ISIS IN AMERICA

atrocity

For the past eight months,or so,as ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State has wreaked havoc in Iraq with both pure military action and pure craven horrific terrorism in the form of murders of civilians, especially public executions of journalists or other foreigners chosen to be examples of the power of ISIS. Those executions have notably included beheading and immolation.

And these actions have drawn the usual panic stricken outcry from the right for the most extreme, militaristic response possible. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) among others have warned the American people that if proper measures are not taken ISIS will be in America and “killing us all”.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/sen-graham-obama-must-stop-isis-before-we-all-get-killed-here-at-home/

I’ve got news for you, Senator, ISIS has been present in America for well over one hundred years. Only it has been known by another name—the Ku Klux Klan.

What ISIS has done to its opponents of innocent victims ensnared by its sleazy tentacles is no different than the havoc wreaked by the Klan upon thousands of black people in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. While nooses were the lethal weapon of choice sometimes the criminals, many of who would have been described as productive upstanding citizens in their normal lives. acted out the motto “hangin’s too good for ’em”. As you can see in the photo above this man was hanged AND burned.

Graham’s own state of South Carolina has its own ugly history of lynchings. Okay, some were in response to murders and the lynchees may have even been guilty of such crimes themselves, but they were not convicted in our courts in a trial of any kind though if they had been tried it’s doubtful the proceedings would have been fair.

Even more so, a great number of the lynchees were murdered for alleged offenses that would not have invoked the death penalty. You can find on the list linked to below the capital “crimes” were for “quarreling”, “seditious utterances” (whatever they are), “intimate with white woman” (presumably consensual since it is not listed as rape as are so many).

There was even one man summarily executed having “shot the sheriff”. Funny, neither Bob Marley nor Eric Clapton suffered that fate.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sctttp/lynchings.htm

So while ISIS does pose a genuine threat to the areas where it operates, and in a none too gentle way, the possibility of ISIS being able to produce a physical presence within our borders is so remote as to be laughable. Not that a few stray sympathizers, home grown at that, may take it upon themselves to misguidedly emulate their heroes, but if they do it by acquiring some AK-47’s and blasting their way through the matinee showing of Fifty Shades of Gray at their local cineplex, the NRA will be staunch defenders of their right to do so.

In the meantime, until ISIS embarks upon a warship building frenzy or manages to procure military aircraft (Hey! A new market for American weapons dealers! Talk about increasing the export prowess of the United States!) my sleep is unlikely to be disturbed by anything more than the increased volume of commercials as I doze while enjoying the latest dramatic recreation of a murder story on Investigation Discovery.

The knocking on my door will be a neighbor complaining of noise, not some Muslim fanatic wielding a scimitar.

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Comments

  • wayne Muller  On February 6, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    You know that I find your opinions interesting and your research thorough, so if I miss the point, be patient….

    This seems to me to be a collection of disconnected arguments. From Senator Graham’s arguments, I agree that some terrorism connected to ISIS may find its way inside of our borders, but I don’t think that even the most severe military action would be likely to prevent that. From your argument, I agree that awful people did and continue to do hideous things to their neighbors in the name of the KKK or even on their own, but I would suggest that while we should all care about and work toward the end of this cruelty, it does not really disqualify us from working against foreign terrorists as well. We can do both. If your point is that we can find plenty of evil right in our own back yard, I agree, but I can only hope that I am not being too naive in a belief that for the most part we are aware of and abhor the violence of the KKK.

    • umoc193  On February 7, 2015 at 1:11 AM

      I think what you express is pretty much in line with what I was trying to do here. I was putting emphasis, though, on the ridiculousness of sensationalists like Graham.

      And I never have said we should not try to stop terrorism of any ilk, but, aside from 9/11, there has never been a foreign terror attack with double digit deaths. But what Jared Loughner and James Holmes and Adam Lanza did were no less terror attacks than was 9/11.

      Ultimately, I guess, I’m saying that the U.S. has no claims to moral superiority.

      • Little_Minx  On February 7, 2015 at 8:38 AM

        Arguably Loughner, Holmes and Lanza were bat-shit crazy (which of course doesn’t make their targets, dead and otherwise, any less victims). I’ve wondered if the real purpose behind the video of the burning of the Jordanian pilot is to attract potential killers as crazy as Loughner, Holmes and Lanza, who’ll have no compunctions about slaughtering ISIL’s targets. (I have a hunch that some of the earlier Internet recruits attracted by their slick online media may have proven too muzzy-eyed to be adequate to such tasks).

