Will War on Islam End in 2013?


Today – eleven and one-half years after the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center launched the War on Islam – that war is bogged down in the mother of all quagmires.
The neoconservatives who orchestrated 9/11 hoped that their stealth war on Islam would achieve quick regime change throughout the Middle East, and break the back of Islamic political movements worldwide.
To that end, they invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in order to surround Iran with US military bases. They intended to invade Iran, and destroy its Islamic revolution, by 2005 at the latest.
But the heroic resistance of the Iraqis, Lebanese and Palestinians, and shrewd strategic moves by Iran – together with ideological challenges by the peace movement, the 9/11 truth movement, and the anti-Zionist movement – slowed them down.
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IF ‘TERRORISM’ MEANS  “THE INTERNATIONAL SLAUGHTER OF CIVILIANS”,  THE US AND ISRAEL COMMIT THOUSANDS OF TIMES MORE TERRORISM THAN ALL THE MUSLIMS OF THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER.”

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by Kevin Barrett

 

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I used to celebrate the New Year in the usual way: By staying up late and drinking too much.

Then I came to Islam, weaned myself from the bottle, and changed my habits…many of them, anyway.

But I still can’t get over the habit of wishing for better things in the coming year.

Possibly the best thing that could happen in 2013 would be a clean, decisive end to the so-called “war on terror,” which is actually a low-intensity war of deception targeting Muslims and the religion of Islam.

***

Public opinion polls show that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims know that the “War on Terror” is a barely-disguised War on Islam. And it isn’t just Muslims who understand this. So do all serious Western strategic thinkers.

One of the few who is willing to say it openly is James Schall, Professor of Government at Georgetown University and Hoover Institute strategist: “I always thought it was a mistake not to say what Iraq really was, that is, a war against an expanding Islam.”

But today – eleven and one-half years after the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center launched the War on Islam – that war is bogged down in the mother of all quagmires.

The neoconservatives who orchestrated 9/11 hoped that their stealth war on Islam would achieve quick regime change throughout the Middle East, and break the back of Islamic political movements worldwide. To that end, they invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in order to surround Iran with US military bases. They intended to invade Iran, and destroy its Islamic revolution, by 2005 at the latest.

But the heroic resistance of the Iraqis, Lebanese and Palestinians, and shrewd strategic moves by Iran – together with ideological challenges by the peace movement, the 9/11 truth movement, and the anti-Zionist movement – slowed them down.

By August of 2007, neocon front man Dick Cheney realized that his last opportunity to invade Iran was slipping from his grasp. So Cheney’s rogue network attempted to steal nuclear weapons from the US arsenal at Minot Air Force Base, with the intention of using those weapons, whether in the US itself or the Middle East, in order to trigger all-out war on Iran.

Stupid move. The nuke-thieves got caught. Dozens were suicided or met “accidental” deaths.

The command structure of the US military does not look kindly on people who try to steal nuclear weapons – even if the thief-in-chief is the Vice President of the United States.

Since then, the US military has closed ranks against the neocons. The invasion of Iran – the chief objective of the 9/11 conspirators – has been postponed indefinitely, to the infinite chagrin of Netanyahu and his “American” allies. And the larger War on Islam has lost its focus.

But how can it end? When nations are at war, the duly-constituted authorities of both nations can end the war by signing a peace treaty. But since the aggressors (with a few exceptions like Schall) refuse to admit that they are waging war on Islam, and since Islam has no “duly constituted authority” capable of negotiating anything, it is hard to imagine how a peace treaty could end hostilities.

To understand how the War on Islam could end, we must first understand what is really at stake. What is this war really about?

It is certainly not about terrorism. Even if we provisionally accept the official story of 9/11 (which is now doubted by the majority of the world), an American is more than ten times more likely to be struck by lightning, or drown in a bathtub, than to be killed by any kind of terrorist. And according to the FBI, radical Muslims only commit 6% of terrorist attacks – less than radical Jews, and vastly less than radical leftists and hispanics.

