“In the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized.”
– President Barak Obama during his weekly address.
Indeed. We all know what happened last time such Americans “refused” to be terrorized: we got into two fraudulent, bankrupting wars that only benefitted the oil companies, George W. Bush and his cronies, the 1% and Israel.
“Americans refuse to be terrorized”? As opposed to everyone else who doesn’t? Here we go again with the “God bless America as we are so much more important and relevant than all of humanity combined because we are American” jingoist crap.
Obama’s definition of terror is a narrow one. After all, what about the terror from the Patriot Act, and the Spying-On-Citizens-For-National-Security Act or the TSA harassing people? Or Gitmo? And drones? What about those kind of systemic terrors that are being unleashed on people everyday. What about the terror of no job security – or any kind of security at all – despite that fact that most people making under 400k have to pay nearly 40% of their income in taxes? Forty percent of an income of which 100% go towards entities who do not need it.
America refuses to be terrorized, but we gladly terrorize others and even our own when convenient.
Thanks Obama for yet another full of pomp and posturing but truly devoid-of-content statement and lofty speech. As the Iranian government stated in a response to the attacks in Boston (and I never thought i would ever quote those criminals):
“[When] children and women are killed by Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan and by U.S.-backed terrorists in Iraq and Syria [it] is not a problem but if a bombing happens in the U.S. or another Western country, the whole world should pay the cost? […] The U.S. and others claiming to support human rights remain silent towards the massacre of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria but create global controversy when explosions occur in the U.S.“
Indeed. When one or two or a handful of Americans die the world pays the price but when people in the world die at the hands of Americans or American policies it goes unnoticed, such as the massacre of 16 villagers, over half of which were children, in Afghanistan by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales last year. Somehow that never seemed to have grabbed the President’s intention prompting him to hold an equally passionate speech about the atrocities committed by soldiers under his command as the executive in chief.
With respect to the Boston perpetrators and all the rhetoric that is swarming around trying to dismiss their actions as atypical, as the works of some crazy, unstable people: it is easy to dismiss this act as the work of some crazy person who committed a senseless act for which there is apparently no explanation and rationale.
But remember that hate and violence don’t just happen in a void. No one comes out of their mother’s womb with the desire to destroy. There is an entire culture that rewards violence and war, facilitates oppression and injustice, one that makes war profitable and romantic, glorifies brutality and guns, devalues pacifism, cooperation and diplomacy, abets cruelty, inequality, injustice, and tolerates colossal amounts of bigotry under the guise of “fair play” where supposedly both sides have a valid point in a false debate that equates the devastating consequences of marginalization, discrimination and subjugation with the discomfort of having one’s undeserved privilege challenged.
You cannot exclusively task criminals and terrorists and those who wish to do harm with harm prevention and dismiss their acts as the acts of marginally crazy people. We have to acknowledge, define, critique and dismantle a culture of violence and war that abets violence on a systemic level, such as US drone strikes that kill 100 civilians just to take down one or two suspected terrorist leaders – among the myriad of other things we do to create vast amounts of privilege for a few at the expense of innocent people who are just pawns in this scheme; people such as the victims of the Boston bombing and thus, once again, people who are not part of the problem.
When, as a supposedly peace loving nation that refuses to be terrorized, you engage in such conceited, we-are-better-than-everyone-else speeches and policies, you set into motion a series of actions by people who feel that the only way they can be heard is by engaging in such acts of unimaginable violence. Again, this shit doesn’t just happen in a void populated by a lunatic fringe. Remember, alienation, disenfranchisement, poverty and lack of opportunity make it easier for people to pick up a gun.
Does the US really think it gets to create war and havoc around the world and kill countless innocent civilians in a jihad of its own without consequences? Do people really think this kind of stuff happens in a void?
As far as I am concerned, Obama has as much blood on his hands as these two terrorists – only that he does it within the context of his duties as the executive in chief, and thus is justified by the powers that be, while these two did it out of the context of being at the receiving end of the atrocities and systemic disruptions the US creates, and thus not from an official position and therefore not justified. But such a line of arguing is pure sophistry. Violence is violence. Terror is terror, murder of innocent people is murder – no matter who does it under what authority. The two bombers had as much right to take away peoples’ lives in such a horrific massacre as Obama and the US armed forces have at killing hundreds of innocent people with drones.
You reap what you sow and the US has been sowing lots of bad seeds around the world.
Just as with guns post Sandy Hook where we stepped back and began examining our gun laws and culture (not really, but for argument’s sake assume we did), we must use this terrible incident to examine our culture of war and violence, and especially foreign policy.
Thanks Obama for yet another meaningless speech. And now I am really pissed too. And you know why? Because you are making me defend Iran!!