As long as we tolerate any public attention directed at the Moslem faith itself in response to terror attacks against our western nations and those our governments support, we will be allowing the real cause of those terror attacks to continue unchecked. We will even be playing into the hands of those responsible for the provoking of those terror attacks. We will be encouraging those responsible for the occupation, dispossession, maiming and murder of hundreds of thousands of people who have the misfortune to have been born in the lands that contain “our” necessary resources and power interests.
Doug Bandow summed it up in a recent Huffington Post article:
Terrorism is not new. It was used against Russian Tsars, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and British colonial officials. Algerians employed terrorism against the French and later Algerian governments. Basque and Irish separatists freely relied on terrorism. Until Iraq, the most promiscuous suicide bombers were Tamils in Sri Lanka. In none of these cases did the killing occur in response to freedom, whether in America or elsewhere.
Robert Pape of the University of Chicago studied the most recent cases: “The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign–over 95 percent of all the incidents–has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.“
The reference to Irish separatists is most instructive. At the time of their terror campaigns there was no nation-wide surge of anti-Catholic fears. The culprits were our own race and we could identify the reasons for their attacks very clearly.
Another article that I would highly recommend as a perfect companion piece to Bandow’s is by Glenn Greenwald in Salon. He addresses a new study by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government demonstrating how “mainstream media” — NYT, Washington Post, NPR — voluntarily fall into line with as mouthpieces of government propaganda. A specific case study addressed was how the media uniformly condemned waterboarding as torture up until the day their own government was known to use it and said it was not torture. The article, New Study Documents Media’s Servitude to Government, is found here, but note also the link to the update at the bottom of it. Anyone following recent mainstream media reports on the apparent alleviation of Gaza sanctions, and the follow-up investigations into the Israeli piracy against the aid ships, and comparing these with the uncensored reports available from other sources, will find the Greenwald article unnecessary reading.
Some people have deplored publications by “new atheists” because of their sometimes crude attacks on religion. I have addressed what I also consider their fanning of anti-Islamic prejudice. Religion has been and remains responsible for both good and evil. I am not the least interested in any notions of religious humanism for this reason.
Studies such as those of Robert Pape’s instruct us that to focus on Islam as a response to terror attacks is about as useful as persecuting Jews in response to the plagues in the Middle Ages.
But this deflection of our focus suits those who profit from our wars. It assures them that they have the “democratic” support for their efforts to continue to control the resources of the Middle East. Oh, and also to support the gradual ethnic cleansing of “Greater Israel” and the genocide* of the Palestinians.
Genocide is defined by a 1948 UN Convention as:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:• (a) Killing members of the group;• (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;• (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;• (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;• (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Again, I am sometimes met with outrage when I use words like ethnic cleansing and genocide in this context. This is a classic illustration of the findings of the study discussed in Greenwald’s article:
And the ultimate effect of this joint government/media obfuscation is to further entrench the destructive notion that we’re different, exceptional, better, and therefore we deserve even a different language to describe what it is that we do. This Harvard study documents the exact process by which the political class convinces itself and others that bad and illegal things are, by definition, only what those Bad, Other Foreign Countries do, but never ourselves.