How Muslims can stop the next terror attack

A mourner reacts during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday’s (Matt Rourke/AP ) A cacophony of pain and … Continued


A mourner reacts during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday’s (Matt Rourke/AP )

A cacophony of pain and outrage pierced my heart when I discovered that two Muslim men were believed to be behind the vicious Boston Marathon bombings.

First, there was the sorrow for the loss and destruction of innocent life. But then, there was the anguish of realizing that people who shared my faith are alleged to have committed this unspeakable horror. It was unfathomable, unimaginable and unforgivable to see my religion, my source of refuge, hope and peace in the world become a tool for violence in the hands of men who had no regard for the sanctity of human life. It is both hurtful and outrageous that a fellow Muslim could be so deluded as to think that he is fulfilling a holy objective by killing innocent life.

Yet feeling pain and outrage is not enough. These times call for courage, honesty and leadership. The Muslim American community needs to stand up and seek ways to root out radicalization at its core. As rare or uncommon as radicalization may be, the fact is that it only takes one extremist Muslim to wreak havoc, inflict terror, take away the lives of innocents –and malign our faith. We need to honestly discuss our problems and the grievances that outrage many Muslims without fear or intimidation. Finally, we need leadership to guide young Muslims to work towards civic and humane solutions that alleviate those grievances that most disturb them.

None of this is to suggest that we, as a Muslim community, should take blame for those despicable acts of terror or that we can prevent such an attack from ever happening again, just as no law enforcement agency or school administration could ever completely prevent another Columbine, Aurora or Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

However, the Muslim community can and must take measures to significantly reduce the chances of such an act repeating. No other group in the United States carries the legitimacy that we do to speak to co-religionists from an authentic, credible position from within the faith.

There are two parts to the narrative of Muslim extremists who wind up taking violent action, and we must confront both.

The first component of their narrative is factual, although somewhat distorted by conspiracy theories and inaccuracies. They observe, as do people of various faiths, that there are injustices and abuses occurring throughout the Muslim world. Some of these injustices are inflicted by the U.S. government, such as civilian deaths or destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, while other injustices are due to domestic problems or corrupt dictatorships.

The second part of their narrative is the most disturbing and twisted: to somehow “avenge” the deaths of innocents in the Muslim world, these terrorists then proceed to kill innocents in the West. They convince themselves they are pursuing some sort of holy vengeance, whereas they are committing the most atrocious and un-holy crime by taking away the lives of innocents. It is a symptom of a disenfranchised warped psychology that is fundamentally un-Islamic. As a Muslim community, we need to wake up and start talking about this phenomenon.

So, what can we do?

There are four concrete measures the Muslim American community must take:

The Muslim community should tackle the first part of the narrative.


We need to reasonably and objectively talk about grievances in the Muslim world. Most Muslim preachers and leaders’ approach to politics tends to fall under two opposite ends of the spectrum: either they completely ignore those political issues that run deep in Muslim sentiment and that, frankly speaking, outrage a lot of Muslims; or they deliver fiery talks that border on conspiratorial and focus only on the problem, not the solution. Both trends are ineffective and exacerbate the problem. Muslim communities need to create a forum a safe space where young Muslims can vent their feelings about issues that deeply disturb them.

These discussions must be accompanied with a prognosis, not just a diagnosis, of the problem.

Encouraging the participation of young Muslims in civic, political and advocacy venues can significantly reduce the type of disenchantment and outrage that lead to radicalization. Instead of treading towards extremism or resorting to violence, they are able to diffuse the frustration they feel by taking effective, civic action. By raising public awareness or influencing policy on those issues that deeply concern them they become part of the solution not the problem.

Let’s talk about jihad.


We must define what jihad is, in order to determine what it is not. Clearly and obviously, the Muslim community’s clich responses that ‘Islam means peace’ and that ‘Muslims condemn terrorism’ are not enough. These trite statements only serve to reinforce Muslim extremists’ perceptions that the rest of us are following a watered-down, diluted form of Islam. How do we define jihad, based on authentic texts of Islamic law and its primary sources? What are the conditions of a jihad and what are its legal parameters?