      • wayne Muller  On February 7, 2015 at 9:01 AM

        I won’t argue with you about any moral superiority, since I often voice my opinion that we are the center of the culture of death. At first I thought to object that Pearl Harbor was attacked, but that was a military target and that highlights the very nature of terrorism, the targets are random and without purpose, intent on causing fear in all. Perhaps in the case of IS it is also the factor of brutality. Either way, the desired outcome doesn’t rely on double digit casualties, just fear. A response of large scale air strikes or even ground attacks might actually backfire….if anything is clear and universally understood, it is that if you kill a person’s family, they take little comfort in the knowledge that it was collateral damage. Calling for large scale military intervention ( if that is what is being called for )is either succumbing to those fears, or worse, pandering to those fears in others.

        • umoc193  On February 7, 2015 at 9:54 AM

          If anybody goes to bed each night in the U.S. fearing a Muslim terrorist is outside their door ready to pounce they have serious issues unresolvable by Homeland Security.

          I am not the first person to point this out…Radly Balko’s writings are particularly apt…but in the wake of 9/11 what was once the military/industrial complex has expanded to become the military/industrial/terrorist security complex that thrives financially on scaring the shit out of us, and without a valid basis for doing so.

  • Devildog  On February 7, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    I suspect, with quite a bit of certainty, that you go to bed each night fearing the military/industrial/terrorist complex(with good reason, no doubt, in your own mind). I go to bed each night hoping the next day will be as glorious as was the last day (no matter how that day was).

    It is striking how different your outlook is from the clear-thinking Wayne Muller. I know you can’t learn anything from me but I hope you can from him. One thing you can learn from him is how to relax.

    • umoc193  On February 8, 2015 at 1:09 AM

      I usually fall asleep while watching Investigation Discovery hoping that not yet another innocent person will soon occupy death row.

      • Devildog  On February 8, 2015 at 8:36 AM

        Don’t worry! Be happy! But thanks for taking an interest in saving this country (and the world). Someone has to do it.

  • Tourist  On February 7, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    UMOC, I’m with Wayne in his first comment, and in at least most of his second. You state that “ISIS has been present in America for well over one hundred years,” meaning the KKK, which is poetically fine with me. America has the KKK, which equates with the ISIS, therefore: “Ultimately, I guess, I’m saying that the U.S. has no claims to moral superiority.”

    Is it a toss-up?

    What claim might America make for itself vis-a-vis ISIS?

    ===

    “But what Jared Loughner and James Holmes and Adam Lanza did were no less terror attacks than was 9/11.”

    UMOC, you sound like Joe repeating that liberalism is a failed philosophy. You use the word “terrorism” the way the tea party does when it says Obama is the real terrorist. You use the word the way I do when I call my nephew a little terrorist. As I said in your “Drone Alert” post exactly (!) two years ago:

    (Quote)

    [G]iven all we agree on, I regret coming in on the offensive, but, seriously, where to begin? “If what Adam Lanza did was not an act of terror I do not know what is.” We’ve done this one before. You don’t know what is.

    Dead is dead, but we make distinctions. Intent, negligence and accident are not the same thing. Shooting a clerk to rob the store and shooting a spouse in anger are not the same thing. Terrorism has a political objective. The target is not the victims (who are of course “murdered”); the target of terrorism is authority. The aim of terrorism is to terrorize the populace, to cause people to live in fear, to the extent that they demand the authorities end the terror by doing something the terrorists want: bombing pubs until political prisoners are released. It’s not murder without the intent to kill, so terrorism is obviously, again, murder. But it’s not terrorism without the political intent. That customers are “terrified” when a McDonalds is shot up has nothing to do with it.

    [And, further down in that thread:]

    The word has a definition. You use it incorrectly. You do not have to acknowledge that. Why you don’t just quietly stop is a puzzlement. I don’t know, either, that it matters in the least, but, with Strunk & White in mind – “omit needless words” – I would ask what calling Sandy Hook “terrorism” adds that “murder” or “mass murder” does not already cover.

    Dead body plus “drive-by” and dead body plus “crime of passion” each tell us something. “Terrorism” also tells us something, about context and motivation. That’s how it’s useful.

    (Unquote)

    https://umoc193.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/drone-alert/

    But don’t let me convince you. From the FBI’s website:

    (Quote)

    Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code

    18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled “Terrorism”:

    ***

    “Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

    Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
    Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination[,] or kidnapping; and
    Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

    18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:

    Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and

    Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.).

