Fear and Loathing in the Occident
By Jason Miller
Clearing House" -- -- Islamophobia is a mental and
spiritual affliction. And our Western ruling elites bear the
responsibility for inflicting it upon the psyches of the
Now that the Stalinist/Maoist regimes have collapsed or
evolved toward capitalism and no fascist states with
imperial ambitions exist (besides the United States and its
few allies), the American Empire needed to find a new
"enemy” to replace Stalinists and Nazis. Much of the soft
power employed by the leaders of America’s “top down
democracy” stems from psychological manipulation of “the
mob”. Mobilization of the masses against a common enemy
“threatening the very existence of the American Way” has
long been a staple in the United States’ ruling elites’
ongoing push to monopolize the world’s wealth, power, and
And who better to vilify than Islamic people? Many are
dark-skinned and live in developing nations, meaning their
lives are inconsequential in the prevailing moral calculus
of the West. The Middle East is predominately Islamic, its
sands are oozing with crude oil, and it is home to Israel.
From the perspective of the Empire, what better region to
target than the Middle East?
And whether one believes that 9/11 was a false flag
operation perpetrated by the US government or the work of
radical Islamic Fundamentalists, the
members of the Bush Regime obviously shed their crocodile
tears publicly while privately celebrating the event as
their Pearl Harbor. 3,000 civilian deaths and the demolition
of a powerful symbol of the Western “value” of avaricious
Capitalism whipped the American public into a furor against
the “evil Muslims” who “hate our freedoms”.
Never mind the fact that the United States and Israel have
undertaken a nearly unparalleled program of military
aggression and ethnic cleansing throughout the Middle East
since the formation of the illegitimate colonial nation in
Palestine. Given the premises for founding Israel, someone
needs to remind Great Britain and the United States that it
is incumbent upon them to create a homeland for homosexuals
and Romani people. After all, they were also Holocaust
victims and are people without a nation. And like the
Palestinians, the other inhabitants of the Middle East are
more akin to animals than human beings. So why not establish
two more colonies on their land?
On August 13, Sixty Minutes aired a segment
that revealed a great deal about Islamophobia and the role
the corporate media plays in its proliferation.
In his recent
open letter to Mike
Wallace, Michael K. Smith declared:
Your interview with Iranian Prime Minister
Ahmadinejad was a disgrace to the journalistic profession.
You began with the condescending manner of a school
principal lecturing the class clown for immature behavior
and squandered the entire interview on hypocritically
accusatory questions. If gall were an Olympic sport, you'd
take the Gold Medal.
Michael made some fine points throughout his letter.
However, I opine that he was too generous when he called
Wallace’s vituperative verbal assault an interview. What I
witnessed was Mike Wallace, the Ugly American. Brimming with
contempt, impatience, hubris, and belligerence, he more
closely resembled the Grand Inquisitor than a journalist.
Did Wallace truly fail to grasp that he was acting as an
apologist and cheerleader for bellicose, heartless, and
ruthless perpetrators of war crimes on behalf of Israel, and
thus is a Zionist (as Ahmadinejad suggested)? Through its
grossly biased coverage of the “War on Terrorism” and
mindless perpetuation of the inane myth that Israel has the
right to annihilate an unlimited number of civilians to
protect its “right to exist”, CBS News has
joined the squad of corporate media cheerleaders which has
been shamelessly complicit in the Empire’s egregious crimes
against humanity. I submit that one can be a Zionist and a
journalist. Mike Wallace is living proof.
Yet in spite of Wallace’s tenacious efforts, the “devil
incarnate”, Ahmadinejad, remained composed. At times
Ahmadinejad seemed to thoroughly enjoy Wallace’s obvious
“flustration” in attacking him from what has become an
absurdly untenable position, both morally and logically. For
those of us who don’t believe the Western media fairy tale
that the United States is a force for good engaged in a
noble struggle in its bid to rid the world of the evil of
Islam and defend Israel’s “right to exist”, Wallace’s
ill-fated attempt to expose the malevolence of the “enemy”
was quite entertaining.
Just as Wallace scrambled madly in a hopeless attempt to
prevail intellectually in his interrogation of Ahmadinejad,
the debt-ridden, aging American Empire and its allies are
flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to claim military
victory in the Middle East. And like Ahmadinejad, those who
comprise the resistance to occupation and exploitation in
the Middle East are facing down their occupiers with a deft
persistence, filled with a confidence born from the
knowledge that recent history has not been kind to imperial
invaders facing a people determined to expel them (i.e.
