Is Wright right?…

I wasn’t surprised that [tag]Barrack Obama[/tag] distanced himself from [tag]Rev. Wright[/tag]’s comments at the Washington Press Club, but I was still disappointed. On the one hand Wright is absolutely full of shit – claiming that the US government invented HIV to decimate the minority community. While on the other he’s dead on in such a way that anyone who calls him out on it is just in massive denial – that the 9/11/01 attacks shouldn’t have surprised anyone and were a logical outgrowth of the foreign policy practiced by the US for generations.

That Obama should distance himself from obvious conspiracy theorizing idiocy (the HIV comment) makes perfect sense, and he’s correct in wanting to keep his distance from such moronitude. Of course it could also be argued that comments so stupid shouldn’t even be acknowledged. Sitting Senators can and do support asinine social and political views, but those that do rarely become front runner for their party’s nomination to run for the White House.

What disappoints me is that Obama doesn’t have the courage to acknowledge that the obviously exploitative US foreign policies in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central and South America are what fueled the anger that provided the opportunity for an organization like Al Qaeda to recruit volunteers to fly planes into US landmarks and kill thousands of people. This is not an extremist view. It’s a view held by many mainstream political thinkers (heck, I read Blowback by Chalmers Johnson, a sort of uber mainstream political scientist, former cold warrior and professor emeritus at UC San Diego, in 2000 when it came out – a book that flat out says the actions of the CIA and the US military in the third world were inevitably going to result in pissed off victims of those actions striking back at the US in the only way available to them – terrorist attacks.). But the official party line of the US government on 9/11/01 is that “the terrorists” attacked the US because they hate our democracy, our freedom of expression and Christianity, so Obama can’t deviate from that script lest he be thrown under the bus by his own party, also too cowardly to call bullshit where it’s so obvious the smell would curl your nose hair from 100 miles out.

I think most of all though I’m disappointed in my fellow Americans who continue to fantasize that our government somehow bears no responsibility at all for what happened on 9/11/01. I guess it’s just too difficult to think about for most people. They’d rather believe that we were all just hapless victims of sociopathic mass murderers, and while I’ll admit that there seem to be quite a lot of that sort involved in fundamentalist Islam (and fundamentalist Christianity, for that matter) it just doesn’t work for me to explain away 9/11/01 or Al Qaeda by saying “oh, they’re all just crazy with no genuine motives for the crimes they commit.” It’s sort of like the whole business about smaller scale sociopaths having been abused as children. It doesn’t excuse their actions. It does give them a logical explanation, however, and points out that looking the other way at domestic violence isn’t just bad for the immediate victim, it may lead to collateral damaged down the road.

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