    (Unquote)

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism-definition

    Further, per wiki, 22 USC 38, says, in the context of State Department country reports: “[T]he term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

    Still wiki: (Quote) The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85). (Unquote)

    • Devildog  On February 7, 2015 at 10:08 PM

      Welcome back!

    • umoc193  On February 8, 2015 at 1:07 AM

      Let’s skip the political bullshit definitions of terrorism. They serve political purposes.

      We’ll stick with Merriam-Webster, a trusted source.

      Full Definition of TERRORISM

      : the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

      Full Definition of TERROR

      1
      : a state of intense fear
      2
      a : one that inspires fear : scourge
      b : a frightening aspect
      c : a cause of anxiety : worry
      d : an appalling person or thing; especially : brat
      3
      : reign of terror
      4
      : violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands

      Imagine, if you will, the elementary school students cowering in fear waiting for Adam Lantz to make them his next victims. Pure terror. And apparently he had no ulterior motives, no political or even coercive agenda (money, revenge) other than the sick scenario playing out in his mind, a scenario we will never be able to accurately determine. But he placed those children…and teachers…in absolute terror whether they themselves were gunned down or witnessed the brutal killings of their classmates and escaped.

      The same with the others I cited or mass killers in Austin or Lubbock or San Ysidro or any other killing venues where the victims had no expectation they were about to breathe their last.

      That is no different than what the occupants of the WTC experienced.

      Remember the movie Die Hard? Terrorists take over a skyscraper demanding nothing but money, no political motivation, and were called terrorists which is what they were. I recall no objections to such portrayal by anyone fearing that terrorism would be misunderstood. Of course that was several years prior to the advent of FOX News which changed the language of terrorism significantly.

      One must also recognize that, at heart, terrorism is merely felonious crime, and not always lethal. The Weather Underground carried out a series of bombings with no fatalities. Their acts were very political, of course.

      The bombing of the WTC was a political act.

      Oklahoma City was a political act.

      The Red Brigades in Italy committed numerous terroristic acts including the murder of Aldo Moro.

      Giuseppe Zangara murdered Anton Cermak instead of his intended target, FDR, as part of his self-avowed desire to kill “kings and Presidents and then capitalists”. One can look at him as a terrorist.

      Two points to all this. Terrorism has existed in various forms and carried out by various entities for far longer than the examples I have cited. Thus the “War on Terror” is a farce.

      The terrorists in each of those cases individual or members of a group,were treated as criminals with civil court trials, normal sentencing to either prison time or the death penalty.

      Their cases may have been sensationalized but so are regular murder trials. (O.J. anyone?)

      But after 9/11 politics came into play and all of a sudden our nation was so damned weak we had to take extraordinary measures as a manifestation of that weakness instead of relying upon the ideals and institutions we so proudly hail.

      But the strange thing about ISIS, whatever political goals it may have are primarily being acted out through traditional methods of military action. The executions of hostages are similar to practices of armies since time immemorial.

      Almost every measure put into place since 9/11 has had political expediency and the consolidation of power as its motivation, not the safety of the public.

      You can argue the efficacy of them individually but their collective effect is political, not security.

      • Tourist  On February 8, 2015 at 5:28 AM

        “Let’s skip the political bullshit definitions of terrorism.”

        +++ U.S. Code? Code of Federal Regulations? Actual law on the subject must count for something.

        “Full Definition of TERRORISM
        : the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion”

        +++ Yes, systematic use of. As a means. With a purpose.

        You: “And apparently he [Lanza] had no ulterior motives, no political or even coercive agenda (money, revenge) other than the sick scenario playing out in his mind, a scenario we will never be able to accurately determine. But he placed those children…and teachers…in absolute terror whether they themselves were gunned down or witnessed the brutal killings of their classmates and escaped.”

        +++ Again, yes. He place them in terror. He did not systematically use their terror (your definition) to his ends.

        “Remember the movie Die Hard? Terrorists take over a skyscraper demanding nothing but money, no political motivation, and were called terrorists which is what they were.”

        +++ From the movie: Takagi: “What kind of terrorists are you?” Gruber: “Who said we were terrorists?” They were thieves and killers.

        “Of course that was several years prior to the advent of FOX News which changed the language of terrorism significantly.”

        +++ As you demonstrate when you say that fear suffices for the definition.

        “One must also recognize that, at heart, terrorism is merely felonious crime, and not always lethal.”

        +++ Merely? As when I am held up a gunpoint, surrender my wallet, in terror that I will be shot anyway. Terrorism?

        “Two points to all this. Terrorism has existed in various forms and carried out by various entities for far longer than the examples I have cited. Thus the “War on Terror” is a farce.”

