Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by fabb1963, Feb 19, 2006.
Frederick A. Babb
fabb1963 - please read the forum rules
God, I hate these kind of posts.
PAY for your advertising troll.
Screw you, fabb. We are completely involved here in group conversation. If your readers would like to contribute here they are certainly welcome to do so. jimnyc set up rules that you didn't read. I've read the article that you propose and I agree with 98% of it. But, I ain't biting on your stupid attempt to create undue interest in your website. Get involved HERE, fabb. You might find that you like group conversation rather than your own particular self-agrandising avenue of propaganda.
Okay pal, what have you done with Psychoblues?
8- Links -Links to other boards/forums and discussion pages for the purpose of advertising is forbidden. Linking to a discussion elsewhere to further a point is acceptable.
For JimmyC, I read the rules and assumed that the link I was providing was to provoke discussion, not to self-promote.
However, respecting the wishes of the spirit of the rules, I will post the article instead of the weblink.
TERRORISM: THE AMERICAN HISTORY
(Frederick A. Babb © 2006)
Did terrorism begin with 9/11 or was it a mere reminder of what the world has known for generations about the terror we all have lurking in the shadows, waiting for the most opportune moment to make an impact on society? We, as the world populous, only remember the horror of terrorism when it is occurring before our eyes, yet we are blind to its existence when it remains dormant. We ignore the daily evidence of delusion that brews the indignation in those who are labeled terrorists.
The evening news and the morning paper can published all the images of terrorist acts from around the world, but the American public remains indifferent to such tragedy because it happens in places that most could never find on a map, let alone have knowledge of the political status in such countries. As such, the American public retains the scores of the latest sports competition longer than the deaths of humans lost in terrorist acts outside the American borders.
How soon the American minds forget of the tragedies in their own history. Terrorism is nothing new, rather a way of life that has entangled in the narration of Americans past. Where could we begin the count of terrorism and its victims? While some might debate that it began with the bomb left in a horsedrawn wagon in front of J.P. Morgans Wall Street office on a busy autumn morning in 1920, killing several passers-by, wounded dozens of others, and panicked thousands more, the reality was that it commenced many years before in 1886.
In 1886, the first terrorist bomb was tossed into a mass meeting in Chicagos Haymarket Squareand it was responsible for the deaths of eight policemen. Once the initial shock subsided, there was a demand for heads to roll as the need to have someone pay the price filled the public. Eight anarchists were quickly condemned, despite the very harsh reality that none of them were linked to the actual deed. That didnt matter for the public who cried for the repression of these "desperate fanatics . . . swiftly, sternly and without mercy." Of the eight, four perished on the gallows, one committed suicide and three were later pardoned against public consent by a bold Illinois governor. The event became known as the Haymarket Affair and the frenzy it created over 100 years ago could be the very first encounter of Americans with a new style of political warfare personified in the expression terrorism.
In 1886 there was no Islamic conspiracy attempting to overthrow the American lifestyle for the foreign politics of the President. However, the government was part of the provocation. Back then, the terrorists werent radicals waging jihad on the western world; rather they were anarchists who held the mindset that the state itself was destined to become a fraudulent mechanism for supporting the influential to oppress the downtrodden. And, while nonviolent, idealistic anarchists did and do exist as they pursue the gradual conversion of mankind, there were and are groups that wish to use violent acts as their tool of influence. Their belief was and is that terror in itself was the only available weapon in their power to utilize. By plaguing the nerve centers of society and leaders of existing states with their violent acts, they would be able to mobilize the toiling masses to follow their way of thinking. They felt that, by demonstrating that the government was vulnerable, the complete edifice of state-sanctioned inequality would crumple and they would be able to declare victory for their cause.
And so, over 100 years ago, pursuant to the notion of "propaganda of the deed," individual slayers assassinated a Czar of Russia (with a bomb), an Empress of Austria, a King of Italy, a President of France - and finally, a President of the United States, William McKinley - between 1881 and 1901. Apart from being able to demonstrate to the public that those who held the power were not safe of death itself as a result of their wrath, bombings of pubic assembly places such as an opera house, a police station, a church, a business office, Frances Chamber of Deputies proved to be positive weapons in their struggle. The fact that innocent bystanders, including children, perished meant nothing to them and served to emphasis the fear their terrorist acts were hoping to find root in.
If we take a brief look at terrorism on American soil, we can find that on December 30, 1905, we saw the bombing of the home of Frank Steunenberg. Steunenberg, who was the governor of Idaho at the time, was killed in the blast. A labor radical was later arrested and convicted for the crime; receiving a sentence to life. Five years later, on October 1, 1910, a bombing of the Los Angeles Times killed 20 people. Union radicals were arrested and pleaded guilty to the crime.
The second wave of terrorism - the one of which the Wall Street assault was a part -- struck America just after World War I finished. This time around, bombs were anonymously mailed to governmental officials, luckily detected by most recipients before detonation. One bomb proved to be deadly to the carrying assailant rather than the target. Apparently the assailant rushed the front door of the Attorney General but was himself killed when it detonated prematurely on the front lawn. In these events, the adversaries were the Bolsheviks. There triumphant in Russia fed fear in to the headlines as a full-blown Red scare was pushed into the headlines proclaiming a reign of terror and by news stories of "bomb laboratories" found in the headquarters of pro-Soviet organizations. The Justice Department wasted no time in finding thousands of suspected Reds without warrant or evidence, kept them under arrest in grim conditions for long periods, deported some and only freed the remainder without repentance or reparation. Why not, when the public mood was reflected in one editorial that thundered: "There is no time to waste on hairsplitting over infringement of liberty." Someone was guilty, and someone must pay. How ironic in comparison to todays prison at Guantanamo Bay. Different times, different enemies, yet the same need to lock up anyone who could be a potential enemy to the publics safety.