Vietnam, Lebanon, and Iraq).
In the perverse worldview of the Neocons, Israel, and AIPAC,
Iran is considered to be a part of the “Axis of Evil”. Since
Wallace championed the cause of the “benevolent” United
States in his Sixty Minutes interrogation
of the leader of one of the members of the “Axis”, it is
instructive to consider the “evils” Iran and resistance
groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have perpetrated.
While various resistance groups in the Middle East have
certainly committed war crimes by killing civilians, the
“leader of the free world” and its counterpart in Palestine
have annihilated hundreds of thousands more civilians than
have the so-called “terrorists”.
Yes, militant Fundamentalist Islamic individuals wield much
of the power in Iran. But let’s put on our thinking caps to
discern how that situation evolved. In 1979 hard-line
anti-American Islamic clerics assumed control of the Iranian
government when they ousted the Shah (the corrupt US puppet
who tortured and killed tens of thousands of Iranian
“dissidents” during his reign of terror). Ironically, the
Iranian government the United States loves to hate exists
because the CIA and MI6 facilitated the Shah taking power
from Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. The significance? Mossadegh
was a democratically-elected secular prime minister who had
had the audacity to nationalize the oil industry because the
British oil companies were grossly exploiting the Iranian
people. By acting in typical fashion (by taking out a
populist leader and replacing him with a vicious tyrant),
the United States provided an incubator for powerful
anti-American sentiment. Thus the United States and Great
Britain are responsible for the theocracy in Iran which they
fear and despise.
Corporate media pundits like Michelle Malkin and Anne
Coulter are the vanguards in spreading pernicious
distortions which fan the rapidly spreading emotional flames
of fear, prejudice, and hatred comprising Islamophobia. Two
of the most disturbing and inflammatory perversions of the
truth the Western media entities disseminate are that all
adherents of the Islamic faith are radical fundamentalists
and that Sharia Law is universally harsh and grossly
inferior to the Empire’s system (which provides “liberty and
justice for all”).
Just as Christianity encompasses a broad spectrum of people
with varying ways of practicing and expressing their faith,
the Islamic world is filled with human beings who have
diverse ways of expressing their religious beliefs. There
are liberal, moderate, and Fundamentalist Muslims. And
surprising as it may seem, most practitioners of
Fundamentalist Islam, like most Fundamentalist Christians,
are essentially peaceful individuals. In fact, a Muslim
truly following the tenets of Islam practices moderation and
tolerance. Many Muslims are no more willing to strap plastic
explosives to their belts for a suicide mission than most
Christians would be to bomb an abortion clinic. There are
radicals from both religions, but they are very much in the
Another lie deeply embedded in the barrage of communications
we receive from the Western corporate media is that the
United States and its allies are morally superior to the
“evil Muslims”. One aspect of Islam they offer as “proof” of
this faulty conclusion is that many Islamic nations
incorporate Sharia into their legal systems. While Sharia
can involve harsh and rigid forms of justice, it exists to
varying degrees in the many Muslim nations around the globe.
Judiciaries in Islamic nations manifest the influence of
Sharia in ways that span the spectrum from extremely
dogmatic to highly secular and liberal.
While the Western media’s blistering criticism of the more
draconian actions of some Islamic nations (i.e. Iran’s
execution of teenagers) is definitely warranted, the Empire
has a great deal of house-cleaning to do before it is in a
position to preach to other nations on human rights issues.
Here are but a few recent examples of the United
States’ own flagrant human rights abuses:
1. carrying out quite a number of its own
executions in a manner recently discovered to inflict a
great deal of suffering on the victim
2. routinely torturing and suspending justice
for suspected “enemy combatants”
3. funding the Israeli Apartheid and ethnic
cleansing of the Palestinians
4. occupying a nation where it has killed over a
million Iraqi civilians since the Gulf War invasion (through
brutal economic sanctions and military actions).
5. funding the Israeli devastation of Lebanon
6. supporting numerous ruthless and murderous
regimes (as long as they are friendly to US corporations)
7. having cynically embraced Saddam Hussein as
an ally (knowing of his crimes against humanity) when it
furthered US interests and invading Iraq preemptively to
topple him when he ceased to be useful.
8. having kept the House of Saud in power for
years despite its harsh practice of Sharia (i.e. thieves’
hands are severed and adulterers are stoned).
