When a Terrorist Is Not a Terrorist

20 Feb



What the Chapel Hill police in North Carolina initially pitched to the world as ‘a parking dispute’ was the deliberate killing of three young and devout Muslim American students by an ideologically driven ‘new atheist’ killer named Craig Stephen Hicks. What the The Economist unhesitatingly calls ‘terrorism in Copenhagen’ involved the attempted shooting of a Danish cartoonist who repeatedly mocks the Prophet and Islamic beliefs as well as the lethal shooting of a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue. A friend understandably poses a serious question on Twitter that might have been dismissed as rhetorical overkill just a few years ago: “Are only Muslims capable of terrorism?”


I find it deeply disturbing that while the Chapel Hill tragedy is given marginal media attention except among groups previously worried about Islamophobia and racism, The Economist considers that important principles of Western liberal democracy are at stake apparently only in the European context. In the words of Zanny Minton Beddoes, the new editor of the magazine: “Jacob Mchangama, a lawyer and founder of a human-rights think-tank called Justitia, told me it would be a disaster if his country were to grow faint-hearted in its defense of free speech. ‘There can be no truce in the struggle between secular democracy and extremism,’ he says. Above all, politicians should avoid the trap of saying or implying that violence was really the fault of provocateurs, or that religious insult was to be equated with physical injury. Giving in to that sort of relativism would be letting down those followers of Islam who were brave enough to stand up for free speech, and indulging in a sort of “bigotry of low expectations”, said Mr Mchangama, whose paternal forebears were Muslims from the Comoros Islands. A good point.”


I am quite sure that this is not a good point, at least as phrased by Mr. Mchangama. Of course, governments should take action to protect all who are violently threatened, but to refuse to regard Islamophobic messaging as a species of hate speech while so regarding anti-Semitiic slurs or Holocaust denial is to combine two things that are both unacceptable: ignoring the root causes of political extremism and pathological violence; and prohibiting and punishing anti-Semitic utterances as hate speech while treating anti-Islamic or Islamophobic speech as requiring protection from the perspective of ‘freedom of expression.’ Admittedly, these outer bondaries are difficult to draw. Should the views of professional historians that cast doubt on the magnitude of the Holocaust be forbidden? Should critical literary and satiric treatments of Mohammed and the Koran be suppressed for the sake of public order? In the former case we have the experience of the French historian, Robert Faurisson, while in the latter case, that of Salman Rushdie. In my view, the writings of both should be regarded as forms of protected speech, and if a government is unable or unwilling to do this, it compromises its own claims to legitimacy. And what it certainly should not do, is defend Rushdie on freedom of expression grounds while punishing Faurisson on the basis of defamation or collective hate laws.


Another trope along a similar trajectory is the push toward acknowledging ‘war’ between the West and Islam, an embrace of the infamous Huntington thesis of ‘the clash of civilizations.’ Roger Cohen, an ethically oriented regular contributor to the opinion page of the New York Times, in a column headlined as “Islam and the West at War” [Feb. 17, 2015] criticizes the Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, as well as Barack Obama, for describing the adversary as a ‘dark ideology’ and as ‘violent extremists.’ Cohen insists that such terms are euphemisms that evade the central reality of our time, namely, that the West is confronting Islamic movements and governments throughout the world, and even argues that Islam is ‘fair game’ because it “has spawned multifaceted political movements whose goal is power.”


The article also observes that young Muslims feel alienated and are drawn toward ISIS and other radical Islamic movements. Cohen asks the central question “Who or what is to blame?” and then suggests that there are two opposing sets of responses. His descriptions are worth quoting in full: “For the first, it is the West that is to blame through its support for Israel (seen as the latest iteration of Western imperialism in the Levant); its wars (Iraq); its brutality (Gunatanamo, Abu Ghraib); its killings of civilians (drones); its oil-driven hypocrisy (a Jihadi-funding Saudi ally).”


And then comes the second type of response: “… it is rather the abject failure of the Arab world, its blocked societies where dictators face off against political Islam, its repression, its feeble institutions, its sectarianism precluding the practice of participatory citizenship, its wild conspiracy theories, its inability to provide jobs or hope for its youth, that gives the Islamic state its appeal.”


