Why We’re Never Told Why We’re Attacked

Exclusive: When Western media discusses terrorism against the West, the motive is almost always left out, even when the terrorists state they are avenging longstanding Western violence in the Muslim world, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

After a Russian commercial airliner was downed over Egypt’s Sinai last October, Western media reported that the Islamic State bombing was retaliation against Russian airstrikes in Syria. The killing of 224 people, mostly Russian tourists on holiday, was matter-of-factly treated as an act of war by a fanatical group without an air force resorting to terrorism as a way to strike back.

Yet, Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in the Middle East than Russia has. Then why won’t Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels?

The World Trade Center's Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

Instead, there’s a fierce determination not to make the same kinds of linkages that the press made so easily when it was Russia on the receiving end of terror. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama Ignores Russian Terror Victims.”]

For example, throughout four hours of Sky News’ coverage of the July 7, 2005 attacks in London, only the briefest mention was made about a possible motive for that horrific assault on three Underground trains and a bus, killing 52 people. But the attacks came just two years after Britain’s participation in the murderous invasion of Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, one of the Iraq War’s architects, condemned the loss of innocent life in London and linked the attacks to a G-8 summit he’d opened that morning. A TV host then read and belittled a 10-second claim of responsibility from a self-proclaimed Al Qaeda affiliate in Germany saying that the Iraq invasion was to blame. There was no more discussion about it.

To explain why these attacks happen is not to condone or justify terrorist outrages against innocent civilians. It is simply a responsibility of journalism, especially when the “why” is no mystery. It was fully explained by Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the four London suicide bombers. Though speaking for only a tiny fraction of Muslims, he said in a videotaped recording before the attack:

“Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.”

The Islamic State published the following reason for carrying out last November’s Paris attacks:

“Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake part in the crusader campaign … and boast about their war against Islam in France, and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets.”

Claiming It’s a State of Mind

Ignoring such clear statements of intent, we are instead served bromides by the likes of State Department spokesman Mark Toner about the Brussels bombings, saying it is impossible “to get into the minds of those who carry out these attacks.”

Mind reading isn’t required, however. The Islamic State explicitly told us in a press statement why it did the Brussels attacks: “We promise black days for all crusader nations allied in their war against the Islamic State, in response to their aggressions against it.”

Yet, still struggling to explain why it happened, Toner said, “I think it reflects more of an effort to inflict on who they see as Western or Westerners … fear that they can carry out these kinds of attacks and to attempt to lash out.”

Toner ascribed the motive to a state of mind: “I don’t know if this is about establishing a caliphate beyond the territorial gains that they’ve tried to make in Iraq and Syria, but it’s another aspect of Daesh’s kind of warped ideology that they’re carrying out these attacks on Europe and elsewhere if they can. … Whether it’s the hopes or the dreams or the aspirations of a certain people never justifies violence.”

After 9/11, President George W. Bush infamously said the U.S. was attacked because “they hate our freedoms.” It’s a perfect example of a Western view that ascribes motives to Easterners without allowing them to speak for themselves or taking them seriously when they do.

Explaining his motive behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden, in his Letter to America, expressed anger about U.S. troops stationed on Saudi soil. Bin Laden asked: “Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple: Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.” (Today the U.S. has dozens of bases in seven countries in the region.)

So why won’t Western officials and corporate media take the jihadists’ statements of intent at face value? Why won’t they really tell us why we are attacked?

It seems to be an effort to cover up a long and ever more intense history of Western military and political intervention in the Middle East and the violent reactions it provokes, reactions that put innocent Western lives at risk. Indirect Western culpability in these terrorist acts is routinely suppressed, let alone evidence of direct Western involvement with terrorism.

Some government officials and journalists might delude themselves into believing that Western intervention in the Middle East is an attempt to protect civilians and spread democracy to the region, instead of bringing chaos and death to further the West’s strategic and economic aims. Other officials must know better.

1920-1950: A Century of Intervention Begins

A few might know the mostly hidden history of duplicitous and often reckless Western actions in the Middle East. It is hidden only to most Westerners, however. So it is worth looking in considerable detail at this appalling record of interference in the lives of millions of Muslims to appreciate the full weight it exerts on the region. It can help explain anti-Western anger that spurs a few radicals to commit atrocities in the West.

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

The history is an unbroken string of interventions from the end of the First World War until today. It began after the war when Britain and France double-crossed the Arabs on promised independence for aiding them in victory over the Ottoman Empire. The secret 1916 Sykes-Picot accord divided the region between the European powers behind the Arabs’ backs. London and Paris created artificial nations from Ottoman provinces to be controlled by their installed kings and rulers with direct intervention when necessary.

What has followed for 100 years has been continuous efforts by Britain and France, superseded by the United States after the Second World War, to manage Western dominance over a rebellious region.

The new Soviet government revealed the Sykes-Picot terms in November 1917 in Izvestia. When the war was over, the Arabs revolted against British and French duplicity. London and Paris then ruthlessly crushed the uprisings for independence.

France defeated a proclaimed Syrian government in a single day, July 24, 1920, at the Battle of Maysalun. Five years later there was a second Syrian revolt, replete with assassinations and sabotage, which took two years to suppress. If you walk through the souk in Old Damascus and look up at the corrugated iron roof you see tiny specks of daylight peeking through. Those are bullet holes from French war planes that massacred civilians below.

Britain put down a series of independence revolts in Iraq between 1920 and 1922, first with 100,000 British and Indian troops and then mostly with the first use of air power in counterinsurgency. Thousands of Arabs were killed. Britain also helped its installed King Abdullah put down rebellions in Jordan in 1921 and 1923.

London then faced an Arab revolt in Palestine lasting from 1936 to 1939, which it brutally crushed, killing about 4,000 Arabs. The next decade, Israeli terrorists drove the British out of Palestine in 1947, one of the rare instances when terrorists attained their political goals.

Germany and Italy, late to the Empire game, were next to invade North Africa and the Middle East at the start of the Second World War. They were driven out by British imperial forces (largely Indian) with U.S. help. Britain invaded and defeated nominally independent Iraq, which had sided with the Axis. With the Soviet Union, Britain also invaded and occupied Iran.

After the war, the U.S. assumed regional dominance under the guise of fending off Soviet regional influence. Just three years after Syrian independence from France, the two-year old Central Intelligence Agency engineered a Syrian coup in 1949 against a democratic, secular government. Why? Because it had balked at approving a Saudi pipeline plan that the U.S. favored. Washington installed Husni al-Za’im, a military dictator, who approved the plan.

1950s: Syria Then and Now

Before the major invasion and air wars in Iraq and Libya of the past 15 years, the 1950s was the era of America’s most frequent, and mostly covert, involvement in the Middle East. The Eisenhower administration wanted to contain both Soviet influence and Arab nationalism, which revived the quest for an independent Arab nation. After a series of coups and counter-coups, Syria returned to democracy in 1955, leaning towards the Soviets.

President Dwight Eisenhower

President Dwight Eisenhower

A 1957 Eisenhower administration coup attempt in Syria, in which Jordan and Iraq were to invade the country after manufacturing a pretext, went horribly wrong, provoking a crisis that spun out of Washington’s control and brought the U.S. and Soviets to the brink of war.

Turkey put 50,000 troops on the Syrian border, threatening to invade. Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened Turkey with an implied nuclear attack and the U.S. got Ankara to back off. This sounds eerily familiar to what happened last month when Turkey again threatened to invade Syria and the U.S. put on the brakes. The main difference is that Saudi Arabia in 1957 was opposed to the invasion of Syria, while it was ready to join it last month. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda?“]

In the 1950s, the U.S. also began its association with Islamic religious extremism to counter Soviet influence and contain secular Arab nationalism. “We should do everything possible to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect,” President Eisenhower told his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. After the Cold War, religious extremists, some still tied to the West, became themselves the excuse for U.S. intervention.

Despite U.S. regional ascendance in the 1950s, Britain and France weren’t through. In 1953, an MI6-CIA coup in Iran replaced a democracy with a restored monarchy when Mohammed Mossadegh, the elected prime minister, was overthrown after seeking to nationalize British-controlled Iranian oil. Britain had discovered oil in Iran in 1908, spurring deeper interest in the region.

Three years later Britain and France combined with Israel to attack Egypt in 1956 when President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had taken over from the ousted British-backed King Farouk, moved to nationalize the Suez Canal. The U.S. stopped that operation, too, denying Britain emergency oil supplies and access to the International Monetary Fund if the Brits didn’t back down.

Suez represented the final shift in external power in the Middle East from the U.K. to the U.S. But Washington couldn’t stop Britain from trying and failing to assassinate Nasser, who had sparked the Arab nationalist movement.

In 1958, the U.S. landed 14,000 Marines in Lebanon to prop up President Camille Chamoun after a civil conflict broke out against Chamoun’s intention to change the constitution and run for reelection. The rebellion was minimally supported by the United Arab Republic, the 1958-61 union between Egypt and Syria. It was the first U.S. invasion of an Arab country, excluding the U.S.’s World War II intervention in North Africa.

1960 to 2003: Interventions Post Colonial

The 1954-1962 Algerian rebellion against French colonialism, which Paris brutally tried to suppress, included Algerian acts of terrorism. Exhibiting the same cluelessness displayed by State Department spokesman Toner, the French attitude towards the uprising was expressed by an exasperated French officer in film The Battle of Algiers when he exclaimed, “What do you people want?”

From the 1960s to the 1980s, U.S. intervention in the region was mostly restricted to military support for Israel in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. From an Arab perspective that  represented a major U.S. commitment to protect Israeli colonialism.

The Soviet Union also intervened directly in the 1967-70 War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel when Nasser went to Moscow to say he’d resign and have a pro-Western leader take over if the Russians didn’t come to his aid. In backing Nasser, the Soviets lost 58 men.

The Soviets were also involved in the region to varying degrees and times throughout the Cold War, giving aid to Palestinians, Nasser’s Egypt, Syria, Saddam’s Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya — all countries and leaders charting an independent course from the West.

During the 1970 Black September conflict between Jordan and Palestinian guerrillas, the U.S. had Marines poised to embark in Haifa and ready to secure Amman airport when Jordan repelled a Syrian invasion in support of the Palestinians.

President Ronald Reagan.

President Ronald Reagan

In the 1980s the U.S. backed Saddam Hussein in his brutal, eight-year war with Iran, supplying him with arms, intelligence and chemical weapons, which he did not hesitate to use against Iranians and Kurds. President Ronald Reagan also bombed Libya in 1986 after accusing it without conclusive evidence of a Berlin bombing ten days earlier that killed a U.S. soldier.

The U.S. returned more directly to the region with a vengeance in the 1991 Gulf War, burying alive surrendering Iraqi troops with bulldozers; shooting thousands of soldiers in the back as they retreated on the Highway of Death, and calling for uprisings in the Shia south and Kurdish north and then leaving them to Saddam’s revenge.

Iraq never recovered fully from the devastation, being crushed for 12 years under U.N. and U.S. sanctions that then U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright admitted contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. But she said it was “worth it.”

Iraq’s sanctions only ended after the 2003 full-scale U.S. and British invasion of the sovereign Arab nation, an assault justified by bogus claims about Iraq hiding stockpiles of WMD that could be shared with Al Qaeda. The invasion killed hundreds of thousands of people and left Iraq devastated. The invasion also unleashed a civil war and gave rise to the terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq, which later merged with terrorists in Syria to become ISIS.

Throughout this century of intervention, Britain, France and the U.S. managed the region through strong alliances with dictators or monarchs who had no regard for democratic rights. But when those autocrats became expendable, such as Saddam Hussein had, they are disposed of.

The Biggest Invasion Yet

While most Americans may be unaware of this long history of accumulated humiliation of Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities in the region — and the resulting hatred of the West — they can’t ignore the Iraq invasion, the largest by the West in the region, excluding World War II. Nor is the public unaware of the 2011 intervention in Libya, and the chaos that has resulted. And yet no link is made between these disasters and terror attacks on the West.

The secular strongmen of Iraq, Libya and Syria were targeted because they dared to be independent of Western hegemony — not because of their awful human rights records. The proof is that Saudi Arabia’s and Israel’s human rights records also are appalling, but the U.S. still staunchly stands by these “allies.”

During the so-called Arab Spring, when Bahrainis demanded democracy in that island kingdom, the U.S. mostly looked the other way as they were crushed by a combined force of the nation’s monarchy and Saudi troops. Washington also clung to Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak until the bitter end.

However, under the pretext of protecting the Libyan population, the U.S. and NATO implemented a bloody “regime change” in Libya leading to anarchy, another failed state and the creation of one more ISIS enclave. For the past five years, the West and its Gulf allies have fueled the civil war in Syria, contributing to another humanitarian disaster.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The West’s motive for all this meddling is often pinned on oil. But obedience is a strong factor. Hans Morgenthau wrote in Politics Among Nations (1968), that the urge of empires to expand “will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination – a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power.”

Tariq Ali, in his 2003 book Bush in Babylon, writes about Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman general responsible for much of the conquest of Britain in the First Century: “On one of his visits to the outer reaches of [Britain], Agricola looked in the direction of Ireland and asked a colleague why it remained unoccupied. Because, came the reply, it consisted of uncultivable bog lands and was inhabited by very primitive tribes. What could it possibly have to offer the great Empire? The unfortunate man was sternly admonished. Economic gain isn’t all. Far more important is the example provided by an unoccupied country. It may be backward, but it is still free.”

Cloaking Motives

Little of this long history of Western manipulation, deceit and brutality in the Middle East is known to Americans because U.S. media almost never invokes it to explain Arab and Iranian attitudes towards the West.

Muslims remember this history, however. I know Arabs who are still infuriated by the Sykes-Picot backstabbing, let alone the most recent depredations. Indeed fanatics like the Islamic State are still ticked off about the Crusades, a much earlier round of Western intervention. In some ways it’s surprising, and welcomed, that only the tiniest fraction of Muslims has turned to terrorism.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, Islamophobes like Donald Trump want to keep all Muslims out of the U.S. until he figures out “what the hell is going on.” He says Muslims have a “deep hatred” of Americans. But he won’t figure it out because he’s ignoring the main cause of that hatred – the past century of intervention, topped by the most recent Western atrocities in Iraq and Libya.

Stripping out the political and historical motives renders terrorists as nothing more than madmen fueled by irrational hate of a benevolent West that says it only wants to help them. They hate us simply because we are Western, according to people like Toner, and not because we’ve done anything to them.

Israel and its Western enablers likewise bury the history of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and piecemeal conquest of Palestine so they can dismiss Palestinians who turn to terrorism as motivated only by hatred of Jews for being Jews.

I’ve asked several Israelis why Palestinians tend to hate them. The more educated the Israeli the more likely the answer was because of the history of how Israel was established and how it continues to rule. The less educated my respondent, the more likely I heard that they hate us simply because we are Jews.

There’s no excuse for terrorism. But there is a practical way to curb it: end the current interventions and occupations and plan no more.

The Psychology of Terror

Of course, anger at the West’s history of exploiting Muslim lands isn’t the only motivation for terrorism. There are emotional and group pressures that push some over the line to strap on bombs and blow up innocent people around them. Thankfully, it takes a very unusual type of individual to react to this ugly history with ugly acts of terror.

Money also plays a part. We’ve seen waves of defections as ISIS has recently cut fighters’ pay in half. Anger at Western-installed and propped-up local rulers who oppress their people on behalf of the West is another motive. Extremist preachers, especially Saudi Wahhabis, also share the blame as they inspire terrorism, usually against Shia.

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama’s State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama’s State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Wading into the psychology of why someone turns to terrorism is an unenviable task. The official Western view is that Islamist extremists merely hate modernity and secularism. That might be their motive in wanting to backwardly transform their own societies by removing Western influence. But it’s not what they say when they claim responsibility for striking inside the West.

To ignore their words and dismiss their violent reaction to the long and ongoing history of Western intervention may shield Americans and Europeans from their partial responsibility for these atrocities. But it also provides cover for the continuing interventions, which in turn will surely produce more terrorism.

Rather than looking at the problem objectively – and self-critically – the West ludicrously cloaks its own violence as an effort to spread democracy (which never seems to materialize) or protect civilians (who are endangered instead). To admit any connection between the sordid historical record and anti-Western terrorism would be to admit culpability and the price that the West is paying for its dominance.

Worse still, letting terrorists be perceived as simply madmen without a cause allows the terrorist response to become justification for further military action. This is precisely what the Bush administration did after 9/11, falsely seeking to connect the attacks to the Iraqi government.

By contrast, connecting terrorism to Western intervention could spark a serious self-examination of the West’s behavior in the region leading to a possible retreat and even an end of this external dominance. But that is clearly something policymakers in Washington, London and Paris – and their subservient media – aren’t prepared to do.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Why Many Muslims Hate the West” and “Muslim Memories of Western Imperialism.”]

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

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97 comments for “Why We’re Never Told Why We’re Attacked

  1. Drew Hunkins
    April 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Washington and the Western capitalist powers along with their intelligence agencies, militaries, media, and diplomatic charlatans spent the last 60 years subverting democratic socialist tendencies throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. Iran in the 1950s, Indonesia and Iraq in the 60s, Afghanistan in the 80s, Libya in 2011, Egypt in the 1960s, every single one of these states under populist leaders were invaded, bombed, embargoed, encircled or violently overthrown by proxy forces.

    What the heck do people think is going to crop up when battered and abused populations see only one viable alternative available (extreme fundamentalist Islam) that speaks a somewhat populist line against Western-Zionist aggression?

    Of course it’s to the great credit of the Arab and Muslim peoples that 99.99% of them – even though their populist gov’ts were destroyed – rebuff the rhetoric and violence of the extreme fundamentalist Muslim wing.

    • SFOMARCO
      April 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Punishment for organizing the Non-Aligned Nation movement in 1961:

      Sukarno (dispatched)
      Nasser (dispatched)
      Tito (Jugoslavia, disintegrated)
      Castro (Cuba, 55 years of punishment)
      Nehru (India, still standing!)

    • Jill
      April 9, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      In Syria the U.S., under Obama, is on the side of the ones who want democracy. But does anyone give Obama or Kerry any credit for that? Of course not. Libertarians, which this site consists of, are Republicans, although they are anti-neocon. And all Republicans are apparently obligated to bash Obama and Hillary constantly.

      • Joe Lauria
        April 10, 2016 at 8:55 am

        I cannot speak for the other writers on this site, but I am decidedly not a Libertarian, and I doubt that a majority of the writers are.

        • dahoit
          April 10, 2016 at 11:33 am

          Trump not knowing why they hate US?Sounds like a reach to me,any idiot,even Zioliars, know they hate US,for good reason,60 years and counting of provocation.
          Trump is not an idiot.HRC is.

          • Joe Lauria
            April 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm

            It is his own words. He’s said it multiple times. “We’ve gotta figure out what the hell is going on.”

        • Wallace McMillan
          April 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm

          This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a while. This brief tour through ME history should remove any doubt as to why terrorist are so pissed. Thank you

        • Drew Hunkins
          April 10, 2016 at 11:02 pm

          I’m with you Mr. Lauria. Jill is a bit confused (to be charitable) when she writes that this site consists of Libertarians. From what I can tell, this site consists primarily of truth seekers committed to global peace, some social justice and a reasonable Pentagon budget.

        • Mark
          April 12, 2016 at 7:46 am

          Joe,

          I just sent your article to several friends as part of my morning virtue signaling ritual, and despite being white, I feel thoroughly tolerant and multicultural.

          Perhaps you can write a similar article explaining why Islamic State and Boko Haram slaughter, enslave, and serial rape Christian and Yazidi (I’m sure Boko Haram would gladly rape and enslave Yazidi’s if they were available) women and children; an explanation might serve as an anodyne to their suffering.

          I’m certain there is some historical justification for executing homosexuals.

          Can we somehow tie this to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

          NOTA BENE;

          As a devout adherent of cultural relativism any hint of criticism of Islams teachings regarding women and gays is the byproduct of my liberal public school education.

          “Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
          – Jean-François Revel

      • dahoit
        April 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

        Another rube?liar? surfaces.
        Israel wants no democracy among its neighbors;The people hate Israel,and would implore their govts to attack their enemy.
        Divide and conquer.Yinon Plan.
        Jill must be a Zionist.

        • Jeff Davis
          April 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

          It’s hard for me to imagine someone so incredibly misinformed, particularly after reading this article. And yet there is a kind of innocent-seeming simplicity in her response. The people opposing the Assad govt in Syria have absolutely no interest in democracy. They are Sunni tribalists who want a Sunni-dominated theocratic regime — basically an extension of “The Caliphate”.

          That said, if Jill is sincere and not some Sunni Arab partisan, or some kind of Hasbara, I would really like to know how she came to hold the childish view of the world that she expresses here.

          Jill, how old are you?, where do you hail from?, where/how have you been educated?, are you Moslem/Christian/Jew/atheist/other?, from what sort of sources do you draw your political and historical “knowledge”?

      • Idiotland
        April 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        Sure, the same kind of “democracy” we’ve brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The same that is practiced in those bastions of “democracy” like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

      • jo6pac
        April 10, 2016 at 4:33 pm

        Jill “In Syria the U.S., under Obama, is on the side of the ones who want democracy. But does anyone give Obama or Kerry any credit for that?”

        This is attempt at Satire right? If not it is so far from the truth it’s sad.

      • jim
        April 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        Jill, Sorry but the ‘Syrian rebels’ are mostly not Syrian or rebels. They are, in fact, mostly western controlled Mercenaries routed through Libya by Hillary Clinton (a neo-con war criminal only dwarfed by Bush & Cheney).
        It is well documented that your ‘rebels’ are fighters that were routed through Libya and armed with U.S. weapons. So next time you see the casualty figures for Syria, please assign all of those deaths to H.R. Clinton.

        • Curious
          April 13, 2016 at 12:02 am

          Jim, good reply.

          I might also add, if a picture is worth a thousand words (or 140 characters on Twitter) have people notice the gear many of the mercenaries are wearing. Simply, the sand colored boots (US issue), do they have to shave (which is a good way to spot those who were schooled by our trainers in Iraq) to look presentable? What weapons are they holding and using? A 50cal on a pickup truck doesn’t come out of nowhere, much less multiple rounds, and the argument of pillaging the storehouses of Saddam, and Gaddafi, no longer hold up to the photographic evidence. Also, she needs to be schooled and your comment helps.

          • D K Shaw
            April 23, 2016 at 7:25 am

            Those Toyota pickup trucks are converted for desert warfare use by a company in Texas.

          • D K Shaw
            April 23, 2016 at 7:43 am

            I was wrong. Actually Indigen Armor in South Carolina is the builder.

      • Fred
        April 13, 2016 at 7:13 am

        It is the height of naiveté to think the groups fighting to overthrow Assad want democracy. Wake up.

      • Robert Noval
        April 19, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        If you read some of the articles on this site that do not deal with western meddling in the affairs of other countries, it becomes clear that this is far from a libertarian site.

        I’m certain I’m not the only libertarian for whom this is a favorite, however, as we will usually agree with what is written here on these matters.

        I learned of Mr. Luria’s article from his interview on the libertarian podcast Antiwar Radio.

        As to “bashing” of Clinton, here’s some more unpleasant truth, beyond what you’d find here, if you can handle it…

        http://hillaryisaneocon.com/

    • Michael Evans
      April 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Unlike their Western counterparts who murdered millions without any reasons.

  2. Pablo Diablo
    April 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    All so sad. Wars serve corporate interests. They make money (lots of it) and WE PAY. Just look at the high numbers of people who dislike Hillary Clinton to appreciate the number of people who are paying attention. Though small, Bernie is helping them to grow. And, a big THANK YOU to consortiumnew.com for its reporting. The best source.

  3. RamboDave
    April 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Don’t forget that The 9-11 Commission was specifically prohibited by Congress from investigating why we were attacked on 9-11. It is right there in plain English in the Congressional bill … “tho shall not ask why we were attacked”.

    In spite of this, the Commission did manage to insert a sentence in their final report quoting Osama as being unhappy about our basses in Saudi Arabia and our support for Israel’s theft of Arab land..

  4. Erik
    April 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Excellent points here about the suppression of “enemy” motives from public awareness. Similar processes suppress minority views during policymaking with the result of warmonger “groupthink” leading always to war. This results from control of elections and mass media by economic concentrations, and social and economic coercion of policymakers.

    The creation of a federal College of Policy Analysis that rigorously protects minority and “enemy” views on policies and circumstances, whose thousands of participants at universities would rigorously analyze and debate potential policies per region, and to which politicians would be accountable for advocacy of unsupportable policy concepts, could eliminate such groupthink, and at last humiliate the oligarchy media for spreading mere propaganda.

  5. Pauline Saxon
    April 9, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I love your site and support you, but Please try to make your articles a little shorter. They have to be read online and many times I just stop because it is so time consuming. Many times for this reason I don’t send them on to a friend.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Perhaps you should stick with Twitter or some other source limited to one or two sentences and words with no more than two syllables. If you do, pray that out of those digital towers of babel you will be lucky enough to get a few snippets of truth. You will probably have better luck playing the lottery. Cable news appears to be geared to your attention span, but the talking heads on those “shows” are more inclined to promote anything from BS to outright lies. If an essay such as the above is too much for you, presumably reading a book would be more than you can handle. If it is not too personal, what interests do you have that are so much more important than being informed about what is going on in the real world? I apologize for making such a long reply, but I don’t have time to make it shorter.

      • April 10, 2016 at 3:05 am

        Bill Bodden
        Bravo …

    • Erik
      April 10, 2016 at 8:00 am

      I sympathize with the demands of a working life. Sometimes a summary of major points would be quicker. The problem here is that the issues really are fairly deep and broad, and many readers need all the evidence because they are approaching the subject for the first time, and have read so much propaganda that there is much to be refuted. This site does a good job of that. Not sure how one would summarize such things.

      Hopefully you can read further when you have more time.

      • Joe Lauria
        April 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        Thanks Erik for that explanation.

      • Kate Jones
        April 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm

        Pauline Saxon, here’s the gist of it: Lauria’s article is superbly concise, considering the volume of information necessary to summarize his thesis of all the West’s malfeasances. It’s a valuable reference piece worth rereading during the next crisis. Thanks, Joe.

        One-liners that people want these days can’t capture the full context. Under-informed people are then easily manipulated emotionally to endorse further atrocities against other countries’ defenders whom we demonize as terrorists.

    • Joe Lauria
      April 10, 2016 at 8:57 am

      As I wrote: “It is worth looking in considerable detail at this appalling record of interference in the lives of millions of Muslims to appreciate the full weight it exerts on the region. It can help explain anti-Western anger that spurs a few radicals to commit atrocities in the West.” For the full effect I felt it necessary to pile on the history, and there is very much that was left out.

      • DocHollywood
        April 10, 2016 at 2:59 pm

        I think you did a great job btw; thank you.

        • Joe Lautia
          April 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm

          Thank you

      • Wallace
        April 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm

        Mr. Lauria,
        I think you did a great job in your review of the record in the region. It is well written and should spur further exploration on the part of the reader. I am sending all of my “friends” to this website to read this article.
        Thank you again!

        • Joe Lautia
          April 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

          Thank you Wallace

      • mark g.
        April 13, 2016 at 4:05 am

        Great job, Joe. Thank you!

        Why do they hate us?

        They hate us for our deeds.

    • Fred
      April 13, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      You remind me of a student who sat in the back row of the classroom, away from anyone else, asking the instructor to speak louder and to write larger.

  6. Bill Bodden
    April 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Hans Morgenthau wrote in Politics Among Nations (1968), that the urge of empires to expand “will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination – a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power.”

    If, heaven forbid, our next president will be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz Morgenthau’s astute observation will be at the core of US foreign policies.

    As for why we are never told by the mainstream media, The Establishment has ordained they will limit their chores to feeding the people propaganda.

  7. April 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    This is the kind of basic knowledge that we wold expect our Presidents to have, but they don’t. Is this asking too much?

    The history of the Middle East pretty stalled back in 1919 when Sykes and Picot got together and drew their lines all across that territory.without regard for the people who live there. Following that, the region has not been able to develop organically without our interference. Isn’t it so obvious it hurts that we have to stop meddling there and let the people figure it out for themselves? Take the Kurds, for example. There’s a good place to start. But the U.S.says that Iraq has to stay together. Why?

    Whatever they say, Obama has got the right idea: chill out in that area. He did absolutely the right thing (or rather he didn’t do the wrong thing) in Syria against all the conventional thinking. And, Israel has no business there. There’s something terribly wrong with that country doing what it is doing and our supporting it. We are allowing a 2% minority group run our country into the ground over there to our great detriment. We’re (our bought and paid for governement) looking at that area through the eyes of our so-called “allies”, when we should be looking at it through ours.

    • David Smith
      April 10, 2016 at 9:13 am

      The false argument that Sykes-Picot drew arbitrary borders is a Trojan Horse leading to the falacious conclusion that the area needs to be subdivided along “ethnic lines” as you do in referencing the Kurds. Sykes-Picot (roughly) follows borders that go back 6000 years. Egypt, Syria, and Sumer/Mesopotamia were the three original civilizations whose ancient borders(roughly) correspond with modern Egypt, Iraq, and…….what’s this? It seems Syria has been subdivided into Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine(Why?, don’t ask). Note that when the Hittites(out of Turkey) invaded N. Syria, Egypt occupied the area of modern Palestine( Ramses II/III period). Your opinion, ignorant of history, is that Egypt should have its historical borders, but not Syria and Iraq. Look at the present, Egypt is stable, Iraq was stable until it’s borders were violated and “sectarian division” convieniantly appeared, Syria was illegally cut up into four submandates(and a piece of Syria to Turkey) and it has been chaos and war in the territory of Greater Syria ever since. Perhaps you can see a pattern????

      • Erik
        April 10, 2016 at 11:34 am

        I’m not sure that the history makes a case here, and would appreciate calm debate of the point.

        Various UK policies of the early 20th century did establish borders of convenience for Iraq etc. based upon tactics and the desire for oil, which mixed ethnic/religious groups. A similar situation after WWII created new multi-ethnic nations in central Europe which have separated along somewhat more ethnic lines.

        That does not argue that ethnic separation creates peace, although it may help where the factions are in conflict as in Iraq and Bosnia. It may be that partition into multi-ethnic states could encourage communication among factions in giving them common ground so to speak, as may have been intended in some cases, but it doesn’t seem to have a promising record.

        No doubt intervention itself, whether or not redrawing borders, has been a major cause of conflict, both in physical and economic colonialism and the apparent Yinon Plan or similar policies of disruption and setting factions against each other. Setting aside borders and working with all cultures toward development and cooperation would appear to be far more productive than present policies.

        • David Smith
          April 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

          What, precisely please, in my comment is at variance with the historical record?

      • dahoit
        April 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

        French and Britons carving up what isn’t and wasn’t theirs does lead to those being had quite angry.
        6000 year old borders?That’s a head scratcher.There has been a lot of movement from then to today for many peoples,some far from their origins in Central or Western Eurasia.The Goths,Turks and Celts testify to that.
        Ethnic borders?I would posit that as the solution for this mess,as the peoples of the area,at present,seem very xenophobic to different tribes,either a result of divide and conquer,or ethnic prejudices.
        A landlocked Kurdistan doesn’t seem too viable though,or else it would have appeared centuries ago.

        • David Smith
          April 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

          Yes, Dahoit, 6000 year old borders. Instead of scratching your head, read some history/archeaology.

          • Jeff Davis
            April 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

            Up until the era of nation states, there were no “borders”, only frontiers. Boundaries were fluid. There was no notion of laws that limited imperial expansion. Sovereigns did whatever they liked. Conquest or attempted conquest were the rule, and with the ebb and flow of empires territory passed back and forth from one to the next. Here’s a visual depiction:

            Imperial-History-of-the-Middle-East
            http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html

            Five thousand years ago, God — if that sort of religious superstition works for you — gave the Holy Land to the Egyptians. Then 3000 thousand years ago, he took it from the Egyptians and gave it to the Jews. Then he took most of it back — left the Jews a little chunk around Jerusalem — and gave the rest to the Assyrians. Then he took it all back from the Assyrians and Jews and gave it to the Babylonians. Then he took it back again, and this time gave it to the Persians. After the Persians came the Macedonians, and after the Macedonians, the Romans. All of which giving and taking back took place in the 3000 years before the birth of Christ. This giving and taking and giving and taking continued unabated for another 2000 years to the present day, changing hands another nine — count ’em, nine — more times, for a total of 16 or 17. Now the Jews are back again after 3000 years.

            With all this shifting of boundaries it’s hard to see where you get your notion of “borders that go back 6000 years”.

            Post-enlightenment, the local people not Emperors or other foreign powers, are recognized as the source of political rights. Sadly, might makes right — call it what it is: criminality — still nullifies enlightenment values.

            Your real name isn’t David Smith is it?

      • Fergus Hashimoto
        April 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm

        The claim that the Sykes-Picot borders are somehow “natural” is bizarre in the extreme. It was not mentioned at the time. On the contrary, contemporary opinion was that the borders were completely artificial. In any case claims about ancient civilizations are irrelevant to ethnic distribution, which has changed constantly over the centuries. The ancient empires were also ethnically mixed.

        • David Smith
          April 10, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          Sykes-Picot defined the border of Mesopotamia and Greater Syria, two nations with 6000 years of historical continuity, how is that “completely artificial”? Egypt shares 6000 years of history with Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, and Egypt’s borders ancient and modern are identical, isn’t the conclusion obvious? It should be. Laughably, FH, you make irrelevant the undefined term ” ethnic distribution” by admitting, correctly, that ” ancient empires were ethnically mixed”.

          • jon vonn
            April 11, 2016 at 1:08 am

            The borders of defunct empires are hardly valid when clans and tribes now rule the area. Had the Allies after ww1 listened to the real expert they may have formulated better divisions along ethnic and religious lines. Muslim who is from different sects has the same issues as the Cathars of southern France.
            Bin Laden’s grievance was in ignorance. The US has been fighting for Saudi Arabia since 1947. It is also interesting that all agree that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction when fighting Iran. And then these weapons which were used against the Kurds after the 1st Gulf war somehow “disappeared” to be found in Syria. Both Saddam and Assad are Baathist party members.
            Ancient Empires were ethnically mixed and got along because not getting along meant the Empire would rub out any troublemakers. Rebel and die or fight with the other ethnic group and both groups die. Old Empires kept the peace through termination of hot spots. Whole populations were transported form “homelands” to some where the Empire could control them better.
            Yugoslavia was created by Tito whom all feared. When he died the lid came off of the pressure cooker. Don’t be fooled the Daesh want an empire. Ruled by them and their version of Islam as do others with their versions. Bottom line is that they are enemies of the West.