Jihad is the struggle for good, be it spiritual, intellectual or military. On a military level, it is an act of defense to protect Muslims’ lives and properties. It is an open declaration of war that is fought on the battlefield, not in public spaces. Further, the killing of civilians, even if they are on a battlefield, is strictly prohibited in Islamic law. This is a simplified summary for the sake of brevity. One only needs to read the legal texts of the five mainstream schools of Islamic thought to conclude that terrorism is as far from jihad as the devil is from heaven.

In addition, as Imam Zaid Shakir, a scholar at Zaytuna College, wrote in an article on the tragedy of Fort Hood four years ago, Muslims living in a non-Muslim land are under a covenant of protection that cannot be violated. It is illegal for them, according to Islamic law, to betray this public trust or expose the public to any harm. This is a violation of the covenant between them and the non-Muslim state which has given them protection to live therein.

Lastly: We need to inject a healthy dose of Islamic history into our own understanding of current politics and the crises in which we live.

There have always been fringe groups who have interpreted religious texts literally and out of context to justify extreme acts of violence against people. Al-Qaeda was not the first or last group in Muslim history to espouse such views, as remnants of history will always echo in the present.

For example, if we carefully study the history of the Kharijites (i.e. khawarij), a fringe, extreme group in Muslim history, we will find unmistakable parallels between their ideology and that of “modern” groups who justify acts of terrorism as jihad. They both draw upon the same textual evidence to derive similar ideological positions, such as their literalist interpretation of the Koran, doctrine of takf r (declaring Muslims as apostates) and belief in the religious obligation to overthrow a sinful government. Despite their strict adherence to Islamic rituals, religious scholars always considered the khawarij to be a deviant and radical group.

The Muslim American community is doing itself a disservice by focusing on trivialities like whether perpetrators of terror should be called terrorists or madmen or some other term. After innocent people have died, lost their limbs or their lives have been utterly destroyed, our outrage and pain should not push us towards semantics or trivialities. They should instead lead us towards trying to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

Mubarak is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, where she has studied Islamic Political Thought, Reform and Militancy in Medieval Islam and Islamic Law. She was the former president of the National Muslim Students Association and a contributor to “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim.”

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  • 3vandrum

    “The Muslim American community needs to stand up and seek ways to root out radicalization at its core”
    Exactly right, It is not just 2 muslim men involved ,it is many more. It is useless to claim that only a small fraction of muslims are committing terrorism in USA. A smal fraction of hindus ,buddhists or jains are not involved in committing terrorism in USA or any other western countries. They all seems to be well assimilated. Muslims stand apart, that is the problem

  • jmounday

    the best way is to kill Christians the DNC will supply weapons.

  • northernharrier

    Ms. Mubarak was courageous to write this article. It is very well written and heartfelt, and I learned something from reading it. It isn’t easy to speak of the intolerance of some Islamic people, when so many in the west are stereotyping people of the Islamic faith and spreading false information about one of the oldest faiths in the world. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Mubarak and also to seeing the future contributions she makes to the public discourse regarding these important issues.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Hadia Mubarak,
    i hope you read these comments and i hope you can reply.

    1) what % of muslims worldwide would you say are “scriptural literalists”. for instance, what % believe in a 6000 year old earth, take “noah’s ark” as an real historical event, believe muhammad actually really rode on a winged horse etc….?

    2) what % of muslims in the united states are “scriptural literalists”?

    if there’s anyone else who thinks s/he knows the answer to these questions, please reply. thanks.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    also,
    what is the best english translation of the koran and hadith?

  • mono1

    islam is mercy to mankind.

    and that is not puting heads in the sand .people point their finger at ISLAM (QURAN ans SUNNA) but yet they do not want to sudy ISLAM nor Adhere to the islamic sloutions.

    united states of America is promoting the culture of violence,the culture of shock and owe , the culture of terrorism around the world yet united states of America put her head in the sand and refuse to point her finger at her own back yard culture.

    the muslim community around the globe should not be tired nor ashamed to say islam is peace and mercy to mankind , those who doubt that let them come with better than islam.

    the 4 ways of huda mubarak should go both ways .

    united states of America need more Islam, not only to manipulate terrorism but also to civilize the immoral terrorizing culture of the united states of America.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    sometimes, american drone accidentally kill civilians while going after terrorists. why do islamic terrorists bomb civilians ON PURPOSE?

    you said,
    “united states of America need more Islam,”

    no thank you. the countries in the world with the most islam, seem to be the worst off.

