Today the world was horrified by a murderous terrorist attack on an airport and metro station in Brussels and ISIS/Daesh has taken responsibility for this heinous act. The initial responses by many citizens around the world, especially those in Belgium, France and the U.S., who have recently seen attacks by ISIS or ISIS-inspired terrorists in their own country, include a lot of fear and hatred.
Blogs are filling up with angry attacks on all Muslims and Islam as a religion which sadly is exactly the result that the terrorists are seeking, to inspire Islamophobia around the Western world and use the alienation of Muslims as a recruiting tool to build larger armies of terrorists to cause greater destruction and terror around the world (and furthering the pursuit of world conquest).
Demagogues like Donald Trump are anxious to exploit this latest attack to frighten citizens into handing them power, saying to frightened people just what they want to hear, offering simple hatreds and solutions, bragging that if only they are given power, they can destroy ISIS and protect all Americans with a magical snap of their fingers. Just elect me, they’ll be wiped out and you’ll be safe.
Fear overrides reason. Those who see no reasonable way that Donald Trump could be elected President may be quite correct…but if reason is overridden, many unreasonable things may be possible.
So it seems to be a responsibility for those who are not blinded by fear to promote reason to those that are.
There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, they represent 23% of the world’s population. And yet, as horrific as they are, terrorist attacks by Muslims against those in the West are not a daily, weekly or even monthly occurrence and originate from the same tiny fraction of the global Muslim population, namely extremists dedicated to apocalyptic cults derived from Wahhabism which is a minority offshoot from the Sunni branch of Islam.
One need only consider the very simple logic of the lie that “Muslims are terrorists”. With 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, if a majority were terrorists, if even 1% of them were terrorists which would still be 13 million Muslims, terrorism would be constant, daily and widespread and Western governments and societies would be drowning in havoc.
The truth about terrorism is that it does not require large numbers of people to take place. Terrorism is the tool of a minority to leverage power over a majority through the use of fear. There were only 19 people who committed the 9/11 attacks that caused such terror, caused permanent trauma for the country and forever changed the course of this nation.
Just 19 people.
Yes, there were Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Mohammad and others in Al Qaeda that masterminded and financed the attack but the number of people who physically committed that massive act of terrorism was only 19.
Estimates on the number of ISIS core members and fighters are in the tens of thousands, perhaps in the ballpark of 30,000 mainly in Syria and Iraq. Out of the total population of Muslims worldwide, that would represent only 0.00002 (two hundred thousandths) of Muslims.
Meanwhile, around 13,000 Americans were killed by an American with a gun in 2015 alone. Out of the entire U.S. population of 319 million, that means 0.00004 (four hundred thousandths) of Americans are killers which is double the percentage of Muslims who are ISIS terrorists…so if all Muslims are terrorists, wouldn’t it be doubly true that all Americans are gun-shooting murderers?
Truth is not the result of an emotion, truth is often found only after emotions have been put aside. The numbers above prove that being Muslim is not equivalent to being a terrorist, the mathematical odds are 99.99% that someone who is Muslim is not a terrorist.
Now that the fear-driven lie of Muslims being terrorists has been addressed, we move to a truth about one major component that genuinely fueled the rise of ISIS and Al Qaeda…and that is fuel itself. Oil.
As many are well aware, the majority of the 19 Al Qaeda terrorists who committed the attack on 9/11 were Saudi. Osama Bin Laden was Saudi. The Saudi family that rules Saudi Arabia and their allies are documented financiers of Al Qaeda which means they helped finance the attack on 9/11. They also have financed ISIS in one way or another and thus have helped finance the attacks in France, in San Bernadino and today’s attack in Brussels.
ISIS and Al Qaeda are cults that are based in Wahhabism and the ones who have spent $100 billion or more to promote the growth of Wahhabism throughout the Middle East and around the world…are of course the Saudis.
Wahhabism existed long before the 1970’s but it started to become virulent after then. Why is that? Because of oil. From Wikipedia:
But it was the 1973 oil crisis and quadrupling in the price of oil that both increased the kingdom’s wealth astronomically and enhanced its prestige by demonstrating its international power as a leader of OPEC. By 1980, Saudi Arabia was earning every three days the income from oil it had taken a year to earn before the embargo. Tens of billions of dollars of this money were spent on books, media, schools, scholarships for students (from primary to post-graduate), fellowships and subsidies to reward journalists, academics and Islamic scholars, the building of hundreds of Islamic centers and universities, and over one thousand schools and one thousand mosques. During this time, Wahhabism attained what Gilles Kepel called a “preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam.”