I find several serious flaws in this way of presenting the issue. It should be obvious to any objective commentator that both sets of issues are interwoven, and cannot be separated except for polemical purposes. Furthermore, the failures of the Arab world are presented as detached realities, implying that the Western colonial legacies endured by the Arab world are irrelevant. We need to recall that following World War I, almost one hundred years ago, the European colonial powers effectively insinuated their national ambitions into the diplomatic process that produced the Middle East as we know it today. Such moves undermined Woodrow Wilson’s advocacy of self-determination for the peoples comprising the collapsed Ottoman Empire as well as the promises of a unified country made to enlist Arab support for the war against Germany and the Ottomans.


These historical antecedents certainly contributed to the authoritarianism of the region as the only basis for sustaining a coherent order in the artificial political communities with which the region experienced the transition to political independence. And the sectarianism that Cohen laments was clearly inflamed by American occupation policy in Iraq, as well as providing the most palatable way for Saudi Arabia to justify its hostility to Iran, deflecting attention from corruption and gender cruelty of its dynastic rule.


Overlooking this legacy of colonialism also ignores the effects of the Balfour Declaration, which gave the imperial blessings of British Foreign Office to the Zionist project for Jewish homeland in historic Palestine that were later endorsed by the League of Nation and the UN. It is debatable as to how much of the turmoil and violence in the region is attributable to the open wounds caused by the dispossession and occupation of the Palesinian people, but it is certainly part of the sad regional story that has unfolded in the last several decades.



Not surprisingly, Cohen finds the second series of explanations “more persuasive” and especially so in light of “the failure of the Arab Spring,” which he believe is partly a consequence of Obama’s refusal to do more to promote and sustain democratic outcomes in the Middle East by way of intervention. Somewhat mysteriously he blames the Syrian tragedy on American ‘nonintervention’ without bothering to consider the prolonged national disasters that have followed from such interventions as the sustained ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the more limited one under NATO auspices in Libya. In each instance the aftermath of intervention was not democracy, or even stability, but chaos, strife, and a worsening of human security.


Cohen never ventures to suggest that in light of the colonial legacies in the region, abetted by the oil lust of the West, the least bad arrangement at this point that can be fashioned is a less corrupt and more responsible authoritarianism. As deficient as Saddam Hussein and Muamar Qaddafi were from the perspective of human rights and democracy, they did maintain order within their borders and their countries were rated rather highly by the Human Development Indicators (HDI) of the UNDP. If the United States is to be blamed for its diplomacy during the recent past, it would seem much more convincing to hold the Bush Administration responsible for the downward spiral of politics in the region than to point a critical finger at Obama. It was after all during the Bush presidency that an American interventionary resolve was linked to and justified as ‘democracy promotion.’ If we focus on the alienation of Arab youth, it would seem to be much more the result of these military and political interventions than a consequence of the Obama reluctance to engage the United States in yet another war with a Muslim country. Indeed, Obama can be faulted for being too quick to authorize drone and other air strikes, while pursuing an unimaginative diplomacy that remains the best hope for achieving sustainable peace in the region.


Cohen’s diagnosis and allocation of responsibility is a telling expression of the liberal mind-set as it addresses the interlinked agendas of anti-terrorism and Middle East politics. Liberals both minimize Western and American responsibility for what has gone wrong in the spirit of Bernard Lewis and make the partisan United States relationship to Israel seem almost irrelevant to the troubles of the region, thereby overlooking the high costs of the policy. For instance, many knowledgeable observers agree that regional stability would be dramatically enhanced by the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. Yet such a policy option was never even considered in diplomatic settings, apparently because it would exert too much pressure on Israel to give up its arsenal of nuclear weaponry, which has given Israel a monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region that insists on preserving at all costs, including risking a disastrous war with Iran.


At this stage there are no easy answers as to allocating responsibility or producing causal explanations for terrible realities being endured by the peoples of the region. Quite clearly there are no good military answers to the various unresolved disasters in the region, although that is where the sort of ‘war thinking’ that Cohen affirms continues to place its bets.


In contrast, I would contend that a more imaginative diplomacy responsive to international law remains the only way forward. Such an orientation would look with favor on Iran’s active participation, especially in relation to Syria and to the possible negotiation of a regional security framework. It would also presuppose the relevance of a just and sustainable resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, which it turn depends upon the adoption of a normal approach by the U.S. Government to its relationship to Israel. Until such a reorientation on the part of Washington policymakers occurs, the path of least resistance is to engage in one air war after another, and mindlessly lend aid and comfort to Sisi’s harsh oppression in Egypt and the dismaying blend of autocracy and theocracy in Saudi Arabia.



























































































28 Responses to “When a Terrorist Is Not a Terrorist”

  1. Gene Schulman February 20, 2015 at 2:57 am #

    I’ll certainly be watching for comments on this post. Roger Cohen doesn’t deserve the attention he gets here. Nor does Obama deserve to be let off the hook for the Islamophobic policies he has developed.

