Does the US bring jihad on itself?

I’m pretty sure Chris Matthews is going to get some blowback from what he said today about the US’ ongoing involvement in the Middle East, the new specter of our involvement in the Syrian civil war, now that we say they’ve used chemical weapons against their own people, and why it is that Islamists keep targeting our country.

The silly-season people will try to claim that Matthews said we deserved to be hit. He said no such thing. He did say that we’re hated, a lot, by Islamists, and it’s not just because of our wonderful freedom (my words, not his). In large part, it’s because every time we get involved in a war, it’s a war against Arabs (or Muslims). And after a while, that starts to sends a message, intended or not.

Chris-MatthewsNow, the counter argument is that, yeah, we keep getting into wars with Arabs because their region of the world is the most troubled – at least the most troubled that has strategic implications for our country (Africa is troubled, less strategic).

Nonetheless, the message a lot of people see is that we keep attacking the same people, Matthews argues. It’s an interesting argument. And I’m sure he’ll be excoriated by the usual suspects. But his larger point about how nine out of ten times it’s better to not get involved in these international skirmishes is one worth pondering.

We watched this gory hanging, this absurd hanging, of Saddam Hussein, while these thugs went about this thing on television. We watched this, on our watch. And because of us, we gave them the power to do this to the guy. Okay, you start making the big time moral decisions like that, saying these are the good guys, these are the bad guys. I think it’s very dangerous.

I have to admit, I’m a Vietnam era guy. I’m always suspicious of foreign involvement. Nine out of ten times I say the best move is to let them solve their own problems in the end, as horrible as that may be. As long as Syrians are fighting Syrians that’s better than us fighting Syrians.

And by the way, if we don’t stop killings Arabs on international television one of these days – that’s all we do is kill Arabs on international television, we don’t fight Africans, we don’t fight Europeans, who do we fight, Islamic people, on International television. I think that might have something to do with jihad, don’t you?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Deven W

    Of course I’m talking.

    Fact: Racism is based upon race.
    Fact: The UN is comprised of mostly corrupt states with terrible human rights records that despise the idea of democracy.

    You cannot refute those two facts. If you refuse to understand them, it is not a problem with my conversation ability, it is a problem with your own mental competency.

  • Bill_Perdue

    You’re not talking. You’re sputtering, spewing, regurgitating… anything but talking.

  • Nothing to truffle with I’m sure.

  • Deven W

    I believe they are black helicopters, your problem with colors apparently doesn’t end at the color of skin.

    Again, use the UN, the most racist, bigoted, hate filled organization to ever exist as a source for your definitions? Brilliant.

    Bringing the Irish into it and saying that they are subject to racism by other whites is just lunacy. That is not racism. If you can’t understand a simple definition, the basics of human language, I don’t even know why I am talking to you.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I nerver say that. I say Arabs and muslims. And I frequently call attention to the genocide against muslims in Bosnia Sarajevo.

    Lying will get you nowhere.

    In you case, racism, as described by the UN, is an extremist form of mindless hatred for a whole group of people. The Irish often complain that the attitudes of the English colonialists in English Occupied north east Ireland is more akin to racism than it is to national chauvinism. They’re right.

    “Well, then the UN is even more inept than I thought.” Careful, the blue helicopters are everywhere.

  • Deven W

    Well, then the UN is even more inept than I thought. Racism is based on race, not religious view. There are black, white, asian, etc Muslims. Perhaps you are the racist for believing that only Arabs are Muslim?

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Blind pig finds acorn next on CNN.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Don’t flatter yourself.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Islamophobia and zionism are forms or racism and the current favorites of fascists and rightists everywhere.

    The UN defines you vitriolic hated as racist and I, for one, believe them.

  • Deven W

    Why would I look up communism and socialism? Haven’t spoken about those on this article. Fascism is easy, its basically like taking the worst of left wing and right wing extremists and combining them together to create a super-evil state.

  • Deven W

    Except the Christians have shunned the abortion clinic bombers to the point that they are now mostly non-existent. Hate crimes against gays, same thing.

    Sure, of course there are good people in Islam that would speak out about it. What I’m talking about is that the majority need to speak out about it, just like the majority of Christians spoke out about abortion clinic bombings.

