I am not always in agreement with Glenn Greenwald simply because sometimes he takes the Liberal or Progressive viewpoint to the level of silliness like some on the Right. His analysis in general however is usually spot on.
The exchange he had with Bill Maher was a classic in that he used what he knew was going to be a short window to get several points across to counter act Maher’s rather ignorant perception of religion. Maher has lately been attacking the outward violence of the few Muslims that get inordinate coverage in our corporate controlled media, yet ignores all the violence that to this date is perpetrated in America and around the world in the name of Christianity. It is all in the slant given to the dissemination of news.
Glenn Greenwald: We were supporting and propping up Mubarak for thirty years even as we were cheering for the Tahrir Square demonstrators as if we were on their side. It was our government that kept Mubarak in power; just like we have done across the entire Muslim world. It’s amazing for you to say that look at all these Muslims, the minute you give them a little bit of freedom they go wild and start being all violent. How can you be a citizen of the United States, the country that has generated more violence and militarism in the world over the last five or six decades and say look at those people over there, they are incredibly violent. We play a significant role in what has been happening in the Middle East because we have been interfering and dominating that region in order to have access to their oil.
Bill Maher: I wasn’t talking about violence. I was taking about theocracy.
Glenn Greenwald: OK that doesn’t happen here but at the same time Iran isn’t invading lots of other countries and occupying them for a decade.
Bill Maher: That religion goes back a thousand years before our revolution so I don’t think we can take all the blame.
Glenn Greenwald: I don’t think we should. I think we should take a lot of it. And there are lots of bodies and corpses that have been piled up in the name of Christianity and Judaism as well.
Bill Maher: Not recently.
Glenn Greenwald: Have you heard about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza for the last fifty years motivated by extremist views of Judaism? Or the wars in Europe? Or the fact that there were generals in the United States saying we have to invade and destroy Iraq, a country of twenty six million people because our god is bigger? Lots of religions, not just Islam produce violence.
Bill Maher: Silly Liberal view that all religions are alike because it makes you feel good.
Glenn Greenwald: You get to ignore the responsibility that your own government has for the violence and instability in the world by saying look it’s that primitive religion over there that is to blame.
President Bush use of the word Crusade was no accident after 9/11. How different is our attempted Bush crusade to remake the Middle East different than those who want to remake us? The difference is we have the ultimate weapons of death, a coopted media, and a misinformed populace. Terrorism is absolutely wrong against the innocent. The phrase “your terrorist is my freedom fighter” does however have real meaning. Our founding fathers know that well. The founding fathers of Israel know that well. The founding fathers of many countries know that well. It is perspective and there is no purity no matter how we may try to articulate the purity of one side. That truth seems to be severely misunderstood by Bill Maher and most.
Also check out Joy Reid schooling Charles Cooke here on the same show.