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 The War in Context
   alternative perspectives on the "war on terrorism"

Wider Arab protest movement takes root
Palestinian woes inspire activism in unlikely places

Howard Schneider, Washington Post, April 20, 2002

As the violence burns in the West Bank, it is not only college protests in Egypt or sporadic gunfire at Israeli soldiers from such groups as Hezbollah that demonstrate popular rage. It is groups of Arab women organizing blood donations, or benefit choral concerts and poetry readings in Amman and Beirut. It is telethons for Palestinian relief that have drawn an estimated quarter-billion dollars in cash, gold, cars and other donations, largely from places such as Kuwait and Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have close ties to the United States. It is not just Palestinian refugees up in arms in Lebanon and Jordan -- a standard sight -- or the canned and planned protests that the governments of Iraq and Syria stage when it suits them. It is Bahrainis in the usually placid Persian Gulf region attacking the U.S. Embassy, Kuwaitis whose 1991 liberation from Iraq no longer hinders them from burning the American flag and, perhaps most notably, the small knots of Saudi protesters given an unprecedented green light by their government to gather publicly.
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September 11 and the declaration of a "war on terrorism," has forced Americans to look at the World in a new light. No one can afford any longer to define the limits of their concerns by refusing to look beyond this nation's borders. If the freedom that every American cherishes, is not to become a freedom bound within a fortress, then every American will need to understand and respect the needs and concerns of the rest of the World. To this end, The War in Context invites anyone with interest and an open mind to listen to the critical discourse in which the policies and actions of the Bush administration are now being questioned. This debate, which is engaging inquiring minds inside and outside America, will hopefully inform the development of a sustainable new world order - a world order in which America is as much shaped by the World as is the World shaped by America.