Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What is a Terrorist?


Look at these icons of American History. Nat Turner. John Brown. Terrorists? Martyrs? Lunatic serial killers? Cultists? Symbols of pride and moral clarity? I guess you could find folks who could shove them in any one of those boxes. So as our President and Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney et al. frame this war of good versus evil, liberal wankers versus loyal patiotic Americans, can we say that Nat and Brown were the Mohammad Atta and Osama Bin laden of their time? After all, not until Osama Bin Laden have single individuals and their acts of violence had such a profound transformative effect on the course of our laws, our political structure, our culture.

"We did what had to be done!" Cryptic, isn't it? That's what Nat Turner said at his trial upon recanting a phony coerced confession. As misunderstood and misquoted as Nat is, he remains a colossus in black America's own little pantheon. Could he be no better than a suicide bomber? Is he an INSURGENT as in Iraq, dealing with the ambivelance of the very people he wanted to free (and recall, ambivalence doesn't mean you don't care, it means your heart and /or brain are jerked in opposite directions)? Why did he go on a "rampage" with his followers, and not just escape north and onto Canada? Perhaps at some point he saw the futility of becoming an American Spartacus, for even Spartacus could not resist mighty Rome. He saw the killing, burning, hacking, beating and fear--the FEAR--in whites as the ends to the means. In essence, you give those who have all the power what they fear the most: Powerlessness. Brutality becomes the answer to brutality. Thus he exposed for all to see a conflict that rages to this day: America's mythology versus reality. Note, the Virginia Legislature, along with that of border states like Kentucky and Maryland entertained resolutions ABOLISHING slavery (replacing it with serf-like peonage and low wages, for sure) as a direct result of the revolt. But, like Rome, opted instead to increase legal oppression of blacks and enforce this on a national level in Congress and through the White House. I bet you thought that "State's Rights" was a Southern thang, eh? Nope, it was a Northern thing as these states, even racist New York, thried to prevent enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act (take a look at the Rendition Clause of the Constitution, plus Full Faith and Credit--it's still in there, folks! I say take that out before we start talking about erasing the civil rights of fags and dykes...). States Rights became the Southern cry when the shoe was on the other foot--when basic human and civil rights for blacks was on the table. Again, why can't people just be honest about this stuff? Does it dimish one's power and standing to admit hey, it ain't about right and wrong, it ain't about God vs. the Devil--it's aboutpower, who's ox is getting gored? ;-)

John Brown was another individual who changed America forever--greasing that log flume ride into a horror show of bloody civil war, shoved along by Nat. From Kansas to Harpers Ferry, the man's terrible myth was scarier than his actual deeds. Indeed, the rednecks he battled in Kansas had murdered and looted far more any of Brown's real privations. But he was a symbol, like Nat Turner, and the potential of what he could do, coupled with that symbolism, was what struck fear into those in power. Power being, of course, the South, which ran the national government directly or indirectly through "doughface" clown Presidents like poor Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan. Yet this man dies a martyr. And his place in history isn't even as ambivalent as Nat Turner's. He is a symbol of righteous struggle for a moral cause.

Is Hamas or Hezbollah's cause any less compelling? Are the passions and history similar in any way? I'm just asking. I suppose in some Red States I'd be a traitor or over-thinking fruit for putting that out there. I don't think I could find a NASCAR Dad or Desparate Housewife who truly can name the author of the second-worst terrorist attack in US History? He was a patriotic, all American clean shaven WHITE BOY named Tim McVeigh. Of course, we don't racially profile clean shaven, GOP-voting white boys, even when they buy a ton of chemical fertilizer. (as a sidebar, there are plenty white Muslims--look at Bosnia--and some of the worst hijackers and urban terrorists in the 1970s were blond blue-eyed Bader-Meinhoff and Red Brigade operatives working with the PLO, etc. Watch out for that little old white grandma, then who breezes through the metal detector then. That Poligrip might just be C-4...)



Look, I have a neighbor, now celebrating Yom Kippur, with an uncle who boasts killing four British Marines with a Sten submachine gun in 1947, during a prison break. This same guy blew up a truck which was filled with goats and two Arab farmers. The attack was meant to "send a message" to Arabs living in Palestine that Israel was there to stay, and that no Jew would be herded off to die ever again, as what happened in the German (notice I didn't say Nazi) concentration camps just a few years earlier. Apparently these victims were just farmers, both lived side by side with Jews in Palestine for generations, both supported partition (which created Israel in 1947, shepherded by a woefully unlauded African American, Dr. Ralph Bunche ).
Was this guy's uncle a terrorist? I'm sure most Jews and many Americans in toto would say no. Why? Maybe because the difference between a terrorist and a rebel, a patriot, a hero depends on who is in power, on who writes history?

John Brown and Nat Turner are heroes to me, just as John Wayne and Rev. Jerry Falwell and Oliver North might be another person's heroes, or Bin Laden is the hero of some unemployed teenager living in a hovel on the outskirts of Cairo. Or some thug like "Marlowe" on The Wire is the hero of another disillusioned kid living on Aisquith Street in West Baltimore. The trick is, how do you reconcile their violence, ignorance, destructiveness. Many folks, be they evangelicals or ex-Marines or rednecks or radical Muslims or nililistic "corner kids" in any US city don't have or want the mental tools to critically assess that paradox. Either way, it's got shit to do with "good versus evil" on any real, gut-to-nutsack level. Think about it...

51 comments:

Lance Williams, Sr. said...

