Friday, December 9, 2016

Jacob G. Hornberger: The problem is foreign interventionism, not Muslims

  With Donald Trump’s accession to the presidency, the U.S. anti-Muslim crusade is going into full swing. According to an article in the November 14 issue of the Washington Post, hate crimes against Muslims hit their highest level since 2001. An article in the Post last week stated that four mosques have received letters stating that Trump will do to Muslims what Hitler “did to the Jews.”

  Ever since the 9/11 attacks, religious bigots have used that event as the excuse to go after Muslims. The problem with their mindset — or at least one problem with their mindset — is that they're letting their religious bigotry prevent them from recognizing that the root cause of anti-American terrorism is not based on religion but instead on the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

  In other words, if there had never been the Persian Gulf intervention, the tens years of deadly sanctions against the Iraqi people, the stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands, and unconditional foreign aid to the Israeli government, there never would have been the 9/11 attacks. That also means there never would have been U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, which would mean that we wouldn’t be living under the never-ending “war on terrorism” and ongoing anxiety over Muslims, Islam, the Koran, and caliphates.

  Think back to the Cold War era. Interventionists never expressed any concern about Muslims. The concern was exclusively about communists. The communists were coming to get us. There was an international communist conspiracy based in Moscow. If U.S. troops weren’t sent to Korea, the commies would soon be walking the streets of Washington, D.C. If U.S. troops weren’t sent to Vietnam, the dominoes would begin falling and the Reds would soon be running the IRS and the Interstate Highway System. Cuba was a communist dagger pointed at America’s neck, requiring the CIA to do everything it could to murder Cuban President Fidel Castro. U.S.-instigated military coups in Guatemala and Chile were to keep communists from being democratically elected. There was spying on Martin Luther King and left-wing organizations due to being suspected as communist fronts.

  It was all about communism. Be afraid. Be very afraid. The anti-communist crusade was all that people talked about and thought about.

  Nary a word about Muslims, Islam, the Koran, or caliphates.

  With one big exception. U.S. officials praise extremist Muslims, partnered with them, and glorified them.

  Recall when it was the Soviet Union, rather than the United States, that was occupying Afghanistan. When the U.S. government decided to oppose the Soviet Union’s occupation of that country, take a wild stab at who they partnered with.

  Yep, you guessed it! Muslims. And not just any Muslims - radical Muslims. Extremist Muslims. Muslim fanatics. People who held the same religious convictions as Osama bin Laden, who was one of those extremist Muslim fanatics who was fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

  It was those extreme Muslim fanatics with whom the U.S. government partnered during the Cold War. The government gave them money. It gave them weaponry. It thanked them and glorified them.

  Were Americans concerned about any Muslim threat to America and the Western world? Nope. Not a peep about those big, bad, scary Muslims who were coming to get us. Nothing about the worldwide caliphates that were going to be established. No fear of anti-American terrorist attacks. Everyone was just scared of the commie boogeyman.

  In fact, read what Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, said in January 1998 (some three years before the 9/11 attacks):

       Interviewer: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

       Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

       Interviewer: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

       Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

       Interviewer: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

       Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

  After the end of the Cold War, interventionists didn’t know what to do. Many of them held on to the communists and communism as their official enemy and undoubtedly would have continued doing so if the 9/11 attacks had never happened.

  But then came 9/11, which began as an anti-terrorist crusade but quickly morphed into an anti-Muslim crusade. Soon, interventionists transferred all their fears, anxiety, and negativity that they had had for commies to Muslims.

  But what the interventionists have never wanted to confront is that the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with religion. They were instead rooted in anger and rage over what the Pentagon and the CIA were doing to people in the Middle East, most of whom happened to be Muslims. One good example was the deep anger over the U.S. government’s killing of innocent children in Iraq with its ten years of brutal sanctions for regime change. Another example was UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it.”

  When a foreign regime is killing people, especially children (and most of whom happen to be Muslims), it shouldn’t surprise anyone when retaliation time comes, those who are retaliating are likely to be Muslims. So, once that happened, the interventionists seized on the opportunity to blast Muslims and Islam rather than point out and oppose the root of the problem — U.S. interventionism in the Middle East.

  As I have long been pointing out, there is no good reason for any American to wage an anti-Muslim crusade. All that Americans have to do is pull the national-security state — i.e., the military and the CIA out of the Middle East and Afghanistan. Just bring the troops home and discharge them. No more killing, bombing, or assassinating at the hands of U.S. forces.

  At that point, the threat of anti-American terrorism dissipates. No more war on terrorism. No more anxiety over Muslims.

  Who then will be made a new official enemy? Hey, there are always drug users, illegal aliens, and maybe even Russia or China.

  About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

  This article was published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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