Without the massive wealth generated to the Saudis by oil, their oppressive and violent version of Islam could not have been exported, implanted and financed the way it has been across the region and Al Qaeda and ISIS would not have been birthed.
One can argue that some other less propagated and prolific form of ISIS or Al Qaeda might have instead come into existence but it wouldn’t be a globally threatening force in that case. As to ISIS in particular though, here too, oil would be to blame.
The Bush Administration ignored all voices, even its own Counterterrorism Czar, Richard Clarke, the CIA and the UN in its insistence to go to war against Iraq. Iraq hadn’t attacked us on 9/11, they had been greatly weakened after The Gulf War and No Fly Zones and the UN Inspectors affirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction or programs to create them in existence in Iraq.
So why did The Bush Administration insist everyone who disagreed with them was wrong and Iraq needed to be attacked? Because their foreign policy was dictated by neocons who came from The Project for the New American Century.
The Project for the New American Century or PNAC was a rogues gallery of neocons assembled during Bill Clinton’s Presidency, to construct aggressive foreign policy views for the Republican party and nearly half of their members ended up in power in Bush’s administration. Their membership included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Bill Kristol.
One of their primary justifications for their policy requirement of invading Iraq and taking out Saddam Hussein, set forth well before 9/11, was the alleged threat Saddam posed to oil production in the region.
During the build up to the Iraq war, oil was openly discussed by Bush Admin neocons as “another” justification for going to war, the increased oil revenue that a non-Saddam Iraq would receive would pay for the expense of the war and a good portion of Iraq’s huge reserves of oil would then be flowing to the U.S. (no doubt as a show of gratitude after our military was greeted as liberators and showered with sweets and flowers as then VP Dick Cheney assured).
What was sadly telling was that on the day that the U.S. military marched into Baghdad, as museums, banks and government buildings were pillaged and destroyed, the U.S. military only protected one key governmental facility…The Ministry of Oil.
It was a war designed by neocons to provide the U.S. with control over Iraq to usurp Iraq’s oil as well as provide a foothold for US control in the Middle East. Don’t forget, Peak Oil was a big thing back then, there were those greatly concerned that oil would soon become scarce and at the time, the U.S. was importing 63% its oil and the percentage had been increasing every year.
“Of course it’s about oil; we can’t really deny that,” said Gen. John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq, in 2007. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan agreed, writing in his memoir, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Then-Sen. and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the same in 2007: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are.”
As we now know, ISIS was born out of the invasion of Iraq. Once in control of Iraq, The Bush Administration quickly dissolved the well trained and battle seasoned Iraqi Army, putting a quarter of a million soldiers out of work and feeling humiliated by the U.S.. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, found a huge pool of very motivated and unemployed fighters, who had been fighting as the insurgency against the U.S. in Iraq, from which to recruit (and pay) to build ISIS into a formidable force.
There are extremists in every religion who are capable of killing for their beliefs. What has turbo-charged the religious extremists at the heart of ISIS though is oil, both the black market oil they sell to finance themselves, the oil wealth of the Saudis who have used billions to promote the very beliefs reflected by the Wahhabist cults such as ISIS and the oil-greedy PNAC neocons who were in positions of power in the Bush administration and achieved their goal to invade and take over Iraq (at least temporarily) to control its oil and the region.
Without the lust for oil by U.S. neocons, had the Iraq War never taken place and if Saddam was still the dictator of Iraq with his Iraqi Army employed and intact, there would be no ISIS threat today.
There would still be many disaffected, oppressed and poor people in the Middle East who would be prime targets for enlistment in terrorist groups but without unifying enemies like an invading U.S. or substantial financing as the Saudis and oil has provided, such groups would have difficulty growing anywhere near as powerful and prominent as Al Qaeda and ISIS, let alone sustaining their existence.
The proposition here is that without the actions of those fervently seeking or grossly enriched by oil, this severe situation wouldn’t exist. There would still be extremists and imperialist-minded neocons but the financing and incentives that have empowered them would be greatly diminished if not for the power of oil.
