Monday, June 15, 2009

Fighting Back

I haven't said this yet on this blog, but we can prioritize. There are three major bottom-up movements that merit special attention, largely because each has been successful at building major, international coalitions and all three have at least briefly run major nations' governments. These are the Islamist movement, the Hindutva movement (a Hindu mirror to Islam-based extremism with heavy anti-immigrant rhetoric added for effect), and a loose bundle of Western Hemisphere organizations (with both "secular" and religious branches, the Minutemen who have operations in countless states in the US; the Assemblies of God which has major contingents in virtually all American countries, South Korea, the Philippines, and has had significant growth in Africa; Operation Rescue; etc). All of these major movements thankfully have significant splits that manage to divide them, quite effectively at times. Alternatively, we have to view victories over any piece of these movements as hindering only a small section of said movement.

Nonetheless, the past year has done well showing how limited in appeal these incredibly anti-democratic movements truly are. Last November, McCain, the presidential candidate who most explicitly linked himself to that "loose movement" and chose a member of the Assemblies of God as his vice presidential candidate, lost in one of the most pronounced electoral decisions in recent American history.

Indian national elections in the middle of May showed a similar contempt for the Hindutva Movement's coalition, the BJP. The circumstances of this victory, however, suggest something slightly different, and hopefully a stronger reason to hope. In the wake of the Mumbai attacks in late 2008, anti-Muslim sentiments reached a boiling point and rallies across India convinced Muslims that they were living in an increasingly hostile environment. This past election, they block voted for Muslim-centered third parties for the first time in Indian history. In spite of this and the massive economic meltdown the Congress Party, BJP's major competitor, won nation-wide nearly twice as many seats them, and gained the ability to form the next government. This is equivalent of the Democrats winning by a two-to-one margin in 2010 with the hispanic and black communities voting for a Green candidate. High voter turnout among South Indians probably played the largest role in preventing another BJP-based government (the latest one was Congress-based, but several shorter ones earlier in the decade were BJP-based), but could the high voter turnout be masking true feelings? South Indians can still feel sympathy for their variant of the Hindutva, while voting against the North Indian Hindutva's front of the BJP by voting for the Congress Party. The relative collapse of the Communist Party of India's base, however, suggests otherwise - that the left and center in South India combined and voted for the Congress Party to prevent the BJP from winning.

Finally, over the past weekend, the obviously fraudulent re-election of Ahmadinejad ignited the powderkeg of Iran, where a sizeable section of the populace seems to have more or less regretted the Islamic Revolution since the eighties. Iran is acting like Burma, shutting down internet portals and cell phone towers in an attempt to silence the protests. Already there are reports of secret police and militias firing on unarmed civilians, and there's been at least one death.

To be fair, Iran's predominately shiite population shouldn't be used as representative of the entire Islamic world, but it can easily be seen as increasing hostility towards shiite Islamists from shiite moderates. Unlike the recent elections in the US and India, however, this isn't the undermining of a major anti-democratic movement within its supposed base, but of the significantly smaller of two branches of a major anti-democratic movement in one of its moderately important bases. The Iranian government's role in terrorism and anti-democratic activities on a global scale is completely dwarfed by the largesse of wahhabi Saudi Arabia or the extensive network known as Al Qaeda. It's not quite the same thing, and not just because their government didn't have the decency to honor the actual election. Nonetheless, we're either going to see the Iranian government have to crack down on a soviet scale, or Iran will free itself. I certainly hope that the Ayatollah chooses wisely.

Stepping back from the details of each of these cases, there clearly is something hopeful going on here. We're seeing people fighting back for the first time in a long while.

Moving to what's national news for me, there are two more cases of attempted domestic terrorism. In Maine, a man attempting to build two dirty bombs in his garage, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, described by virtually every one they've interviewed so far as abusive, was shot by his wife. In all honesty, my first thoughts were "give her a damn big medal". Right-wing survivalists, of course, are criticizing her:
The fact that the government hasn’t released this information makes me suspect that they think a larger game is afoot. The fact that his wife didn’t tell anyone about his activity prior to deciding to off him makes me think she was at the very least O.K. with whatever he was planning. But for his degenerate character pushing his wife to the limit, we may have seen a major terror incident on our soil not directly connected to Islam.
No, pretty much every report I've read on this suggest that he had her completely terrified, so this little speculation is not only unfounded by idle. Having actually lived in an abusive situation, I can say that certain people will (pardon my French) scare the shit out of you and fuck with you until you are completely paralyzed and think there's only three options: suicide, murder, or slavery. But leaving behind the blame-the-victim games that the rightwing and para-rightwing (which this blog claimes not to be), what was that last part?
But for his degenerate character pushing his wife to the limit, we may have seen a major terror incident on our soil not directly connected to Islam.
Not only is this old, old, old, news given that since this article came out the Holocaust Museum was shot up, Tiller was murdered, and somewhere around twenty other people were shot by various anti-immigration crazies, but more importantly, how is this not directly connected with Islam. As near as I can tell, this is not connected with Islam.
I say not directly because the various neo-Nazi groups in America have been quietly aligning themselves with Marxist and Islamist groups for the past few years at least. There are confirmed reports that neo-Nazis were at many of the “pro-Palestine” marches held recently(such as this one in Toronto) and the NSM has woven leftist anti-Zionist talking points into their own platform. Their own website promotes this New York Times Op-Ed by Islamist Rashid Khalidi which is some of the vilest anti-Israel propaganda published by the MSM. Neo-Nazis are not a threat separate from the various domestic terror groups operating in America, but just the frayed edge of a tapestry of violent anti-Americanism that has festered here for too long.
Except, Cummings wasn't even a member of any Neo-Nazi organization; he was applying for membership when his wife shot him. Not directly connected doesn't mean what you think it means. Half of those sites don't mention Islamism at all, at least anymore, and for that matter, they paint a picture of allying with Islamists over a single issue: the rabid anti-Semitism that both groups often share. Also, if Rashid Khalidi is an anti-Semite, so are a good number of Jews. He is critical of Israel and has made some rather dubious statements in the past, but calling him an Islamist because of that weakens the word to simply mean "Muslim (or even Muslim-looking) that I disagree with". Throughout his speeches, Khalidi has insisted on the illegality of killing civilians, a clear condemnation of both Palestineans and Israelis. His mother is a Lebanese Christian. Consider for a moment that the people squacking about this are the same as those that raised all the fuss over Bill Ayers. What has he said or done that actually threatens Israel?

Ultimately, this seems like a freakish new variant of an old, dumb argument.

Nonetheless, a second recent attack falls into a similar pattern. In southern Arizona, two people, a father and child, were killed by two Minutemen, not because of their race or politics, but in a theft. Why would those who claim to be upholding the law at great personal cost break the law, you may ask:
Their motive was financial, Dupnik said.

"The husband who was murdered has a history of being involved in narcotics and there was an anticipation that there would be a considerable amount of cash at this location as well as the possibility of drugs," Dupnik said.


Dupnik said Forde continued working through Friday to raise a large amount of money to make her anti-illegal immigrant operation more sophisticated.
The mother and wife got a hold of one of their guns. God bless her, I hope she didn't wait a single second before firing. Early reports indicate that she was seriously wounded during the attack. Once again, big shiny medal.

No comments:

Post a Comment