Terrorists Are Where You Find Them

[Note: My web service provider is telling me that sometime today somebody is going to do something to disrupt service for a few hours. This is a necessary something and cannot be avoided. I don’t understand any of this. I take it the site may be offline for a while, but it should be okay tomorrow.]

Well, the U.S. is now officially withdrawn from Afghanistan. The original purpose of this war was to reduce the threat of foreign terrorism to the U.S. We prefer our own home-grown terrorists, thanks very much.

Meanwhile, all power has been knocked out of our fourth largest port city by a climate-change super-charged storm. Not Islamic terrorists.

Our home-grown terrorists are getting more emboldened. For example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Georgia anti-vaxxers:

… it was Dr. Kathleen Toomey who stopped us in our tracks when she revealed that anti-vaxxer protesters had disrupted several vaccination drives — and forced one to shut down.

We asked aides to Toomey, the state’s top health official, to elaborate. Her office promptly detailed how public health staff “have been harassed, yelled at, threatened and demeaned by some of the very members of the public they were trying to help.”

In one south Georgia county, the anti-vaxxers tracked down public health employees through social media and harangued them with messages of hostility and misinformation about vaccines.

And the event that was canceled was a north Georgia mobile vaccination event, where an organized group of people showed up to harass and name-call public health workers.

“Aside from feeling threatened themselves, staff realized no one would want to come to that location for a vaccination under those circumstances, so they packed up and left,” said Nancy Nydam, Toomey’s spokesman.

Why aren’t the thugs arrested? Oh, never mind. We know why.

This guy is running for Northampton County (PA) Executive:

He’s running on the “make men men again” platform, I take it.

See Greg Sargent, Madison Cawthorn’s vile lies about Jan. 6 reveal a big truth about the right. Cawthorn is a persistent liar about just about about everything, note. This is about Cawthorn’s lies that are intended to incite violence, specifically about the 2020 election and the alleged threat posed by the political Left. Sargent:

There you have the reigning ethos of today’s right wing laid bare: If we keep lying uncontrollably to our supporters about the totalitarian left’s repression of them, they just might resort to violence, and gosh almighty, wouldn’t that be just terrible!

The big truth captured here is that for many right-wing personalities, the lying about the left is prior and essential to their radicalization, abandonment of democracy and increasing embrace of authoritarianism. The former inspires and justifies the latter: Once you unshackle yourself entirely from any obligation to reality in depicting the leftist menace, it’s a short leap to envisioning and then justifying pretty much anything in response to it.

This has been true for a long time. The Right justifies its own violence by claiming the Left is more violent. There have been no end of studies showing that right-wing extremism is the most common source of political violence in the U.S., but we’re still giving righties a pass. In their minds, righties possess an inherent title to “America” and “patriotism,” which justifies their use of force.

See also ‘It’s all terrifying’: Fascism expert breaks down Madison Cawthorn’s violence-promoting ‘propaganda.’

Frank Rich writes that America’s Greatest Existential Threat Wasn’t Terrorism. The jingoism and warmongering that followed the September 11 attacks took us directly to Trump, Rich says.

We should also acknowledge that a pervasive question after 9/11 — “Why do they hate us?” — was the wrong question. Providing answers to it proved a full-employment program for pundits, but the question Americans should have been addressing instead was “Why do we hate each other?” That hate wasn’t just manifest in the virulent Islamophobia that tarred American Muslims with Al Qaeda after 9/11. Culture wars were rampant. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” Bush declared. Those were fighting words at home as well as abroad. Bill Maher was dropped by ABC after wisecracking that hijackers were not necessarily cowards. The writer Andrew Sullivan targeted the “decadent left” in “enclaves on the coasts” as potential traitors as the country careered into war. The NBC peacock logo was recast in stars and stripes lest anyone doubt that it was a hawk. GOP congressmen, precursors of today’s Freedom Caucus, demanded that the House cafeterias rename French fries “freedom fries” after France refused to sign on to the invasion of Iraq.

In his new book, Reign of Terrorthe journalist Spencer Ackerman draws a direct line from the jingoism, bigotry, and xenophobia that erupted after the 9/11 attacks to Trump’s cynical political choice to feed a “white nativist appetite for a narrative of besiegement, replacement, abandonment, and betrayal.” This hideous strain of 9/11 fallout spread at an accelerated pace once Barack Hussein Obama could be conflated with terrorists by the opposition party — not just on the fringes but from the national platform awarded to its vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Trump knew what he was doing when he peddled a demonstrably fictional sighting of Muslim Americans in New Jersey cheering the fall of the Twin Towers — even as he tastelessly bragged, with equal falsity, that he had “spent a lot of time” with first responders at ground zero and that his building at 40 Wall Street was by default New York’s tallest thanks to the towers going down.

And here we are. Well, it’s good to finally be out of Afghanistan, anyway.

9 thoughts on “Terrorists Are Where You Find Them

  1. The GOP claim that they can nullify any result not to their liking is increasingly linked to threats of violence. Sometimes violence itself.  The prosecutions of the 500 or so who have been identified in the Jan 6 insurrection is key. If they get off lightly, that's a green light for violence. If the ones who they can show participated in violence get over 5 years each, that will make many of these idiots think. 

    There has to be a scale. The "tourists" who only walked through are not the same as the clowns with bear spray and weapons who put DC cops in the hospital. The clowns who support the insurrection will be in DC in September to support the "political prisoners" who have been caught. It will be interesting to see how DC cops respond. Many cops who were conservative pro-Trump may have changed their minds this year. Worth watching.

    Nazis applied violence to secure power. Effectively. These goons are playing with that strategy, testing the limits. The guard rail may be the DOJ and the criminal justice system. If we keep a Democrat in the WH, he/she can turn the DOJ loose on these people for criminal conspiracies. Revolution is not a right.

    I noticed one of the MI defendants got 6 years for trying to grab the governor. 

    • The 'tourists' should all receive at a minimum 30 days in the slammer, bar none. Unless they pay a real price for their participation in the insurrection it will become a badge of honor for them in their own sick social circles.

      I can understand being caught up in Trump's lies and being a complete idiot but, I find it difficult to accept the idea any functioning adult free of a severe mental impairment would think it was acceptable to enter the Capitol building in light of the violence that proceeded their entry.

      It's no different than a looter who enters a store being looted during a riot but doesn't take any merchandise. They are still considered a looter and are responsible in whatever part in the mayhem that has ensued.


  2. <i>Well, it’s good to finally be out of Afghanistan, anyway</i>

    1 down, 79 to go. 

  3. Great review of the railroad job that got us into this debacle.  It is hard to believe that you probably need to be at least thirty years old to have any memory at all of what it was like when the war machine was fired up.  Revenge and hate clouded all judgement.  The French tried to talks some sense into us and we gave them a blast of hate and revenge for their honest and  enlightened efforts.   I recall searching for a person or two who might in private discuss the possible folly of this plan.  I think I never felt so lonely in my life.  

    There is a saying that goes hindsight  is twenty-twenty.  We were emotionally blinded by the Terrorists and we did just what they wanted us to do.  Act 
    Stupidly.  Once we did that they knew they already won.  It just took Biden and twenty years to tell us the results of our 6 thousand dollar (estimated) expenditure per man woman and child to get buyers remorse to get a reality smack down.  That is a high price for an education.  I hope at least many of us learned from our horrible mistake.  Only as a bad example of how to act as a nation does this war make any historical sense at all.  


  4. The South's secession began with a bang on April 12th, 1861 with the attack on Fort Sumter.

    One-hundred-and-60 years later, our Civil War is still going on.  And this year, it's one-hundred-and-fifty-six years after the Confederacy surrendered unconditionally.

    Abe was too good. 

    Civil Wars rarely end civilly, like ours did.

    And now, 2021:  Smells like secesh spirit!

    Not a lot of good things happen when a solid chunk of your citizens are rooting for a civil war just so they can kill the people they hate.

    KKKonservatives/RepubliKKKLANS are now a self-directed direct threat to democracy.

    They're prepping their fodder for the next election they lose.

    Or win.  The blood-lust they're calling for will not go quietly unquenched.  There will be blood.

    But in the meantime, we'll hear denials from the Secesh.  Their primary one will be in the form of the usual Southern lie:"Why bless their hearts, civil war's the last thing on these good peoples minds…"

    • Some of the Confederates are fighters but many are just bullies. The difference is that a fighter is willing to take hits and shed his own blood and a bully only wants to hit people. I'm not sure how many modern Confederates have the stomach for a fight.

      The KKK is a classic organization of gutless thugs. Inflict pain as a gang from behind a mask. (Come to think of it, these folks are very comfortable behind a mask if it's also a pointy hat.)

      I don't know of many Jan 6 insurrectionists who haven't tried to minimize their jail time by pretending it was a mistake. The original Confederates were willing to be disfigured by the horrors of war. I remember video of a woman from Jan 6 departing in tears. She was self-declared there for "revolution" but she could not believe the DC police maced her. She didn't seem to know the difference between a card game and a war.

      Not to minimize the dangerous groups, they are there. But there's hints that they are infiltrated and the DOJ is poised to wait until they've moved far enough in a violent conspiracy to get convictions. (Michigan, for example)

      So who is gonna fight and who  is gonna talk?

  5. Oh, and not to do an "I told you so," but I told you so!

    I have said for years and years that our Cold Civil War will soon turn hot.

    It's getting to be "soon" right now.

    "Sooner," now.

    • Maha can translate divide an conquer for us.  My Latin is too rusty, but it only has true meaning in it's native language.

  6. Bernie,

    Caesar (The General, not the salad) 😉 ): "Divide et impera."

    'Divide and rule,' literally.

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