Not Terrorism

Dammit, now the Americans are going to have to add “people who whinge about paying taxes” to terrorist watch lists.

Sorry – did I say “terrorist”? This has nothing to do with terrorism, according to The Age:

The crash of a small plane into a building in Austin, Texas does not initially appear to be the result of a crime or terrorism.

Sure, before his suicide attack he declared he was “adding his body to the count” to make sure things “will change”, but this is DIFFERENT. For one thing, he’s not one of, you know, them.

It’s not as if random nutjobs of all manner of backgrounds do stupid things and cause death and destruction, and that it’s completely unfair to use such tragedies to smear all people who share that background, after all. There are bad groups who can be smeared and blamed when one of their number does something horrific – but white professional males who don’t like paying tax are not one of them.

It’s legitimate to use these incidents to reinforce existing discomfort with an already-maligned minority within society: but it’s completely wrong to use them for any other political purpose.

Do you understand the distinction?

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50 responses to “Not Terrorism

  1. that IRS building should neatly collapse into its own footprint ….right about…now?

  2. Jeremy:

    There are bad groups who can be smeared and blamed when one of their number does something horrific

    If it was only one of their number doing one act, the issue of terrorism would not arise. When it is thousands stating explicitly that their actions are driven by their holy scripture with the stated aim of overthrowing kaffir society and subjugating the planet sensible people might look for a common motivation. Not leftists of course, but sensible people would.

    Sensible people might even make a connection when the majority of terror events around the world are perpetrated by followers of vile doctrines for the purposes of subjugating the world to a set of sharia laws which themselves amount to a crime against humanity.

    Others (lets call them dumbfucks) think each action by a jihad terrorist is a separate crime to be handled by the police. They screech that the religion which cannot be named is in fact a religion of peace and has nothing, nothing at all to do with the violence perpetrated in the name of said religious ideals. And if a person commits a crime because they are nuts, or don’t like the tax man then obviously anyone who doesn’t then immediately label this as terrorism are being hypocritical. Of course in the case of the real terrorism, like the Fort Hood massacre the cry will go out not to jump to any conclusions about whether terrorism or the religion of the perpetrator was involved.

  3. Exactly! The “Fort Hood massacre” can be used to smear muslims, but this incident tells us NOTHING about government hating separatists.

    Cos they never blow anything up.

    PS: if anyone mentions “christian” terrorism – IRA catholics, anti-abortionists – I’ll just ban them, don’t worry.

  4. Very commonsensical. I hope the media will be as circumspect about trying to tar various anti-Obama and small government movements to this nutter.

    Oh, wait: http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZGU4ZDhjMDRhMzY3YTNlYjNmNGIzNDM5OGJmMTRkY2Y=

  5. The Fort Hood massacre, the one where the pious muslim soldier, who was in contact with a terrorist leader in Yemen, produced this initial reaction from Obama:

    ‘We don’t know all the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.’

    Yet you require an immediate classification of the Texas tax killer as a terrorist!

    You are right that terrorism should be not be used to smear muslims. It is equally incontrovertible that the connection between the ideology of Islamic jihad and terrorism should be a priority.

  6. Sb – you do understand that Obama and Jeremy are two different people, yes?

  7. I do. And no doubt Jeremy has in the past been equally critical of those who don’t immediately describe as such terrorist acts prefaced with a cry of “Allahu Akbar”.

  8. Oh so no muslims involved then? Ok, as you were.

  9. “…you do understand that Obama and Jeremy are two different people, yes?”

    But does Jeremy?

    Confessions are you worried that agreived taxpayers may be on the verge of a jihad?

  10. For a “centrist”, you really are good at encapsulating the right wing talking points, aren’t you, SB? You certainly share the far right’s hatred of muslims. That’s obvious.

    319 convictions in US courts in terrorism or terrorism-related cases between September 11 and 2008:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123571858
    Who knew there were so many dumbfucks working in the US system (including the successful prosecutors and judges involved in each of these cases)?

  11. Apart from the total bogusity of the story,

    Flying your plane into a building is NOT a crime?

    So it was an accident then?

  12. No leo I’m not.

  13. No I didn’t think you would be.
    Why?

    Because the two are so clearly and unmistakably different.

    A man flies his own plane into a building as opposed to 19 men flying 3 of someonae elses planes into buildings. That’s just a start.

    McVeigh didn’t inspire a fear of ex-soldiers because it was a one off. 9-11 however is clearly different. No matter how the left wish to excuse it.

