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unhappycamper

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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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‘Lone Wolf,’ ‘Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists

http://www.juancole.com/2015/02/radicalized-islamophobic-terrorists.html

‘Lone Wolf,’ ‘Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists
By Juan Cole | Feb. 12, 2015

Did a self-radicalized lone wolf white terrorist kill three young Muslim students in cold blood in Chapel Hill? It is a kind of a stupid question, but its stupidity is just more apparent when asked of someone with an English last name. What does self-radicalized or lone wolf even mean?

Craig Hicks constantly shared anti-Muslim and anti-Christian links on social media and proclaimed to believers, ““I have every right to insult a religion that goes out of its way to insult, to judge, and to condemn me as an inadequate human being — which your religion does with self-righteous gusto…” I think we may conclude that he didn’t like Muslims, and one of the victims told her father that before her death. While he may have been provoked to his rage by a parking incident and while he clearly is one egg short of an omelette, the “new atheist” discourse of believers as oppressive and coercive per se is part of his problem.

“Terrorism” has been racialized in the American press and law enforcement community, marked as having to do with Muslims but almost never used to refer to people of northern European background. A few years ago, when a police spokesman said that “We have concluded that event was not terrorism,” likely what he meant is that no Muslims were involved or that no cell or organization was.

Racializing dissent has an old genealogy in American politics. In the early twentieth century, Jewish-American immigrants were suspected of socialism and Italian-Americans of anarchism. In the Red Scare of 1917-1920, workers who joined labor actions were falsely accused of Communism and were targeted for mob violence, especially if they had “foreign names.” African-Americans who had come north to work in factories during the war, filling a domestic labor shortage, were likewise tagged as subversive. Somehow persons of English ancestry with names like Worthington — even if they were blue collar workers– were not assumed to be Communists or foreign agents or radicals. Russian-Americans were deported. In Illinois after the war, a mob attacked Italian-Americans and razed their homes.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Feb 12, 2015, 07:23 AM (12 replies)

War Is the New Normal: Seven Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist

http://www.juancole.com/2015/02/reasons-americas-persist.html

War Is the New Normal: Seven Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist
By contributors | Feb. 2, 2015
By William J. Astore | (Tomdispatch.com) –

~snip~

1. The privatization of war: The U.S. military’s recourse to private contractors has strengthened the profit motive for war-making and prolonged wars as well. Unlike the citizen-soldiers of past eras, the mobilized warrior corporations of America’s new mercenary moment — the Halliburton/KBRs (nearly $40 billion in contracts for the Iraq War alone), the DynCorps ($4.1 billion to train 150,000 Iraqi police), and the Blackwater/Xe/Academis ($1.3 billion in Iraq, along with boatloads of controversy) — have no incentive to demobilize. Like most corporations, their business model is based on profit through growth, and growth is most rapid when wars and preparations for more of them are the favored options in Washington.

~snip~

2. The embrace of the national security state by both major parties: Jimmy Carter was the last president to attempt to exercise any kind of control over the national security state. A former Navy nuclear engineer who had served under the demanding Admiral Hyman Rickover, Carter cancelled the B-1 bomber and fought for a U.S. foreign policy based on human rights. Widely pilloried for talking about nuclear war with his young daughter Amy, Carter was further attacked for being “weak” on defense. His defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980 inaugurated 12 years of dominance by Republican presidents that opened the financial floodgates for the Department of Defense. That taught Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council a lesson when it came to the wisdom of wrapping the national security state in a welcoming embrace, which they did, however uncomfortably. This expedient turn to the right by the Democrats in the Clinton years served as a temporary booster shot when it came to charges of being “soft” on defense — until Republicans upped the ante by going “all-in” on military crusades in the aftermath of 9/11.

~snip~

3. “Support Our Troops” as a substitute for thought. You’ve seen them everywhere: “Support Our Troops” stickers. In fact, the “support” in that slogan generally means acquiescence when it comes to American-style war. The truth is that we’ve turned the all-volunteer military into something like a foreign legion, deploying it again and again to our distant battle zones and driving it into the ground in wars that amount to strategic folly. Instead of admitting their mistakes, America’s leaders have worked to obscure them by endlessly overpraising our “warriors” as so many universal heroes. This may salve our collective national conscience, but it’s a form of cheap grace that saves no lives — and wins no wars.

~snip~

4. Fighting a redacted war. War, like the recent Senate torture report, is redacted in America. Its horrors and mistakes are suppressed, its patriotic whistleblowers punished, even as the American people are kept in a demobilized state. The act of going to war no longer represents the will of the people, as represented by formal Congressional declarations of war as the U.S. Constitution demands. Instead, in these years, Americans were told to go to Disney World (as George W. Bush suggested in the wake of 9/11) and keep shopping. They’re encouraged not to pay too much attention to war’s casualties and costs, especially when those costs involve foreigners with funny-sounding names (after all, they are, as American sniper Chris Kyle so indelicately put it in his book, just “savages”).
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 05:59 AM (6 replies)
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