And if “terrorism” means “the intentional slaughter of civilians,” the US and Israel commit thousands of times more terrorism than all the Muslims of the world put together. According to studies by Gideon Polya, M.D., the US and its ally, Great Britain, have murdered roughly eight million Iraqis alone since 1950. The total number of victims of US and Israeli state terrorism since World War II, what scholar William Blum calls “the American Holocaust,” is in the tens of millions.

So if it isn’t really about “terrorism” then what’s the actual bone of contention? The short answer: Demographics and religiosity.

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, in part through conversions, but mostly through demographics. Even though Muslim birthrates are falling in most parts of the world, they aren’t falling quite as fast as Western birthrates, which are now below replacement levels and heralding an impending demographic collapse. (Russia and Italy, for example, are projected to lose half their population within a few generations).

Why are Muslim birthrates relatively high? Because Islam is a religion of what we might call “traditional family values.”

Sexuality under Islam is limited to community-sanctioned procreative relationships (otherwise known as marriage), and the various vices that have largely destroyed the family in the West – alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, open homosexuality, widespread divorce, egotism, materialism, consumerism and so on – are only making limited progress in their war on the Islamic family.

So since Islamic families are relatively happier and more stable, they have more children which means more Muslims.

And that scares some Western policy-makers, especially those who have a strong personal attachment to the state of Israel. The demographic tilt towards Islam will inevitably result in a readjustment of the global balance of power – raising questions about continued Western control of Middle Eastern and Central Asian energy resources, and even thornier questions about the future of Occupied Palestine.

The perceived problem isn’t just the demographics, it’s the potential for Islamic unity turning into a global political force which, in tandem with the rise of China and India, could rob the West of its current status as global hegemon.

And it is the shared religiosity of Muslims, the social bonds fostered by religion that draw Muslims together and offer them a chance to readjust the global balance of power in their favor.

Proponents of the War on Islam cannot admit this openly. They cannot say “our real objective is to damage the religion of Islam, break up the Islamic family, and try to reduce the global Muslim population.” They cannot admit that their real objective is genocide.

So they are waging a war of deception. By smearing Muslims as subhuman “terrorists” they can covertly commit genocide while pretending to be the good guys.

The neocons have squandered their opportunity for a sudden, decisive blow against Islam. That means that only two alternatives remain: Either the low-intensity War on Islam will continue indefinitely, with its endless drone killings, false-flag terror strikes, genocidal media propaganda, attempts to provoke intra-Muslim strife, assassinations of Iranian scientists, and so on; or it will end quickly and cleanly with a Western confession that the whole “War on Terror” has been a big lie.

The second alternative would be much cheaper, in terms of blood and treasure.

Here is how it could happen: Senior US military commanders, tired of spilling American blood for Israel, organize a counter-coup against those complicit in the 9/11 operation.

They declare a state of emergency and arrest several dozen current and retired military and intelligence officers, a host of politicians including most of the leading neoconservatives, the owners and decision-makers of the major mainstream media outlets, several of the planet’s wealthiest individuals, and key unregistered agents of Israel who operate behind the facade of America’s leading Jewish organizations. Seizing control of the newspapers and airwaves, they reveal the truth about 9/11 to a shocked, outraged world. Swift military-style trials elicit confessions and convictions.
Islam is declared innocent. Zionism is guilty. Palestine is liberated. And the war is finally over.

Will it happen in 2013?

If YOU work hard enough spreading the truth about 9/11 and the phony “War on Terror,” anything is possible.

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Saudis Have Purchased the American Government and Victory for the Global “Caliphate” of Radical Islam


SaudiArabiaOil
Bin Laden worked for us until he died from American-inflicted wounds in an Afghan cave in 2001. Ilyas Kashmiri, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Mullah Dadullah, were all American employees–yet we have used everyone of them as an excuse to send Pentagon death machines to kill even more civilian children.
Pakistan’s government has sold the Pakistani people into lifetime bondage to America and the Saudis, not to mention that “Fat Pig of Qatar”! Worst of all, the world’s only Democratic Islamic Republic has become a willing pawn in the hand of Shaitan himself.
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A DEFINING MOMENT OF REGIONAL SECURITY. WHERE DO WE STAND?

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by M K Bhadrakumar

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First a note from my blogger friend Peter Chamberlin.