  8. John Mullen
    April 9, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    After the photos of the Boston bombers appeared on Television but before they were killed or captured I’m sure I remember a TV report of a friend of the younger brother’s telephone call with the younger brother. The friend said to the reporter something like, “I called him and asked what was going on and that Obama had condemned the attack in a speech and he (the younger brother) said that Obama had killed any more people in drone strikes.” I never heard that mentioned again even when the bombers’ motives were speculated about.

    • David Smith
      April 10, 2016 at 10:27 am

      John Mullen, if you are interested in things not mentioned, take a look at the video of the brothers carrying their backpacks, there is no strain on the straps or body of the backpacks, no distortion of shape, and their posture does not indicate they were carrying the over 20lb weight of the pressure cooker bombs as described by the FBI. I put a sixteen pound bag of rice into a backpack to test this idea, and it is obvious that the Tsarnaev brothers were not carrying heavy weight.

  9. Jerad
    April 9, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Hopefully there is a companion article coming along that will cover the 1300 years of Muslim aggression and invasions.

    • DocHollywood
      April 10, 2016 at 3:12 am

      The history of Middle Eastern imperialism in Western Europe and North America would be a very short article.

      • Erik
        April 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

        True, except for the conquest of Spain followed by the Crusades, but those rather distant bygones are better left bygone. It’s hard to trace tit-for-tat back more than a century or so, when Western intervention in the ME began in earnest. And the Muslim blowback has not shown desire to interfere with the West, whereas Israel certainly has.

      • Janus
        April 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        Your statement is technically correct, because Western Europe almost by definition is that part of the former Roman Empire where Middle Eastern jihadist Imperialism failed. But just because the humiliating (to the West) successes of Middle Eastern imperialism are not widely known doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. Northern Africa? At first intimately connected by trade with southern Europe, but Islamized and hostile by about 700. Moors were only driven from Spain in the 1400’s. Numerous raqqia’s, pirate slave expeditions, took place (eg. Barbary Pirates). Middle Eastern imperialism was cultural: jihad spread Islam by killing males and enslaving females who wouldn’t accept sharia, and/or humiliating those who would as lower class dhimmi, whose lot was to be made so unpleasant that they would eventually convert. And the imperialism was cultural, destroying indigenous cultural objects (Christian & Jewish churches became mosques; recall Bamiyan Buddhas and Palmyra) Eastern Europe in some sense was that part of Europe where Islamic imperialism was catastrophically successful. The Ottoman economy was heavily based on slave trade and robbery, much to the pain of Hungarian and Balkan populations (especially those incorporated into the Umma). In 1683, however, Janus Sobieskus led 30,000 Polish/Lithuanian soldiers to victory over the 300,000 man Ottoman army at the gates of Vienna. Had that defense failed, your statement would still be true, but only because the borders of Western Europe would be considerably to the west of where they are today. The history sketched here involves much more than “a very short article”.

        • Fergus Hashimoto
          April 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

          Actually, wholesale destruction of cultural artifacts is a relatively recent fad introduced by the Wahhabis.

          • SFOMARCO
            April 11, 2016 at 2:50 am

            Spain deliberately destroyed great Aztec and Inka artifacts, as one stratagem of wiping out the emtirety of those cultures.

    • dahoit
      April 10, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Go for it man,tell us.sheesh.
      The wave of Islamic conquest receded in the 17th century with the collapse of the Ottomans.Previous Muslim aggression was back in the 7th century,in Spain and France.
      Zionist aggression started in the modern age,1948,and continues unabated to this day.
      Truth is so simple.Lies,or at least ones that work,need a lot of work.

      • Fergus Hashimoto
        April 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        Zionism is indeed aggressive. But I doubt that this is an inborn trait. For example, it seems the Haganah – the core of what eventually became the Israeli army — was founded in reaction to the Jerusalem riots of 1920, in which most victims were Jews and an alarmingly high proportion of the dead were Jewish women and children. Zionism is also not particularly bloodthirsty, by historical standards. According to Benny Morris, only 800 (eight hundred) Arab civilians and captives were murdered by Zionists in the entire 1948 war, which lasted several months, although most Jews thought their lives were at risk.
        Such belief was justified by the genocidal threats made in 1947 by Azzam, the head of the Arab League, for the event that the Jews tried to proclaim a sovereign state. Azzam made picturesque references to the Mongol conquests when describing the imminent war against the Jews.
        800 Arabs killed in cold blood by Zionists is equal to less than one tenth of one percent (< 0.1%) of the Arab population of Palestine at the time. By contrast, in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the Fascists would sometimes execute hundreds of prisoners in a single afternoon, and their Moorish auxiliaries conducted massive bloodbaths of the civilian population. Even though Spain’s population was 10 or 15 times that of Palestine, this suggests that the Zionists were not especially intent on killing Arabs.
        Of course none of this excuses Ariel Sharon’s lengthy career of systematically committing war crimes, or other Zionist excesses.

        • David Smith
          April 10, 2016 at 11:43 pm

          Benny Morris is a fraud. His 800 number is not reliable, he uses only Israeli documents, is highly selective, uses a very small number of documents, and accepts them without critical scrutiny. FH, you do share with Morris the psychotic visions of Arab barbarism, apocalyptic victimhood, relish in the details of atrocities and self righteous justification for a few small crimes, that make the Zionist entertaining.

    • Brad Owen
      April 10, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. I see a long-cycle ebb-and-flow of “Karma”. I think of when Persia assaulted ancient Greece, and they payed the favor back, under Alexander. I think of carthage getting all up in republican Rome’s business, and they payed the favor back in 3 Punic Wars. I think of how the Roman Empire usurped the Christian religion and making it serve an Imperial agenda (got another thousand years of life out the old Empire…probably hunted down non-worldly christian sects as “Heretics”). I think the ancient remnants of old Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Parthian Empires of the East saw how well the Romans used this new Imperial, Monotheistic religion to further their aims, so adopted the teachings of a Holy man out of the desert (Mohammed) and put it to Imperial service, conquering Roman North Africa, East Roman/Byzantine Turkey, many Balkan Nations and Greece again (until 19th century), parts of Italy and France, Spain and Portugal (all Roman Empire territory)…and various European Empires payed the favor back (18th/19th century until the present time). I think this analysis is lacking a perspective from the point of view of the various “Imperiums”, both Eastern and Western, that are still operative (although covertly, as republican Democracy and National Sovereignty are still all-the-rage). I see no point in playing the finger-pointing game…”let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” some ancient Mystic said long ago, also something about turning the other cheek.

  10. Jill
    April 9, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    How about some time writing an article recognizing Bernie as the only non-neocon in the presidential race? I guess some people would say Trump is a non-neocon. But he’s all over the map, so he has said things that sound neocon and things that sound non-neocon.

  11. Jim Kemeny
    April 10, 2016 at 1:11 am

    There is a good post on April 8 in Washingtons Blog on NATO as a War-Racket.

  12. Joe Tedesky
    April 10, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Cheney & Co. No doubt ignored all the briefings at the time which would have stated what an invasion aftermath of Iraq would look like. Seriously, I believe they would have showed no interest in restabilizing Iraq, and Paul Bremer was there to make sure of that. The plan that was implemented was the Yinon Plan. Same as Colonel Raplh Peters had in mine, whereas we will tear up everything around Israel. Think about that for a moment, and then think sane thoughts to realize how insane these plans really are.

    The best part of the plan, is back home the citizens are getting pretty weary of Shia law, and can’t see anything wrong with cartoons of Muhammad. The result of this is that the Muslim citizens are now feeling the racist attitudes beginning to swirl around them. All of a sudden, young Muslims find refuge in the Internet websites coming from their grandfathers old country. The Drone word takes on a whole new meaning, as opposed to it being pretty neat how they can fly w/o a pilot. Someone better quit with that line how we’re fight’n them over there so we don’t have to fight him over here…well???

    If only America would quit speaking with fork tongue. This bad U.S. Government habit, is a deadly one, indeed. I have always believed that if the U.S. was to only partner up with Russia, that then only then could something constructive happen to gain world peace. Disarmament should replace the weapons industry. I would love to invest in the scrap industry, if this were to ever happen….but yet another day on planet earth.

  13. Fergus Hashimoto
    April 10, 2016 at 3:20 am

    It is true that often the media indeed try to avoid blaming Western policy for anti-Western violence.
    On the other hand often the media are quite candid about the cause of the blowback.
    For example, a few years ago in Sweden, an Iraqi who had come to Sweden as a child refugee and had been educated in Swedish schools blew himself up in a crowded shopping area of Stockholm during the Xmas shopping season. The underlying cause: Sweden refused to punish a cartoonist who made fun of the prophet Mohammed.
    Or isn’t that the kind of blowback you had in mind?
    PS. Thanks to a malfunction, he managed to kill only himself.

    • David Smith
      April 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

      The malfunction was caused by the False Flag. The Toronto Eighteen provides a case study in running a False Flag Operation, due to the crude tradecraft of RCMP/CSIS, which left all the strings hanging out, absurdly obvious by reading the newspaper account.

      • Fergus Hashimoto
        April 10, 2016 at 6:52 pm

        The history is well documented of how this Iraqi-Swede was radicalized and recruited by jihadists when he studied in England. If you have any evidence of “false-flag”, produce it. “False flag” is not a magic formula that you can simply invoke at will.

        • David Smith
          April 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm

          A False Flag Operation is by nature secret, with a cover story of “radicalized and recruited by jihadis”. You are using the fallacy of Begging The Question, and Appeal To Authority, that is you accept the official story, then make it your conclusion. In the Toronto Eighteen case, the young men were ” radicalized and recruited” by a government agent who was paid four million dollars, therefore governments do run False Flag Operations. I don’t expect to convince you and you certainly don’t convince me.

  14. Tim N
    April 10, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Fascinating that this article should be illustrated by an image of the 9/11 attacks and use Bin Laden’s November 2002 “Letter to America” as primary evidence for its case. As any reputable journalist would tell you, establishing the source and reliability of any such material is of critical importance: one might even say it is the journalist’s fundamental responsibility.

    But the source of Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” is nothing more than “it was found on the internet somewhere and translated by someone”, a provenance so unreliable that only publications like The Guardian and Consortium News could present it as authenticated, let alone base an article on it. Extraordinarily poor by any standard.

    A truly credible journalistic effort in this area would begin by considering why Bin Laden spent so long denying he had any involvement in the 9/11 attacks in the Arabic media, and why his subsequent statements of culpability referred to so unquestioningly here cannot be authenticated, having been dismissed by experts such as those at the Swiss Dalle Molle Institute.

    • Erik
      April 10, 2016 at 8:17 am

      As I recall, the 9/11 attacks were carried out by a cell of Al Qaeda members who were Saudi nationals based in Germany, angered by the US abandonment of AlQaeda in AfPak, which the US had built from a small player under BinLaden to a major force to attack the USSR in Afghanistan.

      Whatever the source of the letter, the blowback from US involvement is quite clear. And statements by those causing terror incidents attributing the attacks to US imperialist support of Israel have been almost universal. Presumably no one would go to the trouble of causing 9/11 without trying to take credit and supply the intended meaning, and one cannot expect any source to present some kind of credentials, and no alternative source has been proposed credibly to my knowledge. So the reason to question the cause would have to be based on better evidence and reason to believe that they were linked to the terror cell. If you have no such source, why go to such length to question the evidence here?

      • David Smith
        April 10, 2016 at 9:48 am

        Erik, “why go to such length to question” ? If you have evidence Bin Laden was the source of The Letter To America you left it out of your comment.

      • Tim N
        April 11, 2016 at 2:34 am

        Erik, establishing reliable sources of information is the key responsibility of any journalist. Your recollection is not a reliable source here. That would be absurd. But your recollection is as reliable a source to establish the authenticity of OBL’s “Letter to America” as anything Consortium News can offer here.

        Journalists have to be able to stand their stories up. Unfortunately for Consortium News the critical importance of establishing the provenance of OBL’s letter has been overlooked, and instead reported unquestioningly without even the faintest effort to fulfil basic journalistic responsibilities. It’s very sad.

    • SFOMARCO
      April 11, 2016 at 3:13 am

      After Osama bin Laden’s “letter” re 9/11, the Wall Street Journal asserted that Osama “hand-picked” the airline skyjackers from al-Qaida’s ranks in order to drive a wedge between the USA and Saudi Arabia. How did the WSJ authenticate this accusation? Someone “close to the White House” who was “not authorized to speak on the record”?

  15. Unanswered Questions
    April 10, 2016 at 6:50 am

    9/11 still has a lot of unanswered questions like:

    1. How did 7 WTC collapse demolition style when it was never struck by a plane? Was that where the fourth plane was headed, that never made its destination? You had the owner Larry Silverstein state in an interview that he decided to “pull it”.

    2. Why were the 4 dancing Israelis who were detained by the FBI, freed, and sent back to Israel?

    3. Why is the state above constantly ruled out when they were caught attacking the US with no repercussions and trying to frame Middle Eastern people, as was the case in the USS Liberty and Lavon Affair attacks?

    4. Why would “terrorists” target some old buildings that most people outside of NYC in the US didn’t even really know about at the time?

    5. Cui bono?

    • silent adviser
      April 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Can’t argue with much of your implied assessments but I can answer the question you had regarding why they would target the World Trade Center specifically. It was because it was a symbol of amarican Imperial power. Targeting both Wall Street and the pentagon was fairly brilliant as it would provided the reaction that they wanted. Which was direct military action that would hopefully excelerate the decline of the mighty amarican empire (which it has).

      • Curious
        April 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        Dear Silent,

        This is just a note for your personal edification. Examine the hole in the Pentagon, and explain where and why the wings made no mark, as they certainly did in the photos of the Twin Towers. Also, if you can find it anymore, superimpose the body of said jetliner over the damage done to the Pentagon. Also, the qualified reports from aviation gurus who said parts of the said airplane (e.g. engine) were never a compliment of the aircraft in question. I won’t get all “conspiratorial” on you, but I thought it may be worth your time to examine what evidence is left online.

        I think I would add to UQs’ list by asking how it might be possible for a man in a cave, or Afghanistan , despite his wealth, to create the necessary documentation,visas,passports,logistics, (or 33+ people on a cross-country flight) for such a feat. That in itself is quite a leap of imagination.

        Also, if it was such a “symbol” of American Imperial Power” as you suggested, why was the NY skyline in Vegas built without that symbolism years before the attack? (possible just coincidence) These are just a few things to ponder as you advise.

  16. Jan Stevens
    April 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I agree with the author’s thesis, however, a larger historical perspective would have included a mention of the Muslim crusades into Europe which was finally halted at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

    • Joe Lauria
      April 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Are you saying that Ottoman encroachment into Europe which stopped at Vienna in 1683 justified Western intervention and occupation more than 200 years later?

    • dahoit
      April 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Muslim Crusades?Holy schneikes.
      Words have meaning;Crusades;Cross of JC?.
      Why are Europeans only allowed to be imperialists?

    • April 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      pathetic …
      “but … but … but … the Muslims attack the west too!”
      the term “Crusade” is rooted in the Latin “Crux” as in “the Cross.”
      the original Crusade was called for by Pope Urban II in 1095. Europeans who would bear a Cross, stitched onto their clothing, then set off for Jerusalem to free it from Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jewish, and Muslim residents of the city. the whole thing was so profitable to some, that subsequent Crusades were mounted. the IV Crusade was put together to serve Venice with a force that helped it re-establish it’s hegemony in the Adriatic from rebelling cities, mainly the Dalmatian city of Zara.
      if the Muslims mounted an attack on Europe it would have been retaliatory … and definitely not a “Crusade” since Muslims do not believe Jesus of Nazareth to have been a god incarnate, and do not wear a Cross.
      they do wear crescents representing the Moon … maybe we could call Muslim counter attacks “The Lunades.”

  17. Bob
    April 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I guess the time has came when progressive individuals in the whole world should point ever more louder, informing the rest of the world population who is sleeping to the lesser or higher degree, about real masters of to-days mess in the world; they are four main “think-tanks”, in fact occult-political Masonic-Jesuitical brotherhoods from the West: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg group, and Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA-Chatham House), with the help of plenty of associate organizations like Soros’ Open Society, Kissingers’s NED, Rotary club, different NGO’s, etc. They should be unmasked; then their masterminds who are purely occult and of evil nature. I recommend the site: http://www.threeman.org

  18. David Otness
    April 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Bravo, Joe.
    I’m bookmarking this one for its historical comprehensiveness.
    Here’s another footnote to factor in as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_massacre_of_1961

  19. Fergus Hashimoto
    April 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Were the 2005 London bombings “blowback”? In a sense they were, since they were motivated by the illegal invasion of Iraq. But the perps were not Iraqis. They were Englishmen of Pakistani descent who had never been to the Middle East. Consequently they were avenging the deaths of complete strangers to whom they were bound only by a common religion.
    Saddam Hussein and the current president of Sudan killed at least as many Moslems as Tony Blair and George Bush.
    Where was the blowback?
    As a matter of fact the Sudanese president al Bashar is quite popular in the Middle East.
    Moslems who kill Moslems get a free pass. Culprits are denounced and punished only if they are outsiders.

  20. Ephena
    April 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    “After a Russian commercial airliner was downed over Egypt’s Sinai last October, Western media reported that the Islamic State bombing was retaliation against Russian airstrikes in Syria. The killing of 224 people, mostly Russian tourists on holiday, was matter-of-factly treated as an act of war by a fanatical group without an air force resorting to terrorism as a way to strike back.

