aNewDomain — “The killing of innocent people, based on a twisted ideology.” That’s how President Obama described Friday’s simultaneous attacks on a rock concert, soccer match, cafes and bars in Paris.
He’s right. And it’s not the first time: ISIS is directly or indirectly responsible for at least 9,000 deaths during the first eight months of 2014 alone, according to the UN.
ISIS is horrible and horrifying and must be stopped. No doubt about it. As far as that goes, Obama’s right about ISIS.
But I can’t listen to the president’s sanctimonious preachifying without considering what an utter and complete hypocrite he is, and how ridiculous he makes us look to the rest of the world.
In illegal “covert” drone strikes alone — all of them extrajudicial political assassinations and thus completely illegal under U.S. and international law — Obama has murdered thousands of people. Studies show that the vast majority of the victims are completely innocent — and the rest posed no threat to the American people.
During his campaign Obama promised to end the Iraq War. In 2010 he promised to end the Afghan War. He broke both promises. As a result, thousands of Iraqis and Afghans lose their lives in wars that are supposed to be over.
More than 100,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war, which would never have heated up had the United States under Obama not poured money and weapons into the country to fund radical Muslim extremists, some of whom are now members of ISIS.
Another 100,000-plus have been killed in Libya, which is now a failed state. That would not have happened had Obama not armed and funded the Benghazi-based Islamist rebels, many of whom are now — you guessed it — members of ISIS.
And in six weeks during the summer of 2014, Israel killed over 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza — with strong U.S. military and political support.
An ISIS video depicting the live burning of a captured Jordanian pilot got attention. I watched it. It was disgusting and disturbing. But what’s the difference between that immolation and those committed by American drones and bombs? There’s no one around to film them.
ISIS has carried out numerous atrocities, including mass rape, destruction of archeological monuments and beheadings of ethnic minorities. In the aggregate, however, the United States — with its constant wars, Guantánamo torture camp, Orwellian surveillance state, rigged elections, daily assassinations and drone murders — is in no position whatsoever to be lecturing anyone else, even the terrorists of ISIS, about what’s right, wrong, or the result of a “twisted ideology.”
For aNewDomain and the new Skewed, I’m Ted Rall.
ISIS images: Says.com, All Rights Reserved