You're on fire, man! Preach! But there has to be some absolutes, not a sliding scale, comprende?

Anonymous said...

viagra online without prescription buy brand viagra - viagra online pay with paypal

Anonymous said...

viagra online without prescription viagra online dr thom - free viagra order online

Anonymous said...

generic viagra how to viagra online - buy viagra europe

Anonymous said...

buy soma soma quarry - legal purchase soma online

Anonymous said...

soma without prescription soma bras discount - somo 655

Anonymous said...

soma 350 mg soma intimates sale - order soma to arizona

Anonymous said...

buy soma online soma 2410 v side effects - cheap restaurants soma san francisco

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol soma soma muscle relaxer pills - buy soma online from usa

Anonymous said...

buy soma online no prescription generic for sumatriptan - generic soma 2410 v

Anonymous said...

purchase soma buy soma online + usa - soma online game

Anonymous said...

generic soma soma 350 mg drug - soma institute

Anonymous said...

Hi, buy bupropion - generic bupropion http://www.wellbutrinonlinesale.net/#generic-bupropion , [url=http://www.wellbutrinonlinesale.net/#cheap-bupropion ]cheap bupropion [/url]

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol cod fedex tramadol overdose dosage - buy tramadol valium online

Anonymous said...

cialis online usa cialis 2.5mg price comparison - cialis price pakistan

Anonymous said...

Medicine Boils cipro without rx - cipro online no prescription http://www.cheapcipromed.net/#cipro-online-no-prescription , [url=http://www.cheapcipromed.net/#order-cipro ]order cipro [/url]

Anonymous said...

Medicine Google buy finasteride online - finasteride online http://www.propeciahowtosave.net/#finasteride-online , [url=http://www.propeciahowtosave.net/#buy-finasteride ]buy finasteride [/url]

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online can you buy cialis over the counter in mexico - can you buy cialis online in usa

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online cialis for daily use review - once daily cialis

Anonymous said...

tfv buy cytotec no prescription - buy misoprostol online http://www.cytoteconlinecheap.net/#cytotec-online, [url=http://www.cytoteconlinecheap.net/#cytotec-online]cytotec without prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

tmd buy plavix online no prescription - buy generic plavix online http://www.plavixbuynow.net/#purchase-plavix, [url=http://www.plavixbuynow.net/#purchase-plavix]buy plavix no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

sob buy neurontin online - gabapentin no prescription http://www.neurontinonlinesales.net/#gabapentin-no-prescription , [url=http://www.neurontinonlinesales.net/#buy-gabapentin-no-prescription ]buy gabapentin no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

xrh generic strattera cost - strattera pills http://www.stratteraforsale.net/#strattera-pills , [url=http://www.stratteraforsale.net/#buy-atomoxetine-no-prescription ]buy atomoxetine no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax overdose painless - xanax bars and alcohol

Anonymous said...

how to buy xanax online legally xanax effects fetus - xanax drug recreation

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax bars high effects - long xanax your system drug test

Anonymous said...

xanax online 1mg xanax urine drug test - xanax effects on personality

Anonymous said...

Hello, propecia no prescription - finasteride 5mg http://www.opportunitiesatjohnthomasbd.com/#finasteride-5mg , finasteride for sale

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol order tramadol american express - tramadol 100 mg ratiopharm

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online cheap xanax effects on brain - get cheap xanax online

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax high 1mg - what are xanax pills used for

Anonymous said...

generic xanax where can i buy xanax online - klonopin vs xanax for anxiety

Anonymous said...

generic xanax are all generic xanax the same - xanax crazy meds

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol carisoprodol drug type - carisoprodol generic name

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy tramadol online no prescription next day delivery - tramadol hcl usa

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol online bluelight - tramadol 50mg tablets used

Anonymous said...

buy generic cialis no prescription generic cialis as good - cialis 20 mg tablets

Anonymous said...

buy cialis 20mg cialis daily reviews - generic cialis zoll

Anonymous said...

cialis online buy cialis usa - generic cialis bangkok

Anonymous said...

cialis online cialis for bph reviews - cialis oral user reviews

Anonymous said...

cialis online cialis versus viagra reviews - buy cheap cialis from us

Anonymous said...

buy cialis soft tabs cheap cialis generic - generic cialis 20mg us

Anonymous said...

3, cheap adipex - buy cheap adipex http://www.costofadipex375.com/#cheap-adipex-37.5, cheap adipex online

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#30896 buy tramadol usa next day delivery - tramadol 50mg is it a narcotic

Anonymous said...

http://www.integrativeonc.org/adminsio/buyklonopinonline/#8491 klonopin for airplane anxiety - how many klonopin high

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#28875 buy tramadol hydrochloride - can you buy tramadol online no prescription

Anonymous said...

http://southcarolinaaccidentattorney.com/#77410 carisoprodol efeitos colaterais - soma 250 mg carisoprodol tablets

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg buy watson carisoprodol - can carisoprodol 350 mg get you high

Anonymous said...

oZzy moved away some time ago, I miss his cock, that i'm always hungry for sexual intercourse.
FUCK MY PUSSY!

Here is my webpage; hcg injections
My website :: hcg injections

Anonymous said...

buy cheap carisoprodol soma carisoprodol erowid - carisoprodol webmd

Anonymous said...

I am гeally gгateful to the holder of thіs web site who has shared this impreѕsіve paragraph аt
here.

Mу web site; hcg diet drops reviews