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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's Walt/Mearsheimer lie

From JPost, on a W/M talk at MIT:

"A critically important issue when talking about America's terrorism problem is the matter of how US support for Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians relates to what happened on September 11," said Mearsheimer, who played the role of attack dog, while Walt set the stage.

Mearsheimer suggested that the notion of payback for injustices suffered by the Palestinians is perhaps the "most powerfully recurrent in [Osama] Bin Laden's speeches," who, he said, had been deeply concerned about the plight of the Palestinians since he was a young man. He said that Bin Laden's concern had been reflected in his public statements throughout the 1990's - "well before 9-11." Citing the 9-11 Commission report, Mearsheimer and Walt argued that Bin Laden wanted to make sure the attackers struck Congress because it is "the most important source of support for Israel in the United States," adding that Bin Laden twice tried to move up the dates of the attacks because of events involving Israel. Mearsheimer and Walt went on to argue that 9-11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences in the United States as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with US foreign policy favoring Israel. "Its hard to imagine more compelling evidence of the role US support for Israel played in the 9-11 attacks," said Mearsheimer.

"In short, the present relationship between Washington and Jerusalem is helping to fuel America's terrorism problem," he went on to say.

I addressed the purposeful misreading of the 9/11 Commission Report, that time by Walt, last year. The 9/11 Commission emphatically said that OBL's animosity towards the US was at best only peripherally affected by US support of Israel.

Notice also Mearsheimer's sleight of hand - by saying that OBL was "deeply concerned" about Palestinian Arabs he is implying that this was his main motivation for 9/11. This logic is flawed - would they say that OBL's fighting the Soviets was also motivated by his "deep concern" for Palestine?

Most of all, Bin Laden's own statements make it clear that his concern for US support of Israel is almost an afterthought. Two fatwas from the 1990s can be found online calling on Muslims to kill all Americans. The 1996 fatwa is named "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" which makes it abundantly clear that it is American troops on holy Muslim soil that got his panties in a bunch, not its support for Israel - he buries that reason in the long text. And his 1998 fatwa spelled out his major three reasons to kill Americans, and support for Israel was a distant third:

First, for 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.

If some people have formerly debated the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it.

The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, still they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, in excess of 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So now they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there.
Obviously OBL and his like-minded Islamists hate Israel with a passion. But they also hate America - possibly even more - for reasons quite independent of Israel, as OBL's words make clear. These "academics" once again fall into a trap of creating a theory to begin with and then finding facts to support that theory afterwards, ignoring any counter-evidence. This is not scholarship.

In short, Walt and Mearsheimer are liars when they say that support for Israel is the major reason for Islamic terror against America. Anyone who reads the entire OBL fatwas would see that clearly - but W/M know that most people won't bother. And the inconvenient facts that terror attacks in the UK, France and elsewhere cannot be so neatly explained by their absurd theory are just not going to be mentioned.