Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

When Will the Real Terrorists Stand Up?

I propose President Obama end the war against terrorism and admit the phrase means “Muslims should scare you!”

For example, the media recently showed a documentary film on Timothy McVeigh (April 19, Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC) that psychoanalyzed him. What happened in his past that provoked him to punish the US government and then want the government execute him?

On April 19, 1995, McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168 people (including 6 children) and wounding many more.

He had served in the US army and then toyed with the militia movement. He claimed his act avenged the April 19, 1993 FBI killing of 76 religious cult (The Branch Davidians) figures at Waco. McVeigh said he intended his bombing to set off a chain reaction against the despotic federal government.

McVeigh received the death sentence (Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier were also convicted as accomplices) and a lethal injection on June 11, 2001. The video shows McVeigh confessing that he felt like an under-achiever. He had intended to kill many more. Terrorist or just a nut?

Imagine a US TV psychological portrait of Bin Laden, one of 70 plus children, starved of his father’s love and turning his resentment against the innocent Christian West!

On February 18, 2010, Joseph Stack piloted his single engine plane into a building in Austin, Texas where the IRS — his particular object of wrath — has offices. He won his anti-government credentials by becoming a suicide bomber.

Like McVeigh, Stack didn’t care who died. For him, suicide dramatized the evil of the US government. Stack had accused the IRS of ruining his life through unfair taxation. “Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer,” he wrote in his Manifesto.  “The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing at, and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

“I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different.  I am finally ready to stop this insanity.  Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

A terrorist or just a colorful American who took his individualism too far? What if his name had been Ahmad Stack?

How about those who firebombed a Birmingham Baptist church in September 1963? Imagine a segregationist newspaper headline: “Righteous Resistance to Forced Federal Race Mixing Kills four Negros in Church Blaze!”

From 1993 to 1996, arsonists destroyed 23 Black Churches and fire-bombed two predominantly White congregations with Black members.

Terrorism or old-fashioned American stubbornness in the face of race-mixing government?

Bombings produce terror. I know. On September 21, 1976, agents in the service of Chilean intelligence detonated a bomb under the car of former Chilean Chancellor Orlando Letelier, killing him and an American colleague, Ronni Moffitt. Both were close friends and colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies. The FBI discovered the orders came from the highest offices of the Chilean government. Big deal! My hand trembled the next day as I tried to put the key in car door lock.

The assassination took place some ¾ of a mile from the White House. IPS staffers lived in fear for months. CIA officials did little to help the FBI’s investigation. After all, they had helped Pinochet to grab power by supporting a coup against President Salvador Allende.

Two weeks later, on October 6, 1976, according to declassified cables from the CIA and FBI, two Cuban exiles, Luis Posada Carriles (also with CIA ties) and Orlando Bosch, took terrorism to a different level. Their agents placed bombs on a Cuban commercial airliner over Barbados. 73 passengers and crew members perished. The CIA “forgot” to inform their officials possessed about plans to bomb a Cuban airliner.

Most of these incidents and others like them preceded 9/11 and a few came after (not counting the massive terrorism involved in two US wars). But since 9/11, the very notion of terrorism has become associated in the media with Islam.

The US media places the “t” label on a Muslim committing a less dramatic act than Stack’s. The Klansmen and sheriffs who massacred blacks rarely got the terrorist branding. Just regular American extremists taking their old fashioned hard-heads.

Miami Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen said she represented “so many freedom fighters” and would “welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro.” (http://www.638waystokillcastro.com/video.asp) No one in Congress moved to censure her; no prosecutor indicted her for inciting murder.

Terrorism “has really come to mean,” wrote Glenn Greenwald, “a Muslim who fights against or even expresses hostility towards the United States, Israel and their allies.”  If the perps didn’t have Muslim names the “official and media reaction was to avoid, even deny, the term ‘terrorist’.” (February 19, 2010, Salon.com)

Those raised Christian, like Posada, Bosch, Ros Lehtinen and Pinochet, claim they’re Christians, freedom fighters, anti-communists – hardly Muslims. Did Gertrude Stein once write “a bomb is a bomb is a bomb?”

WORDS THAT STICK

 

More articles by:

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail