Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Problem is Empire, not Islam

Friday, September 10, 2010
by Jacob G. Hornberger

I suspect that the reason that so many Americans have gone off on the anti-Islamic kick is their steadfast refusal to confront the fact that the 9/11 attacks were the direct consequence of the bad things their federal government had been doing to Muslims in the Middle East prior to 9/11. It’s as if people perceive the federal government to be a sacred god, one that is all-knowing and all-good.

Woe to the blasphemer and the heretic who dare to point out that the 9/11 attacks were nothing more than retaliation for the horrific things that the U.S. Empire was doing to Muslims prior to 9/11. One is simply not supposed to say such things. If you do, you’re labeled an America-hater, as if the federal government and our country were one and same thing.

No, you’re supposed to just continue to blindly repeat the mantra: Islam is bad and the Muslims are coming here to America to establish Sharia law. Our government must continue to protect us from the coming invasion. That’s why the Empire has been occupying Iraq and Afghanistan for longer than World War II — to protect us from Muslims … well, except for the fact that the regimes that the U.S Empire is protecting in Iraq and Afghanistan happen to be Muslim regimes.

Prior to 9/11, we here at The Future of Freedom Foundation predicted the 9/11 attacks. That doesn’t make us brilliant soothsayers. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to make such a prediction. We knew what the U.S. Empire was doing in the Middle East, we knew the tremendous anger it was generating, and we knew that ultimately there would be people who would retaliate.

Since the U.S. Empire was doing the bad things to countries that were predominantly Muslim, it also didn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that the people who would inevitably retaliate would be Muslims. Duh!

In order to avoid having to confront these unpleasant facts, all too many Americans, however, have gone off on this anti-Islamic kick, claiming that the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with retaliation but instead everything to do with some sort of worldwide Muslim campaign to conquer the world.

Take a look at these two articles that FFF published in 1999 and 2000 — that is, prior to the 9/11 attacks:

Terrorism, War, and Crises by Jacob G. Hornberger

Breeding Terrorism by Sheldon Richman

Here is what I wrote in part in January 2000 — 18 months prior to the 9/11/2001 attacks:

Throughout all the hype and hysteria, U.S. government officials behaved as if they were innocent babes threatened by people who simply have an overwhelming desire to kill Americans for no good reason at all.

But the truth is that there are plenty of people in the world who have very good reason to hate the U.S. government. If we ignore this, we do so at our peril.

For example, look at what our government has done to the people of Iraq. Ever since the supposed end of the Persian Gulf War, we have maintained a vicious, brutal embargo against the Iraqi people….

The embargo against Iraq has caused extreme suffering, in terms of malnutrition and health conditions, not for Iraq's ruling elite but rather for the Iraqi people, and especially for their children. How many Iraqi babies have died because of the U.S. embargo? How many women have died during childbirth because of the embargo? How many fathers have seen their children's growth stunted?....

If there had been a terrorist attack, you can be 100 percent certain that the U.S. government would have used the crisis as an opportunity to march America farther down the road to total destruction of our civil liberties….

There is one and only one solution to the problem of terrorism by foreigners against Americans: for the American people to put a permanent end to state-sponsored terrorism by their own government.

Here is what Sheldon wrote in December 1999—20 months prior to the 9/11 attacks:

If 2000 comes in with a terrorist's bang, the blame must be squarely placed at the feet of our foreign-policy makers. Of course, the perpetrator is directly responsible for the deaths and injuries of innocent civilians, but that doesn't alter the fact that the foreign-policy establishment, from President Clinton on down, are accessories. They created the indispensable conditions.

Too extreme a statement? Ponder this: someone recently asked when the last act of foreign terrorism was committed against Switzerland. Isn't it interesting that countries that mind their own business aren't targets of violence committed by citizens of other nations? Maybe there's a lesson there somewhere….

Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent state is our protector and that without it we'd be at the mercy of monsters. It is about time that we understood that the U.S. government does more to endanger the American people than any imagined monsters around the world….

There is a way to make the United States terrorist-proof: pursue a foreign policy proper to a constitutional republic, the same policy proposed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In a word: nonintervention. Let countries and populations work out their own disputes. Meddling simply widens and intensifies conflicts.

Was the U.S. Empire waging a religious crusade against Islam when it was doing bad things to Muslims in the Middle East prior to 9/11? Of course not. The Empire was simply pursuing its primary foreign-policy objective — regime change — ousting recalcitrant rulers in foreign countries and replacing them with pro-U.S. rulers who would do the bidding of the Empire. That’s how the Empire works — it engages in coups, assassinations, invasions, foreign aid, occupations, kidnappings, executions, and the like to effect regime change abroad and to exterminate those who resist.

In order to arrive at a correct solution to a problem, it is necessary to arrive at a correct diagnosis. The problems facing our country are not rooted in the Islamic religion or with Muslims. The problems are rooted in U.S. foreign policy.

Thus, the solution is obvious: Stop the Muslim-bashing and simply dismantle the U.S. government’s overseas military empire, bring all the troops home and discharge them, terminate all governmental interventions in the affairs of other countries, and restore a limited-government constitutional republic to our land.

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