(This blog entry was adapted from a comment I left in a debate triggered by criminyjicket’s blog entry about Bill O’Reilly’s sandbagging of Ron Paul. If you’re looking for intelligent dialog with conservatives who transcend the “jesus Hates Fags” Right and the “nuke everyone who’s skin is darker than my refrigerator” crowd, CJ’s blog is the place to find it).
Why do so few anti-war people acknowledge that Islamic terrorists are dangerous and crazy? Why do so few pro-war people acknowledge that the U.S. govt. is corrupt, the U.S. news media are corrupt, and most American corporations (i.e., Halliburton) are corrupt?
As terrorists become crazier and more dangerous, the corrupt powers that be in the U.S. make more money. Why? Because Americans are afraid, and thus we support sending our poor to die in lucrative circle-jerk wars?
When “we” (i.e., mostly poor Americans whose best/only option was to join the military) first got to Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance made millions by handing over “terrorists” to us. We’ve since learned that many of them had no connection to “al-Qaeda”, though it took them quite a bit of time and agony to convince our waterboarders. Others were local terrorists who were gung-ho about stirring shit up in Afghanistan but who couldn’t have cared less about the United States or Osama bin Laden.
They care now.
This is why war in Iran is such a terrible idea. As the U.S. military presence in the Middle East grows, what do you think will happen to the (currently) non-violent Muslims who find themselves under constant military surveillance and scrutiny. I’ll give you a clue: it will be very similar to the effect that 9/11 had on formerly peaceful Americans who suddenly supported war and nationbuilding in Iraq.
Ordinary people respond to fear. Powerful people harness it for their advantages. Ordinary Americans did not bring 9/11 upon ourselves. Nor did ordinary Iraqis bring the misery they face today upon themselves.
The next step is for both sides to acknowledge that. Since we Americans consider ourselves vastly superior, both morally and intellectually, to Arabs, why don’t we go first? Let’s stop letting American neoconservatives play chess with poor people! That should be our number one priority in the 2008 elections–to elect a candidate who will demote American nation-building to the desperate, defeated movement that it was before 9/11. Taking this initiative will convince mainstream Muslims to go back to denouncing terrorism and terrorists, as they did before the post-9/11 U.S. military occupations.
Don’t want to take my word for it? Then don’t take Giuliani’s word for it either. Don’t take Mitt Romney’s word for it, or Fred Thompson’s, or even David Petraeus’. They’ve all spent less time talking to actual Muslims than I have. And I guarantee they’ve read far fewer books.