[Marxism] Bush's Publicity Stunt w/ Iraqi "War Opponent" Turns Out To Be So Much Sand....

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Mon Jan 23 12:52:20 MST 2006

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Riad Elsolh Hamad 
  To: letters at statesman.com 
  Cc: Raid Mohammad 
  Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 2:14 PM
  Subject: [AL-AWDA] To the Editor, Bush meets a crowd of one Iraqi man from Austin in support of the war?

  To the Editor:
  I read with much amusement the article below regarding the visit of Mr. Raid Mohammad a " former Iraqi" and his meeting with president George Bush.  Mr. Mohammad claims that he was against the war and that he spends most of his time writing emails about the plight of the people in Iraq.  Besides, Mr. Mohammad said that he asked president Bush for " transparency in Iraq" whic h is hilarious considering the Bush administration and its secretive and illegal actions in the United States.
  Many of the members of the Arab and Muslim community in Austin know Mr. Mohammad a staunch supporter of the war from its inception and even went to the extent of chasing the peace activist on the street and asking them to go home from demonstrations against the war back in 2003.  Also, Mr. Mohammad strikes his listeners as being a rabid anti Arab and anti Muslim who thrives on creating divisions in the community to spread his highly suspicious ideas. In other words, he is a liar.
           We have known Mr. Raid for years as a very charged person who will not hesitate to disrupt meetings to intimidate his listeners and provoke them into a hate filled arguments. Several members of the community and myself were approached by Mr. Mohammad in several demonstrations in Iraq and tried to influence us to put down the flag of Iraq that we held and to support the war.  We have a concern that Mr. Mohammad is nothing but a fifth column American since he claims that he is not an Iraqi anymore.  Also, we have a concern that this meeting with Mr. Bush was nothing more than a public relations campaign by the Bush administration to polish its image after the Iraq war fiasco and using the Austin American through Raid Mohammad to do so. I would urge you to investigate this further to avoid having the A ustin American being uses as other media outlets in the United States to support an illegal and immoral war.  The administration must be desperate to have a one man Iraqi crowd to improve the moral and blind people with stories of fictitious victories in Iraq. support the war in Iraq.
  Riad Elsolh Hamad
  Austin, Texas 
  p.s Mr. Raid Mohammad is being copied on this email to give him the opportunity to challenge the fact that he used to approach Arabs in demonstrations and tell them go home and 
  Bush meets with victims of Saddam
  Austin Iraqi delivers letter to president warning of worsening problems in Iraq.
  By Tara Copp
  Thursday, January 19, 2006
  WASHINGTON - Raid Mohammad, a former Iraqi who lives in Austin, has spent the past three years writing to "anybody I could get an e-mail address for" about the problems in postwar Iraq. 
  On Wednesday, the man who once opposed the war found himself seated next to President Bush in the White House Roosevelt Room. There, Bush listened to Mohammad and a dozen other Iraqis who were victims of Saddam Hussein's regime. 
  Rick McKay 
  (enlarge photo)
  Raid Mohammad, left, of Austin warned President Bush on Wednesday: 'I can see, and I can feel, that some of those who were brutalized by Saddam have started to be nostalgic for the days of Saddam. The meeting's purpose was to highlight Saddam's brutality and underscore the need to finish his trial, which is scheduled to resume Tuesday. Mohammad used the opportunity to hand the president a letter. 
  In three pages, he warned Bush that security and quality of life in Iraq have worsened to the point that there's a rising nostalgia for the former dictator.   "The scariest thing in the three years (since the war) is that I can s ee, and I can feel, that some of those who were brutalized by Saddam have started to be nostalgic for the days of Saddam," Mohammad said. 
  Mohammad, 48, has lived in Austin since 1994 and is an American citizen. For the past few years, writing about and researching the war have consumed him, and he has traveled back to see his old home. 
  "I don't even have time to earn a living," he said, adding that he relies on his wife's income. When the White House on Friday invited him to meet with Bush, he reached out to relatives and friends living in Iraq to write the letter. 
  Bush met with the Iraqis for an hour and then made a brief statement. He took no questions but said the United States remains committed to staying in Iraq until it is secure. 
  Although Mohammad originally opposed the war, he supports seeing it through, only with more transparency from the administration. He said he was not surprised that the White House asked him to come to Washington. 
  "I think the president is trying to accommodate more than just the one-sided view," Mohammad said. "And I think that my campaign of letters - who knows? It put me on the map somehow." 

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