One of the Guardian's stable of Israel apologists, Nick Cohen, returns to one of his favorite themes, the left's (Cohen is nothing if not broad brush) alleged embrace of 'Islamism' (he's equally broad brush when it comes to political Islam):
"The worst elements on the left once exploited Islamism in an identical manner. When jihadis attacked New York, London or Paris they, too, joined what I called the 'kill us, we deserve it' school of foreign policy analysis. In their case, it was not our tolerance of immigration that brought punishment. Rather, they explained away the crimes of an irrational religious totalitarianism as logical responses to western foreign policy, poverty or discrimination, which... they already opposed." (The lies of the right that debase civilised society, theguardian.com, 26/3/17)
Ah yes, 9/11. Cohen's telling us here that the terror attack on New York, presumably planned by Osama bin Laden, had everything to do with "irrational religious totalitarianism," and nothing whatever to do with "Western foreign policy."
Not according to bin Laden, however:
"People of America,
"I speak to you today about the best way to avoid another Manhattan, about the war, its causes, and its consequences. First of all, I tell you that security is one of the pillars of human life. Free men do not underestimate the value of their security, despite Bush's claim that we hate freedom. Perhaps he can tell us why we did not attack Sweden, for example?
"It is well known that those who despise freedom do not possess proud souls, unlike the nineteen [the 9/11 hijackers], may God bless them. We have been fighting you because we are free men who cannot acquiesce in injustice. We want to restore security to our umma. Just as you violate our security, so we violate yours. Whoever encroaches upon the security of others and imagines that he will himself remain safe is but a foolish criminal. When disasters happen, intelligent people look for the reasons behind them, so that they can avoid them in the future.
"But I am amazed at you. Although we are now into the fourth year since the events of September 11, Bush is still practicing his deception, misleading you about the real reason behind it. As a result, there are still motives for a repeat [attack]. I will explain to you the real reasons behind these events, and I will tell you the truth about the moments when this decision was taken, so that you can reflect on it. God knows that the plan of striking the towers had not occurred to us, but the idea came to me when things went just too far with the American-Israeli alliance's oppression and atrocities against our people in Palestine and Lebanon.
"The events that made a direct impression on me were during and after 1982, when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the help of its third fleet. They started bombing, killing, and wounding many, while others fled in terror. I still remember those distressing scenes: blood, torn limbs, women and children massacred. All over the place, houses were being destroyed and tower blocks were collapsing, crushing their residents, while bombs rained down mercilessly on our homes. It was like a crocodile devouring a child, who could do nothing but scream. Does a crocodile understand anything other than weapons? The whole world heard and saw what happened, but did nothing. In those critical moments, many ideas raged inside me, ideas difficult to describe, but they unleashed a powerful urge to reject injustice and a strong determination to punish the oppressors.
"As I looked at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the oppressor in kind by destroying towers in America, so that it would have a taste of its own medicine and would be prevented from killing our women and children. On that day I became sure that the oppression and intentional murder of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. It seemed then that 'freedom' and 'democracy' are actually just terror, just as resistance is labelled 'terrorism' and 'reaction.' Imposing lethal sanctions on millions of people, as Bush Sr did, and carrying out the mass butchering of children, is the worst thing that humanity has ever known. So is dropping millions of pounds of bombs and explosives on millions of children in Iraq, as Bush Jr did, to remove a former collaborator, and install a new one who will help steal Iraq's oil, as well as commit other atrocities." (The Towers of Lebanon (29/10/04), from Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden, Edited by Bruce Lawrence, 2004, pp 239-40)
Hey, but what would bin Laden know?