    Yet, Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in Muslim lands than Russia has. Then why won’t Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels?”

    Uh. Civilian casualties from the Russian Afgan war are estimated at between 900,000 and 1.5 million. I’m not really sure how you characterize that as infinitely less than the current wars. When you have that kind of error in the opening paragraphs of an article, it kind of calls the rest of the thing into question.

  21. David G
    April 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for the survey, Joe Lauria.

    You could also have mentioned the CIA’s role in the rise of Saddam to power in the first place.

    • Joe Lauria
      April 12, 2016 at 7:34 am

      I looked into that and did not find any credible evidence of CIA involvement in the 1968 Iraqi revolution. If you have any please post it here.

  22. Paul Schächterle
    April 12, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Well, anybody who has looked at the all the evidence (the evidence remaining that has not been illegally destroyed) knows that the WTC buildings were destroyed with pre-placed explosives. Just watch the videos and consider that the building “fell” in constant acceleration (which means that their load bearing capacity was somehow suddenly less than their weight).

    So, how on earth would Osama Bin Laden (who was a CIA asset b.t.w.) be able to conduct such an operation? Did he have access to the security of those building? Maybe you should look who had access and who were the contractors who did the security in the WTC.

    Anyway. The article is interesting but still propagates the utterly ridiculous government propaganda regarding 9/11. Sad.

    • Curious
      April 13, 2016 at 12:33 am

      Yes Paul,

      Lets see, security was provided, perhaps, by a Marvin Bush who may or may not have had an affiliation with his brother at the time. I know from personal experience the bomb sniffing dogs were taken out 5 days before the 911 ‘incident’. Those who have never seen controlled demo, don’t realize a steel structure doesn’t fall at the rate of gravity without some assistance. Jet fuel will cool as it progresses, and the heat signature from satellites afterwards show hot spots in the ground which would never happen if it were just a plane hitting above the structure. The people who are so proud of “shock and awe” should also be so proud on how they shocked the nation.

  23. JayGoldenBeach
    April 12, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Politics fuels terrorism, not religion.

    American/Western media focus on the religion of terrorists to distract from the politics.

  24. Antares
    April 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    The article is well on its way to describe the effects of western policies (and wars), and is fair in its effort to face the reality of what the west is doing to other countries. But it may come as a surprise that they are not responsible, neither for our wars, nor for the terrorism that we (!) support. The assumption that some islamists were able to blow up three metro cars and a bus in such a sophisticated way is beyond reality. And it would also lead to strange questions, like: why was there a training at the same day, on the same type of attack? The patsy can claim what he wants, that are his reasons, but what counts are the reasons for the security forces to goad such a guy into terrorism and let him complete his job. His reasons are very understandable but that only made it easier for them to abuse him.

    The timing was meant to convince the western public of the neccesity of the war. Most britains were opposed to the war, until the blasts came in. Opponents were made look like fools and only talk about war could prevail.

    You can see the same pattern with every major terrorist attack that happens in the west. Attacks in arabian countries follow another scheme because they are daily. Most victims of terrorism are by the way moslims. It is definitely not their war.

    How the west fights an illegal war: we provide criminals with weapons in order to do the fight for us. If they fail, we have a pretext to send in our own army because there are so many terrorists.

  25. Paul Schächterle
    April 12, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Before taking any theory on 9/11 for granted just watch the videos of the collapse of the WTC buildings. What do you see?

    Also consider that all three of the collapsed WTC buildings (1, 2 and 7) fell in constant acceleration, i.e. the collapse was getting faster all the time. That means that their load carrying capacity during the “collapse” was lower than their own weight, because a (major) part of the potential energy was converted into kinetic energy.

    You might also consider that Osama Bin Laden was a CIA asset, back from the Afghanistan days.

    This may lead to different conclusions about the author of the attacks.

  26. April 13, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Muslim start from a violent past. Muhammed wanted land that belonged to 3 groups of Jews. He incited the 2 larger groups of jews to fight and kill eachother. the 3 rd group of Jews he and the Muslims were easliy able to kill off. The Muslims still follow this same basic rule of inciting anger and getting groups of people to kill eachother off. Case in Point: Black Lives Matter was started by Muslim Lives Matter to incite hatred of Blacks against Whites to try to get the Blacks and Whites to kill eachother off. Then it will be easier for the Muslims to kill off the smaller groups, such as mexicans,etc.. The QURAN is not a religion at all but a Totalitarian state like Communism, masquerading as a religion. But NO religion says KILL ALL nonbelievers FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH . no relgion says kill EVERYBODY. it also says LIE TO ALL NONBELIEVERS for the sake of Allah. that means you CAN’T trust any word the MUSLIMS say. By the way ALLAH is the MOON GOD. They won’t even admit that they are worshipping the moon, because only crazy people still bow to the moon. Proof of this: go to Youtube, type in allah the moon god. you should find a statue with moon carved in its chest. 2nd: many mosques have a moon on top of them. 3rd: their flag has a moon on it. So they can go ahead and lie but the proof is in the pudding

    • Joe Lauria
      April 16, 2016 at 4:29 am

      This is an Islamophobic comment that should be removed. Like most Islamophobes, it takes a passage from the Qur’an totally out of its historical context. Like the Bible, the Qur’an has both universal moral messages and passages specific to an historic situation. Thus the admonition to kill unbelievers is not a universal message applicable to all times, but to the specific period when the earliest Muslims in Medina were under attack from the pagan Arabs from Mecca, who were trying to crush the new religion which posed a political and economic threat. The call to kill unbelievers was a call for self-defense, what jihad means, and is in no way a threat to Americans, who didn’t even exist in the 7th Century when these words were written down. Such ignorance of Islam as expressed in this comment cannot go unchallenged.

  27. Wayne Lusvardi
    April 13, 2016 at 3:10 am

    The author seems still angry his parents didn’t tell him the reality of who Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy was? That seems to be the sort of approach that this article takes as to why the US is attacked with terrorism. US leaders cannot tell the public what is totally behind terrorism because our allies are implicated and complicit in it (as explained in the article). The US public would demand retaliation on Saudi, Paki, and other nations that could ruin the stability of the price of oil (set by Saudia Arabia) and political stability beyond the Mid East.

    If it were a true war (of invasion, occupation or annihilation) the “terrorists” wouldn’t attack civilians; they would attack strategic military and economic targets. Why terrorism then? Because by definition terrorism is threats and attacks against civilians for political goals. What would be the political goals of our allies to provoke us to not pull out of the Mid East and combat terrorism? My guess is that Saudi, Paki, the United Emirates, etc. are facing an existential threat from Iranian expansion fomented by the hijacking of radical Islam. They need their biggest ally, the US, to help fight their war against Iran (and Russia); or face being obliterated by a A-bomb or destabilized by radical Islam from within.

    But the American public never has wanted to fight a war in which it could not fathom its purpose or how it involved our self interest. So, again by logical extension of the above definitions, terrorism is a way our allies provoke the American public into wanting not to pull out of the Mid East and leave the Sauds, Pakis, and others to face possible non-existence.

    If you were facing a big bully walking home from school each day would you exaggerate his threat so that you could get the support of your school mates, parents and school personnel to help you out, especially if you were a small child? Would you make up stories about what really happened when the bully targeted you? Have you or I ever been caught during childhood at making up or telling stories that were wildly exaggerate?

    Winston Churchill once used the term “a bodyguard of lies” to describe the cloaked strategy and purposes behind D-Day. Did America have an interest in WWII? In the North Korean War? In the Vietnam War? Arguably no. The war against Germany and Japan were wars of partial annihilation and occupation. But the Korean and Viet Nam wars were wares of containment to keep Communist dominoes from falling.

    The US flat out won the Viet Nam War except it was never declared as such by a generation who never knew the ravages of Communism first hand. Perhaps Joe Lauria’s generation. The US not only contained Chinese Communist expansion in South East Asia but the economies of the four “Asian Tiger” nations of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea boomed and they became trading partners along with Japan. The purpose of the Viet Nam War was to protect Japan (which the US paid a great price of a huge loss of soldiers). But no politician would come right out and tell the public the Viet Nam War was to protect Japan, an ally, and that we had no real interest in Viet Nam (but an interest in Japan). Wars of containment are hard to legitimize. Phony legitimizations (WMD’s, deposing the tyrant Saddam, vanquishing Saddam from Kuwait, a “War on Terrorism”, etc.) need to be devised in such wars so as to cover the real reasons for such wars. Democracies don’t want to fight indirect wars of containment.

    Joe Lauria is a journalist who “did not buy the Bush administration’s rationale for the invasion of Iraq”. His bio says he was never in the military. Part of the reason is his occupational blindness. He writes for the general public who hasn’t a clue about the reason for the Iraq War and don’t want their sons and daughters to fight it seemingly for some other country. And journalists need to write what their readers want to hear. And unlike Lauria, his readers are those who are more likely to fight such wars. In this sense, the author is about as paranoid and suspicious about the reasons for war as the alienated citizenry.

