From Informed Comment
Ilhan Omar is tough as nails.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder) Details DMCA
The dishonest smearing of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by the Rupert Murdoch press, including the New York Post and Fox Cable News, on which the despicable Trump piled on, contains more ironies than her defenders for the most part realize.
Omar spoke at the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in March, saying, "Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it ... CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."
She is right. The 9/11 terrorist operation that killed nearly 3,000 Americans was the work of a small fringe extremist group, consisting of only a few thousand vigilante guerrillas out of a world-wide Muslim population of 1.8 billion. It cost $500,000. It did not have government backing.
The 3.5 million Muslim-Americans fall roughly into fourths, being 25% each white, African-American, South Asian and Arab-American. White Sufis in Santa Monica, African-Americans in Chicago, Indian-Americans from Hyderabad in Maryland, and Shiite Lebanese-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan, had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. It was launched from Afghanistan by a motley crew of expatriate Saudi and Egyptian scruffy terrorists.
When a white nationalist terrorist shoots down innocent people, we don't blame all white people or demand that white people apologize on behalf of their disreputable cousins. I'm 66 and have never been asked by anyone to apologize for the KKK or seen white people in general criticized for failing to denounce it and take a public stand against it.
These dangerous attacks on Omar by the Murdoch press and the Republican Party endanger her life. One would-be assassin has already been arrested by the FBI.
But beyond that, the attacks are the height of hypocrisy.
The dirty little secret is that sleazy and monopolistic press lord Rupert Murdoch, who spreads anti-Muslim hatred as an echo of the "White Australia" racist politics in which he was steeped, strongly backed Ronald Reagan in 1980.
And Ronald Reagan created al-Qaeda.
Reagan was fascinated by private armies, since he was hobbled by having a Democratic-dominated Congress that often forbade him to spend money on military adventures abroad. Reagan broke with the consensus of the US policy elite from the late 1940s, which was committed to containing the Soviet Union. George Kennan argued that it was not so strange that peasant societies like Russia and China had been attracted by Communism, but that it should be prevented from spreading to the rest of the world, and especially to the industrialized world.
Reagan did not want to contain Communism. He wanted actively to roll it back. He was especially dismayed when leftist movements took new territory, formerly in the hands of economically conservative and pro-American dictators.
He thus steamed about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Communist Parcham and Khalq factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
Reagan's response in both cases was to use black money and covert operations to support private far right wing militias the Contras in the case of Nicaragua, and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
There were seven Mujahideen groups. Some of them were tribal. Some were extremist Muslim fundamentalist, as with the Hizb-i Islami (Party of Islam) of Gulbuddin Hikmatyar. Reagan gave them billions and arranged for Saudi Arabia to give them billions. The Party of Islam was the best funded and the most vicious.