9. maintaining the largest prison population in
the world through a legal system so unjust that 50% of those
incarcerated are Black when Blacks comprise 14% of the
10. engaging in numerous outright massacres of
civilians (i.e. Haditha, Fallujah)
In light of the above, how long will it be before a
significant portion of the Muslim population falls prey to
an extreme prejudice against all Westerners called Anglo-Christophobia?
Let’s hope it does not happen any time soon.
Speaking of Christians (at least the Fundamentalist ones),
their demonization of Islam is actually rather amusing.
Christian Fundamentalists share more common ground with the
extreme members of the Islamic faith than they perhaps
realize. Some Muslim nations treat homosexuality as a crime.
Abortion is illegal in virtually every circumstance
throughout much of the Middle East. Separation of church and
state does not exist in nations like Iran. Implementation of
the death penalty is common in the Middle East. How can men
like John Hagee reconcile their cognitive dissonance in
advocating war against Iran, a model of the theocracy they
strive to implement in the United States?
CBS, Mike Wallace and the rest of the
United States’ corporate media can continue to do the
Empire’s bidding from now until the world comes to an end
(which may not be as far away as I make it sound if sanity
and humanity do not prevail over greed, ignorance, and
hatred). However, their nearly endless bombardment of
intelligently crafted lies readily distributed to nearly
every corner of the globe are powerless to alter the truth.
In truth, Israeli and American lives are no more precious
than those of the Arab and Persian human beings populating
the Middle East. And neither the United States/Israel/Great
Britain nor the nations and groups comprising the resistance
in the Middle East are innocent of the deep transgression of
murdering innocents. Each nation or group also commits human
rights abuses against its own people in some fashion.
However, Western exploiters and invaders are culpable of far
more frequent and grievous war crimes than the Middle
Easterners who are defending themselves, their resources,
and their people.
If the majority of the human beings controlling the
corporate media had a shred of moral decency they would
focus their efforts on informing their viewers, listeners,
and readers of the vast number of war crimes committed by
Israel and the United States. They would start portraying
the “terrorists” as the resistors of oppression they truly
are. They would make a distinction between the various
Middle Eastern resistance groups’ legitimate attacks on
their occupiers’ militaries and the war crimes they commit
against civilians. And they would devote most of their
remaining substantial resources to the inundation of news
consumers with stories, photos and video footage depicting
the tragic and gruesome civilian suffering and death.
As it is, the Western corporate media shamelessly serve the
Neocons by perpetuating a virtually endless cycle of hatred
and violence. They incite and feed Islamophobia and
they fabricate a plethora of false justifications for the
malevolent actions of Israel and the United States. But then
in a fascist nation, corporations are wedded with the state,
militarism is the state’s primary focus, scapegoats and
enemies are essential, and the function of the Fourth Estate
is to provide the propaganda to control the masses.
Just imagine if the mainstream media in the United States
actually began fulfilling its role (in what is ostensibly a
free society) and acted as a check on our government rather
than its accomplice. If more Americans knew more truth,
instead of hating Islamic people and pushing to intensify
the war in the Middle East, the masses would be demanding
that reason, justice, and peace prevail. They would demand
that the United States completely withdraw its military from
the Middle East and leave Israel to stand on its own, which
would force the Israelis to finally settle the Palestinian
issue in a just manner and to cooperate with their neighbors
If the major media entities of the West were living up to
their responsibilities as members of the Fourth Estate,
perhaps 3 year old Ali Ahmad Hashim of Qana would not have
been bombed to death, the members of the Ghalia family would
not have been obliterated on a Gaza beach, 76 year old
wheel-chair bound amputee Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali would not
have been massacred at Haditha, Cindy Sheehan would not be
grieving for a son lost to a war of imperial aggression, and
Reuven Levy of Haifa would not have been annihilated by a
rocket attack as he was doing his job for Israel Railways.
I am not holding my breath waiting for money-driven enablers
of war like Rupert Murdoch to start heeding the advice of
Jiminy Cricket. However, I will not succumb to their assault
of malicious distortions. I refuse to fear, hate, or
consider myself at war with 20% of the world’s population
simply because they choose to follow the teachings of the
Islamophobia is an intellectual and spiritual malignancy.
Reason and humanity are the cures.
Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical essayist
with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive
self-education (derived from an insatiable appetite for
reading). He welcomes responses at
or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at