America’s History of Fear by Nicholas Kristof (4 Sept. 2010 NYT): A short history of the intolerance of “well-meaning worriers” who have opposed what scares them throughout America’s history, including fear of Catholics and Mormons, of Irish, Germans, Italians, and Chinese immigrants, and of Jewish refugees and Japanese Americans in WWII.
“Screeds against Catholics from the 19th century sounded just like the invective today against the Not-at-Ground-Zero Mosque. The starting point isn’t hatred but fear: an alarm among patriots that newcomers don’t share their values, don’t believe in democracy, and may harm innocent Americans. “
Two by Robert Fisk in The Independent:
The Crimewave that Shames the World (7 Sept 2010), that is, the “murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of ‘honour,'” in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa, by Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Harrowing and detailed accounts of the circumstances and deaths — by acid, stoning, being buried alive, axed to death after body parts removed, shooting, strangulation, throat-slitting, beaten to death, thrown to death from a bridge, and so on. Often the women have ‘dishonoured’ their families by being raped.
“9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they –- the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa’idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters -– have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago. All in their name, it seems, has been our holocaust of fire and blood…”