  • leibowde84

    Sorry, mono1, I will literally join the army and fight anyone who wants to take away violence, sex, or prophanity from entertainment. What makes America better than every other country? I would say freedom to express oneself and freedom to live one’s life the way they want to. I couldn’t care less about what you think is destructive in our country, but at least we don’t kill innocent people on purpose. Sure, accidents happen during war and there are innocent fatalities, but that is no excuse to kill other innocents. Two wrongs never make a right. And, further, there is absolutely no evidence that Islam is peaceful and “civilizing.” On the contrary, I see civility as not caring about the faith of others. Not taking offense when someone makes fun of your religion. Have a thick enough skin to shrug off insults to Mohammad. Not starting riots when books are burned.

  • leibowde84

    I consider myself civilized because I don’t allow violence, sex, etc. in entertainment to shape my life. And, I would never use my faith as a reason to fight anyone. It’s pathetic and childish to put that much importance into your own faith. It should be a personal thing, and adherence to a specific faith is tatamount to spitting in God’s face. He made everyone different with various faiths.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    balderdash,
    i’d recognize that cut and paste anywhere! you’re “ccnl” or something like that, right?

  • Abey

    One definition of Jihad according to the author is
    “On a military level, it is an act of defense to protect Muslims’ lives and properties.”
    Who was attacking the Muslims of Arabia when their hordes overran the whole Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe? It was simply the lust for women , wealth and power.They gave the conquered people 3 choices:embrace Islam, or pay an exorbitant taxes and accept a third class status on their own lands or die.

  • Abey

    The author further clarifies
    ” the killing of civilians, even if they are on a battlefield, is strictly prohibited in Islamic law”. But looting their properties, enslaving the women and children and murdering noncombatants is not prohibited, but I dare say encouraged. The Muslim prophet insisted on acquiring fifth of of the booty for property acquired in war and ALL property surrendered peaceably..

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    you mean the terror that is the wapo moderator…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ms mubarak,
    nice article. can you address my questions below starting at 5/1/2013 10:39 PM EDT? thanks.

  • Abey

    “There have always been fringe groups who have interpreted religious texts literally and out of context to justify extreme acts of violence against people.”
    Well how many interpretations can you muster for the order presumably by Allah “Kill the infidels wherever you find them” Quran 9:5 or “impoverish and humiliate the People of the Book( Christians and Jews) living among you” Qutran 9;29

  • ProLogic

    None should even imagine in the wildest dream that one single article by a Geargetown University PhD candidate will be able to address the issues of a nation of 1.2 billion people following a religion of 1400+ years, living in 51+ countries as majority with over 7 distinct ethicity and/or race (Chinese, Indian, Arabs, Africans, European, Persian and Russian, to name a few). It’s a very complex problem involving diverse and complicated groups of people.
    But this blog is a sincere but modest attempt by someone who at least decided to speak up instead of standing on the side. The author definitely deserves credit for that, even though the article is far from full-proof in terms of reasoning.
    Just wondering where are the others? I heard sometimes that many Muslim leaders speak up against terrorism and extremists, but those statements are not properly published. Surprised!!! How we are able to see this article in WaPo, but none other?
    Hint: If due to some reason, statements of Muslim leaders are not getting sufficient publicity in US or Western media by default, some countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Malaysia are rich enough to buy TV time or paper space to speak out and make their views known to the world. No sane western country will oppose that idea … doesn’t look like a rocket science to me.
    I think that would be a better idea than trying to buy weapons by some nations that are frequently being used against their own folks by their own government instead of defending the fatherland!

  • HANYNE

    The American government hypocrisy of foreign policy come through the new world order. So when the American government wrongly requires their army to invade & slaughter Muslims all over the world to get to Oil, Drugs & Gold, Muslims don’t have to tolerate that & don’t you dear blame it on their religion. It has nothing to do with religion when they fight back to defend their lands, family, friends, neighbours & their honer.

