About American Imperialism and the Real Victims of Terrorism
An Open Letter by Punkerslut to
I've spent some time looking through the material on your website and thought I should share some reflections. The slogan on the main page is very direct, which is good: "If you believe in and support genuine private enterprise, you've come to the right place!" However, looking through the material, it seems like you've done a large amount of writing against Muslims and against Environmental regulation. It is a common thread running through much of your philosophy.
This intrigues me. Environmentalist policy might be a mild nuisance to some businesses, I'll admit that. But, I don't see how Islam is intrinsically opposed to private industry. Last time I checked, Islam was established and spread by Muhammad, largely enabled by the finances provided by his wife's private enterprise. Of course, there is the nicely put disclaimer on your front page, second sentence, after you talk about promoting 'the cause of private enterprise,' you write, "This does not mean that IPE supports any form of private enterprise..." However, apparently, one of the 'greatest evils' deserving your attention was the product of a business. Putting it in such plain language as this isn't quite so complementing of the relationship of those ideas.
These opposition to Islam and environmental regulation is curious for Australia's unique position. The entire nation is exposed to unhealthy UV radiation from a gigantic hole in the ozone layer, conveniently touching South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. (ABCNews.Go.com) In terms of Islam, too, the problem is intolerance and not quite terrorism. The 2005 Cronulla Race Riots, where white mobs attacked people of Middle Eastern appearance, certainly prove this point: race relations around Australia and New Zealand may be the most backward in the world.
Here's one statement that makes me more than curious: "...the Islamic culture is often expressed in ways totally antipathetic to ours and shows no sign of adapting. This is most obviously reflected in the attempts to commit terrorist acts, which if not discovered would have involved extensive killings (as some have overseas)." (IPE.net.au) So, just what culture is "ours"? Obviously, Christians! "Christians, rise up and defend realm," is a bizarre title, and something I imagine being published in 1850 instead of today. (IPE.net.au)
"...terrorist's hatred of freedom and envy of our success. This hatred is not of freedom in the abstract but of the Christian freedom that has recognized the importance of the individual..." and "It is a freedom that Christians sought, for example, through their militant and aggressive campaign to bring slavery to an end around the world - even in the Muslim world where, unfortunately, it continues today in various forms." Ephesians 6:5 says, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters, as you would obey the will of Christ." The church wholeheartedly supported slavery, just like the text does. After all, for all your complaining about "slavery" in the under-developed world, don't YOU and other CHRISTIANS buy the products of that slavery? Don't you pay the dividends that keep the slavemasters wealthy and powerful?
"Revolutionary Islam is on the march and is able to cause great suffering and devastation through the use of random terror. The Christian liberty we have inherited, and upon which our civilisation and our material existence is based, is now under immediate and dire threat." You made an indirect reference earlier to the 2002, Indonesian, Bali bombings. This is a brutality, you report, because a very small minority of Muslims were able to kill hundreds. No doubt, this is certainly true. But what happens when you go a few miles off from Bali and reach East Timor? What's the story of the East Timorese?
According to the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, nearly 200,000 people were killed in East Timor. (HRDag.org) This is just about 1,000 times as many as were killed in the worst terrorist incident in the region of Oceania. What happened in East Timor? The United States government, a dominantly Christian organization by the faith of the majority, supplied arms to the Indonesian government for the massacre of native peoples. "The Christian liberty we have inherited" is too innocent, too naive, or too ignorant to mention the piles of dead just off its shores. "...a Christian world with this freedom..." is not going to be the watchword of someone who knows about secret police and summary executions in the streets.
You talk about the greatness of Christians in overthrowing slavery, when it was actually the church that most greatly defended it. You pride in the "fact" that you abolished a system where an African-American was regarded as not a full human being, but just as the property of the owner, and only "three-fifths of a person." Yet, here you are, sitting on top of a system where lives of the natives and aboriginal people aren't even worth one-thousandth that of white Australians. The few hundred dead caused by three or four terrorists is received as great proof that all of Islam is tyranny.
And yet, you lightly skip over a largely Christian nation of 300 million that supplies arms for the mass genocide of native peoples. Or, as you say, "...I will also examine developments overseas and, as it is the principal target of Islamic extremists and the most important Christian country, the United States in particular." How could mass killings with American arms and funding could be proof that Christianity is a serpent ready to assist tyrants in building concentration camps and living off of forced labor? That thesis doesn't get much air on your website, though it seems far more plausibly just by comparing the amount of people your governments killed versus theirs.