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Gene, you are undoubtedly right about Cohen, but he seemed a useful foil for my indictment of the liberal mindset. As for
      Obama I do not think he is so much Islamophobic as committed to projecting American power without incurring the backlash of
      American casualties. His foreign policy seems guided by ‘political correctness’ Pentagon style..project force, but avoid ground

  2. ray032 February 20, 2015 at 5:18 am #

    Richard, For the last several weeks, I have been discussing the “colonial legacies” you mention in this article in other relevant articles in different news outlets.

    I greatly admire your writing style, and while I’m not as sophisticated, logical, and linear as you are in presenting your views, I hope to improve, and come closer to the high standard you set.

    This is my opinion of the “colonial legacy” as posted in Salon Magazine yesterday;
    Ray Joseph Cormier 14 hours ago

    “@UraniumRock The Ottoman Empire lasted some 600 years, headquartered in Turkey, now a NATO member and bridge between Europe and Asia. It is reported Turkey supports ISIS in wanting to bring back the glories of the 1st Islamic Caliphate.

    When the Ottoman Empire collapsed after WWI, it was England and France that created the artificial borders and Countries of the Middle East to suit European interests and not necessarily those of the local population. As this article reports, they were totally content working with the local Dictators they set up to keep the people quiet and inline. Democracy was only for North American and European domestic consumption

    Those Christian Democratic powers with the most influence in the Middle East for the last 100 years, like Pontius Pilot, wash their hands and absolve themselves of any responsibility for the unruly child of their own creation.”

    ‘The Atlantic’s big Islam lie: What Muslims really believe about ISIS’


    For a long TIME the Islamic Ottoman Empire welcomed Jews to emigrate there, as the European Christians were expelling Jews. With the changing circumstances of TIME, the basic tenants of Islam have been hijacked for political power purposes, as has happened with Judaism and Christianity.

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      Ray, an important and helpful comment that goes beyond I tried to say, pointing out the relationship of
      the Ottoman Muslims to Jewish emigration while Christian Europe was bent on expulsion and persecution. We
      both indict the British and French for inflicting artificial political communities on the region.

  3. Gendzier, Irene L February 20, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Richard, Thank you for this important analysis, a necessary rebuttal to the waves of dangerous nonsense being avidly spread here. irene

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks, as always, Irene! From Manila where I am doing some talks. Hope you are fine. richard

  4. Kata Fisher February 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm #


    You write:”waves of dangerous nonsense being avidly spread here”

    – if you are giving reference to me, you are simply wrong. I assure you with solid conscience.

    The is the reason:

    Harmatology has been tricky for most of the lay-people who go about whatever they wish to have for themselves – regardless if implementation in civil society (that what was done by historical land-grabs and rapes) or when comes to the Church-doctrine and The Way of redemption for all mankind.

    Church-doctrine is about Redemption. This sets Way of the Church-Chatrismatic from any other Ways.

    Any false/falsified way is in one order with the “false prophet” / writings and/or in practice.

    There is no lay to it. But I am not here to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone.

    Re-evangelizing US-Church is like making all works of “Church of England” disappear from the face of the Earth. (According to the Old and New Testament – we can observe what was done in the earth — and who did it).

    People Blaspheme God and His Spirit left and right — they are in satanic seals without any installation of the God’s Spirit trough any valid baby baptisms that may or may not have taken place, at all.

    It is just so much — that it really remains irrevocable cycle.

    Irrevocable cycle you can notice in Holy Land. Why is Irrevocable to this day?

    I can go with Renee about this because she is Church-Charismatic and happens to be ordained, in the same way, as I was. However, I assured you if you are not Church Charismatic and ordained, especially by disorder – understanding by Grace/Spirit of God may be hardly available to you (about things that I said and you may regard it to be the “waves of dangerous nonsense being avidly spread here”).

