[Editor’s Note: This is an excellent article on how right wing fear-mongering dog whistling brings out the rabid attack dogs. — Mark L. Taylor]
By Stephen Singular
As the pipe bombs started arriving at the addresses of prominent Americans during the week of October 22, setting off panic in the streets of New York and beyond, I couldn’t help thinking that all of this was so… predictable.
For more than three decades, I’d been writing about terrorism and terrorists and was often struck by how the people who actually carried out the violence were usually taking their cues from those far removed from the bloodshed. Hatred, dog whistling, subtle calls for removing certain obstacles or people were laid down by their perceived leaders like bread crumbs for them to follow — a phrase here or there, or the mention of someone’s name, or the repeated showing of the person’s face was all it took.
We’re naïve about what we’ve been doing as a country. The dynamics of terrorism are in place and the equation holds true. For a generation, we’ve been dividing and attacking and undermining ourselves from within. Something’s gonna give.
As every good advertising executive knows, repetition has a cumulative effect; it can bend the incredible into the credible. As all good terrorists know, there are people willing to kill and die for causes because they believe that’s what they’re being asked — or told — to do. Even if this isn’t true, one or two people can shake the most powerful nation on earth to its roots, or conjure up images of a new civil war.
Target identification works.
That thought carried me back to one fall afternoon when I stood in front of northern Idaho’s Aryan Nations headquarters: a compound surrounded by a chain-link fence, with armed guards, a rifle range, German shepherds, and Doberman pinschers. On a wooden shed were two words painted in red and blue letters: “Whites Only.” Some people called this God’s Country, but others referred to it as the “Heavenly Reich.”
On a June evening in 1984, four men in the radical right movement known as “The Order” came to Denver and gunned down Alan Berg, a liberal, controversial radio talk show host, in his driveway. …
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Is Donald Trump Responsible For Ramping Up National Violence? Oh, Yeah!
By Laura Flanders
Common Dreams (10/26/18)
Is Donald Trump responsible for unhinged violence against innocent people? Absolutely. You only have to look at Yemen to see that.
Since pipe bombs started targeting prominent critics of the president, people have been debating not the sending of bombs so much as the casting of aspersions. All Americans are against bombing and political violence, this argument assumes, but is it right to question the complicity of the Commander in Chief?
Let’s pause right there for a moment. There’s no American consensus against terrorism and political violence. Since 1954, the US military has intervened fifty-six times in Central America to depose leaders we disapproved of and back ones who’d do what we want. For half a century, American men, money and munitions flooded to death squads and dictators who used all manner of torture, terror and killing to silence people. And those conflicts displaced generations—from Guatemala and El Salvador and Nicaragua and Honduras, which just might have something to do with the women and men and children in the Central American caravan and why migrants keep coming north in the face of so much hate.
So let’s be clear: the American record on terror is bipartisan. Both parties have backed it, and there’s no high and mighty consensus against it.
As for pointing fingers, former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik walked off a CNN set in huff this week because the network, which had received one of the mail bombs, was politicizing its coverage. As one who’d lived through the attacks of 9-11, Kerik said he found it appalling that anyone would stoke division in the wake of acts of violence and before we’re clear on the facts.
The former commissioner’s words are one thing. His actions, after 9-11, were to approve the mass round-up of Muslim Americans and police profiling of entire neighborhoods on suspicion, but no one on CNN saw fit to remind viewers of that.
Finally, Trump. Complicit in killing? Absolutely. This president’s closer to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates than any other, and he’s stayed that way, not only since the demonstration assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but over almost four years of a Saudi air war that’s created what the UN calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. At last look, 27 million Yemenis need food aid—victims of war and famine caused by the bombing of power and water plants.
As for fear, this very week, as people in the US were panicking about shoddily-made pipe bombs, President Trump was threatening to rip up the 1987 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the first and most significant one that ever worked. So, is President Trump responsible for proliferating fear and threats and violence? Absolutely.
And is it right to politicize all this? Absolutely. Vote.
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)