Listening to the Alex Bennett Show on Sirius Left I heard one of those common curious talking point cliches’ that is convenient, but wrong.
“All terrorists are Muslim.”
-Caller to The Alex Bennett Show
Now being somewhat left of what is considered center these days… center being far more right, in my opinion, than it has been since the 50s and some of the 60s… I find this statement absurd: at best.
Hmmm… I bet you think you know where I am about to go with all this. Yes, I think it goes without saying that dropping bombs on a population that may be filled with innocents, keeping suspects forever in some hell hole, or killing innocents in the process of prosecuting war, might all be considered terrorism: terrorism committed by the State.
But… never mind. That’s not the point I wish to make at all.
I won’t get into Native American history and how we treated them. Forget that for now.
I won’t go to the old truism/chestnut: “one person’s definition of terrorism is another person’s patriotic act…”
…or how settlers who shot from behind trees were considered terrorists.
…or how yesterday’s terrorist actions become part of regular warfare.
Scratch each and every one of the previous examples: for now. We’ll save all that for some other discussion. Let’s limit terrorism only to the following: individuals and groups specifically designed to commit terrorism. Ready? Let’s play, “Top asinine statements of the past 20 years!”
I would still place, “All terrorists are Muslim,” very high on that list.
First, as a slight sidebar before the main event… how do we take stats on such a statement? Word… we can’t. Those involved in such activities usually don’t check off some, “Yes, I am a terrorist” survey.
(The phone rings, as it usually does, during dinner…)
“Excuse the phone call. I just have a brief survey: one question.”
“Are you, or have you ever been, a terrorist?”
“I’m going to Keeeeeeeeeellllllllllll you!”
-Conversation between survey taker and Achmed the Dead Terrorist
And I’m guessing that most actual terrorists wouldn’t check the “terrorist” box. Instead they would point to how they are responding to other terrorists, or terrorist-like tactics, in the only way they can. I’m not claiming they’re right, but terrorists don’t grow on trees. They do have their reasons: no matter how bogus.
Now on to the main event: identifying terrorists. Are “all” terrorists Muslim? Let’s start with some very obvious questions…
1.What is the purpose of bombing abortion clinics, shooting doctors, patients and nursing staff… murdering innocents who just happen to be too near the situation?
2a. What was the purpose of Oklahoma City?
b. …Gay club bombings or nailing them to fences in Texas?
c. …too many of the actions of Skinheads and KKK-like groups?
3. Why would people go to meetings specifically designed for all to discuss an issue with our representatives and instead of discussing, they yell, scream and shout down anyone who dares to say two words they might not agree with? Some even openly bring guns and talk about how they feel threatened by the mere fact some disagree with them?
Now I admit the last example is a bit of of stretch: but the purposes are quite similar to the other examples…
1. Terrorize minority groups into being more servile, in some cases I just provided. (Works sometimes… mostly just ratchets up the violence.)
2. To terrorize others at clinics and elsewhere; hoping such terrorism ends abortion. (It won’t.)
3. Scare people away from places, like clinics for example. (It works.)
4. Make the Gay community go back in the closet or go straight. (Good luck with either.)
5. Get people so scared or mad that they either get out of the way,or join some militia, or movement: therefore help murder or terrorize more people, more often; in more drastic ways. And as with all terrorism: make more sane people run away while the fanatics on all sides take over. (That does work, for the weak and the mentally ill will always be amongst us.)
And what about the “groups” part of that definition I provided? Well, churches and anti-whatever groups that take militant stands and don’t include preaching “by peaceful means only” pretty much qualify as organizations promoting, by their silence alone if nothing else, methods like al Qaeda.
The basic difference here is that we are referring to racists, in some cases… Fundamentalist Christians in others… extreme ideologues similar to Muslims in the “extreme” sense: but almost all of the previous of these are not Muslims. Indeed many are those who keep saying, “All Muslims are terrorists.”
A bad case of, “Look over there at what they’re doing so you’ll miss me behaving just like them?”
So if we wish to state that the majority of terrorists are fanatics: religious, political and social? That I’d buy. The problem with this definition is that it cuts into the “Scare the Hell Out of People” party, which probably defines much of the most extreme elements of Republican Party these days, though I have no doubt Dems; or any other party, might willingly follow that path… if they ever have as much success as the most extreme of Republicans have had. And, of course, these same fanatics are often quiet when it comes to their own extremists. That’s why they sell the lie that terrorists always worship at a mosque, praises Allah.
Want an example? What about the guy who drove into what he thought was an abortion clinic to stop abortions in 2006: the guy the media never told anyone about? Or all the other terrorists listed on the page: the link provided in the last sentence?
If you go to the link you’ll be amazed at this long list of true terrorist-drive events that fundamentalist churches and the corporate main stream media mentioned rarely: if at all. Why? Well there’s a lot of money to be made… powerful politicians who win elections.. by only fighting a certain flavor of terrorism right now. There’s a lot of money to be lost by pissing off powerful special interests. When terrorism is more local: our own citizens, it simply isn’t convenient; especially to the “America never does anything wrong” crowd. Local terrorists simply don’t suite the image painted by those who wish to keep America focused on those we are told to hate because “they hate our freedoms.”
Not that the extreme Left hasn’t used fear from time to time; they just haven’t been that much in bed with real bomb thrower types since the 60s and early 70s. I find it odd, as a former Conservative, that the Right these days so willingly ignores, even makes excuses, for the type of behavior we openly despised in the 60s and early 70s.
So now who is acting as if they are “pro-terrorist?”
There are terrorists out there.
I believe we have to to stand up to them: all terrorists, not let them get what they want by scaring the hell out of us. And if the only solution is to kill them before they kill us, well… that’s what we have to do. Again: all terrorists.
And they are not, by any means, “all Muslims.”
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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