    For this reason I do not expect you to understand anything I have said in the past or now:

    – we received understanding infused by Grace/Spirt of God just because that was only Way to sustain us in harsh spiritual condition; however, that condition is not extended to just anyone ( you really would have to be abused spiritual in order for God Himself to intervene).

    I hope you understand this if not then it is irrelevant for you to understand it.

  5. Kata Fisher February 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Professor Falk:

    It seems on my side that there is area that is not contain anything.

    Is this your last paragraph:

    “In contrast, I would contend that a more imaginative diplomacy responsive to international law remains the only way forward. Such an orientation would look with favor on Iran’s active participation, especially in relation to Syria and to the possible negotiation of a regional security framework. It would also presuppose the relevance of a just and sustainable resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, which it turn depends upon the adoption of a normal approach by the U.S. Government to its relationship to Israel. Until such a reorientation on the part of policymakers occurs, the path of least resistance is to engage in one air war after another, and co-exist contentedly with Sisi’s Egypt and dynastic rule in Saudi Arabia.”

    And then on the bottom of the page there is only “as” – prefix.

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      Kata: I am afraid you were give a gratuitous ‘as’; none appears on my version of the page. Your comment
      at least gave me the occasion to fix the language of the final paragraph a bit, and so I am grateful for
      the indirect benefits of your ‘help.’

  6. Beau Oolayforos February 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    Thank you very much, once again, for putting these issues into context and perspective. As for Syrian intervention, has the US not already dabbled? Seems I saw reports of American-made weapons that ended up in ISIS hands. To my mind, our only intervention there should be in giving aid & comfort to the refugees. And toward a more logical relationship with Israel, doesn’t it seem reasonable that as part of the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, that Israel make an accurate, verifiable accounting of its own?

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

      Thanks, Beau Oolayforos, for this perceptive comment with which I agree completely. And yes, I should have been
      more nuanced in my language with respect to Syria and ISIS for the reasons that you point out.

    • farid February 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

      {Seems I saw reports of American-made weapons that ended up in ISIS hands.}

      ISIS is US construct trained by CIA/Mossad /Turkey, funded by Saudis and Qataris. The name ISIS, like Al-qaeda has been given by US/Obama to demonize Islam and Muslims to be killed easily and sell it to gullible people in America and elsewhere. Obama is responsible for 50000 dead bodies including Qaddafi and his family in Libya, more than 250000 in Syria, many in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere. After killing 4 millions innocent people in Vietnam, US is killing people through its own trained terrorists, ISIS, ISIL, Alqaeda, MEK, Jundulla, PEJAK and many others in the region.
      Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark Wesley Clark said: “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies”
      He cannot be very open to tell the world that ISIS is CIA/Mossad construction, like Al Qaeda. Perhaps a decade later Obama will tell Americans that ISIS was US investment and part of US policy to demonize Muslims as enemy to be killed with less objections, of course with HOLLYWOOD blessing and help.
      In the past, Hillary Clinton revealed an OPEN SECRET that Al Qaeda was US policy and that was a good policy and investment.
      Michael Scheuer a former CIA agent also said: Al Qaeda name was given by the US, which means ‘the base’.

      Now, Obama repeatedly calls US trained terrorists, funded by Saudis and Qataris, ISIS to demonize Islam as enemy, but he tells you “there is NO war against Islam by the West”, He thinks he is very clever. One must be dumb to believe this lie. Clark in the past exposed US criminal project and told the world: “US policy is to attack 7 Muslim countries in 5 years” including Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iran and more. Now everyone knows that Clark is RIGHT. Thus, Obama cannot deceive anyone except himself. Muslims are NOT dumb to believe these lies, but they know their enemies are.
      The people of the region know very well what is going on and have a lot of hatred for invaders and liars. David Rhodes, a former NYT reporter who was a prisoner for 2 years by Taliban , told Charlie Rose: Afghanis are so angry with US invasion that they spit at US president’s picture wherever they find one.

      Now, after all these killings done by US and its trained terrorists Al Qaeda, Jundullah, ISIS, ISIL, Obama wants to topple Assad, who was elected by his people in the election. Assad had MORE VOTES than Obama and like “US president” was NOT SELECTED, rather he was elected under US bombardment. We need regime change in both Washington and Tel Aviv not in Syria. The war criminals should mind their own business not to invade countries after countries and killing innocent people by MILLIONS. Assad’s election was a knife in the heart of the enmey. .

