As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, The Daily Mail reports today that it has cost three trillion dollars since that terrible day to “keep Americans safe”. Not only the financial cost is involved of course; there is also the huge loss of military and civilian life and also the undeniable curtailment of civil liberties not only in the US but throughout the world.
Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, believes it has been worth it:
‘Actions like the Patriot Act, inspections at the airports, port security – all of that is certainly better than people being burned to death or having to throw themselves out of 106-story buildings,’
Responding to criticism of overly harsh security checks at U.S. airports, Mr King said: ‘If I have the choice between taking off my shoes and having the risk of the plane blowing up, I’d rather take off my shoes.’
But Congressman King’s reaction to the 9/11 and the ensuing changed security situation in the US has led to other more controversial opinions being expressed:
“no American Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror,”
80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists…. I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us.”
“We have unfortunately, we have a, uh, too many mosques in this country, too many people that are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. I think there’s been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. There’s a real threat here in this country.”
No messing there, “Muslims=Terror” quite obviously and Peter is out to stop them and their apologists, even if it takes McCarthyite style witchhunts to achieve his goal:
“If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the al Qaeda for it”.
Hang on a moment…
“If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it”.
Ah, that must have been an earlier version of Peter King, the “pre present-day scourge of international terrorism” model:
“the British government is a murder machine”
IRA “the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland”
“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,”
In the same way as he contextualised and justified the terror of the IRA, his exact words can be altered ever so slightly to justify the terror of al-Qaeda and the “inevitable” results of the supposed “radicalisation” of the Muslim “community” in the US and elsewhere-
The American government is also a murder machine?
The brave men and women of Iraq carrying forward the struggle against American imperialism by blowing up themselves and their fellow Iraqis?
Given King’s earlier logic, both statements can certainly make sense and are accepted as fact in much of the Arab and wider Muslim world.
It doesn’t justify the massacre of the innocents of 9/11 though does it?
The sectarian slaughter happening on the streets of Baghdad on a daily basis?
The killing of civilians by terror groups is surely more than “regrettable”?
What is most revealing though is King’s justification of his contradictory stand:
“I understand why people who are misinformed might see a parallel. The fact is, the I.R.A. never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.”
Ah right. No ” loyalty” to those Irishmen of whatever national identity or religious background targetted by the provos then? Apparently not.
The IRA were not only Irish, catholic and white (conveniently possessing the same demographic as much of Mr King’s electorate), but also were considerate enough to kept their murdering away from the US.
Why can’t those damned Muslims play by the same rules?