        +++ Who’s arguing?

        “The terrorists in each of those cases individual or members of a group,were treated as criminals with civil court trials, normal sentencing to either prison time or the death penalty.”

        +++ Who’s arguing?

        “But after 9/11 politics came into play and all of a sudden our nation was so damned weak we had to take extraordinary measures as a manifestation of that weakness instead of relying upon the ideals and institutions we so proudly hail.”

        +++ Some word quibbles, but who’s arguing?

        “But the strange thing about ISIS, whatever political goals it may have are primarily being acted out through traditional methods of military action. The executions of hostages are similar to practices of armies since time immemorial.”

        +++ *Murders* of hostages. So you *are* saying it’s a toss-up between America and ISIS.

        “Almost every measure put into place since 9/11 has had political expediency and the consolidation of power as its motivation, not the safety of the public.”

        +++ If so, how does your “sum of all fears” approach play into it? Fox: “Be afraid, for they are terrorists.” You: “They caused fear. They are terrorists.”

        +++ Blinded by the light.

  • Tourist  On February 7, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    As of 7:00 p.m., February 7: awaiting moderation.

    • Devildog  On February 7, 2015 at 7:25 PM

      Ohayo gazaimous!

  • umoc193  On February 8, 2015 at 5:17 AM

    I just read this article. It seems somewhat disjointed to me but a few statements or passages struck me as worth sharing, mainly about how it’s almost impossible for a major political figure to criticize aspects of the military and aggressive foreign policy (read wars) without the danger of never being elected again.

    That’s an oversimplification, but it’s very late and I’m ready for sleep.

    Anyhow see if you can find anything here that further stimulates the conversation.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/07/where_did_the_massive_antiwar_movement_in_america_go_partner/

    • Tourist  On February 9, 2015 at 5:57 AM

      I like these parts – pausing first to note the view advanced *explicitly* in and around these pages that if each was in it only for him- or herself and to hell with everyone else, then the nation would be at its strongest, something I have repeatedly characterized as the ultimate in a biologically robust jungle (“Is that all there is?”) :

      (Quote) It also included a . . . vision of a country, a government, that was truly ours, and to which we owed — and one dreamed of offering — some form of service. That was deeply engrained in us, which was why when, in his inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy so famously called on us to serve, the response was so powerful. (“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”) Soon after, my future wife went into the Peace Corps like tens of thousands of other young Americans, while I dreamed, as I had from childhood, of becoming a diplomat in order to represent our country abroad.

      And that sense of service to country ran so deep that when the first oppositional movements of the era arose, particularly the Civil Rights Movement, the impulse to serve was essential to them . . . . The discovery that under your country’s shining veneer lay a series of nightmares might have changed how that sense of obligation was applied, but it didn’t change the impulse. Not at all . . . . I felt that my government had betrayed me, and that it was my duty as a citizen to do whatever I could to change its ways (as, in fact, I still do). And so, in some upside-down, inside-out way, I maintained a connection to and a perverse faith in that government, or our ability to force change on it, as the Civil Rights Movement had done.

      That, I suspect, is what’s gone missing in much of our American world . . . . [W]hat’s missing in action [is] a faith in the idea of service to country, the essence of what once would have been defined as patriotism . . . . (Unquote)

      I have some problems with this part, a quote within the article, not the same speaker as above:

      “No one could have been happier than I . . . to write the truth exactly as I saw it, to make no compromises other than those of quality imposed by my own inadequacies, to be free to follow no master other than my own compulsions, to live up to my idealized image . . . .”

      “The Impossible Dream” versus “My Way.”

  • umoc193  On February 9, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    Here’s another pertinent article, especially in the context of Obama’s remarks last week.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/02/republican_reaction_to_obama_s_prayer_breakfast_many_conservatives_don_t.single.html

    • Devildog  On February 9, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      Thanks for the link UMOC, though I found it to be worthless. Though I am a secular, agnostic Jew, i don’t give a hoot about the Crusades nor do I concern myself about Germans or Islam or Christians. I am concerned, however, about Muslim extremists and the Muslims’ “cross to bear” is being profiled-which it is sheer idiocy not to do.

      Obama’s address was his usual pandering which served no useful purpose-except if his purpose was to raise the ire of his usual cast of characters/opponents.

      Tourist, once again you have made me feel intellectually inferior as I do not have the slightest idea of what the hell you were talking about. Initially, I thought you were the diplomat and your wife the Peace Corps worker but then I read the link. Then again, maybe you are the author! Who knows. What were you talking about?