Go through it and you will perceive the depth of Peter’s words. Poignant, but by far the bitterest yet the truest words coming from a western analyst.

***

[Saudi trillions have taken over American Govt. and bribed the world into accepting victory for “al-Qaeda,” the international Islamist terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia has been transplanting this Taliban form of government all over the world, beginning with our export of their Wahhabi disciples to Afghanistan and Pakistan, beginning in late 87.

We called these early “al-Qaeda” “freedom-fighters” and later-on, “mujahedeen.” We screamed bloody murder whenever 17 “al-Qaeda” terrorists helped to destroy famous American landmarks, while disavowing our own intimate connections to Al-Q.

Bin Laden worked for us until he died from American-inflicted wounds in an Afghan cave in 2001. Ilyas Kashmiri, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Mullah Dadullah, were all American employees–yet we have used everyone of them as an excuse to send Pentagon death machines to kill even more civilian children.

Pakistan’s government has sold the Pakistani people into lifetime bondage to America and the Saudis, not to mention that “Fat Pig of Qatar”! Worst of all, the world’s only Democratic Islamic Republic has become a willing pawn in the hand of Shaitan himself. You have fully given yourselves over unto the dark side, to work in opposition to the will of Allah Himself, if you accept the big Saudi bribes.

You invoke the Prophet and Bless His Name everyday, yet you have allowed your government to sell your souls into servitude to the evil posers who claim to be the Guardians of the Holy Places, although they have helped to subject all of the Muslim Ummah into a submissive state in the mold of a subjugated Bahrain, or Palestine.

The Saudis have played their fat hands very well, lying constantly, betting extravagantly, bribing the opposition out of their underpants. It is Saudi bribery that is winning the global war for the terrorists. Militant, radical, murderous “Islamists” (Wahhabis) stand ready to win the war of terror because of Arab petrodollars, even though we will claim “victory” along with them, after having waged bloody war for twelve years, in the name of eliminating all “al-Qaeda.” We have destroyed a succession of Muslim countries with guided missiles and heavy bombers, killing in excess of two million Muslims (most of them innocent), on the excuse that we were hunting “al-Qaeda,” even though Al-Q worked under contract for the American and Saudi governments.

Pakistan, admittedly, owes a very large debt to the Saudis. It was Saudi money which financed the building of the very first “Islamic nuclear bomb.” It was Saudi money which finances nearly all of the Pakistani madrassa school system–the only school available to most of the young Pashtun boys. Yet, if Pakistan contracts the next phase of Saudi/American foreign policy and continues to provide foot-soldiers and “private contractors” for the staging of World War III, then Pakistan will perish in the ashes left in its own wake. How Pakistan goes, will determine how much of the Earth will go, along with it. Your country may be about to become history, if it accepts all the Saudi/Qatari/American gold held-out before it. If the forces of “Democracy” were ever really going to stand-up for Pakistan, this would surely be the time to do it.]

·

***

The visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Saudi Arabia comes at a defining moment in regional security. The two countries are renewing their brotherly bonds as they embark on a new journey of partnership and alliance.

The Indian pundits were whistling in the dark when they fancied not too long ago that Delhi, with able help from Washington, has hijacked the Saudi regime away from the Pakistani embrace. Some even fancied a US-Indian-Saudi regional security alliance in the making!

But the ground realities are that Afghanistan is once again becoming a common Saudi-Pakistani enterprise, as in the Taliban era in the 1990s.

The underpinnings of the Saudi-Pakistani partnership in the Hindu Kush are strikingly the same as twenty years ago — injecting Islamism as the leitmotif of politics in Afghanistan; envisaging the role of an Islamist regime in Kabul in regional politics; using Salafism to threaten Shi’ite Iran and so on.

Clearly, this latest Saudi-Pakistani enterprise enjoys American backing. But it has a raison d’etre of its own. The point is, a wide-ranging Saudi-Pakistani regional partnership is surfacing. Pakistani ‘volunteers’ are reportedly fighting in Syria at present.

