We Have Met The Enemy And …

Much has been said in the last fifteen years, since 11 September 2001, about terrorism and terrorists.  President George W. Bush used it as justification for the Iraq War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and torture abuses. Trump has instilled faux fears of terrorism into U.S. voters as a part of his campaign effort.  Now he continues to use those fears to justify his ban on Muslim people entering the U.S. in search of a safe haven.  But who, really are these ‘terrorists’ everybody is so afraid of?

They are not the refugees that come here trying to find a better life, a place where they and their children will be safe from the daily bombings that are a part of life in their home countries. They are not the women you see in the market wearing their hijabs.  They are not the people gathering in the local mosque.  So who, then, are these ‘terrorists’?  I think you will be surprised by my answer:

pogo

That’s right … the terrorists in the U.S. are, for the most part, walking among us unnoticed, while we are busy fearing the woman in the hijab or the man with the long beard and olive complexion.  Let us look at a few of these real terrorists, shall we:

  • 51-year-old Adam W. Purinton who shot and killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an immigrant from India, for no reason other than he didn’t want immigrants in “his” country.
  • American-born Omar Mateen who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in June 2016 at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in an apparent hate crime against LGBT people.
  • 21-year-old Dylann Roof who killed nine people, all African Americans, at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. His reason?  “We already are the second-class citizens. That’s the problem. Y’all raping our women, and y’all are taking over the world.”
  • Jeffrey Allen Burgess, age 54, attacked an Indian man seated next to him at a bar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, last November for the crime of … again … simply being of Indian descent.
  • Richard Leslie Lloyd, age 64, set fire to a convenience store owned by a U.S. citizen of Indian descent. His reason?  When he was in the store a few days earlier, he couldn’t find orange-pineapple juice, and it was then he noticed the skin colour of the owner, and assumed (incorrectly) that he was a Muslim.
  • Edgar Maddison Welch shot up a pizza parlor last December in Washington D.C., because he believed a fake news story that a kidnapping ring was operating from within the restaurant.

Not a single one of the above were immigrants, none were Muslim. The list goes on … and on … and on.  And there are rallies to promote this brand  of terrorism, venues where they are starting out young:  Earlier this month at a Trump rally in Maricopa County, Arizona, the following comments were said against protestors:

  • “If she’s Jewish, she should go back to her country,” a 13-year-old said of a protester.
  • “This is America; we don’t want Sharia law. Christian country.”
  • “I just want to let them know that I can’t wait for the liberal genocide to begin.”

The people committing these acts and calling for violence are terrorists just as surely as were Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, three of the 9/11 highjackers.  Donald Trump claims it is important to refer to terrorists as “radical Islamic terrorists”, but the reality is that in this country, terrorists are far more likely to be “radical white Christian terrorists”.

These, folks, are the faces of terrorism in the United States.  Take a close look — see any similarities? These people, and others like them, will NOT be kept out of the country by Trump’s travel ban. The people who will be kept out by the travel ban are innocent people seeking refuge, while the real terrorists are already here.

The reality is that most terrorism by Middle-Easterners is committed against those in the Middle East, not the west.  The U.S. has not, with the exception of 9/11, seen large-scale terrorist attacks and we are not a primary target of Daesh, no matter what Mr. Trump tells us.  But his rhetoric played well with the masses who, apparently, wanted to believe in an identifiable threat that was not themselves.  But when we are looking for that threat, when we seek to identify the real terrorists in this nation, we need to look inward rather than outward, for in the words of Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us.

27 thoughts on “We Have Met The Enemy And …

  1. Excellent post. As I witness the 2nd Trump travel ban get held up by the courts, it gives me hope. I’m just concerned at how he panders to those in our society that have that magical blend of hate, ignorance and firearms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Don! Yes, I am encouraged by seeing at least one branch of the government that isn’t afraid to stand up to him … for now, anyway. Like you, I have concerns about what he has unleashed … and I think we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg if he isn’t stopped soon. I still keep hoping to wake up from this nightmare … sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article. My serious opinion (I tend to write satirically a lot) is that words like “terrorist” and “Muslim” have beome so overloaded in the US and Euirope as to be rendered meaningless. A whole new political vocubulary will have to be devised in order for us to understand and communicate what is actually going on, both here, and elsewhere. This vocabulary will need to resonate for everyone, not just the elites. Absent that, we shall most likely never arrive at finding a way to reach those who are currently at the mercy intellectually of ruthless demagogues. Alas, Islamophobia is the crack cocaine of Red State America, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are spot on with this comment! Far too many label it ‘terrorism’ if it is committed by a person of Middle-Eastern descent, and ‘mental illness’ if it is a white, Christian doing the deed. I agree that Islamophobia is ‘the crack cocaine of Red State America’, but it goes beyond even that. Anti-Semitism is at an all-time high, as is racism against African-Americans. It seems that Red State America simply wants to hate/fear anyone who does not look exactly like them. I blame Trump for stirring much of it, for legitimizing much of it, but bottom line is that apparently it was there all along and we either failed to recognize it or ignored it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill,