      • Tourist  On February 9, 2015 at 8:05 PM

        Devildog, never for a second do I believe you don’t understand. UMOC’s instruction was to “see if you can find anything here that further stimulates the conversation.” I failed. But if you weren’t hooked, that’s okay. UMOC seems to have lost interest, too. (I tried, sir.)

        • Devildog  On February 9, 2015 at 11:25 PM

          Ok Tourist. Let me try, first by drawing an analogy to what I was part of in the corporate world about 20 years ago.

          The corporation was trying to determine a mission statement which was the vogue in the corporate world then. There was the usual take care of customers, be a good corporate citizen, etc. but I came up with enhance shareholder value. I tried to explain that was the reason for the existence of the corporation but in order to accomplish that, the corporation, for the long run, had to do all of “the usual”. But, as had so often occurred, my view was rejected.

          Back to the current. It is good for society for everyone to act in one’s best interests as it is in the best interest of everyone, in the long run, to act as a “good citizen”. Most people understand that and act accordingly but, unfortunately, not everyone understands that. Therein lies the catch but intrinsically there is nothing wrong in acting in one’s best interest. For example, I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if poverty was eliminated but there seems to be some disagreement on how to achieve that. Same for peace and many other issues.

          I think it’s great that Democrats realize that but unfortunate that greedy, evil Republicans don’t.

  • Little_Minx  On February 10, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    BOOK REVIEW
    ‘The Wry World of Reg Henry’: Accent(uate) the funny
    The PG columnist holds forth on dogs, family, odd sports, Sewickley customs (along with politics and war)
    http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/books/2015/02/10/book-The-Wry-World-of-Reg-Henry-Accentuate-the-funny-post-gazette-columnist/stories/201502090020

    Closing line: “That’s Reg, wielding the scalpel, not the machete. You’ll appreciate laughter by a thousand cuts.”

  • umoc193  On February 10, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Here’s another article with more details about the picture accompanying this.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/10/when_america_behaved_like_isis_jesse_washington_and_the_bible_belts_dark_history_of_public_lynchings_partner/

    • Devildog  On February 10, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      Sorry UMOC but I’m missing your point in directing us to the Moyer link.

  • Little_Minx  On February 10, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    “New Report Examines Lynchings And Their Legacy In The United States”:
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/02/10/385263536/new-report-examines-lynchings-and-their-legacy-in-the-united-states
    February 10, 2015 8:44 PM ET

    Nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched in the American South between the end of the Civil War and War War II, according to a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

    The report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, says that number of victims in the 12 southern states was more than 20 percent higher than previously reported.

    Lynchings were part of a system of racial terror designed to subjugate a people, says the Alabama-based nonprofit’s executive director, Bryan Stevenson.
    Interview Highlights

    On the difference between white and black lynchings

    We’re focusing on lynchings of African-Americans because when whites were lynched it was really more about punishment — it wasn’t sent to terrorize the white community, it was intended to actually make the white community feel safe.

    The lynching of African-Americans, on the other hand, was really a direct message to the entire African-American community — it was designed to traumatize and terrorize.

    On state-sanctioned lynchings

    In most of the places where these lynchings took place — in fact in all of them — there was a functioning criminal justice system that was deemed “too good” for African-Americans. You had lynching of whites and others in the far West and in the early parts of the 19th century that would be called “frontier justice.” You did not have functioning justice system in, so people took things in their hands.

    Here we had very well established courts of laws, we had very well established criminal justice systems. Often these men were pulled from jails and pulled out of courthouses, where they could be lynched literally on the courthouse lawn.

    On the reason behind the lynchings

    My thesis is essentially that slavery — the evil of slavery wasn’t involuntary servitude, it was this narrative of racial difference, this ideology of white supremacy. And so when reconstruction collapsed, to restore the racial hierarchy, you had to use force and violence and intimidation. And in the South that manifested itself with these lynchings.

    On the legacy of lynchings

    It also resulted in millions of African-Americans fleeing the South, and the geography of black people in America today is largely shaped by the institution of lynching. We have African-Americans in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, because millions of people fled the South not as immigrants looking for opportunities but as refugees from terror.

    On how to remember the lynchings

    There’s nothing marked in Montgomery [Ala.], or in most communities in the South, to this history of lynching, and we want to change that. … We want to erect markers and monuments at lynching sites all over this country. Because I think until we deal with this history, we talk about what it represents, we’re going to continue be haunted by this legacy of terrorism and violence that will manifest itself in ways that are problematic.

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