Next al-Qaeda Target: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Recently by Fernando Chiocca: The Ethics of the Police

During the GOP CNN debate when Ron Paul stated the retaliation motivation of terrorist attacks, the warmonger Rick Santorum responded that "We are not being attacked, and we were not attacked, because of our actions. We were attacked, as Newt [Gingrich] talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists," he said. "And they want to kill us because of who we are and what we stand for."

Really? But what is present in American civilization that would be contrary to Muslim values? Let's take for instance the Islamic vision over alcohol. In some Muslim countries, the alcohol prohibition is in place, but to the rest of the world, where alcohol is not under prohibition, these pictures of alcoholic beverages being destroyed are shocking.

So is it really because alcohol is legal in the US that jihadists are aiming America? Then why not target other Western countries, instead focusing mainly on America? Let me compare the alcohol issue in my country, Brazil, with the US. The drinking age in Brazil is 18, but only on paper. Teenagers can purchase and drink alcohol all over Brazil. The US, in contrast, has one of the highest drinking ages of the world, and it's strictly imposed by its police state. Its laws prohibiting adults drinking on the streets and beaches are dutifully enforced. In Brazil these laws are not only absent, but are also unthinkable, and we see people drinking on the streets and in every beach. In some US states, selling alcohol is banned for private individuals. But not for New Hampshire, for instance. Alcohol trade is completely controlled and administered by the state government, where alcohol is commercialized by public officials in the NH Liquor Stores – a frightful Soviet outlet in the middle of America.

Should we Brazilians begin to worry about terrorist attacks, in retaliation to this antithetical alcohol observance? Not yet? So let's consider another controversial Islamic issue: disclosing female body parts. In more fundamentalist Islamic states, women are mandated to wear the Burka. In other Muslim countries they must be fully dressed even when going to the beach. What about Brazil? My country has international fame for being a place where women wear very few clothes – if any. And what about the Brazilian bikini? Americans and even Europeans are shocked by how tiny they are, not to mention how a Muslim (or perhaps, even a Christian) fundamentalist would react. Just to mention another feature, what can we say about the famous Brazilian Carnival? Millions of men and women "making out" and much more during the four days of festivities. Now is that antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists or what? Should I then expect a bomb exploding next to me when I am in the streets of Salvador or Rio de Janeiro this February during this evil holiday?


As a matter of fact, radicals in Russia have been bombing bikini-clad women to enforce Islamic dress codes; but note how this is a local crime to be dealt by the local police, and not an international subject for the so called War on Terror.

Lets consider another subject: the economic freedom. While Brazil and European countries are much freer than the US concerning behavioral things like alcohol and sexual behavior, the US has much more economic freedom than Brazil and a lot of European countries. But is liberty in economic exchanges offensive for the jihadists? If so, Hong Kong or Switzerland will suffer terrorist attacks soon? And why not Bahrain, ranked 12 in the index of economic freedom, and also an Islamic country!?

Are the underlying causes for radical Muslim groups' actions restricted to religious and lifestyle disagreements? Why are they not aiming at the Vatican or trying to kill the pope?

Finally, if for some obscure reason the terrorists wanted to attack the US, why didn't they attacked Las Vegas, the only place in the US where people drink alcohol openly on the streets, gambling (another offensive behavior for Muslims) is everywhere, and is, in fact, notoriously known as the Sin City? (I have been there three times and when one compares it to Brazilians "Sin Cities", Vegas actually looks like Disneyworld).

The answer to all these questions is plain and simple: the war propaganda is an overt lie. The motivation for terrorist attacks has nothing to do with some anti-Western ideology. "They hate us because our freedom"? What freedom?

It seems obvious and undeniable that what Ron Paul says about the terrorists' attacks suffered by the US are a direct result of American foreign policy, and its military presence in the Middle East. And it has nothing to do with the American way of life, nor their liberties (even more so because America is no longer a free country it once was). Ron Paul is the only politician who sees and understands the dim reality, and only he can restore American liberties and bring the nation security. All other candidates are isolated from the real world. It is remarkable that war propagandists like Santorum and Gingrich could use an "argument" like this on national TV with a straight face. Wake up America.

Fernando Chiocca [send him mail] is an intellectual anti-intellectual, praxeologist and advisor of the Instituto Ludwig von Mises Brasil. See his articles at the institute.

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