    This is why I keep saying that I am more fearful of being harmed by DT than by terrorists from the 6 banned Muslim majority countries. Because of his Alt right supporters there has been an increase in hate crimes. And the mentally are not barred from purchasing a gun.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh fudge, and here’s me having just convinced myself how bad an idea was my totalitarian police state which targets any potentially violent trouble-maker as a threat and locks them up, and I see this collection of creatures again There are no excuses for these, they can whimper and complain about how hard their lives were and how this and how that….well boo-hoo a%oles; there’s millions of REAL men how there working hard for their families and trying to get on with everyone else and taking their knocks.
    I don’t care about their psychological profiles, yadda-yadda. Take a good look at the sky guys, it’s the last time; from now on it’s concrete rooms, and forget the TVs & radios.
    One thing worse than them, are the politicians, commentators and their followers who whip up this kind of feeling just to feed their egos, bank balances and over-compensate for other deficiencies.

    Liked by 2 people

      • And dogs are more astute…who goes out and buys them food so no need to hunt?
        On the more serious side in my grimmer moods (not as rare as I would wish) I consider a few examples of those who acted this way:
        In the 1930s The Nazis made this a national act of faith; look how well that worked out for them by 1945.
        In the 1860s within the southern states of the USA there was not only the notion to maintain slavery but some even thought to expand it beyond the US borders….look how well that worked out for them.
        The more light and ‘popular’ fictions would have all the Balkan and Eastern European countries as brave little patriots fighting for ‘freedom’. IN all cases the majority were vicious to their own minorities… and look how that worked out for all of them during most of the 20th century.
        Moral: If you base your ethos on the discrimination and hatred of another people or community, then eventually that hate will blind you to the forces of history and you will be consumed in the fires of Retribution….It’s called Rough Justice. These folk will be gathered to account thus in this world, or the next.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, great post. I read a study by Duke University that said the percent of domestic terrorist acts committed by anti-government extremist groups far exceeds those committed by Islamic terrorist converst here. It is not even close. The Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking 1,600 domestic terrorist groups, the signifianct majority of which are anti-government and white supremacist groups. And, yet our President is reducing funding to fight these groups, while he increases attention to solving a problem that is not significant. In so doing, he makes us less safer as we become more isolated and the actions are fodder for recruiting. This is the impact of having Steve Bannon as an advisor. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  6. you know who else is responsible for the false narrative that a lot of terrorists are Muslim in origin? The mainstream media with their lack of integrity, irresponsible reporting and their quest to sensationalize everything just for ratings. I totally agree with you that the majority of terrorist acts committed by Muslims in other countries but you don’t hear that from the mainstream media in this country, even when they claim to report events from around the world. Now, some of the alternative media outlets may report on such happenings but a lot of people dismiss those sources as bigoted propaganda machines and if the left and right are referring to each other as propaganda, or the audience of each is dismissing the other in such a manner of marginalization, is it any wonder that almost no one actually trusts the media in this country? But I get sidetracked.

    It’s understandable that the threats that occur at home would be the ones most covered by media, after all, proximity is a big factor in the relevance of a story, at least as far as the audience is concerned, but that should never be an excuse not to also cover the bigger broad narrative which gives balance to the very slanted perception that so many people have about this issue.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I certainly agree with you that the mainstream media has contributed greatly, but I would take the blame one step further: we, the public. We (and you DO understand I don’t mean people like you and I, but the majority of those who find it easier to be spoon-fed so that they can get back to watching Duck Dynasty without having to engage their brains!) thrive on sensationalism. The line we have so often heard, “If it bleeds, it leads”, is still true. People seem to WANT to believe that the threat is those darned Muslims, they turn on the t.v., see the news, nod their collective heads and say “yup, that’s the problem alright”, then go back to watching Papa Duck while they clean their AK-47s and drink another Bud. Sigh. And because that is the common, collective mentality, the advertisers will pay to advertise on stations that satisfy that public craving. Sigh again.

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  7. Maybe since he can’t ban these terrorists from entering the country he could create a special law to have them all banished from the country. For the sake of those left behind, I suggest he also sends all those from the Trump rally in Maricopa County, Arizona, who made the racist remarks. After all, they’re just one step away from terrorists and anyway their ancestors ere immigrants.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the idea of banishing them from the country … but … WHO would have them? No other nation would want them. Perhaps there is a desert island somewhere??? Or … how about we load them into a spaceship and let them explore Mars, as Trump once said he wanted the U.S. to do? Cwtch Mawr, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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