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11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

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11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

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11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

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11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

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  Terrorism discussion should address Washington's policy in Middle East, South Asia

ANALYSIS:

Terrorism discussion should address Washington's policy in Middle East, South Asia

by Gary Olson

Any attempt to understand motives and grievances doesn't mean one condones barbaric behavior visited upon innocent civilians.

I wonder how many people have noticed and wondered why al-Qaida or other Islamic terrorist groups haven't tried to blow up airliners bound for Stockholm, Cape Town, Buenos Aires or Zurich? Might it be becaise their governments are neither perceived as occupiers nor closely associated with U.S. policy in the Middle East and South Asia?

Why isn't this prickly but crucial issue ever addressed?

Perhaps it's because the answer is assumed to be self-evident. Terrorists: Bad. USA: Good. More ominously, this discussion is avoided because its airing would make it more difficult for our leaders to sell their policies to a more informed, more skeptical public.

First, it's important to grasp that any attempt to understand motives and grievances doesn't mean one condones barbaric behavior visited upon innocent civilians. Washington must do everything possible to prevent our citizens from being attacked.

But second, if U.S. policy in the Middle East and South Asia actually exacerbates terrorism, don't we have a responsibility to ourselves to openly address that possibility? Have we become so fearful, so unsure of ourselves as a people that despite accumulating doubts about our role in the world, we remain silent and obediently follow the official line?

I take no pleasure in asserting that U.S. policy could not be more advantageous to al-Qaida members if they'd drawn it up themselves. As several experts now agree, today's al-Qaida is less in need of geographical safe havens than a durable list of righteous grievances to stoke anger and attract recruits. And the historical record shows that U.S. policy is constantly churning a combustible cauldron of bitter anti-American feelings.

Eight days before the reprehensible ''underpants bomber's'' near miss on Northwest Flight 253, it was reported that 28 children had been killed in a U.S. air attack in Abyan, Yemen.

Glenn Greenwald, who blogs on Salon.com, (highly recommended) writes, ''What do we think is going to happen if we continuously invade, occupy and bomb Muslim countries and arm and enable others to do so?'' For example, eight days before the reprehensible ''underpants bomber's'' near miss on Northwest Flight 253, it was reported that 28 children had been killed in a U.S. air attack in Abyan, Yemen. Is it unthinkable that as a consequence some Yemenis might be vexed and sympathize with al-Qaida? In a post to the Islamic Forum, the failed bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab denounced the U.S. ''war on terror'' because of ''the death of thousands of innocent lives and thousands more detained illegally without trial or judgment.

Washington has long-standing overt, covert and threatened wars and occupations going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran—all Muslim countries. These actions are deeply resented—hated, really—by some 365 million people in the region. Include U.S. support for tyrannical regimes in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and unconditional complicity in Israel's brutal apartheid policy in Palestine, and the real question is why isn't there more blowback toward us?

Finally, absent any serious discussion of motives and grievances, Washington's policy will continue to enrage and engage more recruits to terrorism, swell the number of pointless U.S. combat deaths and make the world an even more dangerous place for all of us. The future isn't hopeless but unless we remove our ideological blinders and see the world as it actually exists, that future is precarious at best.


Gary Olson is a professor and chair of the political science department at Moravian College in Bethlehem. This article originally appeared in the Allentown, Pa. daily The Morning Call, and is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with the permission of the author.



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This story was published on January 8, 2010.
 

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