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Aug. 11, 2012
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Have you noticed that the “we’re at war with the Muslims” crowd has been noticeably silent in the wake of the murders at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin and the arson of the Islamic mosque in Missouri? Well, they’re smart to keep their mouths shut. Hopefully, this segment of American society is increasingly being marginalized, and rightfully so.
Ever since 9/11, there have been a group of American extremists who have claimed that Muslims are waging war on the United States and that the CIA and U.S. troops are just defending us in this war. According to this group, since Muslims have embarked on a worldwide quest to conquer the Western world, the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were simply defensive measures to defend ourselves against the Islamic war of conquest against the West.
During the past 10 years, I have periodically received emails reciting this nonsense to me. I have responded by advising the writers that they would be wise to refrain from engaging in this war by killing Muslims here in the United States. I have told them that if they go out and start shooting Muslims, they will be arrested by the police, indicted for murder, convicted, and sentenced to jail or receive the death penalty.
I have told them that when they say to the judge, “Oh, you can’t do this to me because we are at war. The Muslims are trying to conquer us. In war it is entirely legitimate to kill the enemy. That’s all I was doing—killing Muslims during wartime to defend my country,” the judge might consider an insanity defense but more likely he will simply tell them how utterly inane their position is before imposing sentence for a murder conviction.
Why do some people hew to this inane position? Because it enables them to avoid confronting what is one of the most frightening things that could ever happen to them: to face that their very own government — the U.S. government — their daddy — has done and is doing bad things to people overseas, in this case Muslims, some of whom have decided to defend themselves and their countries by either attacking U.S. invading or occupying troops or committing terrorist attacks, either abroad or here in the United States.
In other words, acts of terrorism against the United States by Muslims are not part of some worldwide Islamic conspiracy to conquer the Western world. Instead, the anger and hatred that drives such acts of terrorism are rooted in the horrible things the U.S. government has done and is doing to people in the Middle East. People get angry when their family and friends are killed, starved, humiliated, shamed, tortured, and abused, and some of them finally say, “Enough is enough. I’m going to retaliate with violence.”
What are those bad things? They include foreign aid to brutal Middle East dictatorships, unconditional foreign aid to the Israeli government, the brutal sanctions on Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, the brutal sanctions on Iran that are impoverishing the Iranian people, the support of Saddam Hussein, the Persian Gulf War, which killed an untold number of Iraqis, the stationing of U.S. troops on Islamic holy lands, the illegal no-fly zones over Iraq, which killed Iraqi children and others, the invasion and occupation of Iraq over bogus WMDs, which killed, maimed, or exiled hundreds of thousands of more Iraqis, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which has killed brides, grooms, children, seniors, and many others, and regime change operations that install brutal pro-U.S. dictatorships into power.
How could victims of these acts not get angry over such things? Wouldn’t Americans get angry if a foreign regime were to do these things to Americans? The fact that most of the victims have been Muslims doesn’t mean that the Muslims have embarked on a worldwide quest to conquer the Western world. It simply means that because the victims have overwhelmingly been Muslim, the anger and rage and thirst for retaliation will naturally arise within this set of victims. That is, if the victims were, say, Catholics, acts of violent retaliation would not mean that Catholics had embarked on a quest for worldwide conquest.
What’s the solution to all this anti-American anger and rage among foreigners, especially in the Middle East? For the U.S. Empire to exit the world stage, especially the Middle East. No more sanctions, embargoes, support of dictatorships, support of the Israeli government, foreign aid, invasions, occupations, no-fly zones, foreign military bases, torture, foreign prisons, and the like. Once that happens, the anti-American anger and rage will begin to dissipate.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government has decided to shift the focus of its military empire from the Middle East to Asia and Latin America rather than simply dismantle the empire and bring all the troops home. The Pentagon and the CIA are now shifting their focus to China and Latin America, claiming that China and Latin American drug dealers will constitute the new official threat to “national security” in the years ahead.
Prepare yourself: The “we’re at war with the Muslims” crowd will soon begin exclaiming, “The communists and drug dealers are coming to get us. They have embarked on a quest to conquer the West.”
In other words, they will replace the Muslims as America’s new official enemy. Anything to avoid confronting the reality that it is the U.S. Empire that is the reason that so many people around the world hate the U.S. government.
One of the most amusing aspects of the “we’re at war with the Muslims” crowd is their refusal to criticize the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why is that amusing? Because the U.S. government’s invasions and occupations of those countries have succeeded in installing two official Islamic states. Just go look at their official constitutions and you’ll see what I mean. Yet, the “we’re at war with the Muslims” crowd never calls on the U.S. Empire to bomb the regimes in those two countries. Instead, the crowd continues to exhort us to support the troops in their attempt to preserve these two official Muslim regimes. Maybe the crowd doesn’t realize that the Muslims might be using Iraq and Afghanistan as the foundation for their supposed quest to conquer the world.
It’s a good thing that the “we’re at war with the Muslims” crowd are keeping their mouths shut in the wake of the attacks on the Sikhs in Wisconsin and the Muslims in Missouri. The last thing we need is more senseless killing.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.