Post-Boston vulnerability will at last force Americans to consider ‘why they hate us’

on 53 Comments

I had lunch in Washington two days ago with a leftwing friend who said that the Marathon bombing has left him afraid that it could happen on Massachusetts Avenue. This is the significance of the bombing, he said: it marks a new moment in American vulnerability. Whatever the FBI did to drop the ball, we all understand now that nothing can stop every madman who wants to do something like this. A person who is sufficiently angry about a political cause to destroy their own life has a good chance of ripping the fabric of our society along the way.

Because those political causes are associated with American foreign policy, we are back to the old question, Why do they hate us? But this time, Americans may at last be interested in the answer. That seems to me the upside of these events: the inevitable attention given to the root cause. (An awareness now fostered by Ralph Nader, Glenn Greenwald, MJ Rosenberg and others.) 

When 9/11 happened, the foreign policy piece was denied. Bush’s idiotic “They hate us for our freedom” message was a neat reduction of Bernard Lewis’s analysis that Muslims envied us because they had nothing to show for the last 500 years of civilization. At that time, if you even quoted Osama bin Laden’s bill of grievances, notably the US presence on the Arabian peninsula and our support for Israel, you were run out of town for siding with a terrorist and blaming the innocent victim, the United States.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was destroyed in 2008 because he said, “the chickens are coming home to roost,” and Chuck Hagel was attacked all this past winter in part because he saw American actions overseas– subjugating Muslims– as fueling terrorism. As he wrote in his book: 

Where does this hatred come from? In part, America is its target because we are the sole great power in the word, and, as the preeminent representation of the West, we are reaping the accumulated resentments of centuries of colonialism. …It became easy for the most disaffected Muslims to connect their personal misery with the subjugation of their people and their religion. Look at the Palestinian territories today for the clearest example of this rage and hatred.

Hagel of course lands on my favorite issue, US support for the occupation. Israel/Palestine clearly played a major part in Osama bin Laden’s thinking. But in 2001 when Mickey Kaus pointed this out, he was railed at. It was too dangerous to U.S. policy and the special relationship to point this out. So anyone who did was accused of siding with the terrorists against righteous Israel. For that reason, the 911 Commission buried the Israel/Palestine issue in its report on the attacks in a line or two.

The effort to destroy Richard Falk comes out of the same impulse; he had the gall to talk about Israel pressuring us to attack Iran in a piece about the Boston bombings. The same anger is directed at me whenever I say that our bad policy in Palestine helped to bring about Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968. And directed at Trita Parsi when he reported that Israel helped to make “radical Islam” the “new glue” for the special relationship once the Cold War ended Israel’s usefulness as an anti-Soviet client. 

Of course we have little idea of the brothers’ calculations. But it certainly appears that the dead older Tsarnaev brother was a radical Islamist; and his ability to penetrate all the barricades suggests to me that the bombing will spur reflection: about US drones, US occupations, US killings, and US support for Israeli slaughter and occupation. 

There’s evidence of that growing awareness. As Scott McConnell writes,

if the United States persists in fighting what appears to Muslims as a war against Islam, with drones and whatnot, some Muslims  are going to become radicalized and do evil in return. A young Yemeni made precisely that point before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee early this week, and he was treated respectfully—despite much senatorial grandstanding. Americans are ready to at least entertain the notion that a violent foreign policy (even one that uses drones autopiloted from the sanitary airconditioned confines of Nevada)  can produce blowback. Glenn Greenwald argued the point here. The smear campaign was probably started not because what Falk wrote was ridiculous but because it was reasonable. He commited the additional offense of mentioning Israel’s obvious efforts to ignite an American war with Iran.

The news has been knocking at the door for a long time. People ought to dig up Steve Walt’s column from ’09, Why They Hate Us:

How many Muslims has the United States killed in the past thirty years, and how many Americans have been killed by Muslims? Coming up with a precise answer to this question is probably impossible, but it is also not necessary, because the rough numbers are so clearly lopsided.

[Walt concludes that we have killed 288,000 Muslims, while Muslims have killed 10,300 Americans]

Contrary to what [Tom] Friedman thinks, our real problem isn’t a fictitious Muslim “narrative” about America’s role in the region; it is mostly the actual things we have been doing in recent years. To say that in no way justifies anti-American terrorism or absolves other societies of responsibility for their own mistakes or misdeeds. But the self-righteousness on display in Friedman’s op-ed isn’t just simplistic; it is actively harmful. Why? Because whitewashing our own misconduct makes it harder for Americans to figure out why their country is so unpopular and makes us less likely to consider different (and more effective) approaches.