Take this one line from your essay on Extremism, "...as one imam has put it 'A Muslim has no nationality except his beliefs'. This is most obviously reflected in the violent actions taken and threatened at an international level by those connected to al-Qa'ida and its affiliates." Really? That's how you're reading into it? Believing in "beliefs" instead of nation or race automatically means... violent actions at an international level? I'm sorry, sir, but I must've inherited too much of that Western skepticism and doubt to make that connection.
Another statement from this article is, "...the biggest problem the world now faces is a new major threat to life, perhaps even survival, from groups or individuals who have extremist beliefs." (IPE.net.au) Let's quickly cover the death tolls again. Number of people dead from terrorism in Oceania: ~200 to 300. Number of people dead from Western governments on the tiny island of East Timor: more than 200,000. Perhaps I do not understand the phrases "threat to life" or "survival," but I would imagine from these numbers that the greatest threat to survival is the government. Not just the Australian, British, French, Italian, American, etc., governments, but all governments.
There's another article titled "Islamism is the Most Important Issue We Face." (IPE.net.au) I appreciate your enthusiasm in jumping into the debate, but "Islamism" is about as professional a term as "Christianityism." This particular spelling isn't even universal throughout your writings, though, leaving open the question: why is the distinction between Islam and Islamism? What about Islamicism?
You also write: "Other action should include the creation of a Minister for Security or Counter-Terrorism and a major upgrading of security checks on immigrants." Based on the casualties of your government coalitions versus Islamic terrorists, shouldn't we have security checks on the police, the military, and our governors instead? Aren't those people responsible for endangering our lives significantly much more so than immigrants?
In another article, titled "Islam in Australia," you offer the rather dubious conclusion: "In summary, the basic aim of Islamic extremists is to establish a theocratic state operating under Sharia law which would apply to a wide range of social behaviour, extinguish all religions, and subordinate the role of women." (IPE.net.au) Oh, yes, now you're so concerned about women. It's not like any major christian sect prohibits women from certain roles or behaviors (such as pastor, head of household, employee, etc.). Oh, you know, except Catholicism and all conservative forms of Christianity.
As the Bible states, 1 Timothy 2:11-12: "Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence." Oh, yeah, your religion is totally concerned about stopping anyone who wants to "subordinate the role of women." No, wait, actually, it just sounds like something you just threw in to rally support against Islam -- something that you may neither understand nor have the will to learn about.
The topics of Sexism, Feminism, gender behavior roles, birth control, religious exploitation of women, etc., etc., don't appear in any substantial form. They're important as a handful of words in one sentence against Islam, but they're not important enough to deserve any more consideration than that. Why stop and waste time on that when there's Muslims to keep out of the country?
"Somebody must be the most powerful, the leader. How fortunate for the rest of us that it is the USA – a true democracy, a decent country, a liberal polity with the right values and views, outward-looking and open to the world, and not a country seeking direct rule over a burgeoning empire." This is a line from "America's Idealism Benefits the World." (IPE.net.au)
I mentioned earlier the East Timorese, and the US involved in the massacre of the common people there. You should be aware, though, that the US government has supported dictators in Indonesia (Suharto), Iraq (Saddam Hussein), Afghanistan (the Taliban), Chile (Pinochet), Venezuela (a military Junta), and Iran (Pahlavi). Our government has propped up many racist, top-down, hierarchical, puppet governments in underdeveloped nations: Cuba (Fulgencio Batista) and Vietnam (Bảo Đại). Besides this, military force has been used in violently repressing the civilian populations of otherwise peaceful nations: the invasion of Panama (1989) and the invasion of Granada (1983). Finally, the US government has in the past supplied weapons to terrorist groups: the Contras, Iranian terrorists, and even Osama Bin Laden.
Now, isn't it just a little bit suspect that you drape America in all these fantastic descriptions and complements? Doesn't it seem like you're ignoring the largest part of the actual picture when it comes to international affairs? To quote George Orwell, "Much of the propagandist writing of our time amounts to plain forgery. Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotations removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning. Events which it is felt ought not to have happened are left unmentioned and ultimately denied." ("Notes on Nationalism," 1945.)
Thank you for reading this far. I have spent some time on your material, and a response wouldn't take too much. Thank you, I patiently await.