Watching Fox News’s recent coverage of the ISIS Twitter-hack left me shaking my head in disbelief, as usual. The latest act alleged to have been carried out by ISIS is the group’s takeover of several Twitter accounts belonging to the wives of U.S. military servicemen. Among the threatening tweets issued by ISIS through the hacked accounts were comments like: “You think you’re safe but you’re not”, “IS is already here”, and “We’re watching you” (issued specifically to Michelle Obama).
The ISIS tweet receiving the least attention from American media outlets appears to be the one with the most substance: “While your president and your husband are killing our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we’re coming for you.” In fact, it is the only ISIS tweet in this series containing any content other than ambiguous threats. Despicable as it is to those of us who abhor violence, the comment is extremely revealing and worthy of the close attention of American foreign policymakers. Yet, it got no treatment whatsoever by government decision makers or the American media. They preferred to speculate whether ISIS really might be around the corner.
The tweet is crucial in that it reveals one of ISIS’s main motivations – their desire to repel American military operations now taking place in virtually every Arab country. It is just one in a long line of declaratory statements made by the various Islamic factions fighting the American military, in which they attempt to explain their rationale.
Former CIA chief of the bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer, said about bin Laden: “[he] is remarkably eager for Americans to know why he doesn’t like us, what he intends to do about it and then following up and doing something about it in terms of military actions.” Bin Laden laid out his motivations directly to the American public in a letter. In the letter, he cited, among other reasons for fighting, the U.S. government’s continuing support of Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine, the U.S. government’s wars in Muslim lands like Somalia and Iraq, and the U.S. government’s repression of Muslims via puppet regimes scattered throughout the Middle East. Notice a recurring theme here? Bin Laden’s grievances were with the U.S. government.
Yes, bin Laden does attribute some responsibility for these acts to U.S. taxpayers, who he says make their government’s actions possible. Yet this should not come as a shocking or even disturbing revelation. In any government war, the enemy’s source of funding is a primary target. For this very reason, the U.S. government has made it a crime to provide financial support to those it deems terrorists or terrorist organizations. So it should come as no surprise that al Qaeda or ISIS would play by the same rules of war, in which they declare the U.S. government’s piggybank (the taxpayer) fair game. Disturbing, yes. Surprising, no.
There is no denying that the American way of life also motivates ISIS, al Qaeda, and their brethren. In the bin Laden letter, he also goes on to cite a western culture that is repugnant to his perverted brand of Islam as a motivating factor. Unfortunately, in an effort to avoid blame, the U.S. government and its mouthpiece media present only this factor. It is absolutely taboo to mention the murder and mayhem committed by the U.S. government in Muslim lands as a possible contributing factor. As Scheuer said, trying to do so is like “yelling into a closet. The American people, God bless ‘em, are just so?badly educated and unaware of how duplicitous their leaders are..”