Some degree of anti-Americanism may reflect ideology, distorted history, or a foreign government’s attempt to shift blame onto others (a practice that all governments indulge in), but a lot of it is the inevitable result of policies that the American people have supported in the past. When you kill tens of thousands of people in other countries — and sometimes for no good reason — you shouldn’t be surprised when people in those countries are enraged by this behavior and interested in revenge. After all, how did we react after September 11? 

Yes, it’s a lopsided cycle of violence. And it’s going to strike us again unless we start to reflect.

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53 Responses

  1. John Douglas
    April 27, 2013, 12:44 pm

    After the Boston bombings I heard a reporter recount that very soon after the bombers’ pictures came out a high school wrestling friend of the younger brother talked with the brother on the phone and the topic of Obama’s remarks at the ceremony came up and the brother is reported to have said something to the effect that Obama does all the time what the bombers did. That seemed to me to be a big story but I never heard it repeated.

    • Theo
      April 28, 2013, 8:38 am

      When will our nation wake up and realize that we cannot wage endless wars against other nations and in return expect peace, prosperity and their love.
      We are upset about the three persons killed on Boylston Street in Boston, however forget that we kill every single day a multiple of them in Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
      They had enough and will strike back more often.

      Other blogs, some with the support of RT and PressTV, insist that the bombing is done by our government forces and those two “innocent, baby faced boys” are just patsies! A whole slew of government haters, FBI and Police despisers, gun totting retardees chime in, the story gets more and more bizarre, even Obama is accused of having part in that False Flag operation.
      One must wonder, how can the USA survive, when a great number of its citizens hate every institution, collect arms to fight their own government and refuse to face the truth.
      We have sown wind and now reap a huge hurricane, and in my simple opinion this is just a beginning.

    • Jeff Levy
      April 28, 2013, 7:30 pm

      I live in the Boston area, and happened to be at a Bat Mitzvah – a very unique one –
      the weekend after the bombings. As it turns out, the Bat Mitzvah celebrant is the daughter of a Jewish man and a woman (now Jewish) from Trinidad. So, there was a nice mix of black, white and brown at the Bat Mitzvah.

      Two comments that struck me:

      A hip-hop artist and his friend, who had grown up in the Cambridge projects before studying world religions on scholarship at Old Dominion: “Once you have
      people scared, they’ll do whatever you want them to. The media just showed them
      as puppets, getting up to sing the national anthem at a hockey game and crying,
      as if that’s going to change anything.”

      Two kids, friends of the Bat Mitzvah girl: Two white people get killed and its terror. I live in Roxbury (a predominantly African-American part of town) and
      kids get killed all the time. Nobody says a thing. All the white people are all scared to go out of their house? I wasn’t afraid to go out, because I know we’re not the ones they want to bomb.

  2. RudyM
    April 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Cut the progressive blowback b.s. There’s already more analysis of the Boston Bombing than I’ve had time to really digest, but this conversation with Sibel Edmonds provides what I find to be a more realistic interpretation of events than what you seem to be embracing:

    Sibel Edmonds on the Boston Bombing

    Lot’s of good stuff here, as well: American Everyman

    I guess I’m not feeling to optimistic at the moment, since, no, I don’t think this will force Americans to ask what they hate us, not while they are busy chanting “USA!” in Boston. If anything, I think this is another false flag at least partially designed to lead to more war–in this case a sop to Russia in return for getting it to back off on opposing further attacks on Syria.

    (I hope my html works this time.)

    • RudyM
      April 27, 2013, 9:37 pm

      Perfect timing: the blog I linked to alongside the link to the Sibel Edmonds video, mad a post more or less attacking Sibel Edmonds. Haha! That’s life in the rough and tumble world outside mainstream media.

      I am probably jumping too quickly to repeat what is basically Edmonds’s hypothesis (she does present it as a hypothesis and not a certainty) of the likely reason these attacks were made to happen.

      (I have seen more or less the same idea expressed by others, even here I think, in some comments.)