    The western world like to believe that they know so much about Islam & the Muslim world while you clearly can see their ignorance appearing between the lines of the subject matter. Their prejudice against Muslims, hatred towards Muslims, or irrational fear of Muslims, diagnosed as “islamofobia”. It’s recognized as a form of intolerance alongside xenophobia and antisemitism at the “Stockholm International Forum on Combating Intolerance” adopted a declaration to combat “genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia, and to combat all forms of racial discrimination and intolerance related to it. So if you have 1 or more of these symptoms, you clearly need some mental health attention.

    And some westerners just damn stupid & in need for lessons in plitics & about the American government plans for globalisation, statism, imperialism and capitalism. In order to to revive the American’s dead economy growth globally on worldwide scale, the government has to extend its power through a military force & setting up a political system in which the American state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs in rich Islamic countries & new regime in which trade and industry are controlled by the America government for profit. The globalization include the control of the communication industry to control the masses.

  • HANYNE

    The Boston bombings is clearly a false flag operations designed to deceive the Americans in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by 2 Muslim men than those who actually planned and executed them. This operations carried during peace-time by the American government agents hide the real reason behind Boston operation & yet again blame it on Islam.

  • HANYNE

    walter-in-fallschurch, you like to believe that you know so much about Islam & the Muslim world while I clearly can see your ignorance appearing between the lines of the subject matter. Your prejudice against Muslims, hatred towards Muslims, or irrational fear of Muslims, diagnosed as “islamofobia”. It’s recognized as a form of intolerance alongside xenophobia and antisemitism at the “Stockholm International Forum on Combating Intolerance” adopted a declaration to combat “genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia, and to combat all forms of racial discrimination and intolerance related to it. So if you have 1 or more of these symptoms, you clearly need some mental health attention.

    You are damn stupid & in need for lessons in politics & about the American government plans for globalisation, statism, imperialism and capitalism. In order to to revive the American’s dead economy, the government had to plan a global growth on worldwide scale & they had to extend its power through a military force & setting up a new regime in which trade and industry are controlled by the America government for profit.

    The war on terrorism is the American government new strategy for globalization plan include setting up a political system in which the American state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs in rich Islamic countries & the control of the communication industry globally to control the masses.

    The Boston bombings is clearly a false flag operations designed to deceive the Americans in such a way that the operation appears as though they are being carried out by 2 Muslim men than those who actually planned and executed them. This operations carried by the American government agents to hide the real reason behind Boston operation & yet again blame it on Islam.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “The Boston bombings is clearly a false flag operations designed to deceive the Americans…”
    —————————————————————-

    ah….. i was a little worried that maybe i WAS being unreasonable ’til i got to this line. you’re obviously in denial about islam. do you think 9-11 was an “inside job”?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “false flag”…… oooohhh…. that’s sooo much more exciting and intriguing than the plain-old boring simple truth: suspect 1 and suspect 2′s religion motivated them to be terrorists. yay for islam?

  • HANYNE

    Of course it is “false flag” & 9-11 was an “inside job”. You are giving very childish answers & you sound like a damn idiot to comprehend war strategy. You need some lessons in politics & globalisation, statism, imperialism and capitalism in order to recognize the fact or importance of the government plans for a global growth on worldwide scale & the need of extending its power through a military force to set-up a new regime in which trade and industry are controlled by the American government for profit. The “WW3″ or the new world order had to be achieved under any cost to revive the American’s dead economy. Grow up boy, go back to school & learn politics

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hayne,
    you’re just living in a different, imaginary, world than the rest of us. sounds pretty interesting, though, but not based in reality.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hanyne,
    do you believe men landed on the moon?

  • HANYNE

    walter-in-fallschurch,

    Yes I do live in a different world than only just few like you, its called reality & it’s very interesting because based on real education in politics, economics & law but I’m sure these words too big for someone like you to understand for a kindergarten graduate like you.

