Andy McCarthy Is A Racist Jerk

by Joshua Foust on 7/8/2009 · 25 comments

Andy McCarthy believes all Uighurs are terrorists because they are rioting in Xinjiang, China. His evidence for them is that the Guantanamo Uighurs are “terrorists… trained in al-Qaeda-affiliated camps.”

Even disregarding the absolute lie of that charge, think about its logic: because 17 U.S. prisoners were held on terrorism charges, then ALL OF THEIR ENTIRE RACE are terrorists when they riot against a racist authoritarian regime.

Of course, when those Iranians—who actually DO engage in terrorism, let us not forget—engage in their own rioting… well, then Barack Obama is the terrorist for not supporting the rioters. Get it? I certainly do.

Maybe if Uighurs are terrorists, McCarthy should ask former President Bush why he was so close with Rebiya Kadeer—the Uighur activist who DOES argue, quite eloquently, that the Han Chinese create an intolerable living situation for the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Or maybe he could accuse all Han Chinese of terrorism, since some surrounded a Uighur man in Urumqi and attempted to beat him to death, until they spotted an ABC news crew and attacked it as well.

I should end this post by noting that the world is a complex place. Instead I’ll just say Andy McCarthy is a racist jackass.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Daniel July 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I completely agree with you on both of your last points. Nothing we see about this Chinese genocidal riot is what it appears. The death toll is now over 150 with over 1400 arrested. Some murderers counted among them. All I have seen on video is Han Chinese with sticks and shovels or whatever they can find. We’re not getting the whole picture.
As for calling the Uighur a race of terrorists…I don’t believe it for a second. McCarthy is a racist, mindless, blowhard, ass clown, douche-monger just like the others of his ilk. I’m growing quite tired of the conservatives like him calling anyone who doesn’t think like them or follow their god a terrorist. In truth he and his friends are the ones spreading terror and lies. Perhaps they are terrorists.
He says that the ones at Gitmo were trained as terrorists at some Al-Qaeda affiliated camps. How does he know that? Is he making it up? Almost everyone held at Gitmo was held without a trial, arrested without cause and tortured for sport. Any man who supports Water-boarding needs to get water-boarded.

Jeff July 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Andy McCarthy is RIGHT. all Uighurs ARE terrorists. US has captured some of them, and now they are free. US must be prepared for the terrorists from Uighurs.

noah July 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

This is another one not to be restrained about. I don’t want to appear to be picking sides in mob violence–which tends to get ugly on both sides very quickly–but I think it’s interesting that the reports I’ve heard about “people wielding big knives and clubs” have all been about Han chinese vigilantes patrolling the streets for Uyghurs.

Ian July 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Everyone is the world is a terrorist but me. The end.

The Œcumenical Volgi July 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Damn right. See the link above.

daleandersen July 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Sometimes America is the worst friend any country could have.

Case in point. In recent years, the US has had a golden opportunity to develop closer relations with China, a country she should be close to. The Americans and the Chinese have much in common at this juncture in time, especially in terms of the global economy and in terms of hostility to primitive religions like, say, Islam.

And what does the US do? Permits Uighur and Tibetan dissidents, with whom it has nothing in common, with whom it shares no known interests, to set up shop with NGOs in Washington, DC, and disseminate separatist propaganda back into China. These policies make sense only in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

If Americans had any brains, they’d send those Uighur and Tibetan charlatans packing on the first outbound plane. But no. That would be far too logical.

With respect to China, 92% of the population is Chinese. The Uighurs and Tibetans are tiny minorities growing tinier. 100 years from now, if someone were to want to do research on them, he would have to go to a museum, a library or (God forbid) wikipedia.

It’s too bad what’s happening to the Uighurs and Tibetans, but, as Karl Marx said somewhere, history has a large and commodious dustbin…

Rasmus July 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Spot on, Joshua. What a jerk.
Let me add that the Iranian government doesn’t support the Uyghurs:

bs July 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Yes we are racists. However, racists are are better than terrorists and murderers, and better than those (yes, including you) who are pround of the murderer of civilians. When you brag about your “rioters” and “freedom fighters,” do you ever think about the innocent people they killed.

Ryan July 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Great post from someone who has a brain of a monkey.

Oldschool Boy July 9, 2009 at 3:00 am

“If Americans had any brains, they’d send those Uighur and Tibetan charlatans packing on the first outbound plane. But no. That would be far too logical.”

Daleandersen, did you mean, if Americans had any brains they would take their pant off and bend over for Chinese?

michaelhancock July 9, 2009 at 3:10 am

@Daleanderson – Primitive religion? As opposed to what? An adjective like primitive seems to describe its culture or laws, and I have a hard time seeing the difference between hard-line Islam and hard-line Judaism or Christianity, or even hard-line atheism (a la the Soviet Union).

Your sinophelia is as disturbing as others’ sinophobia. I have a hard time seeing that the average Chinese, Uighur, and American have ‘that much in common,’ but I also don’t think that matters at all.