    • Theo
      April 28, 2013, 9:29 am

      I have listened to the Sibel Edmonds video and found it a bit boring.
      It is full of if this, if that, repeating the same again and again. Most of her info is well known, like the war in Georgia, CIA connections, etc., and nothing new.
      She probably wanted or had to fill a certain time, however if she kept it to 15 min. it could have been more educational and less repeatious.

  3. Blank State
    April 27, 2013, 1:08 pm


    Phil, you obviously are not hobnobbing with Joe Homeowner middle america. We are, collectively, some of the most ignorant, ill-informed, brainwashed, and opinionated creatures on God’s green earth. Just this morning, at the counter of one of the local eateries here, I listened to an extremely intelligent (seriously) townsperson wax elequent on middle eastern affairs, citing, verbatim, the worthless swill that is regurgitated daily on Fox News. We have a looooong ways to go before your optimism is even remotely founded in reality. As long as our media continues to be a spokesentity for Washington DC and its policies, rather than serving as our Fourth Estate, the idea that the general public will wake up to the very real phenomena of “blowback” is ludicrous to the extreme. Our general sources of info are corrupted beyond redemption, becoming more so with each passing day. Our ignorance is nurtured with misinformation designed to popularize policy and agenda.

    Truthfully, often times I find the optimism expressed here naive to the extreme. Case in point, the recent swooning expectations many expressed about the impending confirmation of Hagel as Sec of Def. Does anyone here really believe he would have ascended to his position if he was willing to buck the status quo?

    No, Phil, these events, such as the Boston bombing, are merely fodder to continue to nurture a public acceptance of middle eastern policy. Politically capitalized on, they have the exact OPPOSITE effect on the public psyche than the effect that you are so optimistic in advancing. Besides, if a localized and relatively minor “attack” such as the Boston event does not get us all back in line chanting the GWOT mantra, I have no doubt that a larger event will be concocted to do the trick. The two kids in Boston are a prime example of a neo-con’s wet dream. I imagine those such as Cheney thanked thier lucky stars when those two bombs exploded.

    • libra
      April 28, 2013, 8:51 am

      Phil, you obviously are not hobnobbing with Joe Homeowner middle america.

      No doubt Phil’s had to make many sacrifices in order to run Mondoweiss but surely that would be asking too much from him.

  4. Donald
    April 27, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Wishful thinking Phil. (You do that a lot–maybe it’s a necessary part of being a full-time activist, to keep your own morale up.) Mainstream America (at least what the mainstream press allows us to see) simply doesn’t do that sort of reflection. I wouldn’t choose the Boston example anyway if I wanted to make the case.

    • Citizen
      April 27, 2013, 4:24 pm

      @ Donald
      Yeah, watching what Phil ( & I, among other many MW regulars) hope for wrt Dick & Jane getting a clue that’s its their own government’s implemented foreign policy in the ME over many years now [actually way pre-dating 9/11], not “they hate our freedom or life style,”–getting that clue is like watching the proverbial molasses drip. But, hey, there’s always war on the Syrian regime, and then Iran, as PNAC designed, that will let those dominos fall, and bring us all into the “New American Century,” which will be one where both Israel will eventually be demolished and the US will find itself at the bottom of leftover third world countries. Something to look forward to since hope springs eternal. I think that nothing in the end will stop the Samson Option. I won’t be around for it, thank dog.

  5. MRW
    April 27, 2013, 2:00 pm

    This is the significance of the bombing, he said: it marks a new moment in American vulnerability. Whatever the FBI did to drop the ball, we all understand now that nothing can stop every madman who wants to do something like this.

    Three points:
    (1) Terrorism on American soil was far worse in the 1970s.
    (2) The police and FBI handling of the bombing and searching for suspects was completely unprofessional. You never involve a POTUS. You never lockdown a city. You never allow the media to speculate about the suspects’ motives because information is controlled. Why? Because one of your first jobs is not to create civic panic. Ask any professionally-trained hostage negotiator about how this was handled.
    (3) Which brings me to #3: why the theatre? Why were the police in military camouflage and gear with jackets that read POLICE on them?

    About (1) : The number-one US 40-year terrorism expert is Brian Michael Jenkins. From his November 2009 testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: Going Jihad—The Fort Hood Slayings and Home-Grown Terrorism

    The plots show that radicalization and recruitment to terrorist violence is occurring in the United States and is a legitimate security concern. It has, however, yielded very few recruits. With roughly 3 million Muslims in America, although some estimates run much higher, 100 terrorists represent a mere 0.00003 percent of the Muslim population—fewer than one out of 30,000.

