Category Archives: Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt
Nordic avenger Anders Breivik, in executing his murderous attacks last Friday in Oslo has forever had his ticked punched as a heroic figure to the extreme right-wingers of the same sort that have eaten America from within with their virulent hatred. Breivik or Anders Behring Breivik in sticking with the favored propaganda technique of the thoroughly rotten media who since the days of Lee Harvey Oswald always assign all three names to political murderers, a blond-haired blue-eyed fanatic was a Christian who loved guns, hated Muslims and “cultural Marxists” slaughtered 76 people in a rampage that rocked Norway. The majority of Breivik’s victims were gunned down at a government youth camp on Utoeya Island where the shooter, dressed as a policeman conjured up dark European memories of the Waffen SS as he carried out his executions in an icily detached militaristic manner. Using high-capacity magazines purchased from the U.S., the terrorist stalked and taunted his victims, laughing as he ended their lives in a hail of bullets and vengeful fury. Breivik brought to mind notorious American terrorist Timothy McVeigh when he built a massive bomb, using up to six tons of fertilizer to detonate in front of government offices near the Parliament building. Fortunately for Norway, the fertilizer bomb was not as devastating as the one that took down the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City back in 1995 or the carnage and body count would have been far worse. Breivik, like McVeigh is a Christian and this fact is downplayed in the American media in the standard cynical attempt to not have the powerful “terrorist” label applied to a non-Muslim.
It had to happen: the rise of a “counter-jihadist” terrorist outfit that is the mirror image of al-Qaeda. That it first arose in Norway, rather than, say, in the US, is just a coincidence, although I’m sure Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norwegian mass murder in Utoya, has his American collaborators, as he claimed in his manifesto, “2083: A Declaration of European Independence,” [.pdf] and an accompanying video. Indeed, a good many of the sources he cites in “2083″ – which is basically a compendium of previously published works by others – are American. Material from David Horowitz’s website, Frontpagemag.com, figures prominently, along with articles taken verbatim from the Horowitz-affiliated “Jihad Watch,” run by professional hater and make-believe “scholar” Robert Spencer.
Breivik’s “book” is a mishmash, half diary of his careful preparations for the attack thrown together with anti-Muslim materials and boilerplate conservative rhetoric about the importance of faith, family, and community – Breivik lifts an entire section of a screed on “Cultural Conservatism” by the late Paul Weyrich – totaling well over a thousand pages. Thankfully, we don’t have to plough through this disjointed “compendium,” as he calls it – which shows signs of being hastily thrown together in preparation for his international debut as the Norwegian Timothy McVeigh, just like his Facebook page and his Twitter account. Breivik created a much more coherent video version which gives us a lot more clues about why he murdered 90-plus (at last count) of his fellow Norwegians in the name of fighting Islam.
For much of the day yesterday, the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates. The morning statement issued by President Obama — “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring” and “we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks” — appeared to assume, though (to its credit) did not overtly state, that the perpetrator was an international terrorist group.
But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged,Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. Despite that, The New York Times is still working hard to pin some form of blame, even ultimate blame, on Muslim radicals (h/t sysprog):
Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda’s brutality and multiple attacks.
“If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington.
Al Qaeda is always to blame, even when it isn’t, even when it’s allegedly the work of a Nordic, Muslim-hating, right-wing European nationalist. Of course, before Al Qaeda, nobody ever thought to detonate bombs in government buildings or go on indiscriminate, politically motivated shooting rampages. The NYT speculates that amonium nitrate fertilizer may have been used to make the bomb because the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, owned a farming-related business and thus could have access to that material; of course nobody would have ever thought of using that substance tomake a massive bomb had it not been for Al Qaeda. So all this proves once again what a menacing threat radical Islam is.
