Istanbul (CNN). Tensions in the Middle East ratcheted up dangerously Wednesday, a day after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, with the Turkish President accusing Russia of deceit and Russia announcing it would deploy anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
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We, the West, overthrew Saddam by violence. We overthrew Gaddafi by violence. We are trying to overthrow Assad by violence. Harsh regimes all — but far less draconian than our Saudi allies, and other tyrannies around the world. What has been the result of these interventions? A hell on earth, one that grows wider and more virulent year after year.
Without the American crime of aggressive war against Iraq — which, by the measurements used by Western governments themselves, left more than a million innocent people dead — there would be no ISIS, no “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” Without the Saudi and Western funding and arming of an amalgam of extremist Sunni groups across the Middle East, used as proxies to strike at Iran and its allies, there would be no ISIS. Let’s go back further. Without the direct, extensive and deliberate creation by the United States and its Saudi ally of a world-wide movement of armed Sunni extremists during the Carter and Reagan administrations, there would have been no “War on Terror” — and no terrorist attacks in Paris tonight.
More: The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence
We must mourn all victims. But until we look honestly at the violence we export, nothing will ever change
Source: Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves – Salon.com
Any time there is an attack on civilians in the post-9/11 West, demagogues immediately blame it on Muslims. They frequently lack evidence, but depend on the blunt force of anti-Muslim bigotry to bolster their accusations.
Actual evidence, on the other hand, shows that less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks from 2009 to 2013 in the E.U. were religiously motivated. In 2013, just one percent of the 152 terrorist attacks were religious in nature; in 2012, less than 3 percent of the 219 terrorist attacks were inspired by religion.
The vast majority of terrorist attacks in these years were motivated by ethno-nationalism or separatism.