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When Will the Real Terrorists Stand Up?

by SAUL LANDAU

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

 

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

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