    Terrorist violence is not a new phenomenon. Al Qaeda and its jihadist followers did not bring terrorism to the United States. Along with its immigrant communities, the United States has imported numerous terrorist campaigns. Cuban, Puerto Rican, Croatian, Serb, Palestinian, Armenian, Taiwanese, and Jewish extremists have all carried out attacks on U.S. soil, in addition to the homegrown terrorist campaigns of the far left and far right. In fact, the level of terrorist violence was greater in the United States in the 1970s than it is today.


    The lack of significant terrorist attacks on the United States since 9/11 suggests not only intelligence and investigative success, but an American Muslim community that remains overwhelmingly unsympathetic to jihadist appeals. Modern communications, especially the Internet, offer access to violence-exalting narratives, but there is absolutely no evidence to show that attempts to exploit the dismay of some Muslims at policies that can be portrayed as an assault on faith or community have interrupted the integration of immigrant communities. What authorities confront are tiny conspiracies or the actions of individuals, which in a free society will always be hard to predict and prevent.

    The Council on Foreign Relations figures are the following:
    1980-2001 American extremists non-Islamic: 66%
    2002-2005 American extremists non-Islamic: 95%

  6. Blownaway
    April 27, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Some might ask but the only people who will answer will be the ignoramuses who will say things like they hate us for our freedom. Unfortunately most Americans are too provincial to hear the real answer. Its easier for them to believe that they are virtuous
    when they cause murder and mayhem in at least 7 muslim countries. Even when the CIA the NSA and the military talk about blowback and the creation of new enemies with every drone attack most recently the Yemeni guy in front of congress who so articulately told congress how drone attack were radicalizing those who previous never cared about killing Americans. nothing deaf ears

  7. American
    April 27, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Once again common sense.
    How many people have tried to kill Donald Trumps or Warren Buffets or a Hollywood celebrity for being free, rich and or powerful?
    Maybe one nutcase out of every 200 million has that mental problem.
    People hate others that harm them or harm what they care about..and still surprisingly few ever act on their grievances.
    Not hard to understand any of this…unless you live in the US with its ‘dunce magnet” media.

  8. Sin Nombre
    April 27, 2013, 2:46 pm

    Maybe if Phil could identify even *one* major member of the reigning mainstream media that now, as opposed to before, openly, honestly and diligently pursued the question of “why they hate us,” one could have some hope that Phil was right here. But I at least see absolutely no sign of this. No sign, say, of any reporter with the confidence of his bosses that time and again could push the politicos he or she interviewed about it, asking about our support for Israel. None.

    And the real chokepoints are very very small: It isn’t just the universe of all political reporters: It really damn near comes down to … those reporters/commentators who are moderators of the Sunday network T.V. shows and those reporters/commentators they allow on, period.

    So … waiting for David Gregory here … good luck.

    I’d also mention however that the almost non-existent public support for the program that Phil and most of his audience here seems to hold greatly contributes to the problem.

    That is, it seems to me that what Phil and most people here want is for the U.S. to essentially switch sides, and start putting the finger down on the Palestinian’s side for a change.

    While that’s all well and good as an opinion based on fairness or whatever, it doesn’t seem to me to resonate one bit with the vast majority of Americans who aren’t Israeli partisans and are therefore the real possible change agents.

    Start talking about the U.S. just getting out of the Mideast *totally,* and be neutral, and then I think you’d have something . Something even the media couldn’t ignore. Just as with Vietnam, bugging out was the American public’s big clear answer.

    The way things are now though, there’s absolutely no pressure in that direction, with utterly predictable results. Even by pro-Palestinian lights, you’ve made the perfect the enemy of the good. Instead of allowing the average American the option of saying “I don’t know about and don’t care about the intricacies of all that ME history I just want us out,” no the only options you’ve given him or her are “who do you support, the Israelis or the Palestinians?”

    And you’ve don’t so in a country whose media that does the reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is just massively massively pro-Zionist.

    Bad calculation in my book. Ain’t gonna work. Indeed, works against working.

    Wanna see the Israelis *really* get nervous/scared/serious? Argue U.S. neutrality, not U.S. turning pro-Palestinian.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 4:57 am

      @ Sin Nombre

      There has been many comments by regulars over the year on this blog tying in the issue of US foreign policy in the Middle East and what drives it beyond issues most immediate to the I-P conflict, including Bush Jr and his neocon assembly to attack Iraq, the military-industrial-security complex Ike warned us about, PNAC, etc. I know I’m not the only regular commenter here who has advocated Ron Paul’s policy of non-intervention except in real cases of self-defense, and if they didn’t vote for Ron Paul during the primaries, they may well have favored Dennis Kucinich, who agreed with Ron Paul’s POV re US the need to change US foreign policy.

  9. Martinji
    April 27, 2013, 3:20 pm

    This infantile liberal ‘backlash’ idea completely misses the point. Boston, 9/11, along with most terror attacks against the US are totally contrived. I’m starting to question the mental capacity of anybody who chooses to waste time on this ‘backlash’ analysis. It’s total liberal bs.

    • Theo
      April 29, 2013, 10:50 am

      Yes, I know, they love us for liberating their countries and hate us for our own liberty!
      Now they must learn how it is done in the western world, or are they doing it just as well as how we liberated them?!!

  10. Citizen
    April 27, 2013, 4:02 pm

    “(An awareness now fostered by Ralph Nader, Glenn Greenwald, MJ Rosenberg and others.)”–yes, as you later suggest in your article, Richard Falk, inter alia,who ties in Obama’s recent trip to Israel to the Boston bombings:

  11. DICKERSON3870
    April 27, 2013, 4:13 pm

    RE: “Post-Boston vulnerability will at last force Americans to consider ‘why they hate us’” ~ Dr. PanWeissgloss

    MY COMMENT: Admittedly I’m an über pessimist, but I am very skeptical of the notion that Americans have that much capacity for self-reflection. I might well just be “whistling Dixie”, but my working hypothesis is that Americans are so exceptionally constipated and/or “anally retentive” that they consequently crave being “scared sh-tless”.

    P.S. FROM WIKTIONARY.ORG [whistle Dixie]:

    whistle Dixie
    whistle Dixie (third-person singular simple present whistles Dixie, present participle whistling Dixie, simple past and past participle whistled Dixie)

    (idiomatic, southern US) To engage in idle conversational fantasies.

    “He said he was going to open a business next year, but I think he was just whistling Dixie.”
    “Sure is hot!” / “You ain’t whistlin’ Dixie!

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 27, 2013, 4:27 pm

      P.P.S. RE: “[M]y working hypothesis is that Americans are so exceptionally constipated and/or ‘anally retentive’ that they consequently crave being ‘scared sh-tless’.” – me (from above)

      SEE: “How the Power of Myth Keeps Us Mired in War”, by Ira Chernus,, 01/20/11

      [EXCERPT] . . . White Americans, going back to early colonial times, generally assigned the role of ‘bad guys’ to ‘savages’ lurking in the wilderness beyond the borders of our civilized land. Whether they were redskins, commies, terrorists, or the Taliban, the plot has always remained the same.
      Call it the myth of national security — or, more accurately, national insecurity, since it always tells us who and what to fear.
      It’s been a mighty (and mighty effective) myth. . .

      SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 29, 2013, 4:08 pm

      P.P.P.S. RE: “[M]y working hypothesis is that Americans are so exceptionally constipated and/or ‘anally retentive’ that they consequently crave being ‘scared sh-tless’. – me (from above)

      FROM THE ESSAY “Nonconformity” (written by the poet Nelson Algren in 1952):

      [EXCERPTS] . . . When we [the U.S.] were small, and beset by greater powers, we were less afraid. For the fear is not from monsters who walk abroad, but from monsters who walk in our hearts. . .
      . . . A fear of some disaster is companioned secretly within us by a yearning for that same disaster, swift and soundless. . .
      . . . We seem to be going on the strange assumption that if we can but put our fears on a mass scale, they will, belonging thus to all of us, be somehow wiser. . .
      . . . We have come to the point where, in order to avoid the face of our own psychosis, we insist that all good men be psychotic. . .

      SOURCE –

  12. Justpassingby
    April 27, 2013, 4:23 pm

    “A person who is sufficiently angry about a political cause to destroy their own ”

    The brothers werent suicide-bombers.

    Besides calling them “islamists” or whatever is just playing into the hands of people that refuse to admit that these blowbacks stems from american policy and NOT because they are mere muslims as right-wing commentators like to portray it as.

  13. Daniel Rich
    April 27, 2013, 6:09 pm

    My primary concern is not why ‘they’ hate ‘US,’ but with all those people who tell me that they’ve lost all sympathy they felt towards present day Israel they had based upon the horrors of the holocaust. The cross section of foreigners here in Kagoshima does in no way represent an entire worldview, but it functions rather well as an semi-crude thermometer of global sentiments. Those sentiments have turned utter negative when it comes to both the US and Israeli governments’ internal as well as external policies. I think a real friend should warn his friend/s to stop his/their self destructive course of action and not sit on his/her hands and watch the train derail and run off of that proverbial cliff. But hey, I’m just anti-Israel, you know…

  14. CloakAndDagger
    April 27, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I have to agree with Donald that this is wishful thinking. Most Americans have no idea about what our Chechen involvement has been, or where to even look on a map. Meanwhile, Israel and its supporters here are filling the airwaves with Islamophobia.

    Just take a look at the comments section of Huffpo – Israeli hasbara and stoking Islamophobia at its worst. Seems Israel is redoubling its propaganda foray.

    I fear this is not going to end well. It will either destroy the fabric of our society and be the death knell of of American values, or, it will result in a worldwide backlash against jews that will be equally unfortunate – most notably, right here at home. It may not be too late to turn back the clock, but it requires a political will that is not evident at all.

  15. flyod
    April 27, 2013, 7:53 pm

    in the immediate aftermath of 911 i was convinced that the american people would finally wake up to the whys. i was dead wrong. i see no difference this time. the mainstream media controls the narrative. there were plenty of voices back then addressing this on the web and in books. fisk, hirst, schuer, raimondo come to mind. all kept from the masses. we are a minority. around in circles we go.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 5:10 am

      @ flyod
      I agree with you. The mainstream talking news pundit heads did not do much to bring the rare likes of Schuer et al to the masses. CSPAN WJ did some, but most Americans have never watched that show. And yes, it has been happening again wrt the why of the Boston Bombings. The overriding message from the main media has been the two brothers were mentally unstable and/or Muslim fanatics.

    • ritzl
      April 28, 2013, 2:09 pm

      @flyod Yup. Meanwhile on PBS/Washington Week on Friday (just happened to be watching while writing and couldn’t turn away from the absolute trainwreck of a discussion) the two main topics were “Islamic fundamentalism as motive for Boston,” followed immediately “the probability of the US invading Syria (Chemical weapons! But the weapons were Chemical! they protested amongst themselves).” Nobody on the panel (of the usuals) showed any signs whatsoever of connecting the dots they themselves laid out.

      And these are the self-proclaimed elites… Total groupthink. Totally ignorable, if it weren’t for the fact that the soda-straw view assumption sets have such grave, self-fulfilling, and self-perpetuating consequences.

      And as Citizen says, Dick and Jane are never going to get it with this kind of narrow and selective info making it’s way into their living rooms.


      As others have said here, Moon of Alabama has deconstructed the chemical weapons(!) claim. (among others in the last few days.)

  16. Kathleen
    April 27, 2013, 8:42 pm

    “Because those political causes are associated with American foreign policy, we are back to the old question, Why do they hate us? But this time, Americans may at last be interested in the answer”

    Was able to get in just exactly this point the day after bombing on C Span’s Washington Journal

    Kathleen/Athens Ohio OPEN PHONES 14:18

    Remember folks you can call into this program and share factual information about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Iran and bring them to this site as well as others that you feel share accurate information about U.S. foreign policy, Millions watch this program daily.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 5:28 am

      Yes, and we can tweet into the show also while it is on; I sometimes tweet up to 8 or so while a particular guest and/or topic is being discussed. Sometimes a tweet of mine is taken on by the host and the guest is asked to respond to it. I thought the show had a smaller audience than it does–3 years ago the Brian Lamb said C-SPAN had an audience of 100 million.

      • Citizen
        April 28, 2013, 5:36 am

        You can also write about the airing topic and/or guest on C-SPAN’s Facebook page, and you can email during the show.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 6:01 am

      Your comment call-in on C-SPAN to host Greta was excellent in content, and well-controlled and articulated, Kathleen. It came right after Greta was explaining how the label “terrorist” was subjective yet heavily impacted those the label was applied to, for example Iran, as all corporate business is disallowed with Iran because it’s a “terrorist state” or a state that “sponsors terrorism.” For those who don’t have the time to check out Kathleen’s call in, she took issue with main media news anchors/pundits then yakking about the Boston Bombings who told the tv audience America “does not murder or maim innocent people.” She argued that we need to look at our own conduct overseas as part of the mix into resolving terrorism, including for example, our use of Drones.