They enjoy Saudi-Qatari funding and military assistance and are the foot soldiers of the campaign for ‘regime change’ in Damascus, which the US and its Arab allies expound.
Besides, in deference to Saudi wishes, Pakistan has rolled back its recent years’ dalliance with Iran and mothballed the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project despite Tehran’s extravagant offer to finance construction work on the Pakistani side. President Asif Zardari abruptly cancelled a scheduled visit to Tehran.

Pakistan is quietly dumping its ‘Iran connection’ and extracting reciprocal benefits out of Saudi Arabia. Khar met with the Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz who is also the deputy prime minister and defence minister. The two countries decided to ‘institutionalize’ their strategic ties. Now, what it implies will bear watch.

From the Saudi viewpoint, Afghanistan becomes a highly crucial theatre in its strategy to ‘contain’ Iran. The US military bases in Afghanistan have been used as training camps for the Jundullah group, which undertook terrorist strikes in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. The latest Iranian reports suggest that the camps in the US bases in Afghanistan are also training the Mujahideen-e-Khalq terrorists.

In the recent past, Tehran got some degree of cooperation from Pakistan in preventing the Jundullah’s cross-border strikes from the Baluchistan province. There will be growing unease in Tehran that the graph of Saudi influence on the Pakistani security agencies could be rising in the coming period.

The Saudis are obsessed with Iran’s rise as regional power and will try to counter Tehran’s surge, no matter what it takes. Islamabad’s partnership can be a potential game changer in the Saudi game plan vis-a-vis Iran. In turn, Saudis will be wiling to bankroll Pakistan.

The curious part is that the US is assembling virtually the same cabal of states in the Hindu Kush which are acting as its proxies and sidekicks currently in the upheaval in the Middle East — Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s gravitation toward this ‘axis’ of Sunni Muslim states as a hireling will have far-reaching implications for regional security — Pakistan being the biggest Sunni Muslim country on the planet.

The politics of 2013 in the Greater Middle East will significantly devolve upon the Sunni-Shia sectarian rivalry, because, from the US and Saudi perspective, it is a tactically useful (and necessary) digression away from the core issues of that region’s politics such as democratization and reform, Israel_Arab relations, Palestinian problem, etc.

Indeed, Pakistan will do well to stay clear of the US-Saudi regional agenda, given the history of sectarian rivalries within Pakistan itself — and the near-certainty that the Saudi attempt to impose Salafism as the state ideology in Afghanistan will be resisted by the Hazara Shi’ites and many regional countries.

Of course, the secretary-general of Iran’s National Security Council Saeed Jalili, who is a key figure in the foreign-policy establishment in Tehran, is on a visit to New Delhi at the invitation of NSA, Shivshankar Menon.

Alas, foresight is very often in short supply in the Pakistani policies and in this case, the Pakistani elites will find it all but irresistible to stay away from the honey pots that Washington and Riyadh hold in front of them. As the Americans would put it, ‘Have gun — will travel’.

More from M K Bhadrakumar on Wonders of Pakistan 

1. Syria: Regime Change and Smart Power 2. Pakistan gets a cuddle and a Zioconned hug…. 3. No, India Cannot Be the US’ Poodle [Viewpoint India] 4. Bear nettles the Eagle, Dragon smiles [in two parts] 5. Is India backing Obama’s gamble for Central Asian domination? 7. US sows discord in South Asia

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report / article / Op-Ed are the sole responsibility of the author or the source from where this material has been taken. These may not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s) or the source. WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.

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Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [2 of 2]



Few months ago, New York Times reported that the Obama administration has re-defined the term “militant” to mean: “all military-age males in a strike zone” — the ultimate expression of the rancid dehumanizing view that Muslims are inherently guilty of being Terrorists unless proven otherwise.
When Obama’s campaign surrogate and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the US killing by drone strike of 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki two weeks after his father was killed, Gibbs unleashed one of the most repulsive statements heard in some time:
that Abdulrahman should have “had a more responsible father.” Even when innocent Muslim teenagers are killed by US violence, it is their fault, and not the fault of the US and its leaders.

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MUSLIMS ARE SYSTEMATICALLY DEHUMANIZED. AMERICANS VIRTUALLY NEVER HEAR ABOUT THE MUSLIMS KILLED BY THEIR GOVERNMENT’S VIOLENCE.

