23 April, 2013.
Just as there are good dictators and bad dictators in Washington’s eyes, there are also good terrorists and bad terrorists: Al Qaeda in Iraq, bad. Al Qaeda in Syria, good. Al Qaeda in Mali, bad. Al Qaeda in Libya, good, now bad. This hypocrisy manifests itself most acutely in how western media reports on the victims of terror. On the same day as the recent Boston bombings, at least 75 people were killed in Iraq and more than 250 injured by a series of car bombs.
Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the car bombings and within minutes of the bombings in Boston, western media outlets, politicians and security experts all hastily concluded that Islamic terror was to blame. This is despite the fact that according to the FBI only 6% of terror attacks on US soil are by Muslims. In fact, Jewish extremists committed more terror attacks in the US than Muslims over the last three decades. Yet notice the disparity in media coverage between the two.
Muslims constitute 1% of the US population, but they are 13 percent of the victims of religious-based hate crimes. Clearly, Muslims at home and abroad are disproportionately the victims of terrorism. Yet in the media there is an outpouring of rage and condemnation whenever western citizens are killed, while reports of more frequent Muslim deaths are muted. In the western media there would appear to be a distinct Hierarchy of Human Life.
America’s policy of openly backing Islamic terrorist groups stems largely from the Cold War era. Back then America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union. The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked that “by any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.”
The CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier both to Soviet expansion and to the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also openly supported the Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia and the Jamaat-e-Islami against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least there is Al-Qaeda. Lest we forget, Bin Laden was trained, armed and funded by the CIA.
Read the rest here.
Garikai Chengu is a Fellow of Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute for African Research. Garikai can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Could not have said it better myself.
I was struck by this troubling observation from the full text: "(T)he US military budget is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born."
Makes you think does it not?