FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Selective Hearing in the War on Terror

Watching Fox News’s recent coverage of the Islamic State’s Twitter-hack left me shaking my head in disbelief, as usual. The latest act alleged to have been carried out by IS is the group’s takeover of several Twitter accounts belonging to the wives of US military servicemen. Among the threatening tweets issued by IS through the hacked accounts were comments like: “You think you’re safe but you’re not,” “IS is already here,” and “We’re watching you” (issued specifically to Michelle Obama).

The IS tweet receiving the least attention from American media outlets appears to be the most substantive: “While your president and your husband are killing our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we’re coming for you.” In fact, it is the only tweet in this series including content beyond ambiguous threats. Despicable as it is to those of us who abhor violence, the comment is revealing and deserves the close attention of American policymakers. Yet, it got no such attention from the American government or media. They preferred to speculate on whether IS really might be around the corner.

The tweet is crucial in that it reveals one of the Islamic State’s main motivations — their desire to drive American military forces from their positions in nearly every Arab country. It’s the latest in a long line of such declarations from various Islamic factions offering the same rationale.

Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA’s bin Laden Unit, said about bin Laden: “[he] is remarkably eager for Americans to know why he doesn’t like us, what he intends to do about it and then following up and doing something about it in terms of military actions.” Bin Laden laid out his motivations directly to the American public in a letter. He cited, among other reasons for fighting, the US government’s continuing support of Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine, the US government’s wars in Muslim lands like Somalia and Iraq, and the US government’s repression of Muslims via Middle East puppet regimes. Notice a recurring theme here? Bin Laden’s grievances were with the US government.

Yes, bin Laden does attribute some responsibility to American taxpayers for making “their” government’s actions possible. This should not come as a shocking revelation. In any government war, the enemy’s source of funding is a primary target. For this very reason, the US government has made it a crime to provide financial support to those it deems terrorists. So it should come as no surprise that al Qaeda or IS would play by the same rules of war, declaring the US government’s piggy bank fair game. Disturbing, yes. Surprising, no.

There is no denying that the American way of life also motivates the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and their brethren. In bin Laden’s letter, he also cites western culture’s repugnance to his perverted brand of Islam as a motivating factor. Unfortunately, in an effort to avoid blame, the US government and its mouthpiece media present only this factor. It is absolutely taboo to mention the murder and mayhem committed by US forces in Muslim lands as a contributing factor. As Scheuer said, trying to do so is like “yelling into a closet. The American people, God bless ‘em, are just so badly educated and unaware of how duplicitous their leaders are …” Time to listen and learn.

Chad Nelson, contributing author at the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org), is an attorney based out of Providence, Rhode Island and is one of the world’s biggest Pearl Jam fans, despite their blind obedience to the Obama administration. Follow him on Twitter @cnels43.

More articles by:

Chad Nelson is senior editor at the Center for a Stateless Society. He’s an attorney based out of Providence, Rhode Island and a Fellow at C4SS. He considers himself one of the world’s biggest Pearl Jam fans despite their blind obedience to the Obama administration. Follow him on Twitter @cnels43.

November 15, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Ukania: the Land Where the Queen’s Son Has His Shoelaces Ironed by His Valet
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Spraying Poisons, Chasing Ghosts
Anthony DiMaggio
In the Wake of the Blue Wave: the Midterms, Recounts, and the Future of Progressive Politics
Christopher Ketcham
Build in a Fire Plain, Get What You Deserve
Meena Miriam Yust
Today It’s Treasure Island, Tomorrow Your Neighborhood Store: Could Local Currencies Help?
Karl Grossman
Climate of Rage
Walter Clemens
How Two Demagogues Inspired Their Followers
Brandon Lee
Radical Idealism: Jesus and the Radical Tradition
Kim C. Domenico
An Anarchist Uprising Against the Liberal Ego
Elliot Sperber
Pythagoras in Queens
November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail