René Girard devoted most of his life to exploring one of the darkest secrets of human nature: scapegoating. It seems we have a pervasive tendency to offload our own evil (and the guilt and shame that accompanies it) onto the Other.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the stories we tell about history. Every community tends to downplay its own crimes and exaggerate those of its enemies. To take one example: My Armenian friends have described what happened to their community during World War I as a holocaust of millions of innocent civilians who were killed for absolutely no reason other than vicious Turkish bigotry. But during my month-long speaking tour of Turkey in 2010, I learned that many Turkish intellectuals held a different view. They argued that Turkey was invaded by Russia, that Armenian communities helped the Russian invaders mass-murder Turkish civilians (triggering admittedly horrific reprisals), that the Armenian version of the genocide is exaggerated, and that all the civilian victims of World War I war crimes, including Turks and Armenians, were victims of the insanity of war, not the evil of one particular community.

These same Turkish intellectuals also argued that far more Muslims were murdered in the ethnic cleansings in the Balkans during the years before World War I than Armenian Christians were killed during the war. (We have all heard of the Armenian genocide, but few Americans know about the ethnic cleansings of Muslims from the Balkans.)

Along with telling self-serving war stories, we sometimes offload historical guilt by blaming our benighted ancestors for evils that we, their modern enlightened descendants, no longer commit. The current hullaballoo over slavery is a prime example. By scorning “evil slaveholding Confederates” or “evil slaveholding Founding Fathers” we deem ourselves their moral superiors. But what if we are committing worse crimes without even knowing it?

That is what Dr. Gideon Polya, a leading expert in avoidable mortality and comparative crimes against humanity, suggests. Dr. Polya has written of “the horrendous carnage of the US War on Terror (aka the US War on Muslims) involving the deaths of 32 million Muslims abroad (by violence or imposed deprivation.” He estimates that the US “war on terror” has killed about five million Muslims directly by violence, and another 27 million through deprivation and other indirect effects.

Every day, American taxpayer funded drones blow up civilian gatherings, American bombs fall on Muslim cities and villages, and US-supported militias kill civilians in countries America has invaded or destabilized. When the 9/11 triggered Muslim holocaust toll reaches 50 million, or 100 million, will we finally notice?

Late in the day on September 11th, 2001, a German graduate student in engineering told me a joke that was already making the rounds: “It’s the year 2051, the fiftieth anniversary of today. A father explains to his little child: ‘Fifty years ago they blew up some tall buildings in New York.’ The child says, ‘who blew up the buildings?’ The father says, ‘Muslims.’ The child says (drumroll and rimshot) ‘Daddy, what are Muslims’?”

At the time my two Muslim children were ages seven and four. The German engineer’s joke crystalized my sense that the mind-boggling events I had just witnessed on television – a plane hitting a skyscraper and exploding into a fireball, and buildings exploding into pyroclastic clouds reminiscent of nuclear bombs or volcanos – certainly looked as though it had been engineered for the precise purpose of triggering a genocide of Muslims. But it wasn’t until late 2003, when I heard about the 9/11 research of David Ray Griffin, that I began to seriously consider that possibility.

According to such clear-eyed truth tellers as David Ray Griffin and Gideon Polya, the ongoing 9/11-triggered holocaust of Muslims is not even the worst crime we are perpetrating. Griffin’s book Unprecedented, whose conclusions Polya accepts, makes a strong case that by continuing to burn fossil fuel, we are in all likelihood murdering hundreds of millions, if not billions, of our near-term descendants, who will die prematurely in the multiple catastrophes unleashed by climate change. And this is not just a crime against humanity, but against the entire biosphere. We might very well be turning our beautiful planet into a living hell for all creatures…maybe even a dead hell.

So as horrible as slavery was, the identity politics maelstrom around it should not distract us from taking a clear-eyed view of the crimes we ourselves are committing. Even less should it distract us from our efforts to stop committing those crimes, and repairing ourselves and our planet.

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Kevin Barrett, an American Muslim and PhD Islamic Studies scholar, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. He has authored and edited several books, including Orlando False Flag (2016), ANOTHER French False Flag (2016) and We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo (2015) and appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets. He has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other mainstream publications. A former teacher at colleges and universities in Paris, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Wisconsin, he currently works as author, talk radio host, False Flag Weekly News host, editor at Veterans Today, and TV pundit. His website is TruthJihad.com.


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