Al Qaeda / Islamism / Muslim on Muslim violence / President Obama

On Medea Benjamin, President Obama, Pervez Hoodbhoy, US drones, and global Islamist tyranny

From a CNN discussion with Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin on her interruption of President Obama’s speech on the US drone program we find this interesting exchange:

“I posted the question on my Facebook page and asked them what they wanted to ask you,” Costello said. “And a lot of them said you were hurting your own cause because, one, you appeared rude to the President of the United States and, two, you just seemed a little, uh, crazy.”

“I think killing innocent people with drones is rude,” (Medea) Benjamin replied. “I think keeping innocent people in indefinite detention for 11 years is rude. I think not respecting the lives of Muslim people is rude. I think not apologizing to the families of innocent people who are killed is rude. There are a lot of rude things about our policies. Speaking out is actually not rude.”

Medea Benjamin makes some very good and necessary points, but it should be pointed out that many of the actual targets of US drone strikes are men who are not engaged in “respecting the lives of Muslims” or anyone else who gets in the way of their own strict interpretations of Islam and Sharia. I think reducing all people in “Muslim countries” to the simplistic label of “Muslim” is racist as hell. I think that not acknowledging that many of those in detention are in fact quite obviously guilty is dangerous and dishonest. I think that pretending that Muslims are not, in fact, the greatest purveyors of violence against their fellow Muslims is a stab in the back to the millions of victims of jihadist inquisition and tyranny. I think that defending the millions of innocent Muslim and non-Muslim victims of jihadism, Sharia, and Islamism in the racistly labeled “Muslim world” is as much, if not even more of a prerequisite for opposing war, imperialism, and tyranny as is opposition to military blunders, hubris, and corruption that result in the deaths innocent people in the close proximity of the most misogynistic, fascistic, totalitarian, homophobic, culturally imperialistic, theocratic, restrictive, right-wing, ultraconservative, bigoted, and genocidally minded lunatics on Earth. – My response to:

[“I posted the question on my Facebook page and asked them what they wanted to ask you,” Costello said. “And a lot of them said you were hurting your own cause because, one, you appeared rude to the President of the United States and, two, you just seemed a little, uh, crazy.”

“I think killing innocent people with drones is rude,” (Medea) Benjamin replied. “I think keeping innocent people in indefinite detention for 11 years is rude. I think not respecting the lives of Muslim people is rude. I think not apologizing to the families of innocent people who are killed is rude. There are a lot of rude things about our policies. Speaking out is actually not rude.”]

Like I’ve said before, I wish that President Obama and Medea Benjamin could sit down with Pervez Hoodbhoy and let him read his excellent essay, “Drones: Theirs and Ours” to them and then have a globally televised group discussion of what should and should not be done differently to protect the innocent from both military blunder and religiously mandated mass homocide. Well I can dream can’t I?

Submission to tyranny is not “peace”. It is capitulation to evil. We, as the global community, must continue supporting fighting tyrants of all sorts, and most especially theocrats and terrorists, of which the most virulent in today’s world are the various strains of Islamist jihadists. Medea Benjamin is right that we must prevent civilian casualties, but she is wrong if she is suggesting that we, whether Americans, Pakistanis, or anyone else, should put down our arms and let these religious psychotics do as they please to “their” people or “anyone else’s” people, as though they have a right to own people, control, and kill people in order to please their imaginary and bloodthirsty god.

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