  • Naja pallida

    If he looks up racism, will you look up communism, socialism and fascism?

  • Naja pallida

    Sadly, there are northern refineries. They were built when they knew getting the southern end of the pipeline built would be more difficult. Not to mention, there’s another pipeline that takes the oil to the west coast as well. So whether Keystone XL gets finished to the Gulf of Mexico or not, that oil is going to get to market one way or another. If crossing the 400ppm threshold hasn’t already got us screwed, this definitely won’t help.

  • Deven W

    Mr. Perdue, can you please look up the definition of racism, then tell me why your first sentence is completely wrong?

    I wonder when the left will learn that the UN is comprised mostly of dictatorships and theocracies that use it as a soap box to further their own agendas.

  • goulo

    Of course there has not been profound silence. (Whether or not it gets reported much in the news is another issue…) I’ve seen plenty of different articles about Muslims speaking out against all sorts of bad behavior by other Muslims (whether we’re talking about terrorism, or sexism, or heterosexism, etc.)

    The frequent claim that no Muslims speak out against the fascism in their religious groups is certainly a persistent but bogus meme. A moment’s googling (as well as common sense) would show this to be as false as claiming that (e.g.) no Christians speak out against abortion clinic bombers or gay-bashers.

  • cole3244

    don’t ask america to look in the mirror because they might or know they won’t like what they see.

  • “I hope that people who claim to be true Muslims can stand up and fight the fascists in their religious groups,” So far there has only been a profound silence.

  • Deven W

    I realize that my words are harsh. A bit much for a politically correct person to handle, I bet. It would have been okay if I’d said something similar about the RCC or Christianity in general.

    But please, defend the human rights records of Islam, especially pertaining to women. It is atrocious. I love women, I respect women, I have a big problem with a religion that treats them as Islam does.

    Deny the expansion of Islam, provide an example in the modern world where Muslims are capable of co-existing peacefully with another religion. If there is an example, it is the exception, not the norm.

    I have read the terrorists goals. Are their goals a good excuse to maim, kill and torture innocent men, women and children? Have you read Hamas charter? There is no peace, only domination. They will find any reason to claim oppression in order to wage jihad. Peace talks are only a tool in order to further their ultimate goal, the annihilation of Israel.

    Islamo-fascism is real. That is our enemy. That is the enemy of every Arab Spring nation. That is the enemy that Syria will soon have to fight. That is the Taliban in Afghanistan. That is Hamas.

    Do not construe any of what I said to mean its okay to be a bigot. It is never okay to treat any individual wrongly until you know their true character. I hope that people who claim to be true Muslims can stand up and fight the fascists in their religious groups, I hope that they can learn to treat women equally and with respect. I hope they denounce Sharia law and stand with those countries whose people (maybe not governments) stand for equality, love and respect.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The real problems are the US government and the zionist bunkerstadt.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Islamophobia is racism.

    Remarks of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to a seminar on Islamophobia on 7 December 2004. “When a new word enters the language, it is often the result of a scientific advance or a diverting fad. But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia.

    The word seems to have emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But the phenomenon dates back centuries. Today, the weight of history and the fallout of recent developments have left many Muslims around the world feeling aggrieved and misunderstood, concerned about the erosion of their rights and even fearing for their physical safety.”

    Islamophobia has replaced anti-Semitism as the central focus of fascists in the EU, rightists and ultrarightists in the US, zionists and other racists,

  • caphillprof

    I’m tired of being dominated and exploited by Western Superpowers and I am a citizen of the US of A.

  • gaylib

    Matthews is a liar.

    “I have to admit, I’m a Vietnam era guy. I’m always suspicious of foreign involvement. Nine out of ten times I say the best move is to let them solve their own problems in the end, as horrible as that may be. As long as Syrians are fighting Syrians that’s better than us fighting Syrians.”

    He has the audacity to say that after cheer leading on a daily basis for us to invade Iraq? Does he think we’re so stupid we don’t remember? The reason we spent so much blood and treasure and built up such ill will in the middle east over the past decade is because people like him in the media refused to acknowledge that the bush administration was lying to the American public. He has a lot of fucking nerve to say such a thing now.

  • Don’t forget the Iranians.