      The main media never raises the question, are we (unintentionally or intentionally) feeding terrorism by our methods, or under the guise of stopping it?

      • Kathleen
        April 28, 2013, 10:52 am

        Thanks Citizen. Started making these phone calls after Bush and team stole the 2000 election. Went ballistic calling six months before the invasion. Was successful at politely hammering enough to get particular quest and topics on the Diane Rehm show, Talk of the Nation, Washington Journal, Huffington Post. But you do have to hammer unless you are somebody they normally listen to.

        We can have an influence on the MSM but you have to be persistent. And as others have pointed out millions of people listen to these programs. Have been politely hammering for the Leveretts on many shows. There seems to be a well constructed roadblock on much of the MSM when it comes to what they have to say about the situation with Iran and Syria. They have been on some of these outlets in the past but not so much the last three or so years. Although Huff Po has them on now

        The increased calls from well informed folks about the I/P issue, Iran, U.S. foreign policy etc has definitely been on the increase. This is one way to keep up the pressure for a more sane U.S. foreign policy in the middle east

    • ritzl
      April 28, 2013, 2:11 pm

      Way to go Kathleen!!

      • Jeff Levy
        April 28, 2013, 7:21 pm


  17. tokyobk
    April 27, 2013, 8:52 pm

    If the bombers were mistreated and if they had a coherent political philosophy this might be relevant but they did not. The older brother was thrown out by his (admirable) mosque for going on a natters rave about Martin Luther King.

    The USA in general and the city of Cambridge in particular could not have been more welcoming and more supportive of these madmen and their families.

    This inquiry does what it claims to be against and that is link legitimate foreign policy debates with murderous lunatics who blow up children.

    • Donald
      April 28, 2013, 9:07 am

      “This inquiry does what it claims to be against and that is link legitimate foreign policy debates with murderous lunatics who blow up children.”

      That’s no way to talk about the US and Israeli governments. Oh, wait…

      I agree, though, that Phil is wrong here on two levels–first, Americans simply don’t do self-reflection very easily, or rather, the majority don’t do it in any way that seems to have political significance. Did anyone notice how the bipartisan commission on US torture was a one day story? Here some utterly mainstream people conclude that the US was guilty of torture and rather than spark a national debate on what we do to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice, no matter how high up the ladder it goes, the story just vanishes, in part because of the Boston bombing. But if not Boston, then something else. I don’t think the US is the worst country in the world, but the gap between our national self-image and the reality is probably about as big as you’d find anywhere.

      Second, it’s just a bad idea to use Boston as an example–the focus should be placed directly on what we do wrong, and not first on the acts of two moral idiots who murder innocent people, hoping that this discussion will then segue into a discussion of our crimes. It never works that way.

  18. yourstruly
    April 28, 2013, 12:13 am

    firstly they don’t hate us, they hate the things our government has done to them in our names

    things like warring on innocent people

    lots of them

    simply because it could

    things like using drones to assassinate designated demons

    & damn the “collateral” damage

    such as loved ones blown to kingdom come

    their blood & guts strewn everywhere

    so considering how we reacted to last week’s boston marathon bombing

    the sorrow, the anger, the hate

    why do they hate america?

    cause they’re just like us

  19. Taxi
    April 28, 2013, 12:18 am

    Bin Laden stated that he got the idea to blow up buildings in the USA after seeing footage of israeli planes bombing residential buildings in Beirut in 1982, buildings that were collapsing on helpless civilian residents. It is estimated that israel slaughtered some 17,000 Lebanese during Sharon’s invasion of Beirut. All paid for and enabled by the USA.

  20. Nevada Ned
    April 28, 2013, 12:55 am

    What motivated the Boston bombers? Gary Leupp, prof of history at Tufts University, makes a reasonable case for his view that it’s not Chechan separatism, it’s the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  21. dbroncos
    April 28, 2013, 1:03 am

    This “why do they hat us?” conversation is long overdue. It may be happening at a painfully slow pace but it does seem to be happening.