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by Glenn Greenwald

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Every war – particularly protracted ones like the “War on Terror” – demands sustained dehumanization campaigns against the targets of the violence. Few populations will tolerate continuous killings if they have to confront the humanity of those who are being killed. The humanity of the victims must be hidden and denied. That’s the only way this constant extinguishing of life by their government can be justified or at least ignored. That was the key point made in the extraordinarily brave speech given by then-MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield in 2003 after she returned from Iraq, before she was demoted and then fired: that US media coverage of US violence is designed to conceal the identity and fate of its victims.

The violence and rights abridgments of the Bush and Obama administrations have been applied almost exclusively to Muslims. It is, therefore, Muslims who have been systematically dehumanized. Americans virtually never hear about the Muslims killed by their government’s violence. They’re never profiled. The New York Times doesn’t put powerful graphics showing their names and ages on its front page. Their funerals are never covered. President Obama never delivers teary sermons about how these Muslim children “had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” That’s what dehumanization is: their humanity is disappeared so that we don’t have to face it.

But this dehumanization is about more than simply hiding and thus denying the personhood of Muslim victims of US violence. It is worse than that: it is based on the implicit, and sometimes overtly stated, premise that Muslims generally, even those guilty of nothing, deserve what the US does to them, or are at least presumed to carry blame.

Just a few months ago, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration has re-defined the term “militant” to mean: “all military-age males in a strike zone” – the ultimate expression of the rancid dehumanizing view that Muslims are inherently guilty of being Terrorists unless proven otherwise. When Obama’s campaign surrogate and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the US killing by drone strike of 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki two weeks after his father was killed, Gibbs unleashed one of the most repulsive statements heard in some time: that Abdulrahman should have “had a more responsible father”. Even when innocent Muslim teenagers are killed by US violence, it is their fault, and not the fault of the US and its leaders.

All of this has led to rhetoric and behavior that is nothing short of deranged when it comes to discussing the Muslim children and other innocents killed by US violence. I literally have never witnessed mockery over dead children like that which is spewed from some of Obama’s hard-core progressive supporters whenever I mention the child-victims of Obama’s drone attacks. Jokes like that are automatic. In this case at least, the fish rots from the head: recall President Obama’s jovial jokes at a glamorous media dinner about his use of drones to kill teeangers (sanctioned by the very same political faction that found Bush’s jokes about his militarism – delivered at the same media banquet several years earlier – so offensive). Just as is true of Gibbs’ deranged and callous rationale, jokes like that are possible only when you have denied the humanity of those who are killed. Would Newtown jokes be tolerated by anyone?

Dehumanization of Muslims is often overt, by necessity, in US military culture. The Guardian headline to Monbiot’s column refers to the term which Rolling Stones’ Michael Hastings reported is used for drone victims: “bug splat”. And consider this passage from an amazing story this week in Der Spiegel (but not, notably, in US media) on a US drone pilot, Brandon Bryant, who had to quit because he could no longer cope with the huge amount of civilian deaths he was witnessing and helping to cause:

“Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world. . . .

“[H]e remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact. . . .

“With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.

“Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

“Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

“‘Yeah, I guess that was a kid,’ the pilot replied.

“‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

“Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

“They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

Seeing Muslim children literally as dogs: few images more perfectly express the sustained dehumanization at the heart of US militarism and aggression over the last decade.

Citizens of a militaristic empire are inexorably trained to adopt the mentality of their armies: just listen to Good Progressive Obama defenders swagger around like they’re decorated, cigar-chomping combat veterans spouting phrases like “war is hell” and “collateral damage” to justify all of this. That is the anti-Muslim dehumanization campaign rearing its toxic head.

There’s one other issue highlighted by this disparate reaction: the question of agency and culpability. It’s easy to express rage over the Newtown shooting because so few of us bear any responsibility for it and – although we can take steps to minimize the impact and make similar attacks less likely – there is ultimately little we can do to stop psychotic individuals from snapping. Fury is easy because it’s easy to tell ourselves that the perpetrator – the shooter – has so little to do with us and our actions.