My first reaction was to be pretty surprised about how—or not really surprised, but just struck by how intense the media coverage was and the media interest was in this attack. Obviously, it was a heinous attack. When a government building blows up, when someone goes on an indiscriminate shooting rampage aimed at teenagers, it’s horrific. And yet, at the same time, the United States and its allies have brought killing like this, violence like this, to numerous countries around the world that receives a tiny fraction of the attention that this attack received, a tiny—it prompts a tiny fraction of the interest in denouncing it and in declaring it to be evil. And it just struck me that when we think that Muslims are responsible for violence aimed at Western nations, it receives a huge amount of attention in the American media, and yet when the United States brings violence on that level to Muslim countries, kills an equal number of civilians, dozens of people killed by drone attacks and the like, and tons of people killed that way over Afghanistan over the past decade, it barely registers. I mean, an attack like this, this level of death in Iraq, for example, or Afghanistan, would barely register on the media scale.
The other aspect of it, though, is what you referenced in your question, which is, when it was widely assumed, based on basically nothing, that Muslims had been responsible for this attack and that a radical Muslim group likely perpetrated it, it was widely declared to be a “terrorist” attack. That was the word that was continuously used. And yet, when it became apparent that Muslims were not involved and that, in reality, it was a right-wing nationalist with extremely anti-Muslim, strident anti-Muslim bigotry as part of his worldview, the word “terrorism” almost completely disappeared from establishment media discourse. Instead, he began to be referred to as a “madman” or an “extremist.” And it really underscores, for me, the fact that this word “terrorism,” that plays such a central role in our political discourse and our law, really has no objective meaning. It’s come to mean nothing more than Muslims who engage in violence, especially when they’re Muslims whom the West dislikes.
That you would think that—you would think that in response to this attack, we would end up doing things like, for example, profiling Nordic males or tall, blond Americans, tall, blond, Nordic-looking people at airports, or would start to, for example, engage in surveillance on the communications of people who belong to right-wing groups in Europe, or you look at the people who inspire these attacks, people like Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller, people who engage in this sort of strident anti-Muslim commentary who inspired this individual. You know, we look at Islamic radicals who we allege inspire violence, such as Anwar al-Awlaki, and we target them for assassination—due-process-free killing—even though they’re American citizens. Of course, none of these measures are going to be invoked against right-wing ideologues who are anti-Muslim in nature. And you would expect that Peter King’s hearings, if he were really interested in the threat of violence or terrorism, would be expanded to include what we now know is a very real threat, and yet it isn’t, which simply underscores that those hearings, like so many of these measures done in the name of terrorism, is really just a vehicle for demonizing Muslims, restricting their rights, subjecting them to increased scrutiny. It’s about Islamophobia and not about terrorism.
The major candidates for the Republican nomination for the presidency, including Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, along with television personalities such as Bill Maher, routinely employ hate talk against Muslims as a way to attract votes or viewers. Right-wing radio and cable news, including Christian radio and television, along with websites such as Jihad Watch and FrontPage, spew toxic filth about Muslims over the airwaves and the Internet. But perhaps most ominously—as pointed out in “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace,” a report by PoliticalResearch Associates—a cadre of right-wing institutions that peddle themselves as counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world has been indoctrinating thousands of police, intelligence and military personnel in nationwide seminars. These seminars, run by organizations such as Security Solutions International, The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, and International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association, embrace gross and distorted stereotypes and propagate wild conspiracy theories. And much of this indoctrination within the law enforcement community is funded under two grant programs for training—the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Areas Security Initiative—which made $1.67 billion available to states in 2010. The seminars preach that Islam is a terrorist religion, that an Islamic “fifth column” or “stealth jihad” is subverting the United States from within, that mainstream American Muslims have ties to terrorist groups, that Muslims use litigation, free speech and other legal means (something the trainers have nicknamed “Lawfare”) to advance the subversive Muslim agenda and that the goal of Muslims in the United States is to replace the Constitution with Islamic or Shariah law.
The effects of this campaign of racial hatred are being felt throughout the Muslim community. Those with Muslim names are routinely harassed at airports, and many who wear traditional Muslim dress report mounting cases of verbal and sometimes physical abuse. Muslim children endure taunts in schools. Muslims complain of intrusive surveillance, unconstitutional profiling and frequent mistreatment by law enforcement. The practice of Islam, especially in its traditional forms, is now viewed by many as a sign of criminal intent. And with the rise of the surveillance and security state—we now have 854,000 people working in our domestic security apparatus and 800,000 more employed as police and emergency personnel—national law is being turned into an instrument of overt repression against a religious minority.
