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

Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
Christopher Brauchli
The Defenestration of Scott Pruitt
Ralph Nader
Universal Voting Dissolves the Obstacles Facing Voters
Ron Jacobs
Vermont: Can It Happen Here?
Thomas Knapp
Helsinki: How About a Fresh START?
Seth Sandronsky
A Fraught Century
Graham Peebles
Education and the Mental Health Epidemic
Bob Lord
How to Level the Playing Field for Workers in a Time of Waning Union Power
Saurav Sarkar
I Got Arrested This Summer (and So Should You)
Winslow Myers
President Trump’s Useful Idiocy
Kim C. Domenico
Outing the Dark Beast Hiding Behind Liberal Hope
CounterPunch News Service
First Big Strike Since Janus Ruling Hits Vermont Streets
Louis Proyect
Survival of the Fittest in the London Underground
David Yearsley
Ducks and Études
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail