Saturday 15 September 2012

Yes, They’re Awful, But We’re Just As Bad, We Drove Them To It!

Glenn Greenwald indulges in the most blatant whataboutery in the pages of ‘CiF’:
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". Its purpose, as described by the Israeli newspaper, was to show that "Islam is a cancer" and to provide a "provocative political statement condemning the religion". It's hard to believe that the film – which is barely at the level of a poorly rehearsed high-school play – required $5m to make, but the intent seems clear: to provoke Muslims into exactly the sort of violent rage that we are now witnessing.
Funny, so many other religions seem to manage not to be provoked into murder by this sort of thing.
Events like this one are difficult to write about when they first happen because the raw emotion they produce often makes rational discussion impossible.
Well, yes. I think what you really mean is it takes a while for you to try to figure out just how the West is really at fault for this, don’t you?
It is understandable that the senseless killing of an ambassador is bigger news than the senseless killing of an unknown, obscure Yemeni or Pakistani child. But it's anything but understandable to regard the former as more tragic than the latter. Yet there's no denying that the same people today most vocally condemning the Benghazi killings are quick and eager to find justification when the killing of innocents is done by their government, rather than aimed at it. It's as though there are two types of crimes: killing, and then the killing of Americans.
And to that add ‘the killings of the British, or French, or Japanese...’

Because every country, bar none, considers an attack on its own citizens as worse than an attack on random, unknown foreigners. Every one.
The way in which that latter phrase is so often invoked, with such intensity, emotion and scorn, reveals that it is viewed as the supreme crime: this is not just the tragic deaths of individuals, but a blow against the Empire; it therefore sparks particular offense. It is redolent of those in conquered lands being told they will be severely punished because they have raised their hand against a citizen of Rome.
This brings me back to one of my favourite scenes from ‘The West Wing’. Sadly, moral cowardice won out in the end, in that episode.
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.
I know it’s a shocker, Glenn, but over here we don’t generally mourn the Luftwaffe or the U-Boat submariners either. Or Dresden.
There is a clear hierarchy of human life being constantly reinforced by this mentality, and it is deeply consequential.
It’s also inevitable, human beings being what they are…
In sum, one should by all means condemn and mourn the tragic deaths of these Americans in Benghazi. But the deaths would not be in vain if they caused us to pause and reflect much more than we normally do on the impact of the deaths of innocents which America itself routinely causes.
Do you really think the mob that torched the embassy and murdered your countrymen care that much about the dead? Do you think they don’t simply welcome an opportunity to vent their anger?

As Farenheit211 points out, targeting totally innnocent people seems to be de rigeur:
Police sources said that prima facie it appears that someone threw the book from a train going from Adhyatmik Nagar towards Hapur near the railway station. Local residents approached the police and shouted slogans against the administration and the police. “
Now, I'm sometimes castigated for unreasoning expectations of our police, but even I don't expect them to be responsible for someone else throwing a book from a train!


Farenheit211 said...

Julia, don't forget the CIF's highlighting of the now discredited part of the story which said that the film producer was Israeli or funded by Israeli's and Jews.

Trust something from the Guardian stable to highlight the antisemitic forgery part of the story and report it as if it was truth. The Guardian is getting more iffy by the day, sometimes when I look at it I feel that it is something that Julius Streicher could have recognised.

Anonymous said...

Surely Shirley the Guardian's finances cannot defy gravity for much longer ?

Farenheit211 said...

Anon, if loads of people boycott the Auto Trader (whose profits keep the Guardian going) then we could see the fetid vessel SS Guardian disappearing beneath the fiscal waves.

Oh noes, where will useless social service managers get their equally useless employees from.

Rob said...

For every Muslim killed as collateral to a US attack on Islamists there are a hundred killed BY Islamists. Most Muslims are killed by other MuslIms.

Trust the Guardian to find a Jewish angle though. It really is a cesspit of antisemitism

David Gillies said...

The correct response to this should be a deliberate policy of provoking Jihadist scum just so we can flush them out of the woodwork and add another few hundred thousand to the butcher's bill. I saw the mobs outside the various embassies and my immediate thought was "target-rich environment". A few dozen CBU-24s would have been instructive.

banned said...

I found that film on youtube before it was pulled and, try as I might, I could not bring myself to watch more than 5 minutes of it. Not because I was offended but because it was such rubbish.

Technically and artistically devoid of worth, any normal person would simply have dismissed it (think Nativity play on a bad day) yet someone (name escapes me) on the periphary Arab media chose to use it ro whip up exitement and here comes the sad old Guardian bringing up the rear.

Anonymous said...

Cui Bono is a good question to ask regarding who was behind this film and who kicked up a fuss about it. And yes, it would be very nice if all Muslims in the world were mild mannered philosophic types who rolled with the punches. But in the real world releasing this film is tantamount to shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre.

So, Cui Bono? Republicans or Israelis - not important, this film has backfired already, Obama can denounce those behind the film as nutters and the choice of nutter is his. Own goal I would say.

Farenheit211 said...

There is a need for an independent filmic version of the life of muhammed but this one isn't it.

The sets on Eastenders put in a better performance than the actors on this film.

Woman on a Raft said...

Now the old Satanic Verses fatwah has been revived I'm going to have to read the book. I've been ignoring it for over 20 years. Grrr.

JuliaM said...

"The Guardian is getting more iffy by the day..."


"Oh noes, where will useless social service managers get their equally useless employees from."

I'm sure the 'Independent' will pick up the slack!

" I saw the mobs outside the various embassies and my immediate thought was "target-rich environment"."

A Tweet suggested that miniguns mounted at every Middle East embassy gates will soon concentrate minds!

"So, Cui Bono? Republicans or Israelis..."

Oh, I hardly think we need to restrict our choices to those two, do you?