Glenn Greenwald’s latest outrage is inspired by commentary by some in the media – in response to riots and violence in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere – expressing surprise that Muslims in those nations are not grateful to the US for backing Mubarak’s ouster and initiating military action to topple Gaddafi.
Greenwald, in ‘US media angrily marvels at the lack of Muslim gratitude‘, Sept. 15, cites “decades of arming, funding and general support [for Mubarak] from the US” and the civilian death toll from the Libya operation as reasons why citizens in both countries are rightfully far from grateful to America.
He then lambastes those, such as NBC correspondent Richard Engel, who argue that the “primary reason these Muslims have such animosity toward the US is because their heads have been filled…with crazy conspiracy theories about how the US and Israel are responsible for their woes”.
“…to act as though Muslim anger toward the US and Israel is primarily the by-product of crazy conspiracy theories is itself a crazy conspiracy theory. It’s in the world of reality, not conspiracy, where the US and Israel have continuously brought extreme amounts of violence to the Muslim world, routinely killing their innocent men, women and children.
Listening to Engel, one would never know about tiny little matters like the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon, the almost five-decade long oppression of Palestinians, the widely hated, child-killing drone campaign, or the attack on Iraq.” [emphasis added]
While Greenwald’s narrative about U.S. responsibility for Muslim anger is entirely predictably – an expression of American self-flagellation over every conceivable problem afflicting non-Westerners which is popular within a segment of the American left – his implication that Muslim anti-Zionist hatred is justifiable given Israel’s ‘oppression of Muslims’ is ahistorical and morally unserious.
Citing statistics from the book “Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century,” 2003, Professors Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes note the following:
“deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict [number] 51,000 [since 1950] in all. Arabs make up roughly 35,000 of these dead and Jewish Israelis make up 16,000.
These figures mean that deaths in Arab-Israeli fighting since 1950 amount to just 0.06 percent of the total number of deaths in all conflicts in that period. More graphically, only 1 out of about 1,700 persons killed in conflicts since 1950 has died due to Arab-Israeli fighting.
In a different perspective, some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.
(Adding the 11,000 killed in the Israeli war of independence, 1947-49, made up of 5,000 Arabs and 6,000 Israeli Jews, does not significantly alter these figures.)
Examples of Muslim on Muslim violence since 1950 include the Iran-Iraq War, the Algerian Civil War, the Syrian massacre in Hama, Jordan’s killing of Palestinians (Black September ), Saddam Hussein’s mass murder of Shiites, Kurds and others, and the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. The list goes on.
Massacres, of course, are still taking place in Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and elsewhere – “extreme” Muslim on Muslim violence – and yet no citizens, other than Israeli Jews, are routinely called “blood-thirsty“, “genocidal“, “terrorist“, or “Nazi” by Muslim countries.
The Muslim public’s “outrage” over Israel’s treatment of Arabs and Palestinians, as with their extreme antisemitism, is cynically exploited by the Arab media – dangerous propaganda which is often ignored, or even legitimized, by Western media elites.
While economic under-development and the continued absence of true democratic values represent the Muslim world’s greatest problem, Greenwald would have us believe that the the Muslim world’s malign obsession with Israeli Jews is somehow justified – that 1.6 billion Muslims are being oppressed by 6 millions Jews.
It is a pernicious lie.
- Islamists attack American diplomats. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald attacks moral sanity (cifwatch.com)
- Background on Glenn Greenwald for Guardian readers: ‘sock puppets’ & ‘smart spam’ (cifwatch.com)
- ‘Comment is Free’ correspondent Glenn Greenwald vs. American tolerance (cifwatch.com)
- Glenn Greenwald notes that unnamed sources told Chris McGreal Israel controls CNN. So, it must be true! (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian spices up coverage of MENA riots with incitement against Israelis and Jews. (cifwatch.com)