Commentators slam Glenn Greenwald for claiming ‘it’s our fault’ when Islamist terrorists attack

“terrorism” does not have any real meaning other than “a Muslim who commits violence against America and its allies”, so as soon as a Muslim commits violence, there is an automatic decree that it is “terrorism” even though no such assumption arises from similar acts committed by non-Muslims” – Glenn Greenwald, ‘Comment is Free’, April 22, 2013

…the term [terrorism] at this point seems to have no function other than propagandistically and legally legitimizing the violence of western states against Muslims while delegitimizing any and all violence done in return to those states. – Glenn Greenwald, ‘Comment is Free’, May 23, 2013

As this blog has documented continually, Glenn Greenwald is perhaps the most enthusiastic promoter of the Guardian Left narrative which suggests that there is no significant moral difference between reactionary Islamist movements and liberal Western democracies.  Greenwald often attempts to impute such moral equivalence by arguing, with varying degrees of explicitness, that the US (and other democracies involved in the war against Islamist terror) intentionally murder Muslim civilians.  

So, per Greenwald’s logic, the murder of Muslims qua Muslims by the West is what – quite understandably to Greenwald – inspires the wrath of Islamists in the West to commit lethal terror attacks against innocents, such as the recent savagery in London in which a British soldier named Lee Rigby was hacked to death by a British born convert to Islam named Michael Adebolajo

Greenwald’s specious moral logic, which serves to amplify the Islamist message that the West is indeed at war with Islam, has been exposed at this blog, and by quite a few other commentators.  

Here are a few suggested posts which effectively take on Greenwald, or at least fisk the logic he employs to arrive at the conclusion that it is our fault when Islamist terrorists murder civilians in the West.

Terry Glavin: ‘Fibbing about Terrorism and Badgering Muslims‘:

In my Ottawa Citizen column today I notice how moral illiteracy defines the way such reliably creepy arbiters of hip opinion as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and the American celebrity bullshit artist Michael Moore are responding to the Woolwich atrocity. Michael Moore tries to get a laugh out of his Twitter followers about it, in his usual cheap and vulgar way, but it is only the fuzzy timidities around the definition and the common use of the term “terrorism” that allow Greenwald to so easily and completely normalize what he presents as perfectly understandable Muslim revenge violence.

Zach Novetsky: ‘Glenn Greenwald Terrorizes Logic:

Whenever a radical Islamist commits a horrific act of violence or an act of terrorism, Glenn Greenwald is there with the same all-powerful explanation: it is our fault. More specifically, it is the fault of anyone living in the United States or any “loyal, constant ally” state, as he put it on Twitter. Terrorists, it seems, have no agency.

Norman Geras: ‘The pristine logic of Glenn Greenwald

Given the swamp of apologetics and obscurantism into which the Guardian newspaper has turned itself during the last decade, it may seem unfair to pick out one particular contributor to this ongoing journalistic enterprise as especially egregious. Over the years there have been so many voices to choose from in that regard: the Buntings, the Milnes, the Steeles, the Gopals; and then also all those occasionals who, just like the regulars, can’t wait to put together some soft piece of advocacy to the effect that we, the Western democracies, are just plain no good – though, having nothing better to offer for the time being themselves, these commentators make what effort they can to excuse regimes and movements for which no compelling case could be made by anyone of mature moral sensibility.

It has to be said nonetheless that the swamp has now acquired its own special low point, the name of which is Glenn Greenwald.

Marc Goldberg: ‘Terror according to Glenn Greenwald

There were several things that surprised me about [Greenwald's] article as they were so counter intuitive for me to read. I say counter intuitive because I thought that his views were based on concern with human rights and being anti prejudice. It is for that reason that I was surprised by his consistent use of the word Muslim. His own rhetoric in fact mirrors the rhetoric of al Qaeda

Alexander Wickham:This weeks utterly disturbing Leftists’

Greenwald’s equating of British soldiers to Islamist terrorists is even more repugnant. Of course the Left – and the Right for that matter – have legitimate criticisms over foreign policy, but to become so blinded by self-loathing that he blurs the distinction between good and evil, for me, makes Greenwald an apologist for terror

Richard Kemp: ‘Michael Adebolajo’s dangerous ignorance about Afghanistan

Michael Adebolajo, the knife-wielding, blood-soaked brute who is suspected of killing Drummer Lee Rigby told passersby he was fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan. If that was the reason for Wednesday’s attack on Drummer Lee Rigby, Adebolajo should have travelled to Helmand and started wielding his knife against Taliban fighters. It is they who kill most Muslims in Afghanistan

Alan Johnson: ‘We need to talk about Islamism

In our intellectual culture religion is a mystery. That’s why the commentators mostly refuse to believe religion, any religion, can have anything to do with terrorism. So they either translate terrorists screaming “Allahu Akbar!” into something they can understand – economics, foreign policy, identity – or just change the subject altogether, writing instead (not as well) about the dangers of a racist backlash, the threat of the loss of civil liberties, and so on.