  14. “9-11 however is clearly different. No matter how the left wish to excuse it.”

    You are such a shameless little liar, Leo.

  15. Fred

    You certainly share the far right’s hatred of muslims. That’s obvious.

    That would only be obvious to someone like you, blinded by prejudice and incapable of reading. I actually said to jeremy:

    You are right that terrorism should be not be used to smear muslims. It is equally incontrovertible that the connection between the ideology of Islamic jihad and terrorism should be a priority.

    Sadly your myopic mind cannot distinguish between attacking people and attacking an ideology, in this case the ideology of jihad. It is time you cast off your own ideological straightjacket and started thinking rationally. If you did people would be less inclined to think of you as an obnoxious prat.

  16. Because the two are so clearly and unmistakably different.

    Then why is it that the Rightard columnists only get fired up about muslims, regardless of how many are involved?

    Actually don’t bother responding, I already know what you’ll say.

  17. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    This incident is irrelevant to how you regard Muslims. Equally, you are perfectly entitled to add to your list, whatever category of person you wish to ascribe to the IRS bomber.

  18. Skepticus Autartikus

    Also Jeremy, if you have a quick peep at your primary school history lessons, you will recall that the US republic was actually founded on violence against tax appropriation by the state. 😉

  19. Clair the voyant.

    All columnists should get fired up about Muslim terrorists because they (muslim terrorists) have this thing where they want anyone who’s not a muslim to suffer for that.
    Your average grumpy tax payer or grumpy ex soldier does not want me to also be a grumpy taxpayer/ex soldier.

    Conservative columnists alone seem willing to acknowledge that.

  20. “Sensible people might even make a connection when the majority of terror events around the world are perpetrated by followers of vile doctrines for the purposes of subjugating the world to a set of sharia laws which themselves amount to a crime against humanity.”

    Can you see how people might interpret that Islam is the “vile doctrine” you refer to here, SB?

    And anything to say about the rest of my earlier post? The US Supreme Court has ruled that anyone committing a crime in the US has to have their Miranda rights read to them, even if the crime is terrorism or terrorism-related, contrary to the claims made by some prominent conservatives in the US and our friend, SB. So let’s add the US Supreme Court to SB’s list of “dumb fucks”. How could possibly they know more about the law of the land in the US than you, SB?

  21. I’m not touching this thread with a ten foot barge pole.

  22. Fred:

    Can you see how people might interpret that Islam is the “vile doctrine” you refer to here, SB?

    My use of that phrase was deliberate. I didn’t mean to refer to Islam as such. Islam isn’t a doctrine. Islam means different things to different people, and I wanted to avoid over-generalising. There are people who embrace particular interpretations of some Islamic doctrines which are quite vile – like killing apostates or blasphemers or infidels or gays. Or doctrines which say that a woman’s evidence carries less weight than a man’s. Or that husbands are allowed to beat their wives. Or doctrines which permit the beheading of infidels or are used to justify the killing of civilians.

    All of these doctrines are vile, and the way to express this is to call them ‘vile doctrines’, rather than to attack Islam in general. Many muslims seem to get by without them. I am trying to avoid upsetting such people, but not at the cost of failing to denonunce what are, in fact, vile doctrines.

    I don’t get your Supreme Court point. My concern was to not treat terror attacks as isolated incidents when some of them have a common underlying ideology. The police can play an effective role, but there are also other options that need to be considered. Mirandising the underwear bomber earlier than necessary was a mistake. Trying KSM in a civil court in NY is insane. A military tribunal would have been better. And fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan is a sensible option, well beyond the capabilities of the police.

  23. “All of these doctrines are vile, and the way to express this is to call them ‘vile doctrines’, rather than to attack Islam in general. Many muslims seem to get by without them. I am trying to avoid upsetting such people, but not at the cost of failing to denonunce what are, in fact, vile doctrines.”

    I’m glad to see you are making that distinction SB.

    I would like to point out that it isn’t just Islam that has vile doctrines.

    The doctrine that justifies the killing of doctors who provide abortions, and the blowing up of abortion clinics is also a vile doctrine. Its a Christian one.

    The doctrine that says some people are born into a caste and that controls their fate for their entire lives is vile. Thats a hindu one. (Tho it was also present in Victorian England, not so much as part of a religious doctrine, but a social/cultural one. Still vile tho.)

    For what its worth I appreciate you going to the trouble of making the distinction.