    This is not to say that all wars fought by a democracy are legitimate. Or that wars shouldn’t be questioned. It just means we should get beyond Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy thinking and journalism. But it isn’t just journalists but academics as well.

    This article reminds me about the joke of the academic who got a $100,000 grant to study the local house of ill repute but didn’t have a clue where it even was, but every Tom, Dick and Harry did and what the going prices were.

    How does society and wars work? Parents’ universal behaviors and rituals to hide the reasons for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are the prototypical gestures where children learn how the world and wars really work: by deception, dissimulation and myth that oversimplifies complex situations. To learn about the reasons for the Iraq War perhaps we should start by reading some children’s fairy tales. Telling readers what one anticipates they want to hear should not be journalism.

    • Joe Lauria
      April 16, 2016 at 4:28 am

      You mean Santa Claus is not real? About as real as the U.S. having won the Vietnam War.

  28. Sean Morris
    April 13, 2016 at 5:14 am

    This is a fine article with respect to critiquing and criticizing US and European military and political intervention in middle eastern / Islamic countries. I take no issue with this article in that regard. Western countries should not meddle in this region as a matter of moral principle, but also, at least today, because exploration technology has done so much to flood the world with relatively inexpensive oil (yes, the Saudis are currently suppressing the market/price – I get that). Hence, there’s no strategic interest in meddling with middle eastern affairs (moral and sensible foreign policy issues aside).

    However, it is incredibly naive and borderline suicidal to ignore the inherent threat posed by Islam and its Koranic teachings.

    Islam sprang out of Arabia in the early-mid 600s, conquering more territory by the 700s than had been ruled by the Roman Empire at its peak. Why did this happen? The Koran encourages it, and Muhammad led the early conquests – hence, the Muslims followed his example. From India westward to the Atlantic, conquering North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, and three of the five holiest Christian capitals – Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, Islam was violently and bloodily rolling over the world.

    The Eastern Roman Empire, and Constantinople in particular, largely shielded Europe from eastern invasion and conquest at the expense of the gradual erosion of Roman territory over time to Islamic conquests. 800 years after the first Islamic attack on Constantinople, the holy Christian capital fell in 1453. The Church of Saint Sophia, among many other churches (like the second holiest church in Constantinople- the Church of the Holy Apostles – demolished and turned into the “Mosque of the Conqueror”), was converted into an imperial mosque. Imagine the Vatican being converted into a mosque… that’s what happened in 1453, leaving Rome as the last surviving Christian capital… the other four having been militarily conquered by Islam.

    Islam had already occupied the Balkans prior to 1453, but from that point on Europe was wide open to attack from the east. Islamic armies attacked Vienna less than a century after the Fall of Constantinople (in 1529), and wouldn’t be repelled once and for all (at least until today) until Islam was defeated by a last alliance of European nations (modern Poland, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Hungary) at Vienna in 1683. Had either of those battles had a different outcome, there’s an excellent chance western civilization as we know it would not exist today.

    I haven’t even mentioned the Islamic conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and its Muslim occupation for 700 years, until 1492. In the 700s Islamic armies conquered much of what we call Spain and Portugal and began taking parts of modern France. Arguably the most important battle in world history was fought in 732 in the Battle of Tours. Had Charles Martel’s forces not defeated the Muslim invaders, it would’ve been all but certain that Islam would have conquered Europe.

    I haven’t even mentioned the gradual Islamic conquest of Sicily and the Islamic attack on Rome in 846. The Aurelian walls protected Rome, but Saint Peter’s Basilica (i.e., the Vatican) was outside the walls – it was ransacked and pillaged, with the graves of Saint Peter and Saint Paul desecrated by the Muslim invaders. Ever wonder why walls were built to protect the Vatican? Oh sweet irony – criticizing Trump about Muslim immigration when those Vatican walls were built to prevent a repeat of the Islamic attacks of 846. Sicily would remain in Muslim control until the Norman conquests retook the island in 1071, after more than 250 years of Islamic rule.

    What of the Crusades, you ask? They were launched as an overly delayed response to 450 years of Muslim conquests of formerly Christian lands and repeated incursions into Europe. Christian pilgrims were often denied access to Jerusalem, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (site of Jesus’ crucifixion, tomb, and resurrection) was destroyed by the caliph in 1009. The Battle of Manzikert in 1071 resulted in a critical Roman defeat to the Seljuks and a huge loss of territory. This defeat prompted an eastern appeal to Rome for help against the Islamic conquests. This doesn’t excuse atrocities committed by the Crusaders, but atrocities were committed on all sides. The Crusaders are always vilified, while there’s no honest mention or discussion of what their motives were. What if Christians were violent and expansionary and conquered Mecca? Would Muslims be justified in attacking the Christian occupiers and attempting to retake their lands and holy sites? What would the reaction have been if Christians had destroyed or desecrated the “holiest” sites in Islam (like that funny box the Muslims stroll around in Mecca)? Funny how Christians are always the bad guys and Muslims are these hapless victims. I guess that fits the narrative.

    How does the “religion” of Islam work as a political order? When Muslims have enough of a presence (population or militarily), they (1) offer you the right to accept Allah and convert to Islam. If you do that, you’re in the club. If you don’t convert (2) you are ordered to pay the Jizya (a punitive tax levied on non Muslims) and to accept subordinate status. If you accept, you can keep your religious beliefs so long as you pay your punitive taxes, and you keep a low profile. If you get uppity or try to convert people to your religion, that’s punishable by death. If you refuse the Jizya and subjugation, then (3) use of the sword is permitted to exact wrath on you, the infidel. Wonderful system.

    Do we need to even talk about genuine free speech, the rights of women, and the treatment of gays in Islamic countries? And slavery? No comparison with western slavery in terms of barbarity (again, no excuse for western slavery, or slavery throughout human history). There’s a reason there aren’t many native born blacks in the Middle East. Female slaves were sex slaves and had their babies murdered at birth. Most men were killed in Africa. The boys had their dicks and balls cut off (Eunuchs), and most of them died from this. Those who survived obviously couldn’t procreate. Then you have the million plus Europeans who were kidnapped by Muslim pirates who covered all of Europe, all the way to Iceland and Scandinavia. Lovely religion, culture, and behavior.

    This is not to say all Muslims are bad. There are good Muslims. The problem is that good Muslims don’t follow their scriptures. The “extremists” are the ones who take the doctrine of abrogation seriously and follow the latter parts of the Koran.

    What about Muhammad? How any decent person could ever follow this guy would be a laughable question if it hadn’t had such tragic consequences for human history. An illiterate guy claims he had a chat with an angel (who he says he was terrified of) in a cave. From that this illiterate guy somehow memorized everything the “angel” said… and that memorized message would eventually become the exact, perfect word of God in the Koran (after finding a guy who could write this all down). Huh? Ok, nevermind this guy starts out as a relatively peaceful guy. The Islamic calendar begins (in year 1) when Muhammed became a military and political leader. At that time he became a warlord who presided over mass murders and beheadings. He would murder men in front of their wives, then take the wives into his little sex slave entourage. At least he was decent enough to wait a day or two before he would rape the murdered men’s widows. Then there’s the six year old he married. He consummated the marriage when she was nine years old. He was in his early 50s at the time. This is the role mode by which Muslims are supposed to model their lives. An illiterate, ignorant, beheading warlord who enjoyed sex with children. Here’s your “religion of peace” (read: political system of tyranny and violent conquest).

    Christians are far from perfect, but at least the New Testament scriptures have a largely positive/moral lesson to teach. And Jesus, regardless of your religious beliefs, seems like he was an excellent role model. There’s a reason he was known as the Prince of Peace. Islam on the other hand, taken as a whole, is inherently a threat to western civilization. Western countries should not be bombing, occupying, or otherwise meddling in middle eastern affairs, but it’s suicidal to invite Muslims through the gates of western civilization. Muslims are not self-critical, hence they do not reform their backwards ways. Go live in an Islamic country… then tell me you want these monsters living in your neighborhoods.

    • Joe Lauria
      April 16, 2016 at 4:23 am

      This is an Islamophobic comment that should be removed. Like most Islamophobes, it takes a passage from the Qur’an totally out of its historical context. Like the Bible, the Qur’an has both universal moral messages and passages specific to an historic situation. Thus the admonition to kill unbelievers is not a universal message applicable to all times, but to the specific period when the earliest Muslims in Medina were under attack from the pagan Arabs from Mecca, who were trying to crush the new religion which posed a political and economic threat. The call to kill unbelievers was a call for self-defense, what jihad means, and is in no way a threat to Americans, who didn’t even exist in the 7th Century when these words were written down. Such ignorance of Islam as expressed in this comment cannot go unchallenged.

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