To me personally, the most shocking thing about Breivik’s killing spree is that it happened in Norway and not right here in Der Homeland. There has long been a very sinister campaign to foment anti-Muslim bigotry, the coin of the realm for the neocon right-wing and their Christian Zionist brigades, this has been especially the case since 9/11, the American Reichstag Fire but has spiked with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. While Obama has still maintained the boot-licking fealty of the United States government towards the state of Israel he has been less deferential to the war-crazed Netanyahu regime than his predecessors. With right-wing Likudniks and their neocon American fifth-column hellbent on igniting a global conflagration that will make WW II look like a skirmish by unleashing an attack on Iran they have found Obama to be a recalcitrant obstacle to their agenda and one that must be removed. It has been monumentally helpful to the Israeli extreme right to have been able to manifest it’s policies within the pseudo populist pack of useful idiots that is the Tea Party who will never be able to accept a black man in the WHITE House.
In Obama, pretty much a feckless, worthless stooge of Wall Street looters in my opinion and by the actions of his lamentable administration has proven to be a classic villain to the fascist American right. The very fact that Obama’s skin is of a darker pigmentation ensures that there will always be a driving counter-force among that certain element of the population that are hardened, multi-generational racists but when the sleazy insinuations that he is illegitimate resonates throughout the degenerate Republican party base. Note the potency of the incredibly asinine long-running farce about his birth certificate that only came to a head when the ultra-slimy opportunist pigfucker Donald Trump actually was gathering momentum as some sort of dark horse candidate with his noise pollution about said document. The one moment when Obama finally proved to have a small degree of political canniness came when he produced the birth certificate, blew up the pompous asshole Trump in a brutally mocking monologue at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and for good measure announced the extra-judicial assassination of one time CIA asset Osama bin Laden the same weekend. That the entire Birther movement blew up as the carnival of idiocy that it always was and the black propaganda campaign that was being prepped and was ready to roll out with another bulk purchase extravaganza book by the loathsome ass Jerome Corsi and promoted by Joseph Farah and Fox went up like so much a bag of flaming dogshit only temporarily halted the onslaught. The armies of darkness that are the fascist shocktroops regrouped and will not so easily be chastened as they troll for killers, brutes and goons and the American Anders Breivik.
Glenn Beck pushes the narrative that Obama has betrayed Israel and as the defacto leader of the Republican fascist Tea Party movement is going to be an integral figure in mustering the troops against the infidel Obama. Beck has already been across the pond hitting the hustings over in God’s chosen land, honing his chops for the big show next year by preaching well established lies about the “vaporization of Israel” and accumulating the necessary gravitas with the extremist Netanyahu-Lieberman government to mobilize the domestic fifth-column. Beck has a highly publicized, massive anti-Obama rally slated to be rolled out in the holy land later in August which in another of those slick Orwellian bumper sticker slogans has been dubbed Restoring Courage. The Jerusalem Beck rally that is a warmup to the many domestic Nuremberg style events is being heavily pimped by American Christian fascist groups, notably radical cleric Pat Robertson among many others. The hard core Israeli ideologues have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the Religious Right, just as they do with European racist groups in promoting the anti-Muslim crusade. Rather than venture too deeply into the wormhole that is the long-running Israeli penetration of U.S. based religious groups, likely much of it through the head of the serpent that is The Council For National Policy , I will save that for another time because there is plenty to be said. Rest assured, the level is ominous and represents, and I am not engaging in excessive hyperbole – an existential threat to whatever remains of our once vibrant democracy.