    9/11 changed the world & shaped the future of Islam & how people look at Muslims. The plan to turn the world against all Muslims & for what??!!! Oil or full control on the middle east. Millions of lives lost on both sides. The out come devastating. They might have the Oil but Muslim people gained something much more than just Oil. On the plus side, resent research proved that “Islam” is the most seeked religion in the world, exactly in America. Now there is 1/5 Muslim on the plant. God bless every tortured or wasted soul in the stupid war & God bless every soul seeked Islam to find peace.

    Mr kkk, I don’t tolerate self centered, opinionated, narrow minded, racist & cruel being like you. If you think that you can disrespect people because of their religion I will never allow such crazy behaviour & I don’t have to tolerate your ignorance, insults, nasty sarcasm or undermining anyone Muslim or Islam. You can take your stinking attitude somewhere else.

  • HANYNE

    On second thought, you really need some lessons in politics. So here you are few simple lessons, just follow the links:

    James Woolsey, former CIA Director on Targeting Saudi Arabia, Egypt/Mubarak, Syria, and Libya – 2003. Nearly 10 years before attaching these countries.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oF8hOCyVoA

    Noam Chomsky about “WAR ON TERRORISM”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONuuwJSRCDI&feature=player_embedded#!

    USAF Enviromental Specialist Kristen Meghan:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAxXyMAmBMs&feature=player_embedded

    Jewish Ex-Marine SPEAKS OUT on Israeli Involvemen:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq2pGd9ViUM&feature=player_embedded

    I was a REAL terrorist– An AMERICAN SOLDIER says it all:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stydrqCR2cU&feature=player_embedded

    Banking with Hitler:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YauM5dHLn1s&feature=player_embe

  • HANYNE

    Islam is perfect but people aren’t. When people make mistakes, blame it on them, not on the religion.

    I Just wanted to explain for those who don’t know Islam. The fundamental articles of faith (IMAN) in Islam is to believe in:

    1. Allah “GOD”
    2. His Angels
    3. His revealed Books “Tawrat, Bible & Quran ”
    4. His Prophets/Messengers “Adam -Adam, Idris – Enoch, Nuh – Noah, Hud- Eber, Saleh -Shelah, Ibrahim-Abraham, Lut -Lot, Ismail – Ishmael, Is’haq -Isaac, Yaqub-Jacob, Yusuf -Joseph, Ayub – Job, Shoaib- Jethro, Musa – Moses, Harun -Aaron, Dhul-Kifl -Ezekiel, Daud -David, Sulayman -Solomon, Ilyas -Elijah, Al-Yasa -Elisha, Yunus -Jonah, Zakariya-Zacharias, Yahya-John, Isa-Jesus & Muhammad-Mohammed”
    5. The Day of Resurrection.
    6. Al-Qadr; Whatever Allah has ordained must come to pass (In other words, fate and destiny).

    Islamic views are “Liberalism”. Islam philosophy on ideas of liberty and equality, free and fair elections, human rights, freedom for all, freedom of religion choice & free trad.

    Today, the 3 main religions dominating the world are ” Judaism Christianity and Islam”. These 3 religions started in the middle east. All Arabs ancestors were Jews, some become Christian after Jesus & others become Atheists “But” when Muhammed ” peace be upon his soul ” came the majority fallowed his message “Islam”. Nevertheless, the real Arab Jews & Arab Christian always lived among Muslims, together in peace & side by side for over 1400 years.

    The real Jews & Christians very much like Muslims & their believe the same as Muslims in 1 God, they eat “kosher/Halakhic” hallal food, they don’t eat pork or any pig produce, their wives covered, their children get separated after puberty, they all had circumcision & no sex before marriage.

