First, Rosenberg gets his fig leaf attack on terrorism out of the way:
"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.So Rosenberg is claiming that he's not seeking in this essay to justify terrorism, just identify the cause of it and try to get the US to stop causing it. In other words, blaming the US for the people who kill its citizens. You decide for yourself whether he is in fact justifying it or just seeking to hold anyone accountable excerpt the perpetrators for their crimes. But let's check out his reasoning:
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."I'm not sure what terrorists MJ Rosenberg is referring to in this statement, because terrorists hit countries in Europe too, probably just as often as the United States if not more so. Here's another source if you would like to read further. But beyond that, why don't we ask the terrorists themselves why they don't like the West? Here's one terrorist, a member of Hamas, who has some things to say about the West.
""You do not live like human beings... You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?" he went on. "We are the ones who respect women and honor women ... not you.""Maybe MJ Rosenberg would advise the US government to ban gay marriage, since terrorists hate gay marriage and obviously homosexuality causes terrorism. But let's move on.
"No, terrorists (in this case Muslim terrorists) target the United States because they perceive us as their enemy. And with good reason."OK let's hear Rosenberg's reasoning about why Muslim terrorists perceive us as the enemy:
"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."First of all, what's with the "perhaps"? This is history, we know which wars we've been in and which ones we haven't. It isn't like history is going to change depending on the weather. Just because Rosenberg doesn't know history doesn't mean he can just make it up. In reality, the first war the US fought against "Muslims" (funny that Rosenberg is portraying them as one monolith) was the First Barbary War, which occurred all the way back in 1804. You would think mentioning that would help Rosenberg's point of the constantly warmongering US attacking innocent Muslims for no reason. The problem, though, is that the US cannot be blamed for it. Muslim pirates were attacking US merchant ships and ransoming or enslaving their crews, so the US declared war. So why should Rosenberg bring it up? History is just so darn inconvenient sometimes!
Check out the next reason Muslim terrorists perceive us to be the enemy:
"Since then [fifty years later] 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"Two reasons, according to Rosenberg, Iraq invasion and Iraq sanctions. The Iraq invasion, as anyone with a basic knowledge of history knows, was preceded by 9/11, which in turn was preceded by the WTC bombing, attacks on US embassies and the USS Cole bombing. These facts make it difficult for the invasion to be used as a reason for Muslim terrorism. As for Iraqi sanctions, Rosenberg links to the Guardian (red flag) which blames US and British sanctions on Iraq for the deaths of Iraqis. The article does not blame the deaths of "more than a million Iraqis" on US sanctions, though, but you didn't really expect Rosenberg to tell the truth, did you? Nor does Rosenberg mention why the US started sanctions, it was because of Iraq's aggressive, illegal invasion of Kuwait. Again, why mention the things the "Muslim countries" did to cause the US's actions? It's just inconvenient to the narrative!
"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."How dare the United States hold Iran accountable for signing the NPT! Let's not forget that it isn't just infidel nations who don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons either, as I feel Zach and I must have mentioned on this blog at least twenty times.
"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.Again, drones and Israel have come long after the rise of radical Islam and Islamic terrorism. But OK so the pointing finger of MJ Rosenberg has been raised. Let's hear his point.
And, of course, our Israel policy is based on the premise, so often stated by Vice President Joe Biden, that there must be "no daylight, no daylight" between Israeli policies and our own".
"So my question is this: Why can't the likelihood of blow-back at home be part of the calculation when policymakers decide to take a particular action or make a particular statement relating to the Middle East or the Muslim world in general? "Wow, after all that lying and whitewashing of history, he actually makes a somewhat decent point. Policymakers should consider the possibility of "blowback" (or as moral people would call it, murder of innocent civilians) when they make decisions related to the Middle East. After all, we can't expect Muslims, excuse me, terrorists to follow the rules of war and fight soldiers, can we? We need to consider the possibility that they will commit mass murder of civilians before making decisions.
As always though one must ask the question of why "blowback" only applies to white people. Wouldn't the Gulf War qualify as "blowback" for Saddam's invasion of Kuwait? Wouldn't Israel's security fence qualify as "blowback" for hundreds of suicide bombings committed by Palestinians? And wouldn't America's invasion of Afghanistan be "blowback" for 9/11? Everyone being responsible for the consequences of their actions should work in both directions otherwise MJ is simply spewing bigotry.
Here comes some more BS:
"But few of the actions that so enrage (and radicalize) people in the Middle East are directly connected to the security of Americans at all: not the excessive number of drone attacks or Iran sanctions or our backing of the post-1967 Israeli occupation. Looking back at the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it is difficult to argue that they did more to enhance the security of Americans than they did to damage it."Rosenberg makes, as usual, a broad sweeping statement with no facts to back it up. Again, 9/11 preceded drone strikes and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Bin Laden's motivation was among other things US military bases in Saudi Arabia! Which in turn exist because Saudi Arabia's government wants our protection and to keep themselves in power. Why is that a reason to "enrage" any mentally balanced individual let alone provoke him to murder thousands of innocent people? I'd like to see some facts about what really enrages "people in the Middle East," I'm certainly not going to take Rosenberg's word for it. So far we have seen that teddy bears and cartoons enrage them, so I wonder if Rosenberg would call for freedom of speech to be discarded as well.
But now the true motivation for writing this essay comes out:
"The next threat to that freedom looms as the Obama administration considers whether it will permit (or even back) an Israeli attack on Iran. During his trip to Israel this week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told the Israelis that the United States believes that "in dealing with Iran, every option must be on the table." That "every option" formulation, of course, refers to the possibility of war.It's rare that a writer would so admit their cowardice, but in this case it doesn't make sense. Which is more dangerous in the long run, a nuclear powered Iran arming Hezbollah and Hamas, or "angry Muslims" planting pressure cooker bombs in the United States? Which as Rosenberg's fellow travelers are quick to remind us, "only" killed three people?
Can anyone doubt that an Israeli attack on Iran backed by the United States would have terrible repercussions here at home and that they would continue for a long, long time? Is that what we want? Is that something we can even tolerate?
With the Boston Marathon horror still fresh in our memory, I think it is safe to say that we cannot. Nor should we. But it's our decision. Pursuing policies that enrage much of the world endangers Americans here. In Boston, New York, Washington and, ultimately, elsewhere as well."
Speaking of which, these Muslim terrorists were not Arabs but from Chechnya. America is not involved in Chechnya, they committed this crime entirely because we are infidels and they are Muslims. They themselves admitted they bombed Boston to "defend Islam." No surprise that Rosenberg leaves this out.
It's easy for MJ Rosenberg to blatantly exploit the deaths of the Boston Marathon bombing to push his agenda, but he's not the one making life and death decisions for the world. The US government is, and they have to weight the consequences of letting Iran get nukes vs making Iranian supporters mad. Rosenberg doesn't appear to give a crap about that possibility, he's much more concerned about "enraging Muslims," just after he laid out a multi-part argument about why they are already enraged.
Yes, the US government makes decisions that "enrage" people. Anytime you take a stand for something, especially something unpopular, you enrage someone. But Rosenberg's argument that we would appease the mullahs to "protect Americans" just doesn't make sense. Muslims according to Rosenberg's own logic are already a threat. The question now is how much people like Rosenberg are going to handicap the US's ability to defend itself against that threat.