A glimpse of life near the Gaza border: #IsraelUnderFire

I spent the day participating in a media tour of Sderot and other Israeli towns close to the border with Gaza.  

The day included a security briefing, several Code Red (Tzeva Adom) alerts, an unexpected view of the immediate aftermath of a rocket which landed in Sderot, a play by children at a local kibbutz and an analysis of the military situation with Col. Richard Kemp.

Here a brief account of my day via updates on Twitter and Facebook.



We then went to Sapir College, near Sderot.  All classes were cancelled due to rocket fire.  

We were listening to a presentation by an academic expert on the psychological trauma caused by terrorism when the Code Red alert sounded.


The rocket landed in a neighborhood nearby, so our guides took us to the site of the blast.


Fortunately, there were no injuries.

A boy whose home was right next to where the rocket landed displayed a bit of bravado and claimed a souvenir.


A minute later there was another Code Red and we were able to get to a bomb shelter in a home near where we were standing.

Sderot residents have 15 seconds to get to safety once they hear the alert.

This was a tiny glimpse into the intolerable situation which residents of Israeli towns within close range of Gaza must deal with constantly.  


We then toured Kibbutz Alumim and saw the children perform a play dramatizing how they deal with the constant threat of rocket fire, entitled ‘Code Red’. 

We then listened to a military assessment of Israel’s current operation by Col. Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, who explained the extraordinary efforts of the IDF to avoid civilian casualties – resulting in a civilian to combatant ratio in Cast Lead, and Pillar of Defense, far superior to recent NATO operations.

Finally, we took a brief detour to get a glimpse at an Israeli tank stationed near the Gaza border.

More than 1200 rockets have been launched at Israeli towns since November 10, and over 12,800 since 2001.

Goldstone Report: The Judge Is Still Lying

This is cross posted by Yarden Frankl, who blogs at “Crossing the Yarden“.

So now, Judge Goldstone writes an op-ed in the Washington Post where he admits that the Israeli military did NOT intentionally target civilians in Gaza.

But beyond the obvious disgust, there is one part of his “magnum oops” that you might have missed.

About the original report, he now writes “Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity.”

Oh really?

“Potential” war crimes?

“Possibly” crimes against humanity?

Excuse me. I think that I have a real “potential” to be sick and “possibly” throw up.

I went back and looked through the 500 plus page report. There are dozens of accusations of specific “war crimes” that Israel violated. Then I did a word search for the word “potential.” Guess how many times Goldstone labeled his accusations as only “potential” war crimes? None. There was no doubt expressed in the report about Israel’s actions. “Possible crimes against humanity?”  Nope.

It’s as if Goldstone is now saying “well, back then I just didn’t know if Israel committed war crimes. But you know, looking back, I don’t think they did.”

Judge Goldstone, Your Honor, excuse me, but you actually sounded certain in your report’s conclusions when you wrote:

(b) . Incidents involving the killing of civilians:
1718. The Mission found numerous instances of deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects (individuals, whole families, houses, mosques) in violation of the fundamental international humanitarian law principle of distinction, resulting in deaths and serious injuries.

In these cases the Mission found that the protected status of civilians was not respected and the attacks were intentional, in clear violation of customary law reflected in article 51(2) and 75 of the First AP, article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and articles 6 and 7 of ICCPR. In some cases the Mission additionally concluded that the attack was also launched with the intention of spreading terror among the civilian population.

Did some UN intern leave out the words ”potential” and “possible” when he typed that up for you? Were you so busy looking up all the specific violations of international law that you somehow forget to add that you were not 100% certain when you accused the Israeli army of: deliberately attacking Palestinian civilians in Gaza with one of the goals  to spread terror among the population.

Don’t try pitching us a softball now. Your accusations were as harsh as could be. Despite all the evidence that you chose to ignore, you barreled ahead and wrote page after page of how utterly evil Israel and our army are. In your report, our kids are not brave young men defending our country, they are baby killers acting under orders.

Now you are having a change of heart?  If you are feeling remorse, I gotta tell you — you’ve got a long way to go. The first step would be to try, just try, to be brutally honest about what you originally wrote and the damage it has done to the nation of Israel.

Then, maybe instead of submitting a timid little letter to the Washington Post, why not travel to some of the many nations who have accepted your original report as holier than the Bible and tell them how you got it wrong.

And to cap off your tour of apology, go to the U.N. and stand before the Human Rights Council — that group that represents despots and thugs who appointed you in the first place. Tell them that you wish to “revise” your report and then go give them a new document that accurately reflects what happened during the Gaza war.

I suggest that you begin by giving a call to Richard Kemp, the British military expert whose testimony you ignored in favor of the Hamas press releases.  If you have trouble recalling his remarks, I will give them to you here:

“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.”