Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ML Rosenberg: It's Time to Reconsider US Policies That Create Terrorists

By MJ Rosenberg | The Huffington Post | April 24, 2013 |  [Original Article]

There is one change that the United States could make in response to the terrorism threat that is never discussed. That is to consider the part U.S. policies have played in creating and sustaining it.

I understand that we are not supposed to say this, as if discussing why we are hated justifies the unjustifiable: the targeting of innocent Americans because of the perceived sins of their government.

But nothing justifies terrorism. Period. That does not mean that nothing causes it.
Acts of terror do not come at us out of the blue. Nor are they directed at us, as President George W. Bush famously said, because the terrorists "hate our freedom." If that was the case, terrorists would be equally or more inclined to hit countries at least as free as the United States, those in northern Europe, for instance. No, terrorists (in this case Muslim terrorists) target the United States because they perceive us as their enemy. And with good reason.

We have been at war with the people of various Muslim countries for decades, since perhaps as early as 1953 when we engineered Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh's overthrow in Iran after he nationalized the oil industry. Since then the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, on a pretext that was shown to be phony, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. That war came after over a decade of U.S.-sponsored sanctions that resulted in the deaths of more than a million Iraqis, including more than a half million children due to malnutrition and diseases caused by the lack of clean water and medicine.

Then there are the current sanctions against Iran, ostensibly to deter its government from developing nuclear weapons but, in practice, punishing the Iranian people by degrading their quality of life as well as their health. (Just one example: the Iranian civilian airline has experienced a major spike in air crash deaths since sanctions have prevented it from purchasing parts needed to replace worn and outmoded machinery).

Then there are the drone attacks. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in February that, as of then, U.S. drone attacks had killed 4,700 men, women and children (including, he notes, "innocent people") in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan.

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