When bad things happen, people want to be able to point their finger at the cause. For many, it will once again begin and end as Muslims being terrorists and Islam as evil. For others considering the true root causes of what created a threat of this proportion, it may instead be the corruption and greed that always seems to accompany oil, a pollution it pours into people of all religions.
The Truism still holds: “The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself.” When fear rules, we are subjected to all manner of ugliness. The demonization of entire groups of people, such as the Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants in general, and the LGBT community. Voting restrictions and other losses of our freedoms. As always, the only ones who benefit as the rich and the corporations.
What was ( and is, as it is not past) – the Arab Spring about?
Dignity and Justice. It was not about democracy, although democracy may be a result. Dignity and justice are big words; and, there is “not enough justice to go around”.
And, the Arab World is composed of people of faith. Their religion – Islam – is at the very center of their lives.
And, they are dominated by peoples that have pretty well lost their faith; and have been dominated by them for a very long time.
How did it come to this?
Links to two interviews by Robert Fisk. Both pretty well lay out the issue.
What was the Iranian Revolution about? Dignity and Justice.
What drives Iranian foreign policy, and the Nuclear agreement? Dignity and justice.
When faced with a peoples urge for dignity and justice, what are outsiders to do? Any response must begin with the realization that is the driver.
ISIS is undiluted nihilism in the name of religion; the imposition of misery at home and the export of misery abroad. We will make you pay for what you did to us.
This will go on – as there is never enough of either dignity or justice.
Dignity and justice wears a large mantle. The Arab Spring was about many things but high on the list was the unemployment for the youth of those countries leaving them adrift with no hope for the future. It was also about the rampant corruption of the leadership, police and military brutality, a right to vote for whom they wanted to vote for without being imprisoned and tortured, and the seemingly lost cause of freedom and basic human rights. People were desperate to lead a normal life and provide for their families. Under these circumstances, anyone would think that enough is enough.
I don’t believe we can judge these people who started the Arab Soring or their motives. They wanted things that for the most part we in the West have always taken for granted. Unfortunately, the power vacuum was too great to sustain in some countries, so as with any government in chaos, it left the door wide open to the bad elements like ISIS, and the remnants of the former al Qaeda.
You only have to look at what riches these leaders had hidden away and was found after they had been deposed. Stealing from their own people you know that authoritarian rule will eventually fuel anger that can no longer be controlled.
Fisk is a journalist of the Independent newspaper of London. He is based in Beirut. He is very experienced and knows a great deal about the region.
Above is a link to some of his articles. They are worth reading.
His books are quite valuable as well.
Appreciate the reference, agrippa, will check him out!
AdLib, your article is spot on!
Trump and Cruz are aiding the ISIS cause even if that is not what they intend. Hillary is also to a lesser degree. She recently took a turn to the right by saying that she would have Netanyahoo at the White House when she is POTUS. That to me, slammed PBO up side the head.
Bernie, on the other hand, was right on when calling for the Isrealies to stop their settlements and give Palistine its own land. Calling for peace rather than war puts Bernie in the moral minority. He is still my pick for POTUS and to move us forward with so many issues that PBO started and so many of his own.
There will not be a Palestinian state.
The opportunity for that was lost in 1947 with the partition of the Palestine mandate.
There was an opportunity in 1978 at Camp David. That one was lost as well.
The PLO under Arafat managed to antagonize all his Arab “allies”.
The Palestinian Arabs were very ill served by their “leaders” and their arab “friends”.
Unfortunately, Israel elected Natanyahu. We have to accept that. Whether we want to or not.
As for ISIS, it is exporting its’ misery. Iraq and Syria are wrecked and ISIS is ruling a charnel house. There is no easy solution when ISIS exports mass murder.
Clinton is on track to get nominated. There will have to be a reversal of fortune if Sanders is going to get nominated. Personally, I have no preference; as I am not a fan of either. I am not a fan of any politician; all are mere mortals.
Though I do think there’s a yuuge difference between Trump threatening to nuke the ME to get at ISIS and Hillary embracing Netanyahu, the one candidate who has consistently stood on the side of peace, isn’t a kneejerk supporter of Israel’s hostile policies and supports restrained use of our military is indeed Bernie.
And BTW, the latest polls still show Bernie would beat Trump and all the Repubs by much larger margins than Hillary would.
Just a few ideas on the subject: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2013/08/15/bandar-bush-weaponizer-in-chief-liberator-in-chief-of-syria/
Okay, I know two and two make four, but in this case I have given you five and could have given you more.
What is causing the problem…you got it right the first time AdLib, it isn’t ISIS or DAESH, that is a symptom of the problem. The problem is the Oligarchs and their filthy oil.
As you say in your article, some will blame Islam, and some will dig deeper and try to understand the situation. The Bush family has been closely tied to the Saudi royal family. Strange how it appears in the eyes of some that people from the Saudi Kingdom estranged or not, would choose the presidency of one of the closest friends of the Royal family to attack the U.S. and with impunity. How was it, did Cheney tell the defense department to stand down.
VP Cheney Issued 9/11 Stand Down Orders While Missile Approached Pentagon: Tip Of The Government Conspiracy
Neither Congress Nor DOD Investigate Dick Cheney’s 9/11 Stand Down Orders
Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta Confirmed That Dick Cheney Ordered Stand Down on 9/11
Call me a conspiracy theorist, say what you will. I believe our problems began with the War between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan and have only increased since. After all, who backed the Mujihadeen during that war: In its roots, Mujahideen (an Arabic word) refers to any person performing Jihad. Jihad was the term used for the project of Islamic conquest in the early history of Islam, during the medieval era led by the caliphates (7th through 9th century). In its post-classical meaning, Jihad refers to an act which is spiritually comparable in reward to promoting Islam during the early 600s CE. These acts could be as simple as sharing a considerable amount of your income with the poor and even this definition of Jihad has been exploited by some extremist Muslim groups to include Sexual jihad. Some Islamic sects believe that armed-conflicts cannot be branded as Jihad unless it has been ordered by Messiah.
During Reagan’s 8 years in power, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars of military aid to the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in a US-supported jihad against the Soviet Union. We take a look at America’s role in Afghanistan that led to the rise of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda with Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.
So, this is my opinion of it all, and I believe the Oligarchs in this nation and around the world are responsible for the deaths in these attacks and many, many, many more. That is in no way to say that we need to exploit this to appear superior to Islam, Islam is a religion like any other, an idea held by many, its meaning twisted and distorted by few. When terrorist attack, we need to look at the complete history of terrorism from these isolated groups and understand how we have been complicit in causing them to behave in this manner.
Excellent article AdLib, thank you for posting this, it is time for the citizens of this nation to begin facing the truth and then begin working to do something about it.
monica, I think we could go back to the US/UK backed coup in Iran in 1953 to install the Shah of Iran to see where the US first began down the road of disastrous meddling in the ME that resulted in nasty blowback.
Reagan then financed and trained the Mujahadeen (who later became Al Qaeda and led to ISIS) in Afghanistan to thwart the Soviets who were trying to take over that country. Republicans didn’t learn from witnessing the folly of trying to control Afghanistan and started the dominoes falling towards the global terrorism we have today.
And what has financed those who are so destructive is oil. The insanity behind this terrorism would still be around without oil but it wouldn’t be global and as proliferated.
Terrorists are on both sides of the Atlantic, the Bush neocons terrorized and killed far more innocent people than ISIS has to date. Both are enemies of civilization and humanity but take away the wealth behind both and neither could have accomplished what they have so far.
Yes, that is true. I’m sure we were probably meddling before the coup in Iran. Reagan’s vice president was none other than G. H. W. Bush. He became involved in politics soon after founding his own oil company, serving as a member of the House of Representatives and Director of Central Intelligence, among other positions. He failed to win the Republican nomination for President in 1980, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan to be his running mate, and the two were elected. During his tenure, Bush headed administration task forces on deregulation and fighting the “War on Drugs”.
I believe Bush had more influence on Reagan than many thought. And, he was in position to set up many things after being Director of the CIA. Later when he became President, he continued the onslaught on the Middle East, and than after that his son GW continued to try to solidify the control over oil. After their “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, they disbanded the Iraqi military. And of course we know the rest. The Bushes had a lot to do with all of this, and it continues under the present administration…the meddling in the M.E. that is.
Monica, at the very least, after being Director of the CIA, GHW Bush had to have operated as VP how he wanted to and had a more independent hand, probably similar to how Cheney operated as VP under GW Bush.
Reagan was always a figurehead, people wrote his script and he performed it. It was his scriptwriters that ran the Presidency, especially during his last years when this nation had a man with mental illness, senility or Alzheimer’s, as their President.
Pretty scary actually to think that we had a literal puppet as President for years that people behind the scenes were operating.
Yes, all of this is true AdLib, that is why I continue to say, the Bush family has been one of the most detrimental to this nation, starting with Prescott. The meeting of the minds with GHW and Bandar Bush both members of the CIA from their perspective countries leads me to believe many things that have transpired in this nation and in the M.E. was due to these two oil people and those that supported them.
I remember Reagan was far from well long before his presidency ended, his son acknowledged the fact. Some say Nance stepped in and sort of helped Reagan run things. I personally believe GHW ran things from the beginning. If you think about it, that family has been in the White House more than any family in history. First VP for GHW, then Potus for GHW, then Potus for GW.
Yes it is pretty scary, and pretty sad that we have nobody in this nation willing to put two and two together and bring those responsible for sooooo many things to justice.
Got it in one, AdLib.
Some remarks to complement your article:
Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria are all ruled by tyrants; their mains supports being the Army and the Security services. The GUlf States are monarchies with the support of religion.
The opposition to the tyrants in those countries was religious; very few had a meaningful secular opposition.
Saudi derives support and legitimacy from Wahhabi clerics ( AKA “Salafi). KSA supports the export of the Wahhabi sect through the funding of religious schools in other countries.
The sack and pillage of Iraq created the social and political basis for ISIS/Islamic State. KSA, through Wahhabi/Salafi, provided the religious basis.
Those GOP people are pandering. They are blind kittens.
One can find Muslims on both sides of the fence of terrorism but mostly as victims of terrorism.
While the Saudis’ spread of Wahhabism has been a cancer, it’s true that many Muslims were the ones behind the Arab Spring.
And the ones spouting the most terroristic threats in our Presidential primaries are the most avowedly religious (though Trump is just pandering) Christians.
If all American Christians were judged by the war crimes and bigotry voiced by Cruz and Trump, they would know how wrong it is to brand an entire religion evil based on terrible people who claim to be followers of their religion.
An excellent article, AdLib. It’s spot on.
Last year I posted quite a few articles with statistics showing that most terrorist attacks are not carried out by Muslims. Try telling that to the foaming mouthed haters.
Here are three of those articles that prove your point, and thank you for shining the light on that myth.
Absolutely correct about the oil and the greed creating ISIS too.
Then the disenfranchised Sunnis who were left without a political voice in policy making after the Bush administration put in their puppet al-Maliki.
Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization
Are All Terrorists Muslims? It’s Not Even Close
Less Than 2 Percent Of Terrorist Attacks In The E.U. Are Religiously Motivated
Kalima, the articles you linked to are exactly what we need to be promoting right now to fight off the Islamophobia that Trump, Cruz and much of the RW Repubs will be whipping up purely for self-serving political reasons.
The demonizing of Muslims is flatly disproven by the numbers and facts we’re offering. All the bigots have is blind fear and hatred and that must be defeated.
The haters need to be exposed for the bigots and phonies they are.
In one of those articles, the author hits the nail on the head about the media. They point out that terrorist attacks by non-Muslims, get only a few minutes of airtime compared to those carried out by Muslim extremists. Absolutely spot on, and the media is complicit in furthering the fear of, and unfair image of all Muslims. It’s deplorable. You can almost see them foaming at the mouth.
It appears the media, Trump and Cruz are trying to bring back the Crusades. Cruz because of his dominionist beliefs and Trump for nothing more than a distraction and to appear as the Strong Man in the presidential race. The media of course doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as they can make a buck off of it.
Unfortunately I think that the media is the same all over the world as they push the “meme du jour” either for profit or for the interested parties who want to shift the focus from something going on that could be even worse.
There are just a few exceptions, but as we all know, the media can be, and has been bought on far too many occasions. Shameful.
Globalization is consolidating almost everything under the rule of the plutocrats. The fourth estate is no longer what it was suppose to be.