      • Beau Oolayforos February 26, 2015 at 4:02 am #

        Sorry for my naivete about ISIS – is it too late for Wesley Clark to run for president? Hope not.

      • Richard Falk February 26, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

        Although intelligent and sensible about some issues, General Clark is a general with
        a military outlook on U.S. foreign policy and little experience domestically. Greetings.

  7. rehmat1 February 21, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    A simple answer to your question would be: “What would be Obama administration and American press would have been if those three young Muslims gunned-down, has been Jewish?”

    Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized moral double standards of US president Barack Obama, vice-president Joe Biden and secretary of state, John Kerry who are usually the first American leaders to whine when some Jewish person become victims of hate crime in the United States or any place in the world (Israel, Argentina, France, Ukraine, etc.).

    “I should note this here as I am close to the US. It is meaningful that President Obama, Kerry and Biden did not make any comment on the killing of three Muslims. They were not terrorists. They were Syrian Muslims. I am appealing to Mr. Obama from here. Where are you Mr. President? I am appealing to Kerry and Biden. I am asking where they are. If you remain silent on such an issue, the world will remain silent to you as well,” the Turkish president said in Mexico City on Thursday at a joint press conference with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto.

    Contrary to these three Israel-First American leaders, the world renowned atheist philosopher Richard Hawkins has condemned the murders of three Muslim dental students inside their family home in North Carolina on Twitter, saying: How could any decent person NOT condemn the vile murder of three young US Muslims in Chapel Hills?


  8. zak February 21, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Once again, sir, you present us with some obvious context.

    It’s incredible that lengthy, complicated and completely unrealistic fantasies are given to us to answer the question, in simple terms, “why do they hate us?” It’s not complicated, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, to draw some basic conclusions, or even pay attention to what many of these terrorists/criminals/soldiers/activists say.

    They don’t present motives of hate, prejudice, tyranny or religion, they keep it simple – wars, aggression, torture, imprisonment, poverty, theft, occupations, brutality, desperation. This is what they’ve been given, they see the collaboration of governments and groups with the most brutal dictators and regimes which keep their people – or people they identify with or feel a responsibility to – in miserable conditions. They may cite religion as a motivator to get off their couch and do something about the injustice they see, or wave the banner of god to rally others to a cause they feel is just, but they don’t attack us because they “hate women”. Those who feel women should be confined to the wishes of a man are perfectly happy and capable of living those types of lives in their homes. They don’t need to attack us for this, no, they attack us because we attack them.

    Many feel that protest, politics, parliamentaries, legal systems and diplomacy have not only failed them, but provided cover for foreign imperialism. Some resist with peaceful methods, some have moved on to violence. When this happens in Syria, against an official enemy – the initial peaceful activism morphed into armed resistence – we understand and sympathize quite clearly. When the response of our victims though, follows a similar path against our crimes and barbarism, we take great pains to present obscure explainations – they hate freedom, they hate women, they hate free speech, they hate democracy.

    Some of the “terrorists” might hate free speech and democracy, but that is not why they resist us. Most are fighting FOR freedom, democracy and dignity, against a brutal enemy that ravages their lands, murders their children, and strangles their society, all while wrapping itself in rhetoric about the very things it is trying to destroy.

    And there are examples everywhere you look. Every so-called “terrorist” cites Palestine, Iraq or some other barbaric crime as motivation. Yes, many cite god as a conscience that compells them to act, but god is not the solution they propose to the problems they see, and god is certainly not what motivates them to be disgusted and angry with what they see. What they see is the motivator, not religion, culture or whatever else people may bring to the table to distract from the issue.

    The latest example would be ISIS, and the sentiment on the ground in Iraq in ISIS-held areas. Cockburn just reported the other day how Sunnis living under ISIS rule don’t particularly like it, but prefer it to the past and the realistic alternative – rule by a sectarian government that doesn’t provide adequate services, and then sends in the death squads to maintain order. This is a narrative that was reported among the mainstream in the first few weeks of ISIS’ establishment – it’s how they expanded through such a large territory so quickly, largely unopposed by the local populations that had been brutalized by the US client government in Baghdad – but it was quickly ignored and forgotten, in favour of a story about barbaric religious hordes that go around beheading people and setting them on fire, because, well, they’re the Bad Guys.

    Thank you for pointing out that foreign intervention cannot be separated from the local realities, as historically – and presently – that foreign intervention usually means collaboration with – or coercion of – local governments, institutions and economies. They are one and the same cause, giving us the completely predictable effect we see today.

