'Muslim rage at US a decade old'
People don’t want foreign military forces to kill them with robotic airplanes they never see. People don’t want their soldiers at border crossings to be blown away by US missiles, the activist said.
In the US, there’s a combination of right-wing bigotry and commercial profit making at the expense of peace – he stated, alleging that western governments are doing very little about it.
Becker spoke to RT about the anti-American protests that have engulfed the Arab world for the past nine days.
RT: It's been more than a week since the anti-American protests flared up across the Muslim world – and there's no sign of them dying down. Is this still because of that controversial film driving the fury – or is there more to it?
Brian Becker: I believe the film – as offensive and disgusting as it is – should be understood as nothing more than a catalyst – a trigger – of pent up frustration, anger, rage that exists not only in Pakistan but also throughout the Muslim world, that’s accumulated over the past decade as a consequence of the invasion of Iraq and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The endless drone attacks against Pakistan, the killing of 19 Pakistani soldiers by US forces – their supposed allies at that border a year ago. All these elements have contributed to a picture, an atmosphere, where there’s great rage. A film, as disgusting as it is, could never have triggered these protests if it wasn’t for the larger context year.
RT: According to opinion polls, anti-American sentiment has been growing in Muslim countries for years – why is Washington failing to stop this from happening?
BB: Some people call it blowback. I think a more rational explanation would be that people don’t want to live under occupation. People don’t want foreign military forces to kill them from robotic airplanes they never see. People don’t want their soldiers at border crossings to be blown away by US missiles. The American government is handicapped because the essence of its policy is to use military force to pacify or control or dominate these geo-strategically important regions. But ultimately, it’s the people in the street who suffer and pay the price. Ultimately, the people become actors in the historical process and they do it by going into the streets. That’s what happens.
RT: A French magazine is adding insult to injury by publishing drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, which is further enraging Muslims. Who would want to escalate the unrest, and why?
BB: There’s two groupings in the west. There’s the ultra-rightist, nationalist anti-Islamic bigots and also commercial interests, who know that by issuing provocative movies or cartoons depicting Muhammad in a despicable way, that they’ll sell magazines. So we have this kind of ugly confluence of right wing bigotry and commercial profit making at the expense of peace. At the expense of people in the region who already feel targeted and now additionally humiliated and insulted. That’s a terrible thing and you see very little being done by western governments. They don’t necessarily have to suppress these magazines or movies, but they can organize and mobilize and educate the population against them, but they do very little.
RT: Even after Washington's efforts to support Arab revolutions last year – some of those revolutionaries are now railing against America – why didn't Washington see this coming I wonder?
BB: That’s the other element. You see that the US makes alliances with any force that has agreed to take up arms against that entity which has been targeted by US foreign policy. You saw that in the case of the socialist government in Afghanistan in 1979. The US, the CIA, made common cause with Osama bin Laden. They were the ones that funded the Mujahedeen. They were the ones who created these networks. They did the same in Yugoslavia when they wanted to bring down the Yugoslav government. They did largely the same thing in the case of Iraq. And then eventually, the US having cynically manipulated and used forces, is unprepared when these same forces follow their own political or religious agenda. But of course that’s the script we’ve seen played over and over again by the United States.