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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fashioned by irrational neocons who refuse to objectively assess evidence, no wonder U.S. foreign policy is nuts

Weinstein is ignoring the evidence

(The Daily Caller) -- by John Glaser --

One would have thought that reiterating the consensus view of every expert would have been enough to override Jamie Weinstein’s neoconservative ideological intransigence. But in a rebuttal to my column correcting him on al Qaeda’s motivations for 9/11, he declines the opportunity to succumb to the evidence.

But he says he is willing to learn.

Eager to discover the roots of al Qaeda’s grievances with U.S. foreign policy, Weinstein asks, “Which Muslim country was America forcibly occupying before 9/11?” A simple answer: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

But it doesn’t end there. If we use the broader definition favored by the University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape, occupation can also arise as a grievance when the United States props up an unwanted dictatorship in these Middle Eastern countries. I mentioned this in my last piece, citing none other than the Department of Defense: “The United States finds itself in the … potentially dangerous situation of being the longstanding prop and alliance partner of these authoritarian regimes. Without the U.S. these regimes could not survive.”

Finally, Israel has been occupying Palestinian land since 1967. This is made possible by lavish U.S. support. Think of this as occupation by proxy.

Pape has his academic focus in suicide terrorism. As he wrote in 2003, “Suicide terrorist attacks have recently been employed by Palestinian groups in attempts to force Israel to abandon the West Bank and Gaza … and by Al Qaeda to pressure the United States to withdraw from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula.” Occupation is the motivating factor.

Weinstein makes the claim that propping up brutal dictatorships isn’t a bad thing when al Qaeda calls us out on it. Okay, is it fair game when overwhelming majorities of ordinary people in the Middle East also cite such policies as contemptible?

Weinstein then dodges the facts about U.S. policy towards Iraq before 9/11. He fails to respond to the fact that the U.S.-led sanctions regime imposed on Iraq directly led to the death of over a half a million children, and many more total. If he can’t admit this policy, which former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously said was “worth it,” was a grievance of al Qaeda and Arab Muslims generally, I’m not sure what will convince him...MORE...LINK

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