    I know I said I wasn’t gonna say anything, blame SB, if he hadn’t tried to be reasonable then I wouldn’t have started typing.

    AS far as Jeremy’s original point goes, its obvious terrorism isn’t terrorism without a muslim angle. Right wing arseholes blow shit up all the time, thats just war.

    Extreme right wing arseholes blow shit up all the time, thats just ordinary crime, even when its obviously a case of neo nazi race hate.

    Which should qualify as terrorism even if the nut in a plane in jeremy’s OP or the crazy bloke from Darwin the other day don’t count as terrorism.

    Lets face it, if there really was a serious threat to the West from terrorist they would have acted and right now we would be screwed. The whole thing is a scam.

    There are no terrorists intent on destroying Western Civilisation, cos we are still here.

    I could have done it by now, it doesn’t take that much.

    (I’m certainly not going to give anyone instructions, but the fact is if most people knew how vulnerable some of our most important infrastructure is they’d shit themselves.)

    If the terrorist threat was real they would have done it by now.

    (BTW I know saying this stuff usually means the thread is gonna degenerate into hell pretty quickly. I’m not interested in discussing this here unless Jeremy is. I’m going to uni next week, and I’m starting my own blog, seeing as blogging is now officially dead, so you’ll have a chance to comment there later if you want to abuse me for my opinion.)

    “Trying KSM in a civil court in NY is insane. A military tribunal would have been better.”

    Why bother with a trial?

    You know he’s guilty.

  24. A 53 year old software engineer pissed of with the tax system takes his own life by crashing his plane into an IRS building. Not your classic terrorist. For some commenters here it seems the incident would be a far less puzzling if Joe’s name was Ali, even if he had the same personal history as this man did.

  25. Jules:

    If the terrorist threat was real they would have done it by now.

    This sounds like pre-9/11 thinking. Especially given that the terrorists are still trying. What is your thesis? That because they have not succeeded they will give up?

    As to your comment:

    Why bother with a trial?

    It is President Obama and A/G Holder who have already pronounced that KSM will be convicted.

  26. Pre 9 – 11 the was Oklahoma City, the ’93 bombing on the WTC etc etc.

    And repeated warnings about an actual attack using hijacked aircraft in the very near future.

    I find it difficult to believe that if “they” are trying so hard to wipe out the western world – are such a threat, they haven’t gutted us in our vulnerable underbelly.

    Its quite simple to crash western society, if you want to. If you had the resources these people are sposed to have you could do it in a day and right now no one could stop you.

    It’d fuck China in the process too.

    If they tried once we would be screwed. But I don’t really want to talk any more about it, cos I don’t want to give any nutjobs ideas.

  27. “It is President Obama and A/G Holder who have already pronounced that KSM will be convicted.”

    Whereas you say he’s got a chance?

    Why is it “insane” to try him in civilian courts? Not only is it sane, it is the law.

  28. There is no law requiring KSM to be tried in a civil court. There was always the option of a Mitlitary Tribunal.

    Now we will have three ring circus with KSM having a much greater opportunity to take procedural points on which he may well get off. That would be a fitting legacy for Obama, the first anti-American president.

  29. “There is no law requiring KSM to be tried in a civil court.”

    That’s highly arguable.

  30. Which part of your post proves it is “insane” to try KSM in a civilian court, SB?

    “Now we will have a three ring circus”. Well, we’ll have a trial.

    “with KSM having a much greater opportunity to take procedural points on which he may well get off”.

    Firstly, what are the odds of him getting off, really? Who was the last person to beat a terrorism charge in a US civilian court?

    Secondly, is this the argument you want to lead off with when arguing alleged terrorists shouldn’t have trials in civilian courts – they might “get off”? Sounds Orwellian/Alice in Wonderlandesque to me. If they don’t have the evidence to convict, why shouldn’t he “get off”? No point giving a military tribunal either – he could get off there as well, couldn’t he? It’s less likely, but still possible. Why should we give him that chance?

  31. As I said Fred, KSM’s acquittal would be a fitting legacy for Obama.

  32. A fitting legacy for Bush, you mean – if he “got off” it’d be because of the abuses on Bush’s watch.

  33. “As I said Fred, KSM’s acquittal would be a fitting legacy for Obama.”

    You’re not making sense anymore on this topic.

  34. It’s Friday afternoon. Time to drink!

  35. leo, sb

    So if the person who did this was a muslim, and he did it because he was sick of paying taxes, and he didn’t ascribe to all the terrorist jihad bullshit, would he be a terrorist? And what would the American and Australian media make of it?

