So the US tried to confirm the election of their next president yesterday and were somewhat delayed by a bunch of Trumpist terrorists who seized the Capitol building whilst the politicians ran for cover (perfectly reasonably).
There are several remarkable things about this incident – firstly, how on earth did they manage it? Anyone would think that the Capitol building in the middle of a contentious election process with known extremists planning a “protest”, would have more than enough law enforcement to stop the trashing of the building.
There are those claiming that there was collusion between the insurrectionists and law enforcement; perhaps and it is certainly worth investigating that possibility. But what I’m curious about is who is in charge of law enforcement at the Capitol building and whether they are guilty of collusion.
But the other category of people who should be worried are the instigators of this incident. The Republican extremists who have doubted the results of this election even after over 60 court cases have taken place and found nothing that would justify overturning any results.
Doubted to the extent of openly questioning a legitimate democratic result up to and including inciting this very incident.
They are guilty of incitement to riot at the very least, and they should face consequences too.
Lastly the radicalisation of the right-wing brought about by media pushing lies, conspiracy theories, and downright garbage in the name of “news” should also be blamed for this.
When is “terrorism” not really terrorism? When it is a fake label attached to something lesser by those who want to condemn something without a strong argument against it.
Terrorism is using violence or threats of violence (“acts of terror”) to attempt to achieve political or religious goals. It isn’t all acts of violence and a certain level of (threatened) violence is required.
It certainly doesn’t apply to a group of protestors marching down a rich white suburban street at midnight shouting to wake people up. That’s annoying as hell, but hardly terrorism.
Acts of terror include (but are not limited to) :-
Flying planes into buildings killing thousands.
Blowing up shopping centres, business buildings, places of entertainment (pubs), etc.
Shootings – in mass shootings, or individual cases. Or any other form of extra-judicial execution (i.e. lynching).
There is almost always a certain level of randomness in the attack, although it will tend to target certain subgroups of a society. There is also an element of propaganda to the act (the so-called propaganda of the deed). Threats of violence can also be classified as terrorism too – if the threat is associated with real violence in a way that elevates it above the “ordinary” threats – such as leaving a burning cross on someone’s lawn in an area where the KKK operates.
It is common to see non-terrorist acts labelled as such by two groups – ones who want to blacken the name of a protest group, and those who accidentally trivialise real terrorism by equating the individual’s terror at a relatively trivial incident with the kind of collective terror that real terrorist acts are supposed to cause.
For example, one of the events that triggered this post was a tweet claiming that BLM protestors were terrorists because they were marching through a rich suburban neighbourhood at midnight shouting to wake people up. Just because a particularly nervous suburbanite feels “terror” at being woken up by protestors doesn’t make that march terrorist. It may be a dickish move, but it’s not terrorism.
To claim such a trivial act is equivalent to a terrorist attack is an insult to those who have been in real terrorist attacks, have been in bomb scares, or just waited for the phone call letting us know whether a loved one was okay.
And protests that degenerate into vandalism and looting aren’t terrorist acts either. Whilst terrorist acts can involve property damage the main thrust of such acts is threats against life. And anyone who thinks property damage is anywhere near as bad as threats to life is someone who needs to re-examine their values.
Besides which there are a fair number who believe (and in some cases have the evidence to show) that the looters weren’t protestors · they just took advantage of the confusion.
And for officialdom to label protestors as “terrorists” is dangerous because all of a sudden you’re seeing legitimate protestors being criminalised with some rather draconian punishments that can be brought into play. If anything, it is a warning that your government is veering towards repressively authoritarian.
And yes that’s a reference to Trump’s shower of thugs.
There are plenty of arguments to be had with the alt-right, beginning and ending with their repulsive policies. But this post isn’t about that …
I’ve encountered the alt-right’s asinine attitude to political violence before, but I was reminded about it again this morning (obviously some time ago now) with the news that someone had sent George Soros, Hilary Clinton, John Brennan, and Barack Obama a letter bomb.
