Cheers To Jeers In Kuwait

Kuwaitis Angry Over Afghanistan, Israel

Streets and buildings – even children – in Kuwait have been named for former President George Bush, who sent U.S. troops to rescue the country from Iraqi invaders a decade ago.

But Kuwaitis won’t be naming anything for Bush’s son, the current president, 60 Minutes Correspondent Mike Wallace reports.

In a recent visit to the Arab nation, Wallace finds that the same Kuwaitis who cheered George Bush Sr. in a 1993 parade are now denouncing President George W. Bush’s policy of bombing in Afghanistan and support for Israel. Wallace’s report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“These are totally different issues here,” a student at Kuwait University tells Wallace. “You can’t ask us to support you for what [the U.S.] is doing in Afghanistan just because you supported us,” he says.

That man is just one of a classroom full of students, almost all of whom are against the bombing. Most of the students also are not convinced that Osama bin Laden is responsible for the terror attacks against the U.S. and think the American media is anti-Arab.

“The media is controlled by Jews in America…They have money, so they control all the financial…They’re strong lobbyists…That’s why there is hate in the media for Arabs,” he tells Wallace.

Even members of the Kuwaiti government openly criticized the U.S. bombing campaign. Dr. Nasser Al Sane, who heads the Kuwaiti-American friendship committee and is a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, persuaded half his colleagues in the parliament to condemn the bombing.

He tells Wallace, “To kill the entire country to try and find a single person and his network, that is not the right way…Under any religion…any rules, this is not acceptable.”

Wallace found almost no support of the U.S. policy among average Kuwaitis, but a member of the country’s royal family expressed anger over those attitudes and the inadequacy of the words his government has offered in America’s support.

“We need deeds,” Sheik Saud al Sabah tells Wallace. “Deeds matter, not words. We need you more than you need us,” he says. Sheik Saud believes his government should pay to rebuild the Pentagon.

Such a gesture is not likely, when one considers the general attitudes among common Kuwaitis. Says one, “You have the greatest nation, but you have the worst foreign policy ever made…I hate the American government…because of the American government’s support [for] our enemy, the Israelis, to kill our people in Palestine.”


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