  36. While we’re debating all of this, it’s interesting to read what he wrote before he did this:

    [it seems that he was a self-employed software engineer who got screwed over tax-wise a few times over the last few decades]

    “Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.
    ….
    I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”.
    ….
    It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change.
    ….
    I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24783.htm

  37. “The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms defines terrorism as:

    The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”

    So, wouldn’t qualify under that definition?

  38. Barp, if you haven’t seen it:

  39. Hey thanks for that link I hadn’t read it yet.

    There’s no way they’ll call that guy a terrorist. He’s just a lone nut…

    Mind you, he’s got it a lot better than many people outside the states, who got screwed over by the states.

    Well, had it better.

    I guess if you want to know what makes a suicide bomber you should read that.

  40. There was a link to his rant in the original post.

  41. Good article from Glenn Greenwald about it:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

  42. SB – ” Mirandising the underwear bomber earlier than necessary was a mistake. Trying KSM in a civil court in NY is insane. A military tribunal would have been better.” This is the sort of stuff you see on any of the disaffected right’s blogs in the US. They have tried to make out the this man was treated somehow differently than anyone under President Bush. They forget however, Richard Reid the shoebomber – exact same process. Some questions : 1) why do think that trying this guy in NY is insane? especially since a large number of terror suspects have gone through the US court system? Why do you think that military tribunals are better than civilian courts? Where is the proof of their efficacy? Finally what is the fundamental difference between a lone pilot (with typically teabagger fundamentalist type gripes against the tax system) flying his plane into a building in order to achieve a “high body count” and a group of islamic extremists doing exactly the same thing with planes not their own?

  43. LP have a post about this. The Cattalaxy post is wow…..just, wow.

  44. Mal, the underpantsman was Mirandised early. He stopped talking at that point. This was a mistake. We don’t know how much information was not obtained by this mistake. You certainly don’t, which is why your claims are pure wankery.

    The ‘exact same process’ meme that you and others are using at the moment is a hoot. Claiming that Obama is only as bad as Bush is not a winning argument..

    A Military Tribunal, as has been legislated by a Democrat Majority congress affords KSM all the protections he needs. It will be less susceptible to technicalities like the prejudice created when the doltish president and idiot attorney general promised he would be convicted. It will also be less likely to become a media circus like the OJ trial (remember that brilliant exhibition of justice in action?), it will also be less stressful for the victims and their families. In the end the people will judge, most likely that this is another action of an anti-American president.

    As to the difference between a lone pilot and thousands of jihadists motivated by a common ideology? It would be such a waste of time trying to understand that ideology, or spending any resources tracking people who preach and fund it. That would be silly, right. What we should do is immediately shift half the resources devoted to stopping the jihad movement into attacking people who hate paying taxes. Time for drones against tax cheats! Oh wait wouldn’t that wipeout a good number of Obama’s good buddies who were nominated for cabinet positions – oh well bye bye assclown Daschle and co.

  45. SB – Your own ‘wankery’ far surpasses any evidence of it in my comment. When exactly did you get exclusive knowledge about when KSM decided to stop talking? Insider friends in the FBI? As far as I’m concerned a terrorist attack is anything which is designed to strike terror into a country’s citizens while at the same time killing as many people as possible. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the motivation behind the IRS attack and Islamic terrorism. You might disagree – I actually don’t care if you do. As to the “meme” (as you call it) in relation to Richard Reid – it’s a fact, mate, whether you like it or not. I’m not even going to bother trying to counter the rest of your comments re OJ etc etc etc. They’re just pure crud.

  46. Oh, forgot to add – civilian courts in the US have dealt have successfully dealt with many more terror suspects than the military tribunals you place so much store in. The latter have convicted 3 people – 2 now are free.

  47. I didn’t actually say anything about KSM stopping talking Mal, but I guess comprehending what you read is a bridge too far for you, isn’t it?

  48. KSM said whatever the fuck he was told to say.

    So would you if you’d been waterboarded 4 312 284 times, repeatedly beaten to a pulp and made to listen to Britney Spears endlessly.

    And I think he also had threats made against his children.

  49. Yes SB I got it wrong – I meant the underpants guy – sorry about that. By the way, your incivility is not only pathetic it’s very reminiscent of the screaming bunch of looney right US bloggers I mentioned above.

  50. As the quote goes: Terrorism—the poor mans war. War: The rich mans terrorism. Tit for Tat!

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