Until the recent dustup about his CNN interview, I didn’t know that Deepak Chopra has a son, Gotham. Gotham’s bio shows that he works for Channel 1, the in school TV show for over 8 million students, as a foreign correspondent, and has published his own books.

Gotham has written an article in his Dad’s defense, in response to a Wall Street Journal article published yesterday, written by Dorothy Rabinowitz, “Deepak Blames America,” highly critical of Deepak’s response on CNN and elsewhere to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Rabinowitz in her article ridicules Deepak as “healer, New Age philosopher and digestion guru, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas.” She belittles his reasoning that America is responsible for a lot of terrorism.

Rabinowith wrote, “In his CNN interview, … what happened in Mumbai, (Deepak) told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that ‘our policies, our foreign policies’ had alienated the Muslim population, that we had ‘gone after the wrong people’ and inflamed moderates. And ‘that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay.’

In Gotham’s lengthy reply, he says about Rabinowith, “Clearly she appears to be no student of history. If she was, she would understand the context in which this latest terrorist attack appears to have occurred.”

Excerpts from Gotham’s article:

  • In the 80’s the CIA financed the militarization of Afghan rebels to resist Soviet expansion in the region. At the same time, the US also subsidized Pakistan’s intelligence agency the ISI to train and provide tactical support to those same Islamic militants. Fast forward to the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Soviet’s pulling out of Afghanistan, and the United State’s subsequent withdrawal of support from the region as well. The result: a vacuum filled with a lot of guns and rage.
  • There is a distinct link between the rise of Islamic militancy in the Indian Subcontinent and the US activities there over the last few decades. Allegations that the group of terrorists that perpetrated the Mumbai attack has links to a Pakistani-based terror group and that they actually launched the attack from Karachi seems pretty solid.
  • To deny the inherent tangled hierarchy of ongoing conflicts in Israel, Iraq, and Kashmir that pit opposing ideals against one another with the supply of billions of dollars into the oil industry, ground zero for which is the American ally Saudi Arabia, and the even more profitable arms trade that subsidizes all sides of these wars showcases Ms. Rabinowitz’s unprofessional lack of understanding.
  • We can no longer afford the delusion that we have no part in a global community plagued by the sickness that is Islamic fundamentalism largely brought on by economic disparity and ideological hypocrisy, not to mention myopic policies, oil money, and arms sales that nurture it. To pretend otherwise is to perpetuate and encourage more brazen attacks. To think that this creative solution should not appeal in some way to the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the vast majority of whom are not terrorists, is plain negligence.
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz, for example is an incredibly accomplished journalist and certainly someone with the intellectual capacity to understand the complexity of the issues if she wanted to. And yet instead of writing a thoughtful piece on the Mumbai attacks, she and the WSJ choose to publish a salacious article under the heading of DEEPAK BLAMES AMERICA which clearly is all about generating controversy and news.
  • There has to be an acknowledgment of the facts – that somewhere between 400 thousand to 1 million Iraqi civilians have perished. Some may argue that that is the price of war and long-term peace and security in the region. Others will say that beyond the immediate cost of those lives is how that has galvanized another generation of Islamic militants.
  • Saddam Hussein, the late dictator we love to hate so much, as noted above, was originally a prop of the US after an American sponsored coup. For years, the US was well aware of his brutal tactics with his own people including the infamous torture chambers and rape rooms and yet tolerated them because of the so-called broader strategic security interests in the region. To pretend that that was the reason the US decided to “liberate the Iraqi” people is revisionist at best, but really just flat out wrong.
  • Today, in the face of great danger around the world and more looming terrorist attacks, we all have to be willing to ask ourselves how we can actually contribute in a meaningful way to constructing a long term sustainable and peaceful planet.

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