Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ideologues and U.S. Foreign Policy


I've written quite a bit about US foreign policy and its role in perpetuating much of the hostility from other countries that have fallen under its imperialistic tendencies, such as Iran and Iraq as just the tip of the iceberg. I've also written about a few “skeptics” (and I use that term very loosely) who have decried what I've had to say about US foreign policy and they continue to take pathetic pot shots at me in their blogs. The latest is the infamous No Cross No Crescent, whom I've written about at some length over the last six months. Despite demolishing several of his posts, and his abject failure to defend his views in debate, he continues to take little shots at me on his blog whenever he happens to write something about Muslim extremism.

This time he has taken a blog post I'd written about US imperialist actions and about the fact that the drone war is a continuation of this long, horrible tradition, and has taken it completely out of context.

NCNC wrote,

Here in the US, the far right neoconservatives and ultra-left ideologues (on the surface, each others’ sworn enemy) have a bizarre commonality: overestimating the impact of US military actions around the world. Believe me, guys, not everything in this world is so uni-factorial; a  little open-mindedness won’t harm. […] On the far left, we have those who pompously proclaim “Imperialism is the ultimate issue”. Translation: America is always to blame, for everything. Such people will never fail to blame Iraq’s Muslim-on-Muslim cycle of violence can always be traced to US actions. Even though the US forces left Iraq long ago, the fact that Iraqis are not living in peace together is somehow to be blamed on “Imperialism”.

“Pompously?” I didn't know it's now considered “pompous” to point out obvious and verifiable facts... And NCNC wants to talk about open-mindedness??? Give me a break! This is from a guy who is so close-minded he doesn't even seem to recognize when his arguments are reduced to ashes!

I believe NCNC's gross exaggeration can be easily dismissed after you read the post in question, titled “Diplomacy, Not Imperialism: The Key to a More Peaceful Future,” which was a further response to another “skeptic” about US foreign policy. I never once argued that imperialism was the one and only cause of all problems in the world. In fact, I make this quite clear when I used such language as: “Undergirding many of these terrorist attacks is the issue of imperialism;” “The unpleasant role of the US in the world is long and varied but more often than not, it is to the determent of the local populations and a boon to the US;” “many terrorist actions were a response to US imperial actions,” and even one of my more obvious statements: “I am well aware that these issues are not the only issues causing violence in the Middle East. I am also well aware of the religious conflicts, particularly in Iraq at the moment.” And the list could go on. Are these statements in any way saying that US actions are always the number one cause of violence and other problems in the world? No! And it's completely absurd for NCNC to continue to so baldy mischaracterize my views like this.

Now, I do go on to write, “I think an irony that must be stressed is that it was the US invasion that created much of this sectarian violence in the first place.” However, NCNC does not even deal with the facts I cited in support of this statement (assuming this is the statement that caused NCNC to write what he did about the current sectarian violence in Iraq). In fact, a woman who lives in Iraq wrote on her blog “Baghdad Burning” about exactly this issue:

I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in ). They refuse to believe that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled this whole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is a direct result of the war and occupation. They go on and on about 's history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven't been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there.

I remember before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.

So, who are we going to trust? Someone who actually lives/lived in Iraq or someone who can't even bother to get basic facts right? I think the choice is clear.

I don't understand why so many critics have such trouble comprehending what I write and continue to mischaracterize what I say. My best guess is NCNC's illogical ideology of hatred towards Muslims blinds him. All I know is that I wish this stupidity would stop because he's beginning to really annoy me.

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