Op-Ed by Claire Bernish
March 22, 2016
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(ANTIMEDIA) Before the bodies had been counted. Before the injuries had been assessed. Before any group claimed responsibility for perpetrating the attacks in the Belgian capitol Brussels, the lazy condemned the entire religion of Islam.
This blame, meted out to a religion whose tenets expressly forbid killing innocents — “it is as if he had slain mankind entirely” — lacks fundamental logic. Worse, it lacks precision.
Without precision and studied consideration of the conditions which culminated in these acts of terrorism, one guarantee can be cemented: future attacks. Why? Because humans have an unironic penchant for neglecting lessons from past mistakes — and an unfaltering blindfold as if their present actions exist in a vacuum.
Indeed, blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few falsely claiming they follow its teachings might be precisely what the ignominious war machine of U.S. imperialism needs. In fact, modern-day terrorism exists because of the actions of a specific religion — and it isn’t Islam.
Imperialism, and its roots planted firmly in statism, inarguably create, foster, and perpetuate terrorism at an alarming rate. An active military campaign and overarching surveillance program ostensibly embarked upon to demolish terrorism — anywhere on the planet — instead manufacture terrorism at an increasingly rapid rate.
This cyclical structure isn’t difficult to comprehend, yet it somehow escapes those eager to scapegoat blame on the undeserving — because xenophobia.
For years, the United States military and its overinflated budget have bombed the hell out of predominantly Muslim countries — doing a bang-up job of mostly missing intended targets, instead killing civilian non-combatants more than 90 percent of the time by some estimates. U.S. foreign policy’s relentless hammer created the staggering refugee crisis as civilians — either having their homes destroyed by bombing or from justifiable fear it could happen — by the millions feel they have no choice but to escape.
Worse still, the U.S.’ vying for natural resources — oil, opium, rare earth metals, and more — have caused a complex juggernaut of proxy wars with sometimes contradictory aims. This wrangling to exploit countrysides in otherwise peaceful countries stands as classic imperialist dogma: they have it, the U.S. government wants it, and the military is promptly deployed to make it happen.
Largely downplayed in this cycle are countless corporations pulling the strings — directly driving hegemonic foreign policy.
Would we need to invade Afghanistan for its insanely profitable opium crops without Big Pharma? Doubtful. Would we need to partner with Saudi Arabia — not only a notorious human rights abuser, but one of the most despised countries in the Middle East — were it not for its enormous stores of oil? No way. Would Syria be the quagmire it has become if it weren’t geostrategically integral for a proposed oil pipeline? Nope.
War has been called ‘endless’ for justifiable reasons — but it wouldn’t be so without imperialism driving its existence. Violence is its tool. But endless violence isn’t without consequences.
Terrorism holds undeniable responsibility for the attacks in Brussels, but it didn’t manifest because of Islam.
Blaming Islam is the lazy way out of holding those ultimately responsible for its rise — and secures its perpetuation. But it doesn’t mean Islam is to blame.
This article (America Should Take Responsibility for the Brussels Terror Attacks) is an opinion editorial (OP-ED). The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Anti-Media. This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit: Jayel Aheram. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to firstname.lastname@example.org.