FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Method to Madness

As the United States continues its mass shootings and drone strikes in multiple countries, present leadership and wannabe leadership reacted to the Orlando nightclub attack with the usual “act of terror” and “we grieve the brutal murder and horrific massacre of dozens of innocent people” and “we pray for the families.” These clichés are among Obama’s initial statement.

Like all effective U.S. presidents, Obama compartmentalizes. His Kill List is positively bold.

Candidate Hillary Clinton called the Orlando shooting “an act of terror” and an “act of hate” against the LGBT community and said the attacks showed the importance of “defeating international terror groups…” Clinton, supporting stricter oversight of firearms, said, “Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”

For Clinton, weapons of war have a place though. Launched on the Other in countries where the U.S. requires regime change.

Candidate Donald Trump said he’d predicted the attack and crowed about his prescience. Expressing appreciation for the attention and congratulations he’s received, he basked in “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” and eventually veered to: “I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance.”

To Trump, mainstream Muslims are Islamist terrorists.

Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terrorists.

Yet no one among mike-near-the-mouth leadership linked the Orlando rampage to blowback. And perhaps it wasn’t.

According to this article, shooter Omar Mateen regularly patronized the club where he killed and wounded almost 100 people. And he had a profile on a gay dating app. It’s possible Mateen was a self-hating gay man who found it more acceptable to shout “Allahu Akbar” than “I’m gay and angry because I can’t embrace my sexuality.”

Maybe. But it’s more valuable to spin a political incentive and emphasize Mateen’s “Allahu Akbar”—for the fear effect.

Let’s explore this.

Don’t they, the Enforcers, know that violence perpetuates violence? That seizing another country’s resources leads to retaliation? That 9/11 was a message to the U.S., a we-refuse-your-rape-of-our-land-and-people-manifesto? Surely if I understand the connection between U.S. foreign policy and its resultant destructive reprisal, they, leadership, did. If my father said, “We need to examine why we’re hated,” they, leadership, would have.

We can assume they did and do and maybe that’s the point. They want chaos. Want us to be so afraid we’ll acquiesce to expanded militarization, to sweeping surveillance. After all, they’ve said it, said it a gazillion times, said that those terrorists are jealous of our freedoms, jealous of what we stand for, while they, people at the highest levels of government and the candidates that aspire to these positions, in fact, are hellbent on undermining what few freedoms remain. They want the incurious to hate Muslims, to say, “Let’s nuke those fucking ragheads and let God sort it out.”

And, of course, flag-waving nationalists see red, white, and blue stars and stripes, blinded to everything but this and their own eye-for-an-eye viciousness, incurious about who started what.

Violence consumes our culture. It is worshipped.

Lawmakers are engaged in what’s become a pattern, holding moments of silence, saying we have to unite against hatred. Yet as long as the oligarchy demands our scared shitless-ness, the animosity only will intensify. There’s method to this madness.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail