FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Terrorism Routine: Paris, Here We Go Again

Every time a mass killing occurs, the nation and the media go through a by-now well-worn routine. First, there is the expressed shock by the media, who are soon on the scene. If it is a large enough killing, Obama gets into the act by putting on an air of righteousness and condemning it (a lot of condemnations by now from him, to no avail). Then there is a minute by minute description of what is going on, particularly wall-to-wall filming of police actions. Then eyewitnesses are sought to describe the panic and carnage and their tales of how they managed to survive. If it is a large enough slaughter, “terrorism experts” are brought onto the talking head television screen, but not even one person is included who would contradict them (in our so-called democracy where there is supposedly freedom of speech).

Soon after that the networks are on the search for some sort of heroes, those who did something to further avert or to diminish “what could have been a larger tragedy.” Law enforcement is likewise depicted in a warm-hearted way as saviors, though they did not prevent anything (just as ordinarily they do not prevent crime in society yet they do attack Blacks, Hispanics, poor Whites, etc., but are lauded nonetheless) and are there after the fact walking or running around, with patrol lights flashing everywhere. In the workplace around the water cooler the talk is of “Did you hear about…? How awful!” Soon arrive the flowers and wreaths on the scene of the victimizations and other somber ceremonies very solemnly portrayed on TV.

Never in all these hundreds of 24/7 hours is anyone asking about our perpetration of terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere, where we have slaughtered millions from at least the Vietnam War onward, and certainly no one discusses what the CIA itself refers to as the predictable and consequent “blowback.” The U.S. itself created ISIS, just as we did Osama bin Laden and just as we are at this very moment using terrorists such as al Nusra and others to attack Syria and elsewhere and the Contras to attack Nicaragua some time before that, and on and on ad nauseam. Obviously we do not much discuss what we can do or could have done constructively that is different than our going to those countries to blow up people without any compunction or conscience even though we claim to be Christian. In a word, we only use the word “carnage” to refer to when they punch us back.

Simply, a ten-year old understands that when he or she is punched, he or she will likely reciprocate. However, there are some of us who sometimes analyze these situations and we wind up saying that we never seem to learn. We are not going to learn. How is anyone going to learn anything when the U.S. objective is material, to get their oil and other resources or to further our corporate interests? The public is not going to learn when we don’t care about the carnage we have been inflicting on others, since there is not even a cursory discussion of such, and there is not going to be, as you will see.

During the television coverage of Paris, a number of commercials interspersed in it were saturated with the blood and gore of upcoming movies, and it should go without saying that so is American life overall in practically any and all aspects, from murders to employer violence (my own father died from the practice of employer violence) against workers causing death and destruction to domestic violence to sexual assault, and so forth. This is not to mention the extensive 24/7 violence throughout our history against Blacks, Hispanics, poor Whites, women, etc.

Clearly the media that most people watch is not going to help viewers when in fact such media are sponsored by the very oil companies and others who are contractors making billions from war profiteering, and do not expect such media to bite the hand that feeds them millions of dollars. As just one example, the anchor Anderson Cooper himself was with the CIA. Is anyone expecting for the word “blowback” to cross his lips? The countless people we have killed and are killing we do not deem worthy of wall-to-wall coverage here. No one here is going to shed tears and say “how awful” in regard to the carnage we inflict on others. No one here is going to go lay a wreath at the site where we blew people up. The entire routine thus continues.

More articles by:

Jose Martinez is a university professor.

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail