Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

International & Futurism

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Dark Glass: Hateful Echoes and Hidden Costs
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Dark Glass: Hateful Echoes and Hidden Costs

by Chris Floyd
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 6 November 2009

Hitler and Himmler "justified" their extermination programs as "pre-emptive defense" against an existential threat.
 
In a similar manner, all of our Terror Warriors – not just the strident Islamophobes, but the entire bipartisan political establishment, including the "progressive" president – paint the "Long War" as a strictly defensive measure against dark forces...
I.

Seventy-one years ago, almost to the very day, a member of a religious minority fatally shot a government official – an act by a troubled individual that was seized upon by hateful minds to set off an orgy of blood and destruction against his co-religionists.

While the Ft. Hood shootings will not spark a rerun of Kristallnacht – the anti-semitic pogrom launched by the Nazis after 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan shot German diplomat Ernst Vom Rath in Paris on Nov. 7, 1938, in retaliation for Nazi depradations against the Jews – the upswelling of racial, ethnic and religious hatred against Muslims and Arabs we will now see in many quarters will ring with ugly echoes.

The entire lexicon of Islamophobia is already filled to bursting with Nazi tropes – "the enemy within," the dark, monolithic mass of "prodigious breeders" threatening to overwhelm Western Civilization, the "maniacal extremists" who will not rest until they destroy the sacred Homeland, the sinister, secret worldwide conspiracy which bribes and suborns Western leaders into doing its bidding, etc. etc. This sinister discourse is accepted, and used, among the highest circles of power – senators, representatives, "serious" commentators, academics, think-tank apparatchiks. And all of this is being constantly regurgitated even while the armed forces and covert operators of the United States are in the midst of an apparently endless campaign of death and violence that has killed, so far, well in excess of a million innocent people – the vast majority of them Muslims, or of Muslim heritage – while planting great, bristling fortresses of domination and excess in the midst of wretchedly poor lands.

In this too, our modern Islamophobes mimic their German forbears. It was the Nazis who held – and exercised – violent, overwhelming sway over the Jews within their reach, even as they bleated constantly about the "Jewish threat" to "destroy the German people."  Perhaps many of them, at some level, believed this fantastical projection of their own murderous desires and unquenchable anxieties; certainly, we know that top Nazis like Hitler and Himmler "justified" their extermination programs as "pre-emptive defense" against an existential threat from the "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy. (For in this disordered mindset, every Jew was considered a Bolshevik -- and even rich, capitalist Jews were seen as part of the same overarching conspiracy -- just as our Islamophobes consider every Muslim a terrorist or an extremist.) In a similar manner, all of our Terror Warriors – not just the strident Islamophobes, but the entire bipartisan political establishment, including the "progressive" president – paint the "Long War" as a strictly defensive measure against dark forces who irrationally "hate us for our freedoms" and seek to "destroy our way of life."

Comparisons are not equivalencies, and history does not repeat itself -- but it often rings with disturbing assonances.

II.

At this stage, with so much about the Ft. Hood case still unknown, there is little point in commenting on the substance of the case. But all kinds of rumors and conjectures and second-hand reports about the alleged shooter are richoceting around the media echo chamber.

For example, the New York Times, the nation's most "serious" newspaper, filled some of its early reports with pro-terrorist comments culled from the internet, left there by people who have the same or similar names as the accused. (This just days after the media had been burned by numerous "false positives" in the White House guest list.)  The fact that it is unlikely that an Army officer on active duty would post such comments in his own name was obviously no bar to getting the most the most inflammatory factoids into circulation as soon as possible.

This might be considered irresponsible, if it didn't come from a paper that has been instrumental in selling the Terror War, with its ever-mounting toll of civilians deaths (three more children, and other civilians working in a field, were killed by a NATO missile on the same day of the Ft. Hood shooting), and all the despair and suffering and hatred it is engendering. In any case, at this point, I think the only relevant thing one can say about this particular case appeared on the website of the Iraq Veterans Against the War on Thursday: "The shootings that happened today are a tragic reminder of the hidden costs of war."

*     *     *

UPDATE: Playwright Wajahat Ali has some pertinent observations in the Guardian:

...Sadly, although yesterday's violent outburst against fellow soldiers was the most deadly in US history, it was not the first of its kind. In May this year, five soldiers were shot dead at Camp Liberty in Baghdad by Sergeant John Russell. In February 2008, an Air Force sergeant diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) upon returning from Iraq fatally shot his son and daughter after a domestic argument with his ex-wife. Religion was not the common link between these soldiers; it was mental instability. Even if such individuals purported to be religious, their wanton acts of barbarism reflect rather their tenuous grasp on sanity.

A cousin of Hasan, interviewed by reporters, has suggested an alternative motivation, not necessarily influenced by religious conviction. "He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy," said Nader Hasan. "He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there [in Iraq and Afghanistan]."... Hasan's aunt told the Washington Post that her nephew had consulted an attorney to see if he could leave the army before his contract expired due to harassment he had received from colleagues because he was Muslim.

Whatever the FBI investigation and any subsequent prosecution following the terrible shootings at Fort Hood may finally reveal, incidents such as these warrant a re-examination of how to treat and discharge or excuse those soldiers who are troubled or conflicted psychologically, politically or religiously over our foreign policy and, in particular, the current war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq.

No mere factual, evidential explanation could ever justify or excuse in any way Hasan's alleged actions. But it ought to broaden the horizon of those in the media who seem infatuated with the need to pin the blame for this perverse tragedy solely on a man's religious faith and Arabic last name, rather than exploring the possibility of a more complicated truth involving some combination of mental state, divided loyalty or conscientious objection.


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on November 6, 2009.

 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland