Julie MarshMichael Moore's documentaries have never been on my must-watch list, but I was intrigued enough by the title of his latest Huffington Post piece -- "Juan Williams Is Right: Political Correctness About Terrorists Must End!" -- that I had to read it. Could Michael Moore actually support Juan Williams' statements?
Of course not. But the angle he took in attacking Williams got me thinking:
We can't let another day go by letting the PC brigade stop us from telling the truth: Terrorists aren't trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They're killing us because we're in their countries killing them.
It's been postulated that terrorism is a direct result of oppression. Many citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan oppose our sustained military presence in their countries, in spite of our purportedly noble reasons to be there. They resent the insinuation that our intervention will make their lives better, even if it might be true. They see us as arrogant, imperialist liars, thanks in large part to the well-documented absence of WMD in Iraq, used to falsely justify our invasion of that country, no matter how oppressive Saddam Hussein himself might have been.
In spite of all the good we do in the world, the United States has a major global PR problem, and Juan Williams and Fox News aren't helping it. Our current civilian leadership is working to extricate our military from the region, but these folks know how to hold a grudge. All is not forgiven simply because George W. Bush is out of office.
Thinking about our military presence in the Middle East, I also have to consider our military presence in allied countries, like Germany and Italy and Japan. We have military bases all over the world, within the borders of other countries. Friends and family of mine have peacefully served in Panama, South Korea, Belgium, and more.
Yet it would be utterly laughable to consider allowing any of these allied countries to establish a military presence within our borders, ostensibly because our presence adds to their security, but their presence would detract from ours. Again with the arrogance and imperialism.
I'm a military veteran myself. I support a strong defense. I didn't mourn Saddam Hussein, and I certainly won't mourn Osama bin Laden. I think the United States is overworked and underappreciated. And, being an atheist, religious zealotry in general frightens me.
But as Michael Moore quoted Juan Williams himself from 1986: "Racism is a lazy man's substitute for using good judgment...Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me." Persecuting Muslims simply on the basis of their adherence to Islam is neither common sense nor a strong defense.