(MENAFN - Arab News) THIS might seem completely irrelevant at first, but bear with me.
Flashback: It's 1857. India is colonized by the British. Bengali soldiers shot their British officers and marched on to Delhi, initiating the Great Indian Rebellion. Needless to say, the rebellion turned very violent and the British squashed it with a slaughter of unprecedented proportions.
Now what sparked this revolt? It is easy to see how the occupation in and of itself, the degradation of the natives, the plundering and theft of their homeland resources by the East India Company, plus many various grievances, it's easy to see how all that built up resentment and anger among the Indians. The final spark though was lit by something seemingly trifle - to European sensibilities at least, and eerily similar to the anti-Muslim film (the latter being a far worse deliberate provocation). The Indian troops learned that their rifle cartridges (designed to be torn open with their teeth) were greased with beef and pork fat, which is a double offense to Hindus and Muslims. This caused an explosion of rage and things escalated from there. Now you can imagine how this appeared at the time to Londoners.
There go the savages getting all hot and bothered over some beef and pork grease. In fact, that is exactly how the mouthpieces of East India Company (the equivalent of media today) portrayed it to the British: it's just Hindu and Muslim prejudice behind this violence, nothing more.
Of course nowadays, such reasoning is recognized for what it really is: Self-deluding apologetics. No historian worth his salt would dare discuss the events of 1857 in isolation from the context of British colonialism.
I apologize for dwelling on something that happened more than a century ago, however it seems important now given the incredible foolishness (or deception) of the prevalent approach to the riots in the Muslim world today. When someone like Hillary Clinton actually asks: "How could this happen?," it can only be described as either a very ignorant question or a sinisterly self-delusional one. Has nothing been learned through the last decade? Moreover, it seems that American politicians and mainstream media are adding a new dimension to this pathetic whining: Why aren't those people grateful? In their imaginary world, Muslims should be grateful for the constant military and political intervention by the US. After all, they are trying to spread freedom, democracy, and human rights (Orwellian code for retaining their iron grip on the region's resources and ensuring strategic hegemony), but never mind that because to the official American sensibility it doesn't matter what is really happening, only what you claim to be happening.
Meanwhile, in the Muslim world it's becoming obvious that you can propagandize all you want, doublespeak all you want, delude yourselves and rewrite history all you want, but those you oppress will always disregard meaningless rhetoric and spin in favor of their living history and the reality they suffer everyday. I think Glenn Greenwald, an American writer, puts it best when he writes: "It doesn't take a propagandized populace to be angry at the US for such actions. It takes a propagandized populace to be shocked at the anger and to view it with bafflement and resentment on the ground that they should instead be grateful that we "freed" them. "Wake up! The Hollywoodesque notion of native people welcoming American intervention in the form of bombs and craving the freedom that only American tanks and drones can bring, is just that: Hollywood material.
American state terrorism has killed far more innocents than their so-called nemesis (non-state terrorism). Add to that the love/hate affair between the US and the "terrorists" starting from the Afghan jihad movie all the way to Libya and you have a recipe for disaster.
Does the US government think there wouldn't be any consequences to its violence and hypocrisy sooner or later? I believe the CIA has a term for that: Blowback. For this, and all the above, and so much more, you (the US government) have only yourselves to blame. How many honorable American voices of political wisdom and reason rose in protest and warning over American foreign debacles? One of these voices, Jon Wight, posed this question recently: "When are governments in the West going to wake up to the fact that the only way to prevent terrorism is to cease practicing or supporting it?" Judging from the way this recent issue is discussed and handled in mainstream America, the awakening doesn't appear on the horizon. And the carnage goes on.