Exactly the opposite is true for the violence that continuously kills children and other innocent people in the Muslim world. Many of us empowered and cheer for the person responsible for that. US citizens pay for it, enable it, and now under Obama, most at the very leastacquiesce to it if not support it. It’s always much more difficult to acknowledge the deaths that we play a role in causing than it is to protest those to which we believe we have no connection. That, too, is a vital factor explaining these differing reactions.

Please spare me the objection that the Newtown shooting should not be used to make a point about the ongoing killing of Muslim children and other innocents by the US. Over the last week, long-time gun control advocates have seized on this school shooting in an attempt to generate support for their political agenda, and they’re perfectly right to do so: when an event commands widespread political attention and engages human emotion, that is exactly when one should attempt to persuade one’s fellow citizens to recognize injustices they typically ignore. That is no more true for gun control than it is the piles of corpses the Obama administration continues to pile up for no good reason – leaving in their wake, all over the Muslim world, one Newtown-like grieving ritual after the next.

As Monbiot observed: “there can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people” in Newtown. The exact opposite is true for the children and their families continuously killed in the Muslim world by the US government: huge numbers of people, particularly in the countries responsible, remain completely untouched by the grief that is caused in those places. That is by design – to ensure that opposition is muted – and it is brutally effective.

Accolades

President Obama, the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, has just been bestowed by TIME Magazine with the equally prestigious and meaningful accolade of 2012 Person of the Year.

Concluded.

Previous: Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [1 of 2]

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For the past 10 years, Glenn was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. He is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot Act?, a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, released May, 2006.

Related Posts: 

1. Connecticut school shooting: America gets a taste of its own medicine 2.  In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats 3. Agenda Driven News

More from Glenn Greenwald on Wonders ofPakistan

1. The Imperial Mind
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Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [1 of 2]



The grief expressed by Obama over children murdered in Newtown, Connecticut, by a deranged young man should also apply to the children murdered in Pakistan by the sombre American president.
These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.
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GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE

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by Glenn Greenwald

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Over the last several days, numerous commentators have lamented the vastly different reactions in the US to the heinous shooting of children in Newtown, Connecticut as compared to the continuous killing of (far more) children and innocent adults by the US government in Pakistan and Yemenamong other places. The blogger Atrios this week succinctly observed:

“I do wish more people who manage to fully comprehend the broad trauma a mass shooting can have on our country would consider the consequences of a decade of war.”

My Guardian colleague George Monbiot has a powerful and eloquent column this week provocatively entitled: “In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats”. He points out all the ways that Obama has made lethal US attacks in these predominantly Muslim countries not only more frequent but also more indiscriminatesignature strikes and “double-tap” attacks on rescuers and funerals – and then argues:

“Most of the world’s media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama’s murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are ‘militants’. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

“‘Are we,’ Obama asked on Sunday, ‘prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?’ It’s a valid question. He should apply it to the violence he is visiting on the children of Pakistan.”

Political philosophy professor Falguni Sheth similarly writes that “the shooting in Newtown, CT is but part and parcel of a culture of shooting children, shooting civilians, shooting innocent adults, that has been waged by the US government since September 12, 2001.” She adds:

“And let there be no mistake: many of ‘us’ have directly felt the impact of that culture: Which ‘us’? Yemeni parents, Pakistani uncles and aunts, Afghan grandparents and cousins, Somali brothers and sisters, Filipino cousins have experienced the impact of the culture of killing children. Families of children who live in countries that are routinely droned by the US [government]. Families of children whose villages are raided nightly in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Meanwhile, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, at the peak of mourning over Newtown, simply urged: “Let’s also Remember the 178 children Killed by US Drones. He detailed the various ways that children and other innocents have had their lives extinguished by President Obama’s policies, and then posted this powerful (and warning: graphic) one-and-a-half-minute video from a new documentary on drones by filmmaker Robert Greenwald (no relation):

Finally, the Yemeni blogger Noon Arabia posted a moving plea on Monday: “Our children’s blood is not cheaper than American blood and the pain of loosing [sic] them is just as devastating. Our children matter too, Mr. President! These tragedies ‘also’ must end and to end them ‘YOU’ must change!

