Cause and effect in the War on Terror
(Salon.com) -- by Glenn Greenwald --
American discussions about what causes Terrorists to do what they do are typically conducted by ignoring the Terrorist's explanation for why he does what he does. Yesterday, Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, and this Pakistani-American Muslim explained why he transformed from a financial analyst living a law-abiding, middle-class American life into a Terrorist:
If the United States does not get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries controlled by Muslims, he said, "we will be attacking U.S.," adding that Americans "only care about their people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die" . . . .When the federal Judge presiding over his case asked him why he would be willing to kill civilians who have nothing to do with those actions, he replied: "Well, the people select the government. We consider them all the same" (the same rationale used to justify the punishment of the people of Gaza for electing Hamas). When the Judge interrupted him to ask whether that includes children who might have been killed by the bomb he planted and whether he first looked around to see if there were children nearby, Shahzad replied:
As soon as he was taken into custody May 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, onboard a flight to Dubai, the Pakistani-born Shahzad told agents that he was motivated by opposition to U.S. policy in the Muslim world, officials said.
"One of the first things he said was, 'How would you feel if people attacked the United States? You are attacking a sovereign Pakistan'," said one law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the interrogation reports are not public. "In the first two hours, he was talking about his desire to strike a blow against the United States for the cause."
Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don't see children, they don't see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It's a war, and in war, they kill people. They're killing all Muslims. . . .Those statements are consistent with a decade's worth of emails and other private communications from Shahzad, as he railed with increasing fury against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, drone attacks, Israeli violence against Palestinians and Muslims generally, Guantanamo and torture, and asked: "Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows?"
I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I'm avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.
This proves only what it proves. The issue here is causation, not justification. The great contradiction of American foreign policy is that the very actions endlessly rationalized as necessary for combating Terrorism -- invading, occupying and bombing other countries, limitless interference in the Muslim world, unconditional support for Israeli aggression, vast civil liberties abridgments such as torture, renditions, due-process-free imprisonments -- are the very actions that fuel the anti-American hatred which, as the U.S. Government itself has long recognized, is what causes, fuels and exacerbates the Terrorism we're ostensibly attempting to address.
It's really quite simple: if we continue to bring violence to that part of the world, then that part of the world -- and those who sympathize with it -- will continue to want to bring violence to the U.S...MORE...LINK