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Monday, July 26, 2004

TERRORISM IS FUELED BY US-ISRAELI POLICY 

This is an unpopular thing to say, but I'll say it again: to any objective observer, it is clear that extremist Islamic terrorism is fueled by US support of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

This point has been made thousands of times, by the Arab media, by the Israeli media, by peace groups, by European and British media, by Noam Chomsky, by countless other commentators, and NOW by none other than...

The 9/11 Commission.

Ray McGovern points out that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,” harbored a hatred of the US whcih "stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

More from McGovern:

A footnote points out that his statements regarding the “why” of attacking the United States echo those of Ramzi Yousef, his nephew, when he was sentenced in New York to a prison term of 240 years in January 1998.  Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, accused the United States of supporting Israeli terrorism against Palestinians, adding that he was proud to fight any country that supports Israel.

Hats off to commission staff for shoehorning that in—and to the commissioners for letting it slide.  Highly unusual prose for establishment Washington.

And another bravo for the attempt to go beyond jingoism in addressing “why they hate us.”  On page 374 begins a section titled “PREVENT THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF ISLAMIST TERRORISM.”  There the authors pick up on the conundrum expressed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld regarding whether the United States is generating more terrorists than it is killing, and whether the United States needs “a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists.”

In gingerly language, the report points out:

“America’s policy choices have consequences.  Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world.”

…or, in the vernacular, “It’s the policy, stupid!”

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And because a post like this invariably inspires angry E-mails, let me save angry E-mailers some time: I already know that some will interpret this post as anti-Semitic. Those readers are flat wrong, of course. In fact, with the time those readers just saved, I'd encourage them to give some attention to Rabbi Michael Lerner's Tikkun.

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