There’s just no denying that many of the same people understandably expressing such grief and horror over the children who were killed in Newtown steadfastly overlook, if not outright support, the equally violent killing of Yemeni and Pakistani children. Consider this irony: Monday was the three-year anniversary of President Obama’s cruise missile and cluster-bomb attack on al-Majala in Southern Yemen that ended the lives of 14 women and 21 children: one more child than was killed by the Newtown gunman. In the US, that mass slaughter received not even a small fraction of the attention commanded by Newtown, and prompted almost no objections (in predominantly Muslim nations, by contrast, it received ample attention and anger).

It is well worth asking what accounts for this radically different reaction to the killing of children and other innocents. Relatedly, why is the US media so devoted to covering in depth every last detail of the children killed in the Newtown attack, but so indifferent to the children killed by its own government?

To ask this question is not – repeat: is not – to equate the Newtown attack with US government attacks. There are, one should grant, obvious and important differences.

To begin with, it is a natural and probably universal human inclination to care more about violence that seems to threaten us personally than violence that does not. Every American parent sends their children to schools of the type attacked in Newtown and empathy with the victims is thus automatic. Few American parents fear having their children attacked by US drones, cruise missiles and cluster bombs in remote regions in Pakistan and Yemen, and empathy with those victims is thus easier to avoid, more difficult to establish.

One should strive to see the world and prioritize injustices free of pure self-interest – caring about grave abuses that are unlikely to affect us personally is a hallmark of a civilized person – but we are all constructed to regard imminent dangers to ourselves and our loved ones with greater urgency than those that appear more remote. Ignoble though it is, that’s just part of being human – though our capacity to liberate ourselves from pure self-interest means that it does not excuse this indifference.

Then there’s the issue of perceived justification. Nobody can offer, let alone embrace, any rationale for the Newtown assault: it was random, indiscriminate, senseless and deliberate slaughter of innocents. Those who support Obama’s continuous attacks, or flamboyantly display their tortured “ambivalence” as a means of avoiding criticizing him, can at least invoke a Cheneyite slogan along with a McVeigh-taught-military-term to pretend that there’s some purpose to these killings: We Have To Kill The Terrorists, and these dead kids are just Collateral Damage. This rationale is deeply dishonestignorant, jingoistic, propagandistic, and sociopathic, but its existence means one cannot equate it to the Newtown killing.

But there are nonetheless two key issues highlighted by the intense grief for the Newtown victims compared to the utter indifference to the victims of Obama’s militarism. The first is that it underscores how potent and effective the last decade’s anti-Muslim dehumanization campaign has been.

Contd…

Next: Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [2 of 2]

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Make Diplomacy, Not War


https://i1.wp.com/www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/content/2012/1127-susan-rice-secretary-of-state-cabinet-obama/14392367-1-eng-US/1127-SUSAN-RICE-SECRETARY-OF-STATE-CABINET-OBAMA_full_600.jpg
Susan Rice is rumored to be in line to replace Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, this ugly spat has become even more important. It throws a spotlight on America’s stunning lack of diplomacy.
Rice is no diplomat. She has served as an attack dog at the UN Security Council for the Obama administration, showing particular vitriol for Arabs and Muslims. Rice is a neoconservative. If she’s a diplomat, I’m Kublai Khan.
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OVER MILITARISED U.S. FOREIGN POLICY

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by Eric Margolis

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The wicked 19th century American cynic Ambrose Bierce defined diplomacy in his “Devil’s Dictionary” as “the patriotic art of lying for one’s country.”

True enough. But diplomacy is also the fine art of getting one’s way without war, and convincing people that it’s in their interest to do what you want them to do.

I have high regard for the arts of diplomacy. They are a hallmark of civilized behavior. Four decades ago, I almost joined the US diplomatic service but decided against it, fearing my big mouth would land me in hot water.

As an almost diplomat and veteran foreign affairs commentator, I’ve been watching Republicans go after the Obama administration’s UN ambassador, Susan Rice. They are trying to somehow pin the death of the US ambassador to Libya last September on Rice, who had originally claimed the attack that killed him was caused by mob violence over an anti-Muslim hate video rather than a “terrorist” attack. (more…)

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