death became a rejected dinosaur. Why would Hamas overkill a dinosaur? Contrary to the spin, it was Hamas’ elected government that was overthrown by Fatah using weapons supplied by Egypt and Israel, some Palestinian cabinet ministers and parliamentarians, including the speaker, are still jailed in Israel! Why? Because Hamas refuses, as a precondition to negotiations, to recognize Israel’s right to exist. No genius can spin around these simple questions: recognize Israel’s right to exist where exactly? On lands from where Palestinians were forcefully evicted? If Israel’s right to exist on Palestinian lands is conceded as a precondition for negotiations, then what are negotiations for? Nevertheless, Abbas will dutifully go to Bush’s peace conference to negotiate an agreement that, like Oslo, Madrid and all UN resolutions, Israel will later reject. Déjà vu! One Israeli government signs a deal that a subsequent Israeli government rejects. Thereafter negotiations give Israel further concessions and Palestinians end up in a never ending limbo. Isaac Shamir admitted in Madrid he didn’t come to reach agreement, just to negotiate endlessly. Golda Meir, when asked about Palestinians said, “They do not exist”! In the absence of Arab resolve, this has been Israel’s strategy. Meantime, Palestine will continue to burn, Bush, if he knows how, will write a hindsight memoir about Israeli bullying while we await another US president to build another legacy over more Palestinian and Jewish dead bodies.

Meanwhile spin doctors are busy spinning the “who killed Hariri” saga. Criminal investigators say, always check who benefited from the crime. Yet Syria, the biggest loser from Hariri’s murder, has been singled out for investigation. Other international players have not even been questioned. And the son, Saad Hariri, parroting spin doctors and the powers that be, hopes Syria bashing will be his ticket to power. Madame Franjieh eloquently described Saad saying, “He doesn’t remind me of his father at all”. Indeed. Rafiq Hariri was a giant, unfortunately moaned by dwarfs. So who benefited most from Rafiq’s murder? Do the arithmetic while we try to figure out the mother of all spins.

Iran’s Nuclear Bomb

Iran hasn’t attacked anyone in 2000 years; in 1953 the CIA overthrew an elected Iranian government and re-installed the Shah; Baradei, IAEA’s chief recently declared there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb; Israel has enough nuclear weapons to destroy Iran several times over and has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran. Despite all that, we have a handful of nations, all of whom repeatedly invaded other countries, are the world’s biggest arms sellers and nuclear weapons proliferators threatening Iran with a war that may embroil our region in untold amount of death and destruction. Yet spin doctors tell us that Iran is the culprit. Figure that one for me please.

Suddenly, Myanmar has amazingly come out of the woodworks. Again! Coming soon are Myanmar concerts at Hyde Park. But who is telling us about the human rights violations in Myanmar? The very nations who went on a worldwide spree of genocide and human rights violations, ostensibly protecting human rights! Human rights that allow kids to be picked up under “extraordinary rendition” [what a civilized expression, don’t you love it?] and jailed in some god forsaken part of the world, tortured by proxy and some killed because they appear middle-eastern.

Where spin doctors rule, truth is sacrificed, global peace and human life expendable. What remains are the narrow interests of roguish demagogues whose keyhole vision does not extend beyond the length of a bank note. Free speech, civil liberties and the right to know are a thing of the past even in places where these rights were once sacrosanct.

The only difference between the international juntas and the local ones is that the brutalities of the junta in Myanmar do not extend beyond their own borders.

-Munir Daair is a widely published political writer. He can be contacted at

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