- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chopra on Mumbai

Internationally renowned author Deepak Chopra had a hard time explaining his comments about how Americans were to blame for the bombings in Mumbai to the hosts of “America’s Morning News” on Wednesday.

Mr. Chopra, an inspirational speaker and self-help guru who counts Oprah Winfrey among his biggest fans, has sold millions of books published in 85 languages about spiritual health and tolerance. But his thoughts on foreign policy haven’t been as popular.

Mr. Chopra, who was born in India, said during a 2008 appearance on CNN that the United States was partially responsible for the bombings in Mumbai that year.

“What we have seen in Mumbai has been brewing for a long time, and the war on terrorism and the attack on Iraq compounded the situation,” he said. “What we call ‘collateral damage’ and going after the wrong people actually turns moderates into extremists, and the inflammation then gets organized and appears at this disaster in Bombay.” He went on to say that the bombings were done to terrorize Americans, not just Indians. “Ultimately, the message is always toward Washington because it’s also the perception that Washington, in their way, directly or indirectly funds both sides of the war on terror.”

His remarks sparked a flurry of blogs and editorials, including one in the Wall Street Journal titled “Deepak Blames America.”

“AMN” hosts asked him Wednesday whether he still thinks the United States helped perpetuate the violence. “It’s a misinterpretation of what I really said.” Rather, he said, he supported “creative solutions” like cutting the number of U.S. dollars going to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

“AMN” then played the tape from his 2008 interview, and co-host John McCaslin asked Mr. Chopra how he thought terrorists should be defeated.

Mr. Chopra, somewhat oddly, replied, “You don’t defeat the evil forces by throwing bombs at a wedding and then causing … .”

“Americans aren’t throwing bombs at weddings,” interjected “AMN” co-host Melanie Morgan.

“No, no, we don’t do it consciously,” he said. “Imagine if some Mexican roadrunner was going after drug people in Mexico and accidentally threw a bomb on McDonald’s? How would we react?”

“There is violence, there is accidental or collateral damage,” Mr. Chopra added. “You cannot deny that. You cannot deny that. So violence is not the solution to violence. Violence perpetuates violence.”

Chopra on Fox

Although Deepak Chopra is considered to be an expert on tolerance, a recent article he wrote for the Huffington Post about Fox News was remarkably intolerant.

His piece, titled “How to Deal with Fox News,” suggested coping mechanisms people could use to control anger against the “toxic nonsense” spewed by the network, which he likened to the Wicked Witch of the West from the “Wizard of Oz.”

“If you hear someone softly crying, ‘I’m melting, I’m melting’ in the distance, it’s not the wicked witch from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ but Fox News,” his piece began. “One must listen through the din of hysteria that dominates almost every program. The shrinking credibility of the right wing, like the shrinking of a defeated witch, will be very good for innocent children everywhere.”

He advised: “It’s just as important to change your response to Fox News as it is to undo the social damage of the Reagan-to-Bush era,” he said. “Without a new attitude, the same futile tug of war will continue.”

He indicated he thinks the Republican Party, and thus, Fox News, would soon crumble because: “When a piece of furniture sits on a base that’s too small, it topples over. As the Republican base dwindles to Southern white males and various credulous hangers-on, the whole party is set to topple just as inevitably.”

Regardless, “the whiners and grumblers at Fox News will find an audience, just as auto wrecks find rubbernecks on the highway,” he lectured Huffington Post readers.

Heard on MSNBC

The news trackers at the Media Research Center caught a particularly outrageous analysis from Pulitzer Prize-winner Karen Hunter about why she thinks Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the St. Louis Rams.

She told hosts David Shuster and Tamron Hall that the conservative talk-radio host might have racially motivated reasons for wanting ownership of a football team that has many black players.

“I can just see the visions of plantation grandeur dancing in his head as we speak,” Ms. Hunter said. “Yeah, it doesn’t make you a racist to want to own a team. But, it does kind of, with all his history, question his power position over these players who make millions of dollars and his ability to be able to move them around, deny them contracts and do whatever he wants willy-nilly. It’s the ultimate power position to be an owner of an NFL team.”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at [email protected]

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