I am scared, honest-to-God scared, about what is happening in this country.
There are no words for the terror, grief, sadness, rage, and pain of the attack on Tuesday. Perhaps 5,000 people dead. Thousands more wounded. All of us paralyzed by the carnage, the gut-wrenching horror, the crime against humanity that unfolded before us on live television, the Internet, the radio, the choking words between friends and strangers.
And now we have begun to react predictably, tragically, terrifyingly, like a beast stung. It had begun already on Tuesday when pols stood on state house and capitol steps all across the country and belted out
God Bless America — as if the motherfucking abstract nation-state identity of
America were brutally attacked by three exploding jets, rather than 5,000 innocent people. The flags and the yellow ribbons are appearing everywhere. In an unprecedented act of hatred, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell used the 700 Club as a pulpit to blame gays, lesbians, feminists, and secularists for the attacks. I can’t count the number of hateful anti-Muslim or anti-Arab statements I’ve heard person-to-person, or through the mass media. And now the violence has begun. Amateur brownshirts in Chicago had to be turned back by police with machine guns when a mob chanting
U-S-A, U-S-A had to be stopped from setting fire to a mosque. A Muslim community center was firebombed. In Detroit, with the largest Arab population in the United States, Muslim centers were subjected to bomb threats and death threats; two young men were arrested after saying they were going down to
kill all the Arabs in Dearborn. In Arizona, a Sikh gas station owner was murdered because his turban and beard made him resemble the media portrayal of Arabs.
On the radio I hear Sen. Zell Miller (GA) saying that when we find who is responsible for the attack we should
Bomb the hell out of them. If that means collateral damage, so be it. What he doesn’t say is that
collateral damage is a polite way of saying mass murder of civilians, and when he tries to justify it by saying that
They obviously don’t care about our civilians he forgets that the innocents he is so eager to murder had nothing to do with the atrocity of 9/11/2001. NATO has already invoked the World War III clause of their charter. The hawks of the Right and Left have cried Havoc, and authorized President Bush with a blank check for military force and billions in new defense spending. They are already preparing us for permanent war against an unspecifiable, unlocatable enemy (
a war against terrorism), which they have promised to fight through covert means (over 6,000,000 people worldwide have been killed by United States covert operations since World War II) and have made it explicit that no particular tactic is off the table (for those keeping count, that includes: nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, carpet-bombing, etc.). At home, Tim Russert is saying on national Teevee that the
line between security and freedom will have to be redefined — meaning less freedom. Already motions are being made to strengthen the police state through imposing new bans on Internet security software, increasing invasive searches and racial profiling of Arabs at airports, and extending the FBI’s wiretap powers. Nobody in the government feels they can afford to stand up to the railroading tactics of the Defense Department and the FBI, and what’s worse, perhaps nobody even wants to.
We cannot ever, ever forget that the warfare State and the spectre of terrorism have been the greatest instruments of fascist tyranny, and the demonic influence of tyranny is hard to exorcise once it makes its way through. The Cheka (Lenin and Stalin’s murderous secret police) grew to power in the USSR through playing on the threat of
counter-revolutionary terrorism in the early 1920s. Woodrow Wilson used WWI to force through tyrannical Sedition and Espionage Acts — which somehow failed to be revoked after World War I ended, and were continually used to suppress dissent during Wilson’s term. The supposed threat of Communist conspiracy was used to justify innumerable police state tactics (sometimes illegal, sometimes not) by the FBI, including their surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. (who they attempted to blackmail) and Malcolm X (who they may have aided the Nation of Islam in murdering) and their murderous COINTELPRO program which they used to hunt down and kill members of the Black Panther Party and to destroy both above-ground and underground antiwar / radical Left activist groups. And already activists have been given notice to watch their backs, by Rep. Don Young (R-AK):
Young warned against rushing to the conclusion that Middle Eastern
terrorists were responsible. There’s some possibility, he said that the
attacks are linked to the protests against the World Trade Organization,
another of which [actually, a protest against the World Bank/IMF –CWJ]
is scheduled for later this month in Washington D.C.
If you watched what happened (at past protests) in Genoa, in Italy,
and even in Seattle, there’s some expertise in that field, Young said.
I’m not sure they’re that dedicated, but ecoterrorists — which are
really based in Seattle — there’s a strong possibility that could be
one of the groups.
Never mind that this is a vicious slander against Left-wing activists on the part of Rep. Young. It’s not any attempt to convey information at all. It’s an outright threat: *We are calling for new powers. And we are coming after you, all of you, the Lefties, the Muslim fanatics, the greenies, the anarchists, the militias… it doesn’t matter who you are, if you are opposed to this government and this American form of life, you will be targeted.
I don’t know what to say or what to do. I am physically, mentally, spiritually exhausted by what happened last Tuesday. I am horrified, I am sick, I still need more time to deal with this. But I am also scared, because I know that a lot of people — a lot of innocent Muslims, a lot of innocent people who look like Muslims, people who will be slaughtered in the bombing and covert operations pushed through by the same Reagan-Bush-Bush cabinet that brought you Iran/Contra and the death squads of El Salvador, people who will die in the terrorist retaliation, 18-24 year olds like me who will be sent to fight and die, dissidents like me who will be targeted by a growing, many-tentacled police state. Today I am honestly frightened about the prospect of domestic fascism in the United States of America.