Your argument is quite broad and lacking in proof, not that that is expected in a blog comment. But a link or something referring to your backing arguments helps.

Fnord July 9, 2009 at 3:51 am

What is fascinating is to see the Chinese cyber-force at work. Hey, fellas over in HQ in Bejing, you got to be smarter than that. Daleandersen is starting to get it right, but its still pretty crude. If you feel the need for a propaganda-counselor hack this site and get my email, Im unemployed at the moment. Keynotes: Instead of making absolute arguments, you should question the narrative, blame the media-output on pro-uighur factions in the US and create a counterstory. The russians at the end of the Georgian war were getting pretty good at it.

After 8 years of Bush the “terrorist!” generalisation has ceased to function in large parts of the info-sphere. Just saying. 已经度过了愉快的一天!

noah July 9, 2009 at 7:08 am

I have to say, pretending to be an American with an innocuous name and then quoting Karl Marx doesn’t really work.

Also “Great post from someone who has the brain of a monkey” is a nice touch too. Really hits right at the heart of the issue, so eloquently argued and fact-based. What can you say to that?

upyernoz July 9, 2009 at 8:37 am

great post.

i have a minor beef with your offhand “those Iranians—who actually DO engage in terrorism…” thing. not that any ethnic or national group is pure or doesn’t have its own bad individuals, but there is no documented case of an iranian engaging in terrorism. the iranian state has been accused of supporting terrorists (i.e. training and funding). a branch of its military force have been branded a “terrorist organization” by congress (even though terrorist organizations are by definition not part of the official military of any country), arguably you could call the embassy seizure a terrorist attack, etc., but there just isn’t much of a history of iranian citizens blowing up civilians.

the “iranian suicide bomber” as a character makes its appearance now and then in popular culture. but that’s really a product of arab-persian confusion more than anything else. a lot of the iranians i know really resent it.

Joshua Foust July 9, 2009 at 8:44 am

I think I should point out that, technically, we each have the brain of a monkey. Unless “Ryan” meant something else.

Upyernoz, I understand the frustration. I admit to glossing over important details in my effort to be quippy, but I don’t think it’s wrong to say that Iran is a significant state sponsor of terrorism. And my point in mentioning it at all is that to imply some Iranians being involved in terrorism means all Iranians are terrorists is just as ridiculous an argument as McCarthy’s about the Uighurs.

noah July 9, 2009 at 8:49 am

I guess we have quickly forgotten that there were a couple of US citizens, a bunch of brits, and a few Australians held for invovlement with the Taliban or AQ at Gitmo too. I suppose we should fight the Ozzies, but maybe inventing vegimite is a better cause.

Nathan July 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

Michael, for what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s worth attempting to engage in serious conversation with someone whose play about 9/11 features script text in the shape of an airplane.

Turgai Sangar July 9, 2009 at 9:50 am

“but I don’t think it’s wrong to say that Iran is a significant state sponsor of terrorism.”

Josh probably refers to Iran’s support for the Lebanese Hizbullah. Here it depends on who or what one calls ‘terrorism’, of course. Hizbullah is a legitimate resistance movement against Israeli agression *and* a party that was democratically elected into Lebanese parliament and many municipality councils. No matter if it is listed as a ‘terrorist group’ by the US-Israël, the EU and the UN (though no-one takes the latter seriously these days).

As for that play, cf. Nathan: 🙂 LOL

Turgai Sangar July 9, 2009 at 10:01 am

BTW, (perceived and real) Chinese encroachment and the behavior of (part of) the Han is not only creating resentment among many Uighurs, cf. This, BTW, is in a predominantly and fervently Christian country.

Ihor July 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Joshua: Thank you for this excellent post!

I find two things are sad here. Just until recently the US conservatives used to be known for their intellectual power. Just look up Kevin Phillips. Now US conservatism is a shelter for people who cannot do basic thinking. A recent Ohio U study found that conservatives think Stephen Colbert is serious:
The degradation of US conservatives is sad.

The events in E.Turkistan (a.k.a. Xinjiang) and Tibet (a.k.a. Xizang) are death throes of two peoples who are being rendered irrelevant and whose culture is being erased from the pages of history. Uyghurs and Tibetans are desperate because they see what has happened in front of their eyes in the last few decades. Whither Manchus of Manchuria and Mongols of Inner Mongolia? Gone, disappeared, subsumed into the vast mass of the Han Chinese. Uyghurs and Tibetans are next. That is a sad inevitability.

P.S. Why does Western news media describe the conflict as between “Han Chinese and Muslim Uyghurs?” Logically inconsistent. It should be “Han Chinese and Turkic Uyghurs” or “[insert religion] Han Chinese and Muslim Uyghurs.” The inconsistency is more obvious if you look at how they describe the conflict in Tibet. They usually don’t say “Buddhist Tibetans.” And that is correct because the conflict is ethnic, not religious. And in both cases of Uyghurs and Tibetans religion is a strong part of the identity.