    However, The western Jews the modern Zionist movement are the 1s who came from Europe after the second world war & occupied the Palestine land & they have nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity. Zionists are capitalists investing in “WARS”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    do you believe men landed on the moon?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    HANYNE,
    we surely don’t need to invent things to “blame on islam”. muslim terrorists offer us an array of horrifying murders daily around the world w/o your false “false flag” mumbo-jumbo.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hanyne,
    what do you think of the videos of osama bin laden taking credit (how horrible is THAT notion) for 9/11?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    do you believe jews have kidnapped haitian babies for use as organ donors when needed? or do they only harvest from palestinian babies?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ms mubarak, from the article:
    “Most Muslim preachers and leaders’ approach to politics tends to fall under two opposite ends of the spectrum: either they completely ignore those political issues that run deep in Muslim sentiment and that, frankly speaking, outrage a lot of Muslims; or they deliver fiery talks that border on conspiratorial…..”
    —————————————————

    “border on the conspiratorial”?!?!?

    if you are still monitoring this article, can you please address conspiracy-theorists like HANYNE? how can we even begin to address the problem of islamic terrorism when people like him/her can’t even acknowledge that it exists?!?! 9/11 a “false flag”?!?!

  • HANYNE

    Countries Attacked By Bombings, Sabotage Or Attempted Government Overthrow By USA Since WORLD WAR II

    DETROIT IN 1943 / IRAN IN 1946 / YUGOSLAVIA IN 1946 / URUGUAY IN 1947 / GREECE IN 1947-49 / GERMANY IN 1948 / CHINA IN 1948-49 / PHILIPPINES IN 1948-54 / PUERTO RICO IN 1950 / KOREA IN 1951-53 / IRAN IN 1953 / VIETNAM IN 1954 / GUATEMALA IN 1954 / EGYPT IN 1956 / LEBANON IN l958 / IRAQ IN 1958 / CHINA IN l958 / PANAMA IN 1958 / VIETNAM IN l960-75 / LAOS IN 1962 / CUBA IN l961 / GERMANY IN l961 / CUBA IN l962 / PANAMA IN l964 / INDONESIA IN l965 / DOMINICAN REP IN 1965-66 / GUATEMALA IN l966-67 / DETROIT IN l967/ CAMBODIA IN l969-75 / OMAN IN l970 / LAOS IN l971-73 / SOUTH DAKOTA IN l973 / MIDEAST IN 1973 / CHILE IN 1973 / CAMBODIA IN l975 / ANGOLA IN l976-92 / IRAN IN l980 / LIBYA IN l981/ EL SALVADOR IN l981-92 / NICARAGUA IN l981-90 / LEBANON IN l982-84 / GRENADA ATTACKED IN l983-84 / HONDURAS IN l983-89 / IRAN IN l984 / LIBYA IN l986 / BOLIVIA IN 1986 / IRAN IN l987-88 / LIBYA IN 1989 / VIRGIN ISLANDS IN 1989 / PHILIPPINES IN 1989 / PANAMA IN 1989 / LIBERIA IN 1990 / SAUDI ARABIA IN 1990-91 / IRAQ IN 1990 / KUWAIT IN 1991/ SOMALIA IN 1992-94 / YUGOSLAVIA IN 1992-94 / BOSNIA IN 1993 / HAITI IN 1994/ ZAIRE (CONGO) IN 1996-97 / LIBERIA IN 1997 / ALBANIA IN 1997 / SUDAN IN 1998 / AFGHANISTAN IN 1998 / IRAQ IN 1998 / YUGOSLAVIA IN 1999 / EAST TIMOR IN 2000 / MACEDONIA IN 2001 / AFGHANISTAN IN 2001 / YEMEN IN 2002 / PHILIPPINES IN 2002 / COLOMBIA IN 2003 / LIBERIA IN 2003 / IRAQ IN 2003 / HAITI IN 2004-05 / SYRIA IN 2008 / PAKISTAN IN 2005 / SOMALIA IN 2006 / YEMEN IN 2009

    So tell me who is the real terrorist again ?!!!

  • HANYNE

    First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian “collateral damage.” War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as “accidental” or “unavoidable.”

    Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of “freedom” and “democracy,” nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, the U.S. was not defending “freedom” but an ideological agenda (such as defending capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship–such as in Grenada or Panama–they did so in a way that prevented the country’s people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.

    Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as “terrorism,” “atrocities against civilians,” or “ethnic cleansing,” but minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to “end” a state that trains or harbors terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington’s double standard maintains that an U.S. ally’s action by definition “defensive,” but that an enemy’s retaliation is by definition “offensive.”

