The moral ‘trooferism’ of Richard Falk and the Guardian’s Seumas Milne

Richard-Falk-Memo1UN official Richard Falk, a self-professed believer in 9/11 conspiracy theories, has been widely condemned for arguing that the Boston terror attack was the result of US foreign policy, as well as Obama’s recent trip to Israel, in a commentary in the April 21 edition of Foreign Policy Journal.

Falk said the Boston Marathon bombings – which killed three and injured over 180 – were “expected” given Washington’s ongoing policies around the world, especially its support for Israel and its military involvement in the Middle East.

“The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance…the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks,” wrote Falk

Falk added the following on the Boston attacks:

“It is horrible, but we in this country should not be too surprised, given our drone attacks that have killed women and children attending weddings and funerals in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” 

American leaders, argued Falk towards the end of his Foreign Policy Journal essay, “don’t have the courage to connect some of these dots.”

It’s interesting that, up until now, it seems that even the most ardent critics of American foreign policy haven’t attributed blame to the U.S. for the Boston Marathon bombings, and, encouragingly, the comments by Falk (who also has a history of antisemitism) elicited a strong rebuke from, among others, US Ambassador Susan Rice.

American politicians may not, as Falk complained, have the “courage to connect the dots“, but the Guardian’s associate editor Seumas Milne seems to, as least based on his recent ‘Comment is Free’ entry on April 23.  Though his piece deals with the ‘scandal’ of the continuing use of Guantánamo Bay to hold enemy combatants, Milne was able to seamlessly tie in the Boston bombing towards the end of his essay, where he wrote the following:

We don’t yet know the motivations of the two men accused of carrying out last week’s atrocity in Boston, which killed three people and seriously injured many more. But we do know that 61 were killed the same day in bomb attacks in Iraq that were blamed on al-Qaida, brought to the country by the US-British invasion. And 16 were killed in Pakistan the following day in a suicide attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, which mushroomed as a result of the invasion of Afghanistan.

What is certain is that so long as the US and its allies intervene, occupy and wage war across the Arab and Muslim world – whether directly or by proxy, with daisy cuttersor drones – such outrages [such as the Boston attack] will continue. It’s the logic of a war of terror without end.

So, although Milne evidently “doesn’t yet know the motivations of the two men accused of carrying out last week’s atrocity in Boston”, he does know enough about the attack to claim that such “outrages” will continue “so long as US and its allies intervene, occupy and wage war across the Arab and Muslim world”.

Milne_sqThe only surprise about Milne’s decision to publish an essay implicitly blaming American policy in the Middle East for the deadly attacks targeting innocent American citizens by two Islamist-inspired terrorists is that he waited over a week since the bombing to do so.

If you recall, a mere two days after the 9/11 attacks which killed nearly 3000 Americans, Milne complained, at ‘Comment is Free’, that “most Americans simply don’t get…why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world”.

Milne expressed bitterness that only a minority of Americans were likely to “make the connection between what has been visited upon them and what their government has visited upon large parts of the world”, though it was vital they “make that connection…if such tragedies are not to be repeated.”

 He added that the US was “reaping a dragon’s teeth harvest” it had itself sowed.

Although the Guardian associate editor hasn’t gone so far as to claim, as Falk has, that 9/11 was an inside job, Milne and his political allies on the far left who continually blame the US and its support for Israel – for deadly attacks targeting its civilians by reactionary and malevolent Islamist terrorists are advancing an equally insidious lie, one which obfuscates cause and effect and blurs the ethical distinction between victim and perpetrator.

Whilst 9/11 conspiracy theories are rightly mocked as a vice of the intellectually deficient, and the mendacious propaganda of extremists, the moral ‘trooferism’ of those whose contempt for America, Israel and the West inspires such a spectacular misunderstanding of the civilizational dividing lines in our time should similarly be named and shamed as the dangerous political charlatans they are.

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