The so-called War on Terror started out as a high-minded, idealistic crusade against terrorism. It has devolved into something far less pretty.
You have to admit it’s an ironic – and not entirely unamusing – twist when, 15 years later, you find out that the people taking over a federal building are not al-Qaeda but ‘Y’all Qaeda.’
It’s sort of the proverbial stab in the back by a bunch of white guys who have forgotten, if they ever had any idea, what the war on terror was all about.
It’s not like the whole thing was ever all that high-minded to begin with. There is precious little evidence of the defense of democracy in places like Saudi Arabia and Djibouti. We’re more than willing to befriend enemies of democracy to defend our own democracy, regardless of the cost to local populations.
So in a sense, we sort of deserve this spectacle of home-grown terrorists taking control of federal property – something that started a war in 1861 when South Carolinians tried it with Fort Sumter – and the media calling them “gunmen,” “armed protesters,” or a wonderful euphemism of avoidance, “armed occupiers,” and the authorities responding with a collective yawn.
And these very white thugs say they are peaceful but will defend themselves – “to kill or be killed” – if anybody tries to stop them from violating the law.
High minded? They sound like any other criminal when confronted with their deeds by the authorities.
Only, the authorities seem bound and determined – as with the Bundy insurrection – to not confront this latest rebellion against federal authority.
You have to wonder how long a government can retain any aura of legitimacy when it refuses to defend itself against armed rebellion. Maybe the British should have tried that, and responded to the colonials by just sort of ignoring them until they got bored and went home.
I wonder if that would have worked? Probably not. And neither will ignoring these guys.
You can understand where the specter of Waco might haunt federal authorities at all levels. You can understand where our first black president might hesitate to invite further cries of worsening race relations because the bad guys in this case happen to be white dudes.
But isn’t the whole idea of the Constitution all our elected officials wear to uphold that everyone is equal before the law, regardless of their skin color or their religion? How is it permissible that a bunch of white males, presumably Christian, take over a federal building, but a group of blacks or Muslims would invite a very different response from authorities? And you can bet your bottom dollar it would.
These people are insurrectionist rabble. They cannot be allowed to win, because to allow them to win is to open the floodgates to all the various white militias throughout this country, who are ready and willing to do far more damage than 15 years of radical Islamists.
I understand the Republicans are crazy for privatizing everything federal, but there are courts and legislative bodies for that. You don’t get to take your gun and decide you’re going to privatize whatever you want and threaten violence if you don’t get your way.
That’s now how this works.
What goes around comes around, my friends, and sometimes it stabs you in a real sensitive spot – and no, it’s too late to close your knees, America.