  • HANYNE

    Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly divides the country or region into “friends” and “foes,” and takes one side against another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.

    Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.

    Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries’ internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

  • HANYNE

    One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that “people like us” could not commit atrocities against civilians.

    1- German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of people.
    2- British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars in Africa and Asia.
    3- Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere.
    4- Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
    5- Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
    6- U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere.

    Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent. The attacks of September 11 were not only a test for U.S. citizens attitudes’ toward minority ethnic/racial groups in their own country, but a test for our relationship with the rest of the world. We must begin not by lashing out at civilians in Muslim countries, but by taking responsibility for our own history and our own actions, and how they have fed the cycle of violence.

  • HANYNE

    One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that “people like us” could not commit atrocities against civilians.

    1- German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of people.
    2- British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars in Africa and Asia.
    3- Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere.
    4- Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
    5- Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
    6- U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere.

    Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent. The attacks of September 11 were not only a test for U.S. citizens attitudes’ toward minority ethnic/racial groups in their own country, but a test for our relationship with the rest of the world. We must begin not by lashing out at civilians in Muslim countries, but by taking responsibility for our own history and our own actions, and how they have fed the cycle of violence.

  • HANYNE

    So Mr walter-in-fallschurch, you still sound like an idiot to me & I hope to the rest of the readers too. LOL

  • HANYNE

    So Mr walter-in-fallschurch, you still sound like an idiot to me & I hope to the rest of the readers too. LOL

  • HANYNE

    You are very sick being & you need mental health treatment

  • HANYNE

    Countries bombed by USA

    Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
    Guatemala 1954
    Indonesia 1958
    Cuba 1959-1961
    Guatemala 1960
    Congo 1964
    Laos 1964-73
    Vietnam 1961-73
    Cambodia 1969-70
    Guatemala 1967-69
    Grenada 1983
    Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
    Libya 1986
    El Salvador 1980s
    Nicaragua 1980s
    Iran 1987
    Panama 1989
    Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
    Kuwait 1991
    Somalia 1993
    Bosnia 1994, 1995
    Sudan 1998
    Afghanistan 1998
    Yugoslavia 1999
    Yemen 2002
    Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
    Iraq 2003-present
    Afghanistan 2001-present
    Pakistan 2007-present
    Somalia 2007-8, 2011
    Yemen 2009, 2011
    Libya 2011

    Plus

    Iran, April 2003 – hit by US missiles during bombing of Iraq, killing at least one person 2

    Pakistan, 2002-03 – bombed by US planes several times as part of combat against the Taliban and other opponents of the US occupation of Afghanistan 3

    China, 1999 – its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it appears rather certain that the bombing was no accident (see chapter 25)

    France, 1986 – After the French government refused the use of its air space to US warplanes headed for a bombing raid on Libya, the planes were forced to take another, longer route; when they reached Libya they bombed so close to the French embassy that the building was damaged and all communication links knocked out. 4

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 – A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

  • HANYNE

    I hope this is addressing the problem for you & I still believe that you are an “islamofobiac” & you need some help…

  • HANYNE

    So going back to US most obvious false flag attack yet. Boston bombing is not the first incredible failure of intelligence and law enforcement America has suffered. By “incredible,” I mean exactly that, “not to be believed.”
    As a photographer, I looked at the footages of Boston bombings & none of them believable. All of them had visual mistakes. I believe what I see with my own eyes & not the noises from the ignorance.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    you have no credibility. calling 9/11 and boston false flags indicates you are crazy. equating united states military operations w/terrorist attacks on civilians is further evidence.

  • HANYNE

    Mr KKK or walter-in-fallschurch like to be called.

    With all these evidence before your own eyes & you still remain to be an ignorant…!!!
    I believe that you are not just an idiot but an”islamofobic” as well & you seriously need some medical help…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    what color is the sky in your world?

  • HANYNE

    When you can’t answer back, you come up with stupid & childish questions like that…!!!