  • goulo

    Seriously? Islamic terrorists want to forcibly convert us and set up Sharia law on the entire world?

    Try reading terrorist’s own explicit statements about their motives and goals. Whether “homegrown” US Islamic terrorists or Islamic terrorists in other countries, they consistently clearly directly talk about their being fed up with Western political meddling (and violent wars and bombing and drone strikes etc) in their countries.

    Which stands to reason and should not be a big surprise. If some country kept overthrowing the US government and violently killing tens of thousands of US citizens, a lot of US citizens (probably including you) would probably be tempted to violently strike back at them, don’t you think?

    Note that countries which are NOT frequently committing violence in the Middle East are also (coincidentally?) typically not the target of Islamic terrorism.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Exactly.

  • pappyvet

    Here here! But there are few Democrats and Republicans in our government. When 10% of the population controls 90% of the wealth and 50 of the world’s wealthiest countries are not countries but transnational corporations,their job is simple. Keep everyone busy and keep moving the money upstairs. When it comes to the money and power,they are all lapdogs and have been for some time.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Matthews question is poorly put. The rulers of the US and their kept politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare of Americans of working class origin, especially those forced into the armed forces as the result of economic depression, mass unemployment, poverty, and homelessness and the impossible costs of college.

    The goal of the rich and their lap dogs like Obama, Boehner, Pelosi and Reid is solely limited to increasing the wealth of the of the already obscenely wealthy. 01%. They use state terrorism kill to murder millions in genocides like Iraq, kill, maim, wound and force tens of thousands of GIs to suicide, And when mad dog counter terrorists murder Americans they use that as an excuse to increase their terrorist attacks in places like Libya Syria (soon) Yemen, Iraq and it’s Kuwaiti province, Bahrain, Iran (soon), Afghanistan and Pakistan and elsewhere.

    There’s no end in sight until we leave the Democrats and Republicans in the dust and move left.

  • pappyvet

    It used to be that we free people would proudly proclaim that whereas we may not agree with what a fellow American says,we would defend their right to say it. Now there is a decidedly tribal hate filled group out there that goes so far as to call people traitors for bringing into the light a different point of view from their own. Violence against even their own American family is vomited forth to keep the wingnuts at a fever pitch. So I expect Chris Matthews is going to catch all kinds of flak.

  • If that’s the case, then why do they have to build that pipeline all the way to the Gulf of Mexico where all the oil tankers are? As I’ve said before, if all that crap-grade bitumen sludge was intended for American consumption, they’d stop the pipeline in North Dakota and build some refineries right there.

    It’d be way the hell cheaper.

    We all know the pipeline has nothing whatsoever to do with America’s energy needs and all to do with oil company profits. Never mind the fact we’ve just crossed the 400 ppm CO2 threshold…

  • Jim Olson

    Gee, you think?

  • There’s a long history of ever increasing U.S. meddling militarily in the Middle East in ways that do not increase our popularity. The installation of the Shah of Iran. Arms sales to Iraq throughout the 1980s. U.S. refusal to bring sufficient pressure to bear on Israel to stop the settlements in the occupied territories.

    But let’s move forward a bit: There is now no one under the age of about 25 or so who remembers a time when U.S. forces have not had a significant military presence in one or more Muslim-majority Middle Eastern nations. There are still some 15,000 troops in Kuwait, for example, and sizable military bases in Qatar and Bahrain. In the aftermath of the first Gulf War in 1990-91 (aka ‘Operation Desert Shield’), our presence became essentially permanent.

    As Farea al-Muslimi said the other day, it’s now becoming increasingly common for parents to use threats of American drones to get their children to obey. We’ve become monsters to them.

    I guess this is one of the things the average self-centered American will never understand. Nobody hates us “for our freedoms.” Your average Afghani or Qatari or Iraqi or Iranian doesn’t give a damn how we live our lives over here, or whether we have freedom of religion and of the press, or any of the rest of it. What they do care about is whether we Americans are trying to take away their freedom to have their country and culture as they would have them, and whether we’re denying them and their families the ultimate freedom: The freedom to live. Y’know — “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?

    People hate you when you kill their friends and relatives, when you destroy their homes and villages, especially when it appears to be for no particular reason at all. Nobody is going to thank you for wiping out entire families because you decided you needed to use a JDAM to assassinate one individual.

    If we want them to like us and be our friends and to have no particular desire or motivation to commit acts of terrorism against us, we need to stop committing acts of what they perceive as terrorism against them. Violence only begets more violence.

  • Poor old Tweety. Every now and then he says something worth listening to.

  • Naja pallida

    Every drone flying over a foreign country might as well be towing a giant banner advertising hate for the United States.

  • Naja pallida

    Why do you think some of those eleventy dimensional chess delusionists are so rabid about the Keystone pipeline? It will mean for the first time in nearly a century that we are not entirely beholden to Saudi Arabia’s every whim. They have this notion that it could actually give us a tiny amount of leverage, when it’s really only going to give Exxon leverage, not us as a country.

  • FuzzyRabbit

    Gee, do you think the fact that US drones are targeting wedding parties in Afghanistan and Pakistan has anything to do with making people hate the US?

    Nah, of course not. Don’t be silly.

  • Deven W

    Maybe we exploit them because we hate their culture. Perhaps if their women weren’t stoned after they were raped for dishonoring their family, we could get along. Perhaps if they hadn’t been waging a 1200 year war to expand Islam, we could get along. Everyone talks about the Crusades, but the Crusades were a response to Islam converting 2/3rds of the Christian world by the sword. We have more reason to dislike them than they do us. Understand their motivations. Its not hatred of us, they want to forcibly convert us and set up Sharia law on the entire world. Islam is fascism. Of course, the PC disclaimer, I realize that most Muslims are good people, but that doesn’t mean we have to like their overall culture.

    That being said, in no way, shape or form should we go into Syria. Right now it is dictatorship vs. fascism under Sharia law. Let them duke it out, neither future government is going to be our friends anyway.

  • Agree on all points here.

  • A perfect example: the chemical weapons sold to Saddam by the American government and then used on the Iraqi people.

  • Mike Meyer

    I find it interesting that at Saddam’s hanging, the ONLY one to act rational and calm was Saddam. ALL the rest there were acting like chickens with their heads cut off.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    International Relations for the last 100 years has been about by the secret history of oil politics. The Arabs live over most of the largest reserves. Perhaps they’re tired of being dominated and exploited by Western Superpowers.

  • arcadesproject

    Chris Matthews is one of the dumbest people on the planet but this time, he has a point, or part of a point, anyway. I guess ‘jihad’ is Chris’s generic term for violence perpetrated by people with a Muslim identity. These acts and their perpetrators and the motivations are a lot more complicated than that. See: the Boston bombing suspects. But Tweety has a coarse, dull mind and he wouldn’t get that.

  • MyrddinWilt

    It would all be so much easier if the idiot git whose library was opened today had not told so many lies and committed so many war crimes.

    The real risk of telling lies to go to war is that now when it might well be a national security issue people can’t believe their government. That is the fault of Bush the Liar, Cheney the Liar, Powell the Liar, Rice the Liar and Rumsfeld the Utter Incompetent.

    Now we know why Obama was so keen to patch up the Israel/Turkey dispute. Israel has been quietly on the side of the Assad regime preferring the devil they know to a regime that might be less predictable or worse have to deal with yet another democratic regime on their borders. Israel’s support from the US would be much harder to maintain if instead of being the closest thing to a democracy in a sea of dictatorships it is the embarrassing apartheid system in the middle of democracies.

    So the fact that Israel has also acknowledged the use of chemical weapons is highly significant. They don’t have an incentive to lie about it, quite the opposite.

    There seems to be little doubt that someone used chemical weapons. What is not really clear is who and whether it is a false flag operation designed to pull the West in to support the rebels. We have already seen more than one of those.

    If there is military involvement it will be rather simpler than the Libya campaign. Turkey is right next door, an air campaign would be relatively straightforward. If Assad loses his air power he will have great difficulty continuing his campaign.

    The real problem isn’t China or even Russia, it is what government is going to replace Assad.

  • Well, that, and it’s a wee bit hypocritical to give lame apologies for the numerous instances of us bombing innocent civilians THEN make such an uproar on the rare occasions that we ourselves are bombed or otherwise attacked.

    It’s also a little hypocritical that the US uses chemical weapons and then condemns it in Syria.

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