by Jerome a Paris
Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:59:18 AM EST
On the day after US doctor George Tiller was murdered by a Christian militant, it's worth wondering if the word "terrorism" still means anything.
As David Neiwert noted, we get major headlines (including talk of weapons of mass destruction), and immediate judicial action, about an "aspirational" plot by brown people - with no weapons! - when very little attention was given to countless plots by white supremacists with massive firepower and more specific intentions.
As this DailyKos diary notes, any terrorist of Muslim background is filed under the vast "Islamic terrorism" umbrella, whereas any Christian terrorist that uses religious aguments to justify his or her acts is presented as acting against the teachings of his/her religion, and public figures that give encouragement to illicit action are not taken to task.
The only case of white "terrorists" that see to garner massive police and media attention are those associated with the extreme left, like Julien Coupat, a French anarchist who has been accused, with no proof to date, of attacks on railway tracks, and has spent that past 6 months in jail under terrorism conspiracy statutes.
Murders by Christian and other hard-right terrorists of targets designated as such by prominent politicians and thinkers are isolated incidents; but the mere sign of intention by disaffected muslims or anarchists to act upon their revolt is taken as an existential threat to all of us. The conclusion is simple: anti-establishment thought is dangerous and to be criminalised; reactionary or racist crimes are not a problem. Hmmm.... I wonder who benefits from such a partial approach. Not.