This may even be a correct statement; however, I see no critique of the
article itself. You make some statements about "this school of thought".
Perilously close to an ad hominem argument, I'd say.
That's fair enough, so I'll jump in with both feet as a third party and submit a critique of the article. Normally I wouldn't, as the original article was asking for sources, but since you ask so nicely...
My first criticism is general. Since the attacks, I have at a conservative minimum seen the exact same opinion about 30 times, expressed almost exactly the same way. Literally the only new wrinkle from this argument is the mention of the September 11/12 discrepancy. Almost all of the 30, including this one, either claim straight out or strongly imply that the media aren't reporting it. If this be the case, then why have I seen this opinion over and over and bloody over again, with little or nothing new? I certainly support the right of people to see the same opinion repeated ad infinitum, but if every time it is repeated it contains the claim that it is never heard, it is reasonable to judge it as wanking.
Now for some specific criticisms:
most wanted man in the whole world has been suggesting that
he's angry about the deaths of Iraqi children under sanctions,
about the corruption of pro-western Arab regimes, about Israel's
attacks on the Palestinian territory, about the need for US
forces to leave the Middle East. And after insisting that bin
Laden is a "mindless terrorist'' - that there is no connection
between US policy in the Middle East and the crimes against
humanity in New York and Washington - the Americans need
to close down Al-Jazeera's coverage.
I don't doubt that bin Laden is angry about those things. Nor do I doubt him when he said that he hates Jews (not Israel in general; Jews). Nor did I doubt the man in the institution I worked in who was convinced that Timothy Leary opened the pyramids and discovered all the psychotropic medication he was taking. A lot of people are angry about a lot of things. Bin Ladn's angry about the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel? Guess what, so am I.
The real problem Fisk has is not that bin Laden sees a connection, but that he thinks everyone else should see a connection, and it is the media's duty to point it out again and bloody again until we do. However, there's an old saying: be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
I do not with to kill millions of Arabs, and I also have a functioning brain, so I would never make the suggestion seriously. However, sometimes I fantasize about how ironic it would be if the U.S. were to do exactly what angry Muslims and feeble-minded commentators want them to do: abandon Israel and get out of the Middle East.
Listen, folks. Israel doesn't need our help to kill Arabs. They're good at it, and they like to do it. If we take away all their American assualt rifles that are designed to be less lethal than Uzis, they'll just go back to using Uzis. Bin Laden's trying to get some isotopes? Israel already has enough for about a hundred warheads and plenty of good physicists to boot. The principle effect of U.S. foreign policy has been to keep Israel on a very short leash. Which brings me to
...no one could think of
any event that month that might have propelled Atta to his
Not the Israeli bombardment of southern Lebanon, nor the
Qana massacre by Israeli artillery of 106 Lebanese civilians in
a UN base, more than half of them children.
Yeah, I feel bad about massacres of children, too. I don't suppose that Fisk would consider in a million years the hundreds of thousands of Egyptian children the didn't die because the U.S. used its alliance to prevent Israel from invading Egypt, or those that didn't die when the U.S. clamped down on Isreal after the seven-day war.
Arabs and Jews have been hating and wanting to kill each other for thousands of years before the U.S., and Muslims and Jews have hated each other since the inception of Islam in C.E. 540. The U.S. didn't invent it; they just try to keep the lid on.
The U.S. policy in the Middle East has been far from perfect, but it has also been far from the worst. Of one thing, I'm certain. No matter what the U.S. did, murderous sociopaths would get angry in the Middle East, because "murderous sociopath" is a career choice in that area. Also, people like Fisk would criticize the U.S. no matter what it did. I am certain that, if the U.S. had done nothing to expel Iraq from Kuwait, Fisk would have been up in arms about our tacitly supporting Iraq by permitting it to take over a helpless Muslim state, saying that it was a continuation of our murderous campaign against Iran and laying the blame for slaughtered Kuwaiti children at our feet. The U.S. will be blamed no matter what happens.
West's baleful history in the Middle East
Sure it's baleful, but which part was baleful? Maybe it was the establishment of the State of Isreal in the place where all the Jews had to leave to keep from getting killed many years before. I'd like some of what they were smoking when they thought that was a great idea. However, for that you have to look primarily to England, who had taken over the whole area and pretty much built the modern Middle East by drawing lines on a map. The U.S. foreign part has been far from perfect, but from the very beginning it was a clusterf*ck made up by people most of whom washed their hands of the matter and left the U.S., pretty much by default, to try to minimize the negative effects of an untenable situation.
If you throw matter and antimatter together, it goes boom. If someone like the U.S. scrambles around trying to keep the reaction controlled, it's a cheap shot to laugh at his antics and say he's responsible for when it gets hot.
But isn't it worth just a little mention, just a tiny
observation, that an Egyptian mass-murderer-to-be wrote a will
of chilling suicidal finality in the month when the massacre in
Lebanon enraged Arabs across the Middle East?
No, it isn't worth a little mention, not particularly. I could go back to the place where the Leary Pyramid guy hangs out and get you a dozen, for any date you care to name. Unlike the Middle East and, to some extent Europe, we give them Haldol, not elect them. We elect feebs instead, because they're safer.
Why at least not tell us how these
"terrorism experts" came to be so expert? And what are their
connections with dubious intelligence services?
This I agree with. However, I think my reasons for agreeing are probably different from Fisk's. Fisk speaks as if he believes that, without the U.S., the Middle East would be a land of happy bunny rabbits where everyone got along and nobody ever got massacred. He seems to me incredibly naive, responding more to a mythological notion of the relationship of the U.S. to Isreal than to anything the U.S. actually does. You can call this ad hominem if you like, but I have a hard time believing that such a mind could come to the same conclusion as mine for exactly the same reasons.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett
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