  22. Taxi
    April 28, 2013, 2:03 am

    “How is President Obama NOT a terrorist, like President Bush and other presidents before him?” – William Boardman.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 5:48 am

      It appears that state-supported terrorism is only recognized by sovereign states, such as the USA, Iran, Israel, Britain, when the “terrorists” are not “our terrorists.”
      Bin Laden himself was a US supported terrorist from USSR’s POV, if memory serves. Most Americans have no clue who, how, and why, e.g., any group or state is taken on or off the US’s terrorist “shit list.” It’s a political judgement in each and any case, and depends on the regime in power at any time. Most citizens just go along with their government’s selection of who and who is not a “terrorist,” and the mainstream press dutifully so labels them as such, and so that’s all the masses hear.

  23. Talkback
    April 28, 2013, 5:34 am

    Americans should rather consider where to run if there’s a “drill” going on.
    911, now Boston …

    • marc b.
      April 29, 2013, 11:36 am

      there was no drill. at least according to the apparatchiks’ round table on the diane rehm show days after the bombing, not a single member of which had heard of the reports of a drill as tweeted by MSM sources, and as reported by witnesses at the marathon. of course diane and others were referring to people from Chechnya as ‘chechnyans’, not chechens, so maybe they’re not so bright.

      • lysias
        April 30, 2013, 10:08 am

        The government long denied that there were drills on 9/11, until the evidence that there were became irrefutable.

        Oh, and there was a drill going on when the London Underground bombings happened.

  24. gingershot
    April 28, 2013, 8:06 am

    To borrow some recent ‘pro-gun legislation’ portrayals of US Senators sold out to the NRA:

    They work for the AIPAC, which works for Israel, whose sole purpose is to hoax the US into wars in the Middle East to prop up Israeli Apartheid.

  25. piotr
    April 28, 2013, 11:20 am

    It is a clear misrepresentation to call Boston incidents as “new moment in American vulnerability”. The motives remain unclear, no pattern of political activism, no manifesto etc. Psychologically, perhaps it can be a cause for reflection.

    Looking at American activities in “Third Word”, largely Muslim, it is hard to discern what the West and USA stand for. Democracy? Only when we can complain that this or hat unfriendly leader is anti-democratic. Human rights? Massive application of torture in the areas under Western control showed otherwise. Economic growth? If natives manage to figure out how to achieve, all is well but otherwise no amount of aid, direct control and expertise that we can provide seems to be helpful (it does not work too well at home, for that matter). Securing strategic materials? In a totally avoidable way we allow China to produce 90% of quite strategic rare earth metals. What remains, chese burgers and Hollywood movies?

    Then we try to exercise influence in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia and the efforts unravel chiefly because there is hardly anybody there who likes us. This is my biggest misgiving in respect to the analysis of Walt and others. With no positive program or ideas of our own, the best we can do is to pick one side or another in a local conflict and support as “our bastards” and make the locals baffled how we arrived at our choice.

    This lack of aims and vision is the background to the phenomenal success of Jewish (Israeli?) Lobby in shaping our foreign policy. On one side we see well funded efforts promoting a certain vision, on the other side — nothing.

    • Citizen
      April 28, 2013, 9:43 pm

      The Zionist vision, in its present masked US (temporary sole superpower) format as the PNAC vision, is the wind that keeps the cogs and wheels of the military-industrial-security mill turning, rolling along. Nothing powerful can or will resist it, and the terror weather itself is constantly whipped up–Goering at Nuremberg told us all about it, the magic of contrived collective fear, before he cheated the hangman by taking his poison pill. And, so long as it lasts, like Goering did, the 1% live like super kings, legally stealing the wealth and assets of the world, which they display if they want, or hide in caves.

  26. Jeff Levy
    April 28, 2013, 7:18 pm

    This conclusion was also reached by another far left-wing organization in November 2004. This organization is called The Pentagon. In its report on the perennially
    obscure reasons for Why They Hate Us, the Defense Science Board of the US Department of Defense said,

    “Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies.
    The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as
    one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and
    the long-standing, even increasing support for … tyrannies, most notably
    Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the gulf states. Thus, when
    American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic
    societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.”

  27. lysias
    April 29, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Turns out the elder bomber may have attended terror seminars in the republic of Georgia during his trip to Russia in 2012. This according to no less than the prime minister of Georgia. Slain Boston suspect Tsarnaev may have attended terrorism seminars in Georgia – reports.

    At the time, the former right-wing, anti-Russian government was in power in Georgia.

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