Once again, thank you everyone for the excellent post and discussion.

tictoc July 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I’m sure the Chinese government has behaved badly in this region since it’s got a long history of suppressing dissent and violating people’s rights in other areas of China. However, people are using culture, religion, and ethnicity as an excuse for resentment that’s actually based on economics. Most people don’t want to admit that “I’m jealous because they seem more successful”, so they make their feelings seem more lofty and noble by dressing them up in culture, religion, or ethnicity. Notice that as other areas of China become more developed and wealth increases, the conflicts increase. Wasn’t such a problem when everyone was equally poor.

To me, this rioting doesn’t look all that different from the Los Angeles riots when there was violence between African-Americans and Korean-Americans (who owned many of the businesses operating in traditionally African-American neighborhoods.) In that case, as in this one, there was plenty of racism and bigotry on both sides.

Oldschool Boy July 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Another example, would be Jungar (Oirat) people, who once lived in the region in great numbers but were almost completely annihilated by China in 18th century. Now there are only about 25,000 of them.

Before you make any parallels try to learn at list a little bit of history. Uighurs live in the region for almost 2 thousand years and have had their own state. They have fought with Chinese for independence, and the last time when they had their own independent state it was late 1940s.
I would rather compare this development with the Greek resistance to Turkish occupation or French resistance to German occupation.

ihor July 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Sorry if multiple posts. Registan is flagging my comment as spam.

Oldschool Boy: You are right about the Oirats. But that genocide cannot be blamed on the Communist Party of China. But the destruction of the Manchu and Mongolian cultures has happened since 1949 so the Chinese communists are directly responsible for that. Same with the Tibetan and Uyghur cultures.

Michael: You are in the right place to get a copy of this movie made in Kazakhfilm in 1981. It’s called God Drakona. IMDB has an entry but without much description. It is on the subject of this thread. They say the angle on the Uyghur history in this movie is unique as far as the movies are concerned. If you find it, maybe, you can write a review and even post a trailer on Youtube? Maybe, Oldschool Boy knows about this movie? I haven’t seen it. Just seen references to it on Russian websites.

P.S. Don’t confuse it with the other movie called The Year of the Dragon, made in the US in 1985 and directed by Michael Cimino.

Blaine July 10, 2009 at 3:23 am

National Review Online, has unfortunately, gotten noticably worse over the years. I used to visit semi frequently, but I can barely stand to read some of the vapid content posted on that site anymore. And the article you linked to (along with the fact that I refuse to read Jonah Goldberg’s atrocious rants) is one of the many reasons why.

The whole debate over the Uighurs at Guantanemo is a perfect example of how EVERYTHING in the US is used in hopes of scoring political points, and it also shows how wretched US Media is when it comes to journalistic integrity and basic fact checking. The Uighurs were cleared by the Bush Dept., the group China claimed they supported… no one ever heard of. McCarthy just doesn’t seem possess the necessary critical thinking skills to get that into his skull. Not that it’s surprising, people like him generally just regurgitate political talking points and have forced themselves to believe that only “the worst of the worst” are housed at Gitmo despite all those that have been cleared (and those that likely should be).


For one, that comparison is atrocious. And secondly, culture, religion and ethnicity DO play a role in what is going in Xinjiang. To even imply its simply a bunch of jealous Uighurs out for vengeance because the Hans make more money is naive and completely ignores history. The Chinese Government has spent decades trying to destroy Uighur communities with the end goal of stripping the Uighurs of all their cultural, ethnic and religious identity (so China can maintain a choke hold on Xinjiang due to its vast resources). That is a fact (as witnessed by the very fact that China has policies directed at explicitly restricting the autonomy of Uighurs).

tictoc July 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Pretty much every major ethnic group in Central Asia has been rewriting history (not just the Uighurs). They are all “ancient races” that ruled empires over vast areas for hundreds of years. As opposed to the other “non-ancient” people that have no ancestors and simply sprang out of the ground a few decades ago. The reality is that human beings have been migrating since the beginning of human history. Groups compete for resources and power. Cultures and societies rise and fall (ie, they get invaded, overtaken, and assimilated). And this has been going on since the beginning of time. It’s only recently that those in the West have decided to try and freeze non-western cultures in time. To turn the non-white world into Disneyworld’s Epcot center writ large.

Should Uighurs be treated equally and given economic opportunities? Of course. Does the Chinese government violate their citizen’s human rights? Duh. ‘course they do. But, even if the Uighurs had all the cultural and religious control they could ever want (unfettered religious expression, control over education and language of instruction, etc), there would still be conflict between the two groups because of the perceived economic disparity. It’s naive to underestimate the economic sources of this conflict.

If a white American says, “We gotta stop our country from being overrun with all these non-white immigrants. If we don’t, pretty soon we’re not gonna be a white country no more. We’re losing our culture!,” he would be condemned for being racist and intolerant. A non-white person, living in a far away place says something similar, and everyone says, “Oh, you poor, poor thing. That’s so wrong.”

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