    Well done, you just proved me right when I said you need some medical help. Also, you will need some therapy for your psychological disorders ” being islamofobic “. & for rehabilitation so you can be released back with normal people, you will need few yours at University studying politics. It might just do you good & people might start taking you seriously…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    first,
    i cannot defend the decision to go into iraq. i consider that the worst foreign policy decision of my lifetime. (i’m 48. i moved to the us from afghanistan in 1972)

    second,
    why should i even bother answering your “charges” against the united states when you can’t even admit 9/11 was islamic terrorism? were i in denial like you i would say those are false accusations. what if i said the united states actually has no military?

    third,
    i’ll try to answer a few anyway. give me some time.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    from the wiki page of us military actions. i just started with after 9/11.

    2001 – War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, U.S. Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.”[RL30172]

    ME: well, it occurs to me that we can’t even have a conversation if you deny that the united states went into afghanistn to get osama bin laden in retaliation for his islamic terror attack on new york and DC civilians. anyway, this was to get bin laden. I’m really sorry we didn’t just to that quickly and leave. our retaliation against obama was justified.
    ———————————————————————————-
    2002 – Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.[RL30172]
    ME: well, this is in retaliation for an islamic terrorist attack on a u.s. ship. justified.
    —————————————————————————————
    2002 – Philippines. OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”[RL30172]
    ME: this was to helpt the philippene government put down islamic terrorists who were trying to overthrow the government and impose radical islam on the locals… justified.
    ———————————————————–

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    2002 – Côte d’Ivoire. On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire, U.S. military personnel went into Côte d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouake.[8]
    [RL30172]

    ME: this was just to get american citizens out of a war zone. I actually don’t know what the rebels/govt were fighting about. justified.

    ———————————————————————–

    2003–2011 – War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq with the stated goal being “to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States.”[RL30172]
    ME: iraq was the worst foreign policy decision of my life. nonetheless, I DO think we have tried to minimize civilian casualties. when a drone hits civilians, it’s a terrible accident. however, oftentimes, terrorists will hide among civilians making it harder to kill them, and increasing the chances of hurting civilians. consider that such a tactic would never work for american soldiers, becaause islamic terrorists go after civilians ON PURPOSE.
    ————————————————————–

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    2003 – Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 U.S. Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.[RL30172]
    ME: this was to secure our embassy there. again, protecting or rescuing civilians. justified.
    ————————————————-

    etc, etc, etc….. I guess my general defense would be that the united states almost always “means well”, and tries to minimize civilian casualties. islamic terrorists go after civilians on purpose. most of our efforts these days are spent trying to kill islamic terrorists – people who wish to spread islam at the point of a knife. the united states does not want to occupy iraq or any islamic country. do you really think we want to spend billions of dollars on that? really, we couldn’t give a hoot about any of those countries were they not out to do us harm. do you believe the reports about the horrible things the “president” of iran says? but, since you don’t believe islamic terrorists exist none of what I just said makes any sense…..

    (note also that you’ll see a lot of humanitarian aid – earthquakes etc… – missions in there.)

  • HANYNE

    A BRIEFING ON THE HISTORY

    Since the September 11 attacks on the United States, most people in the world agree that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, without killing many thousands of civilians in the process. But unfortunately, the U.S. military has always accepted massive civilian deaths as part of the cost of war. The military is now poised to kill thousands of foreign civilians, in order to prove that killing U.S. civilians is wrong.

    The media has told us repeatedly that some Middle Easterners hate the U.S. only because of our “freedom” and “prosperity.” Missing from this explanation is the historical context of the U.S. role in the Middle East, and for that matter in the rest of the world. This basic primer is an attempt to brief readers who have not closely followed the history of U.S. foreign or military affairs, and are perhaps unaware of the background of U.S. military interventions abroad, but are concerned about the direction of our country toward a new war in the name of “freedom” and “protecting civilians.”

    The United States military has been intervening in other countries for a long time. In 1898, it seized the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico from Spain, and in 1917-18 became embroiled in World War I in Europe. In the first half of the 20th century it repeatedly sent Marines to “protectorates” such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. All these interventions directly served corporate interests, and many resulted in massive losses of civilians, rebels, and soldiers. Many of the uses of U.S. combat forces are documented in A History of U.S. Military Interventions since 1890

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    those are rumore akin to “osama did not do 9/11″. they are the same level of crazy.