The Economist produces a table showing the fatalities from Al Qaeda’s “Killing in the name of Islam”
Apparently this has been published to justify the US government’s action on Osama Bin Laden—a reductio ad absurdum fallacy.
It’s foolish to say that these have all been about religion.
Common sense tells us that with an estimated 1.5 billion Islam adherents and growing, then a war on religion would imply that the world would have been embroiled in various types of violence as a result from this ‘false’ war. But where? The war has been limited to but a few.
For instance, Bin Laden’s alleged war with the west has been anchored upon the following key factors, which the legendary investor Doug Casey enumerates:
One thing they should think about is that Osama didn’t actually present – or certainly shouldn’t have presented – a risk to the U.S. You’ll recall that he said he was only up in arms for three reasons: 1) the U.S. had its troops in Muslim lands; 2) the U.S. was supporting the stooges running those countries; and 3) the U.S. was supporting Israel, which he deemed an oppressor of the Palestinians. If the U.S. desisted from those things, he was happy to leave it alone, in the belief it would necessarily self-destruct.
In other words, the so-called religious war only serves as camouflage to advance US imperialist interests.
In the name of War on Terror, more innocent people are being slaughtered every year than the combined activities of the Al Qaeda.
Writes the New York Times,
Last year was the deadliest of more than nine years of war for Afghan civilians, the United Nations reported Wednesday, attributing 75 percent of the deaths to attacks by Taliban and other insurgents rather than coalition forces.
The United Nations said 2,777 civilians were killed in 2010 — a 15 percent increase over the previous year — in its annual civilian casualty report, authored jointly with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Despite several prominent recent episodes involving civilian deaths that have strained relations with the Afghan government, deaths caused by NATO forces declined by 26 percent, the report found, reflecting new precautionary steps by military commanders, including Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the previous top commander in Afghanistan, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, who took over eight months ago.
That’s from Afghanistan alone in 2010.
While most of these are being blamed on Al Qaeda, based on statistics which we can’t rely on, because only nation states have the power to make such declaration. The point is the War on Terror has been causing more needless deaths regardless of who is responsible.
Here is an estimate of the total casualties over the duration of the War on Terror from Wikipedia,
-Iraq: 62,570 to 1,124,000
-Afghanistan: between 10,960 and 49,600
-Pakistan: between 1467 and 2334 killed in U.S. drone attacks as of May 6, 2011
All these goes to show that imperialism, not a war on religion, is what breeds terror. As Sheldon Richman fittingly writes, (bold highlights mine)
Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent state is our protector and that without it we'd be at the mercy of monsters. It is about time that we understood that the U.S. government does more to endanger the American people than any imagined monsters around the world.
How so? By pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere. It stands to reason that if you stick your nose in other people's quarrels you will acquire enemies. Some of them will be unhappy about the interference and will retaliate. Tragically, they will not be so careful about discriminating between the offenders and innocent civilians. That's wrong, but so is the meddling that brings the retaliation about.
Unfortunately, far more influential are vested interest groups who profits from these wars, whom dictate on foreign policies channeled through political leaders.
All the rest is propaganda.