Islamists attack American diplomats. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald attacks moral sanity

The reaction by Glenn Greenwald to the despicable murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens by Islamist terrorists in Libya represents a great indicator of just how low those schooled in the language of the anti-imperialist left will go to avoid even the most obvious conclusions about the motivations of our enemies.

Hours after Stevens and several others were killed – when the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya was rocked by grenades – the ‘Comment is Free’ correspondent implored his readers not to employ even the most intuitive moral reasoning and to remember who the real villains, as always, are in the story.

In ‘The tragic consulate killings in Libya and American hierarchy of human life‘, Greenwald reminds us early on who is to blame, basing his assertions on reports which have since been undermined.

“The attacks were triggered by rage over an amateurish and deeply hateful film about Islam…quickly circulated in the Muslim world, sparking widespread anger (the US embassy in Cairo was also attacked).

The anti-Islam film was written, directed and produced by an Israeli real estate developer living in California, Sam Bacile. He claimed, in an interview with Haaretz, that the film “cost $5m to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors”…

the intent seems clear: to provoke Muslims into exactly the sort of violent rage that we are now witnessing.

Sam Bacile and his cowardly anonymous donors are repellent cretins for producing this bottom-feeding, bigoted, hateful “film” that has no apparent purpose but to spread anti-Islamic hatred and provoke violent reactions.

All the rage and denunciations of these murders in Benghazi are fully justified, but one wishes that even a fraction of that rage would be expressed when the US kills innocent men, women and children in the Muslim world, as it frequently does.”

However, the initial reports about the attack are beginning to fall apart.  

In addition to the fact that the U.S. is investigating the possibility that the attacks were coordinated by either al-Qaeda or another Islamist group to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11, and were not motivated by the film, reports now indicate that the film maker isn’t Israeli or Jewish but an American Coptic Christian, (a fact Greenwald acknowledged in an update).

Greenwald, well-schooled in the anti-imperialist cant of Noam Chomsky, then offers the following:

“Just compare the way in which the deaths of Americans on 9/11, even more than a decade later, are commemorated with borderline religious solemnity, as opposed to the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of foreign Muslims caused by the US, which are barely ever acknowledged. There is a clear hierarchy of human life being constantly reinforced by this mentality, and it is deeply consequential.”

Actually, there seems to be no basis whatsoever for the claim that “hundreds of thousands of foreign Muslims caused by the US.”

While the number of civilian deaths in Iraq (a nation which has suffered the largest casualty count where Coalition forces have been stationed) is often cited as over 160,000 since the start of hostilities in 2003, those citing this figure rarely note that the majority of deaths weren’t caused by American or Coalition forces.  

In fact, only 12% of civilian deaths in Iraq are directly attributable to actions by U.S./Coalition forces, based on a comprehensive study of casualties during the height of the insurgency 2003-2008.  Out of the remaining casualties, the perpetrators were soldiers in the Iraqi army and, mostly, homegrown, foreign (or unknown) terrorists.  So, the overwhelming majority of Muslim civilian casualties in Iraq have been caused by other Muslims.

Further, in addition to the unserious moral comparison between the intentional mass murder of American civilians by Islamist extremists and the unintentional killing of civilians by U.S. forces, even if the original reports were correct, the fact that a 13 minute video demonizing Islam could inspire some in the Muslim world to murder innocent Americans is a commentary on their culture, not ours.

If Jews where to riot and engage in murder every time a video was aired on YouTube containing vile antisemitism, the staggering volume of such hatred produced in the Arab and Muslim world would provide more than enough incitement for Jews to engage in such violence 24/7.

The stereotypical image of Jews as a “treacherous people” plotting to undermine the world of Islam is pervasive, and represents a narrative which the initial commentary by Greenwald and other leftist commentators – by evoking the specter of wealthy Jews undermining Islam and “provoking” the Muslim world by making a hateful documentary – only serves to reinforce.

The only ones who we should impute guilt to after the attack on U.S. embassy personnel are the cowardly “repellent cretins” who committed the act, and their apologists and enablers throughout the world.   

The ideals of the Arab Spring will never truly be realized until their culture begins to encourage the same kind of reflection and self-criticism that leftists in the West are always demanding of their own societies. 

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