Nov 20, 2015

Drumbeat for War and Anti-Muslim Scapegoating

Atonal war drums, demagoguery and American hysteria

Amy Goodman has a piece at Democracy Now on the idiot wind blowing across the Potomac, and hot air emitting from Republican Party presidential candidates.

Notes Goodman:

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, media coverage has seen familiar patterns: uncritically repeat government claims, defend expansive state power, and blame the Muslim community for the acts of a few. We discuss media fearmongering, anti-Muslim scapegoating, ISIL’s roots, and war profiteering with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept. 'Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars,' Greenwald says. 'Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West — and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex.'

House Speaker Paul Ryan leads the Republicans and xenophobes as he guided H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, garnering a veto-proof majority, (Fahrenthold and DelReal, Washington Post) (Roll call vote, H.R. 4038 ( (DeBonis, Post).

Fourth-seven House Democrats, including Wisconsin's Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), voted for the SAFE Act, (The Progressive Midwesterner).

SAFE faces a likely defeat in the Senate.

SAFE is nonsense that law enforcement and "intelligence professionals, immigration officials and humanitarian groups" dismiss as politicians' appeals to xenophobia, (NYT).

To believe Ryan and other sponsors of SAFE, terrorists pretending to flee Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) are coming to our homeland disguised as children and displaced families.

Since the Senate will not address the legislation until after Thanksgiving we must all live in fear over the Holiday weekend extending to next year when they begin coming here.

President Obama said he would veto this act if necessary,

On the corporate media front CNN suspended a reporter, Elise Labott, for a tweet expressing sympathy for Syrian refugees, (Girad, U.S. Uncut).

And Hillary the hawk dropped rational pretensions on the 'Region,' notes Sarah Lazare:
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Clinton called for a 'new phase' in the fight against the Islamic State (referred to as ISIS or IS), including a major intensification in a bombing campaign; 'ground forces actually taking back more territory;' an 'intelligence surge;' and no-fly zones over Syria. 'Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS,' she said, in an implicit criticism of President Barack Obama as being too tepid on military intervention—and a signal that she intends to tack far to his right, (TruthDig, CommonDreams, Council on Foreign Relations).
The leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency, Donald Trump, continued his rants leading him to the top of the Republican political culture yesterday, calling for increased surveillance of American Muslims and warrantless searches:

We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,' Trump said. 'And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.'

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

'We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,' Trump said when presented with the idea. 'We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.' (Walker, Yahoo News)

Trump is openly calling for suspension of the First and Fourth Amendments, and the targeting of a minority religion.

To borrow a quote from Noam Chomsky in 2002 during which Chomsky correctly predicted massive civilian causalities in Afghanistan and radicalization and destabilization of the region following full-spectrum U.S. interventions:

"(L)iberal intellectuals have lined up in support of the war machine in the familiar style — discussed, for example, by Randolph Bourne in classic essays–and since they know they do not have the intellectual competence to deal with those who refuse to go along, resort to what comes natural to the educated classes: hysterical tantrums, lies, and abuse. ... There are more important things to do–such as continue to falsify their increasingly desperate claim that everyone is following them in their depraved subordination to power," (Leon, CounterPunch).

To paraphrase Grace Abbott, of Hull House in 1917 contacting Sen. Robert M. La Follette urging his help to stay out of World War I:

Irresponsible and war-crazed press, scurrilous libels, malicious falsehoods fill the public press of the country at a time when every consideration for our country require that a spirit of fairness should be observed in the discussions of the momentous questions under consideration.
Sen. Robert M. La Follette voted against a Declaration of War in 1917, and
read one of many telegrams from across the country opposing WW I
George Mason University

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