And yes, I cut out some of the best of it. That's because you need to go give Deepak some love. Go. Read. Return. We have a few things to talk about.
I sent the following letter to Sean Hannity recently in response to his misrepresentation of what I said on his show regarding the Mumbai terrorist attacks. I have not received any response back from him. Today I read it aloud on my Sirius-XM radio program and am now making it public here as well.
I was hoping to come back on your show and have a reflective, intelligent dialogue, but perhaps the attack mode is the only way you know to make a living. The best excuse for your dishonest accusations against me is that you don't believe what you're saying. The far right has deflated, so you are there to pump it up with hot air. If you stop blowing, you'll be out of a job. I empathize.
PS: No one expects the right wing to change, but for what it's worth, they have entered an era of reconstruction. They've lost both their power and their credibility. Instead of trying to educate me about being an American, you might want to re-educate yourselves about dirty pool and below-the-belt attacks. Just a thought.
Chopra is making an incredibly unpopular point, but a necessary one, in his recent interviews on Faux News and CNN. No one wants to hear it. For all we lionize the idea of responsibility in this country, we don't like to take it.
And what Chopra is saying is this: we bear some responsibility for the violence in the world, and more violence isn't the answer:
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: As the investigation continues into the terror attacks that left 174 dead in Mumbai, India, officials are suggesting that while some of the attackers were killed, those responsible for planning the attacks may still be on the loose in Pakistan. Joining us now on the phone in Canada tonight, the author of "Jesus, A Story of Enlightenment," Deepak Chopra, and former secretary of defense under the Clinton administration, William Cohen. He was in Mumbai, India when the attacks began.
Welcome to you both.
Dr. Chopra, want to begin with you. What you said was pretty controversial, and you came under attack for talking about humiliation, poverty, lack of education as leading to this and getting to root causes, and Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal went after you for saying that.
Can you please explain?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, "JESUS, A STORY OF ENLIGHTENMENT" AUTHOR: Well, first of all, I don't think Dorothy Rabinowitz has any sense of history. If she did she would know that in the 1980s the CIA financed the militarization of Afghan rebels to resist Soviet expansion in the region. At the same time the U.S. subsidized Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, to train and provide tactical support to these Mujahideen who later became Taliban.
So, you know, there's a history there that clearly suggests that the U.S. activity in the Indian continent for the last few decades has in some way participated in the creation of this mess that we have.
What we have to understand, what Miss Rabinowitz does not understand is that killing a terrorist is not the same thing as killing their ideology.
The jihadists ideology, which is barbaric, violent, senseless, savage and primitive, is — has a historical context.
CHOPRA: It cannot be wiped out with force much less killed. You know, unless we understand the root causes of this, we're going to perpetuate this violence over and over again.
Hannity bursts in shortly thereafter, after former Secretary of Defense William Cohen has made a similar point but with more emphasis on the "kill the terrorists" part, and makes a total ass of himself, trying to boil a complex issue down to "Deepak blames America for Islamofascism!!1!111!"
Neocons, warmongers, and people too busy with the latest celebrity mishap to pay attention to foreign policy issues want this to be simple black-and-white: America good, terrorists bad. They don't want to hear about how our shitty foreign policy contributes to the conditions that foster terrorism. They don't understand that we had a huge hand in creating the Taliban. They certainly don't want to hear that we're going to have to show some loving kindness toward those who might end up trying to kill us tomorrow otherwise. They just want the terrorists killed, not realizing that there is no purely military solution to this problem.
Let me highlight again what Chopra said, because it's important:
...killing a terrorist is not the same thing as killing their ideology.And until we have the guts to admit that, we'll never run short of the terrorists we've helped create.