    • rehmat1 February 22, 2015 at 7:18 am #

      Anyone who believes that Muslims hate the US and the Western world for so-called “democracy” and “flawless human-rights”, is living in acute self-denial.

      First of all, the US and European nations have horrible record of wars, genocide of non-Whites and human right abuses, which no Muslim nation could ever surpass.

      Second, one of America’s top scholars, Dr. Noam Chomsky, is on record saying that the US considers democratic Middle East as a threat to Israel.


      • Kata Fisher February 22, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

        A note:


        Tell me how pathetic this is? At this point, I am about to laugh without feeling to laughter.

        Alternatively, I am just pathetically blind.

        I remember, now. I was at LU, and someone was there who said exactly similar things what Clark said about US and radical Islam alliance with US (I think that was 2008; I thought that it was irrelevant for me, and I paid no attention to it).

        Long time no sees Georgia-loves 333!
        It’s pathetic just how much US public opinion is deceived /distracted (defrauded), and distraction (defraud) is getting bigger and bigger — they were in a war against Communism, all this time? – or was it that they were just devil directed against Church in the world-wide and ancient establishment (and against other nation/s under Natural Revelation) who had shut themselves closed to Satanic christianity and false Gospels that they were bringing in — while they would savage the countries of other people tribes.

        Evil do and do not know their evil works, and they never stop at them.

        Even to this day they are devil-directed (US and their allay)/ We all can look on — as Muslims (such as Iran and Syria) shut themselves closed to Satanic Christianity and false Gospels.

        Communism was just a means / after-effect of WWII spiritism in their midst?

        Democracy is pathetic, as well in its condition – Iran and Syria do not need democracy (in contemporary/counterfeit appearance) because it’s just another devil-accomplished of/by counterfeit-churches…

        US has no democracy authentic — they have communistic -capitalism, at its best to their democracy. (It is almost as China’s dictatorship — but trough many of one body: the piggy is getting fetter and the doggy is getting more vicious).

        Biblically, we can meditate on the hog and the dog– that it is vicious oppressor and unreasonable thinker, in fact (Devil in his seals and blasphemy of God’s Spirit — in all and trough all).

        They were never after communism, and they are not after “radical Islam” (in reality, now) — they were always after gutting out the Church-ancient in Middle East. (Anywhere else, while planting satanic churches and satanic establishments).

        Those who are in Satanic seals and Blasphemy of God’s Spirit are way to blind and do not understand how evil perceptions of their minds are.

        Iran and Syria need to strengthen their governing structure, and slowly bring themselves in all compliance with Human Rights requirements — but that is a long-term goal because they do not can correct everything at once. US, on the other hand, is in grave violation of Human Rights requirements and is in all capacity to be in compliance with it.

        The Short-term goal for Iran would be much more frequent action concerning abolishing Nuclear Weaponry and substance in Middle East. Annual bettering is insufficient under current conditions (3-6 month approach is much more attention and action implementing)..

        It’s Lenten season, and Pope is off with his advisors to fix the problems of the Church. If they are not correcting the Church-Chaotic-Catholic problems under the order of Melchizedek order and under prophetic instruction — of the Law of the Spirit and/or Cannon Law/Law of the Church, simultaneously – they will create another violation of the Gospel of God and Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. With that they will create as same maze/labyrinth of Satan as Protestants have created for themselves (over the age of the Church) — and Church -Catholic will be excommunicated spiritually, too.

        I hope they have prophetic atoning among themselves with Pope and go about Church order and Church doctrine. Pope thinks that he can apply democracy, and choices when comes to the change of the Church order and doctrine — that, in fact, is, and wold be false believe on his part. Church-Catholic-Charismatic is not democracy; it is a dictatorship of the prophetic anointing that is corporate in the Church.

        If he believed that he could select a priest who feels like him – he might be surprised with errors of his thinking.

        I belive this has to happen: US needs to mind their own business, and Iran, Syria with help of Rusia (and any other acceptable country / nation at their work) should clean up US-allied and allied by US-church and counterfeit Islam-crimes.
        US and their allies have unbearable Human rights of a child violations (on their lands).
        Tell us about approximate killings after WWII by all nations (in combined) and who killed who and why.

        About prosecution of the Church (it is in the same spirit as always was).

