A "culture war" in America between religion and atheism is the underlying cause of the war on terror, political commentator Dinesh D'Souza told a crowd of about 150 people Wednesday night at Harris Hall.
…um… no… that would be completely wrong.
I’m not a political science expert (or even a novice) and my education on the subject is formed from watching the Discovery and the History Channel. And I don’t think a topic as involved as Western and Middle Eastern politics could be nicely summed up in a blog post, much less a once sentence sound bite.
But here are some of my opinions as to why there’s a “war on terror”:
In 1953, the United States decided to overthrow the democratically elected prime minister in Iran because we didn’t like him nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In his place we put in a more U.S. friendly monarch, the Shah.
Surprisingly the Iranians weren’t too fond of our puppet leader, or us, and starting listening to an active critic of the Shah and the US; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. They had a revolution. Since we kept messing in their business, they took the US Embassy hostage. We froze Iranian assets (and have to this day, not released them.)
Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of the disorder and started the Iran-Iraq War. Iran pushed back and then sought to expand the Iranian Revolution (or Islamic Revolution) into Iraq. The US backed Saddam Hussein (and sold some weapons to Iran as well, what the hey.) Eventually there was a UN mediated truce.
Thanks to our medaling, there is now a government in Iran devoted to eliminating outside influences.
In 1979, as a part of our Cold War strategy, we began having a war by proxy with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. When we “won” in Afghanistan, we lost interest in the country leaving it’s war ravaged corpse for the warlords to fight over.
Many Muslims from other countries volunteered to assist various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan, and gained significant experience in guerrilla warfare. Organized religious students formed into an armed movement, were backed by Pakistan, funded by the U.S, defeated most of the militias and took control of Afghanistan. “Students” by the way is the English translation of the Pashto word “Taliban”.
One of the mujahideen groups was al-Qaeda, formed by bin Laden. They fought against the Soviets and then Bin Laden went from being a hero of jihad in Saudi Arabia to being an enemy of the Saudi monarchy for his opposition to non-Muslim troops in Saudi Arabia (that would be the U.S. during the first Gulf War.) Bin Laden hates the U.S., socialism, communism, democracy, Israel, and pretty much anything outside of his particular code of Islam (including music.) He believes in an all out war against everything he hates and any innocents that are killed (there’s probably no such thing as an innocent infidel in his book) are justified martyrs in the jihad. I don’t believe we’re responsible for the creation of a monster like Bin Laden, but we are responsible or at least complicit, for creating an environment in which he could thrive.
Oh, and an “Atheist” to Bin Laden would be everyone not his particular brand of Muslim.
In one of the Bin Laden videos, he says,
“It has become clear that the West in general and America in particular have an unspeakable hatred for Islam. We have witnessed the true crimes of those who call themselves humanists and claim to be defenders of freedom. Those who lived under continuous US raids for the past months are aware of it. How many villages have been destroyed and how many millions have been pushed out in the freezing cold? These men, women and children who have been damned and now live under tents in Pakistan, have committed no sin. They are innocent. But on a mere suspicion, the United States has launched this fierce campaign.”
I don’t know about you, but if I’m living in poverty, in a country that’s being ripped apart by war, hearing about villages that are getting bombed by those U.S. devils, I’m going to think this Bin Laden guy is right. And if I live in a country that has a history of the those U.S. devils interfering with my government because they want my country’s oil and they start making air-strikes against my country, I’m not going to think I’m being liberated. The U.S. practically pushes people into terrorist training camps.
This entry has gone on way longer than I expected to and I didn’t even get into our debacle in Iraq. But really it’s all just the same shit in a different country. We mess around in other people’s business, piss people off, kill people, meddle in their governments, destroy people’s lives, and then wonder why nobody likes us. We need to learn to mind our own damn business.