Yet the alt-right would have us believe that it is the left who are more violent than the right. And both less violent than the Islamic extremists. Turns out that is not the case.
It is not even close. The overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the US are perpetrated by the right-wing.
The bête noire of the far right – Antifa? Never murdered anyone; in fact if you add together all of the political murders of the far left in the US over the last 10 years it adds up to 7-8 people (2-3%) whereas the far right are responsible for over 70% of the murders.
Antifa may well be more violent than you are happy with; their purpose after all is to tackle the fascists, which isn’t done without breaking heads. But they don’t intentionally go out to murder people – so don’t be taken in by the main stream media’s portrayal of them when they are busy denying that the far right (and “alt right”) are far more violent.
Even more than those evil islamic terrorists (who are pretty much the same as the far right).
Denying your own side’s violent actions and pretending it is the other side who are really the violent ones is classic gaslighting.
Before we get onto the hysteria part of this semi-coherent rant, let me emphasise that last night’s attacks were terrible and that having religious nut-jobs (if that is confirmed; whilst it seems probable it could still be a false flag incident) running around attacking ordinary people on a night out is despicable.
But some of the reactions on #LondonBridge were pretty disgusting; whilst some were posting offers to house people stranded because of the attack, others were leaping to conclusions and demanding some actions :-
Many including the orange idiot were demanding the travel ban. Which would stop none of the terrorist incidents perpetrated by domestic muslims; and most of these incidents are by domestic muslims. The main outcome of a travel ban would be to alienate those targeted by the ban, and alienation is the first step on the road to radicalisation.
Blaming the whole of islam for the terrorism. With the muslim nurses, doctors treating the injured, the muslim taxi-drivers taking people home for free, the muslim shop-keepers opening up and offering food, drink, and a place to stay, there were more acts of kindness by muslims last night than there were acts of terror. Or are you going to blame all christians for christian terrorism?
Bizarrely bringing the Paris Accords into this incident.
Demanding action without specifying what action. Action is of course taking place each and every day, but terrorism is extremely difficult to stop.
The only mistake muslim made on the twitter last night was to claim that the terrorists were not muslims; that’s the No True Scotsman fallacy. It would be far more effective to claim that these terrorists are muslim heretics (or whatever equivalent term you would prefer).
Whilst the events last night were terrible, it is also important to take them in context – if you were to add up all the deaths and injuries from terrorist incidents they would amount to a small fraction of the deaths caused in London each year by air pollution (estimated at around 9,000 a year). Or to go the other way, one terrorist incident caused perhaps two day’s worth of traffic accidents.
That does not mean we should not take action against potential terrorists, but neither should we over-react and respond with actions that punish the innocent as well as the guilty.
I woke up this morning to the news of the Manchester bombing this morning; learning about what was going on from a forum that had attracted some of the more rancid members of the far right. Who were busy blaming this atrocity on all muslims, but also on Syrian refugees; all this of course before anyone knew any facts because facts are irrelevant to the bigoted far right.
And a particularly nasty piece of work has labelled the victims “sluts” and “whores” (I’ve linked to a site that discusses his comments in order not to give him any extra ad revenue).
Now I am not in the habit of being sympathetic to any religious group – they all believe in imaginary friends. But they’re people and in many cases my fellow countrymen, so when a gang of pathetic little chickenshit cowards labels all muslims as terrorists, it is time to call them out on their bigoted bullshit.
Yes the evil scum who set off the bomb was a muslim; one born in Britain and not a Syrian refugee.
It is almost certain that some of the 60 ambulances that attended were crewed by a muslim or two.
It is almost certain that some of the police who were there helping people out were muslims.
It is almost certain that some of those who opened their homes to accommodate stranded
Some of the taxi drivers who turned off their meters and offered free lifts to those stranded were muslims.
Of course Mancunians of all faiths and none rallied around and helped out, but as muslims were being painted with the terrorism brush, it seems reasonable to highlight that many of those helping out were muslims.