Category: Terrorism

ell brown via flickr
ell brown via flickr

‘Merica was apparently attacked in the late summer of 2001. Evidently, the suspected attackers had brown skin and were Muslim. Logically, after learning of this piece of history, I declared that ‘Merica should be spying on and suspecting anyone in this glorious land that matched those parameters. After all, they probably want to do similar things to us – maybe even ME! That liberal rag, the Constitution, makes this difficult, but fuckin’ who cares – right? We gotta suspect them all. I have the same level of reasoning that the NYPD has, by the way.

But after 10 years, we’ve turned up nothing. Obviously we’re not spending enough money or spying hard enough. The NYPD, who has apparently extended its field of juridiction to… everywhere, has been unable to uncover a single fucking plot to destroy our freedom. Yet as a society, we’re continually taught to suspect and fear anyone even vaguely Muslim or Arab. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be that, as the Sikh community has learned several times over. It has provided the NYPD with a surplus of Urdu speakers, though.

This is a part of the reactionary strategy of the United States’ anti-terrorism campaign, and has nothing to do with actually ending terrorism against the citizens of this country. Those causes are not hard to decipher, they are just really inconvenient for the whole America-ruling-the-world thing we have going on. Eavesdropping on Lebanese coffee shop patrons will not make you safer, as evidenced by a complete and utter lack of any tangible result in its favor. It is there to lull you into a false sense of security while we continue to plunder the world.

Though it does sound like kind of a sweet job. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to sit in cafes, enjoying Lebanese food and drink, and eavesdrop on people’s silly conversations?

Farfahinne via flickr
Farfahinne via flickr

Ugh, the news of Osama bin Laden’s death has brought forth a cavalcade of jingoism I have not seen since… possibly the news of Saddam Hussein’s capture. We are a culture of grave dancers, are we not? Nothing like a little death to those who would challenge us to really get us in good spirits. I am really ashamed of my fellow Americans. As Jack Crow says, so many Americans this week have proved they are nothing more than “moral and emotional infants who grave dance over symbolic murders while they cultivate a studied indifference to the homeless, the destitute, the war ravaged and the oppressed.” America, do you not see that you are playing directly into the hands of murderers and psychopaths when you march to their pied piper’s tune? You are marching to the tune of your own ruin and death.
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Feb 8

It Would Look the Same Here

by fwoan | Comments Off
Takver via flickr
Takver via flickr

Celebrity award shows and Superbowl parties are helping to force the mass uprisings in Egypt from the American consciousness, where even today thousands gather to protest the Mubarak dictatorship. As the popular revolt fades from the news, our government officials are free to drop the facade they wore last week to pretend solidarity with those fighting for a democratic Egypt. Now withdrawing calls for “immediate change” in Egypt, “administration officials warned Monday that a precipitous exit by Mubarak could set back the country’s democratic transition.” The thought process being broadcast now is that removing the dictator, as demanded by the people, might harm the prospects for democracy.
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Langs x 2 via flickr
Langs x 2 via flickr

In the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting of Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, we are faced with new calls to tone down rhetoric and moderate our political allegiances. In other words, come into the accepted fold. This is a sick way to move our political discourse further to the right. When politicians can paint targets on their political opponents and talk about the need to “reload” rather than “retreat” and other such violent rhetoric, they should not be surprised when someone acts on their words. Which in turn unleashes a deluge of calls for moderation in discourse. This only serves to sever those with legitimate complaints about our system from accepted discourse, leading us only to charge forward into oblivion.
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Inha Leex Hale via flickr
Inha Leex Hale via flickr

I’ll be travelling this week to see family, like many of you, and I simply can’t wait to see if I’ll be awarded the chance of either radiation dosage or molestation before being deemed “safe” to fly. These new procedures are an awkward attempt to make Americans feel like they are safe from terrorism in the air, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? After all, these devices and procedures aren’t really here for our protection. Reactionary tactics like these and taking one’s shoes off while limiting the amounts of liquids allowed through security are just treating symptoms and ignoring the problem.
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CCTV_camera_on_Round_Church_Street,_Cambridge

I had to take this paragraph from a certain “extremely” liberal blog because it infuriates me to such an extent:

To all the people on the left who scream and yell about warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and internet privacy, have you ever heard of cookies (browser type cookies not chocolate chip)? How about spyware? I’ve heard and read several stories about how marketers know every little damn thing about us, target their ads to individual people and how there are massive databases on our every move we make. So if the marketers can know everything about us, what is the big deal with the government knowing the same info. At least their goals of protecting the public from terrorism is a noble goal, instead of a capitalistic one. And yes, I don’t like it when Republicans are in control but that is the price we pay for our democracy. I have a friend who was always paranoid about being watched and listened to by “the man” or big brother and I remember thinking to myself, what the hell do they want to spy on me for? They are wasting their damn time spying on me and since I’m not doing anything to be worried about, why worry about it?

It is such a call to moral equivalence that I couldn’t have faked a better example. The argument, it seems, is that the Left should be content with the government spying on its citizens because companies do similar things? I of course tried to make him see the error of such apathy, but my comments were promptly deleted.
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As someone who spends a good deal of both my working and recreational hours on the internet, I’ve grown quite fond of it. It has been the greatest communications device ever created, the ability for humanity to share information on such a scale helps to make the world much smaller for important ideas to travel. However, this freedom is at odds with the society the modern world finds itself in. Free speech, information, and ideas are not congruent to the ever-strengthening police state of Empire. Were people able to freely exchange these things we might actually have an emancipatory world where defenders of the status quo would be unable to continuously divide us amongst ourselves or retain their power. Should it be any surprise that congress is considering a bill to insert a “kill switch”, controlled by the president, to our access of the internet?
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Apparently not. I saw this on Matthew Yglesias’ blog a bit ago and didn’t immediately do anything with it as I was curious whether it would ever be widely reported. Much to my dismay it wasn’t and had it not been for Yglesias’ report on it, I unfortunately would not have seen it at all. What its lack of reporting means to us makes it all the more unfortunate.
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Yesterday, Eric Holder appeared on Meet the Press to announce the next step in America’s ever-quickening decent into a police state. With the conservatives’ continuous quest for the reversal of civil liberties in favor of control from above, (which, in an Orwellian twist of fate, is something they seem to rage against at the same time) we again discover a “need” to fix something that has not been broken and is well documented as working. The next sorry step we find ourself at is the beginning of the destruction of Miranda rights.
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Feb 25

Who Is a Terrorist? (updated)

by fwoan | 2 Comments »

Last week, a desperate and angry man killed himself and an office worker in an attack so reminiscent of 9/11 that it begs the questions, why is this man not considered a terrorist? Could it be that he didn’t kill enough people? Maybe that he’s white? Maybe it’s that he doesn’t seem to be of the Muslim faith? Maybe the Obama administration is terrified of the response should this be labeled such. Or perhaps, what I think is most likely the issue, it’s that the conservatives find sympathy not in the actions but in his cause and given the lack of blood this becomes palatable for them.
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