Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nick Guariglia's attack on Ron Paul's foreign policy: Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy

Mr. Guariglia has written a rather sad excuse of a hit piece attacking the foreign policy concept of blowback. This piece is noteworthy only in that it's the first time (AFAIK) that someone has actually tried to seriously address Ron Paul's foreign policy stance. It seems that the "ignore" phase is over with; neoconservative pundits are now in attack mode. Seriously though, if this is the best they can come up with, we've already won.

People like Nick Guariglia, Rudy Giuliani, and Bush's entire administration are willfully self-deluded if they believe the terrorists hate us for the 1st and 19th Amendments and Baywatch. Guariglia's intellectual bankruptcy is evident by the fact that he resorts to ad hominem attacks against Michael Sheuer--who spent many years of his life studying bin Laden and fundamentalist Islam--rather than actually addressing his points. Here are some facts, with cited sources (Guariglia doesn't seem to be familiar with these) which clearly contradict this "feel-good" neoconservative explanation for terrorism.

The initial target [of al-Qaeda after Afghanistan] was not the U.S. but the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which al-Qaeda claimed were corrupt and too beholden to the U.S. It was only after the Gulf War, by which time bin Laden had moved his operations to Sudan (he would later be forced to shift back to Afghanistan), that he started to target Americans. (TIME Magazine, Nov 4, 2001)

[Usama bin Laden] … stresses grievances against the United States widely shared in the Muslim world. He inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam’s holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War, and he protested U.S. support of Israel. (The 9/11 Report, section 2.2: Bin Laden’s Appeal in the Islamic World)

[F]or over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. (Usama bin Laden’s 1998 Fatwa)

U.S. policies and actions are increasingly seen by the overwhelming majority of Muslims as a threat to the survival of Islam itself. (Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force)

Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States. (Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force)

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