When Beck is finished polishing his act and the Republican candidates are well into their anti-Muslim rhetoric, a good deal of which is already being pushed by the likes of guaranteed losers like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and their ilk look for a multi-billion dollar blitz of rancid propaganda featuring the conjured up threat of the replacement of the Constitution with Sharia Law and the Antichrist that is Barack Hussein Obama as the cat’s paw of the reconstructed Islamic caliphate. Leave it to the idiot choir to foment the hatred and rouse the rabble, much like Palin did at her ugly 2008 campaign rallies where the most base instincts of the moral reprobates were sated with accusations that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” and that sleazy little Obsession DVD was sent out in the Sunday papers of millions of Americans in crucial political battleground states. Many of the same people whose work was inspirational to Anders Breivik were also associated with the Obsession DVD including David Horowitz and his malignantly depraved pals. It was no coincidence that Muslim children were gassed at a Dayton, Ohio mosque during Ramadan during that period. The man who is likely going to benefit the most from the ongoing debt ceiling tango by leveraging his Tea Party clout to overthrow the drunken idiot John Boehner as Speaker of the House is one Eric Cantor who has much riding on the promotion of anti-Muslim sentiment. The rising star Cantor is the go to guy in the Republican party when it comes to promoting the interests of Israel over those of the United States. Cantor not only was a co-sponsor of a Capitol Hill screening of the Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West in 2006 but recently also promoted another propaganda film by the Clarion Fund entitled Iranium which advocates a first strike against Iran before it is able to obtain nuclear capability. Look for this meme to be central to the 2012 Republican campaigns. Cantor is of immense value to the extremist Israeli agenda and provides a critical bridge to the Tea Party and the Republican Evangelical Christian base. Note this story from The Baltimore Jewish Times:
Cantor knows that it’s good branding to be known as the only Jewish congressman in the House majority — if nothing else, it gives him a monopoly of sorts.
“It increased his influence a thousand-fold,” says William Daroff, a lobbyist for the Jewish federation system. When he lends his name to events like a Capitol Hill screening of a new anti-Iran movie, “Iranium,” produced by the conservative Clarion Fund, “it just gives it much more of a hechsher [special certification],” Daroff says.
But his efforts to combat earmarks and budget waste come before any ethnic solidarity: Jay Ipson, head of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, says Cantor had proven unwilling to secure federal grants for the organization he’d helped get up and running. “He was at one point thinking about getting us financial help from Washington, but then when the economy started looking not so good, he swore off any assistance for anybody,” says Ipson, a Holocaust survivor from Lithuania who is known for wearing a cowboy hat everywhere, including synagogue.
When asked about his Jewish Republican status, Cantor says, “You know, my faith goes with me in everything I do. … You know, again, I don’t think you ever go far from sort of the moral compass that you were given when you were brought up in faith. So I can only say that I grew up in a very active and vibrant Jewish community, and then a larger civic community in Richmond that didn’t happen to be Jewish also contributed to who I am and what kind of officeholder I hopefully am.”
Many of Cantor’s most ardent supporters aren’t Jewish. When John McCain called Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention, in the summer of 2008 looking for advice on who to pick as a running mate — at a time when Lieberman, who campaigned for McCain, was being mentioned as a contender — Land suggested the Arizona senator look at Cantor, who was already doing Jewish outreach for the campaign. (The other person Land recommended in that call was Sarah Palin.)
“Cantor would have helped tremendously in states which would be a very close race, in Virginia, obviously, but in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and he’s the only Republican in Congress who’s Jewish and pro-life,” says Land. “He stood out as a comer from the very beginning — he’s very bright, very energetic, very concerned about the issues we care about.”
Juanita Duggan, the former Philip Morris lobbyist, echoed Land’s comments and told me a story about spiriting Cantor to a Tax Foundation dinner when he was still in freshman orientation, after the 2000 election.
“He knew just what to do,” Duggan says proudly. Then, she joked, “I am the honorary chair of the ‘Eric Cantor for President 2012’ committee.” When I asked her why, she says a Jewish nominee would cement the idea of the GOP as “the pro-Israel party” — just as it would also ease the path of a Southern conservative to the White House.
“Having the first Jewish president be a Republican,” she says, brightly, “would be a wonderful thing.”
In rolling out newly acquired heavy artillery like Beck and CUFI the neocons are about to get back into the game – not that they ever truly left.