- - Monday, November 23, 2015

The religious bigotry and industrial scale stupidity and fear exhibited in the United States following the Islamic State mass murders in Paris verify Ecclesiastes: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
    In times of upheaval or strife, Mark Anthony’s declamation in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is apropos: “O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason.”
    On a date that will live in infamy, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 Americans and wounding 1,178. Eight U.S. Navy battleships and 188 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. The Japanese employed 353 fighter planes, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. Japan’s army then exceeded 6 million, and its fleet of naval warships exceeded 400.
    Professed military expert Gen. J.L. DeWitt was dispatched to the West Coast to assess the risk of espionage or sabotage posed by 120,000 Japanese Americans.  He discovered nothing. But according to the prevailing hysteria and racism, that exculpatory fact was proof of impending treason. The expert military adviser elaborated: “[R]acial affinities are not severed by migration. The Japanese race is an enemy race … That Japan is allied with Germany and Italy in this struggle is not ground for assuming that any Japanese, barred from assimilation by convention as he is, though born and raised in the United States, will not turn against this nation when the final test of loyalty comes. It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these were organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity. The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”

And then came the racist concentration camps for 120,000 loyal citizens and permanent resident alien of Japanese ancestry.  (Japanese immigrants were then precluded from naturalization). In 1988, Congress enacted the Civil Liberties Act which, among other things, declared that, “[T]hese actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage…and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

Fast forward to 9/11. The murderous al Qaeda attacks using hijacked civilian aircraft killed 2,996, of which 12 percent were non-U.S. citizens and 30 were Muslim. Al Qaeda’s threat was a shadow of Japan’s in 1941. It had no air force. It had no navy. It had no rockets. Its numbers were a miniscule fraction of the Japanese army. It ruled over no territory.

The United States stupidly and counterfactually characterized al Qaeda adherents as warriors who endangered western civilization like Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini rather than as criminal thugs complicit in murder or material assistance to an international terrorist organization. We imprisoned alleged enemy combatants indefinitely without accusation or trial at Guantanamo Bay; created military commissions for the trial of civilian offenses like material assistance; empowered the president to play prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner to kill any person he decreed based on secret, unsubstantiated evidence might endanger the national security; and, conducted dragnet electronic surveillance against the entire United States population. By logarithmically inflating Al Qaeda’s threat, the United States became its de facto star recruiting agent by creating the impression to hormone driven youths that Al Qaeda was the New York Yankees of international terror. Guantanamo Bay became a symbol of anti-Muslim repression as the Bastille became a symbol of Bourbon tyranny in pre-revolutionary France.
    These exaggerated United States responses to mass murder aggravated the international terrorist danger while squandering trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. Global, indiscriminate, perpetual wars created power vacuums and innocent victims that bred extremists like rabbits. Last February, the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that 2014 was the most lethal year for global terror in history, and, that the terror threat against the United States was expanding, not contracting.

On Nov. 13, 2015, eight Muslims — seven French — murdered 129 civilians in shooting sprees at seven Parisian sites, 1/16th the lethality of 9/11. And to put things in further perspective, the United States witnessed 14,249 murders in 2014, and in approximately one-third of the cases no arrest was made of a suspect.

President Obama has admirably remained fact-bound and deliberate in response to the tragic Parisian murders, in contrast to the fact-resistant extremism or bigotry of most of the 2016 presidential candidates, governors, and Members of Congress.

Donald Trump promised to create a database of Muslims in the United States, a variation of the Nazi requirement that Jews wear a Yellow Star of David with “Jew” written on it.

John Kasich proposed a federal agency to spread “Judeo-Christian Western values” in the Middle East, a second edition of the Crusades which began with the slaughter of Jews in Mainz and Cologne in Germany and continued with killings of both Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem.

Ted Cruz urged that Christian refugees from Syria be accepted but not Muslims because, “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

Timothy McVeigh was Christian.  Adolf Hitler was Catholic. Stalin was raised Eastern Orthodox. Slobodan Milosevic was Serbian Orthodox.           

    As the Bible teaches, you reap what you sow. For at least a century, France, Great Britain, and the United States have sported with the Middle East. National boundaries were drawn to satisfy imperial ambitions through divide and conquer, not to promote national unity and independence. Unpopular, oppressive governments were manipulated and sustained through money, arms sales, or military interventions that created seething indigenous resentments against the three Western powers.
    By their cravings for domination for the sake of domination, they fueled the current Middle East convulsions and the ascendancy of Muslim murderers.  Substitute “Muslim” for “Jew” in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice to appreciate the predictable human dynamic at work: “I am a Muslim. Hath
not a Muslim eyes? hath not a Muslim hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject 
to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
 revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
 resemble you in that. If a Muslim wrong a Christian, 
what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian 
wrong a Muslim, what should his sufferance be by
 Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
 teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I 
will better the instruction.”

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