        Do you know that Father Carlo Maria Vigano was nuncio to Iraq — and look and see where (to who) he is nuncio now.

    • Kata Fisher February 22, 2015 at 11:06 pm #


      Here you have a vision that you can hope to realize at some point in time:

      • ray032 February 23, 2015 at 8:36 am #

        Thank you, Kata, for posting this video. For all the Time I have joined this Blog, this is the 1st Time I saw and heard the spoken voice of Professor Falk. I watched the entire video. I support and endorse all that he said to this assembly in plain, understandable, language .

      • Gene Schulman February 23, 2015 at 9:25 am #

        For once I can agree with you Ray (and Kata). This is an excellent video. Richard’s speech just gets better and better as he warms to his subject.. Didn’t catch a date on it though. Though he discusses Libya and Syria, there is no mention of Ukraine, so it must be at least a year old.

        @Richard: Danny just returned from the US with a copy of your new book on Palestine for me. I hadn’t known about it, and look forward to reading it.

      • Richard Falk February 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

        Thanks, Gene. Yes, the event was the 10th Annual Rhodes Forum, held in August 2012, hence its dated quality. Actually,
        in another panel at the same Forum I did discuss Ukraine and ‘the making of Cold War II.’

  9. Kata Fisher February 23, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    Dear Ray and Gene:

    One thing I understood from teaching of Fr. Vigano why Professor Falk fell under such prosecution.

    Fewer of still immature folks (like I) — or college kids at their best (such as UN Watch) have had difficulty distinguishing between rights of a people and “state” crimes without a great Teachers…

    I was more than fortunate to have such wonderful Teacher trough Fr. Vigano, in addition to that which I could understand on my own.

    I would say that that is a shortfall of all of those who could not understand the way in the approach that a person has to take when one is going about rights of a people.

    I believe that now humans have opportunity (more then ever they have had in history) to tap into wisdom and capacity (that is God-Given) which is always in human imparted according to human need and really embrace new Geo-politics that by itself will bare fruit that is good and acceptable.

    It is important to do away with religious delusions/false believes, at any opportunity because the essences of those false and hostile believe hinder human interest and progress..

    I think and also believe that things Professor Falk is talking about is much prophetic and anointed — and vision itself– that has to be preserved, compiled according to the subjects – put into the appropriate structure, and thought / passed on.

    I am very skeptical about that what Elders are proposing. Myself do not believe in policing of people/humans by lay-people. What I believe in is rather to be policing things that make people/humans go wild — by lay-people (when possible). I find myself not believing in the mission of Elders. I see it in grave shortfall, and it is needed in discerning, all together.

    Human nature is self-serving, and it can be very evil, all together. For that reason — let the Church police people and let Peace-makers watch on.

    Between Church and Peacemakers, there should be some achievable substance – regardless if authentic democracy in essence or a new thing altogether.

    I do hope that you will have the opportunity to listen to Fr. Vigano, as well.

  10. Kata Fisher February 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm #


    I believe these articles report on the appropriate model for guarding principles against contemporary problems (two of grave-risks) and civil-eccalistical law’s in the application (specifically, in countries dealing with grave risks and emergencies):



    Who can look at those things a little bit more and study the way of implementation (in the application) and see how much more sensitive and effective is possible for these things to be implemented?

    • Richard Falk February 26, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      Remember, Kata, to do your best to keep your comments somehow focuses on the themes discussed by other comments or posts. Thanks.

      Kata, please do your best to keep comments focused on other comments or posts. You stray rather far afield. Thanks, Richard.

      • Kata Fisher February 27, 2015 at 11:32 am #

        Dear Professor Falk:

        I do agree with you.

        I know that I have been like crowning of thorns to everyone’s head — but that is nothing that Grace of the Spirit can’t bare.

        Besides, I just got to catch up with a Fr. who told me something about penitence, and he told me a story about people who always told him that they wanted ashes of penitence. He was always amazed because they were not Christians – or Church-members; he was glad to give them ashes of penitence.

        But there is another story behind ashes of penitence, itself — according to the tradition — the ashes of penitence come from the palm branches from the previous years Palm Sunday and are burned to ashes that we bear.

        I never meditate on things such as that — neither I have meditated about thorn in the flesh.


  1. When a Terrorist Is Not a Terrorist | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog - February 22, 2015

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    […] Go to Original – richardfalk.wordpress.com […]

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