World War II brought some brutal killings that had not been witness until then. Some would argue that Pearl Harbor was a form of terrorism. They claim that a surprise attack that resulted in the deaths of thousands was no worse than 9/11. However, there was a different philosophy between the two. 9/11 was targeted at civilians in there daily work, their daily lives, their own safe world. Pearl Harbor was, despite its own level of horror, a uniformed force of one nation against a military force and installation of another. America, and the world, knew at once whom to blame and what to do.
While peace was breaking out over the world after World War II, in the US a former Consolidated Edison employee spent the better part of the 50s exploding bombs at a series of New York landmarks to include the Grand Central Station and Radio City Music Hall. George Metesky was eventually convicted of those acts between 1951 and 1956 and ended up spending 16 years in a mental hospital.
Terrorism acquired a racial overtone when, on September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four young black girls perished in that bombing. It came as no surprise that four members of the Ku Klux Klan were accused of the crime. What did reflect a grand injustice was that it took until 1977 to convict one of them and 2000 until two more were convicted.
The ongoing demonstrations against the Vietnam War heighten with the exploding of a bomb on August 24, 1970. Four antiwar protestors exploded the bomb on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. One person was killed and three injured. Equally important was the millions of dollars worth of harm it caused in the damage or destruction of over 50 buildings.
The bombing of New Yorks historic Fraunces Tavern on January 24, 1975 magnified the activities of the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN who were aggressively campaigning their cause through violent acts with 49 bombings in New York between 1974 and 1977. On December 29 of that same year, there occurred a bombing of the TWA Terminal at New York's LaGuardia Airport. 11 killed, 75 injured. No arrests were made and it was not ever cleared if it was part of the same FALN campaign or not. Six years later, on May 16, 1981, the bombing of the Pan Am Terminal at New Yorks Kennedy Airport in a mens restroom was conducted by the Puerto Rican Armed Resistance. There were no injuries in that bombing and no arrests either.
In 1983, terrorism started moving closer to the nations capital. A bombing of the U.S. Congress left a hole in the wall outside the Senate chamber. There were no injuries reported in that bombing. Two radicals were later arrested and convicted of the crime.
From there terrorism started taking on a new level of intensity. No longer were small targets and small collateral damage considered. Before 9/11, America had two deadly reminders of what was to come with the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993 that killed 6 and injured over 1000 and the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. One was conducted by Islamic terrorist who portrayed the new image of terrorism in the minds of the American public while the Oklahoma City bombing was a large scale Haymarket Affair that commenced the terrorism all those years ago.
Terrorism is, in some sense, no crueler than the formal war itself. In the past century we have witnessed the escalation of war thought out the world. There were the industrial-scale slaughters of the 1914-1918 Western Front. The only comfort taken was that the cruelty was confined to the armies of conscripts. Still, conscripted armies in themselves were the basic fruit of the French Revolutionary doctrine of an entire nation in arms.
But, with time, killing each others army wasnt enough for the causes of good versus evil. Armies, after all, were prepared for fighting and, yes, even death. So, when World War II came along, the world watched in horror as both sides started to take out cities instead of just armies. A climatic finish of nuclear warheads designed to kill not thousands, but millions, took out life as we know it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While thousands of innocent people killed with just two bombs, the fact they were dropped in a war meant that all responsibility was excused and no one was guilty of this inhumane crime.
Korea and Vietnam demonstrated how effective for those who were, and how difficult, it was to combat an invisible enemy. A conventional army was virtually defeated in Vietnam by an enemy that was always there, but never seen. In the end, America had no where to go but cut the lost of the thousands killed and retreat away. Conventional warfare was no match for terrorism acts on a country wide basis.
America learned their lesson and, in essence, also used the same terrorist avenues when they fed money and arms to Osama Bin Laden in an effort to defeat the U.S.S.R. troops in Afghanistan. Some viewed Afghanistan as Americas response to what they felt the U.S.S.R. did to the USA in Vietnam. But, as Moscow and Washington played politics, terrorist organizations were growing as a result of their tic-for-tac. When the cold war finished, there were thousands left with no cause and, more importantly, no backing from the governments that had now left them feeling used. This sense of feeling used was redirected to anger and 9/11 became to be.
While the world has changed between the Haymarket Affair and 9/11, so has the ability to inflict death and terror. A bomb in a market place is now replaced by a hijacked aircraft slamming a doomed skyscraper. Killing 10 people would have been successful in 1886 where as 10,000 is the benchmark in todays world. 10 deaths in todays headlines would denote hardly anything where as it was grand hysteria in 1886. As are ability to absorb, and to a degree, accept, deaths in small numbers, we have raised the level for which terrorists must inflict there horror.
Through it all, we have to look only at the word terrifying. This is a very correct expression to define the fear of death or mutilation that could appear anywhere, at any time, without any warning and without distinction between intended and accidental victims. The discipline of armies and warfare are now an idea of the past. But, as we have seen, terrorism is nothing new to America on American soil. To turn a blind eye and to assume that as long as the borders of the country are safe, they are safe, is the erroneous avenue to travel. America is but one country in a world laced with hate. Without tolerance, the hate will never evaporate. The mindset of protecting ones country over resolving the world issues to terrorism is a political agenda that will only lead to more deaths.
Of course you have permission to re-print a copy written article, right?
Worry not, the article is written by me with my copyright.
Assuming he is Frederick A. Babb and not someone using the annonymity of the internet to pose as him, then he does have the right to reprint his own work. If he is posing, then im sure Frederick A. Babb's lawyers would love to hear from him.
Yep. And I'm sure Jim would like the documentation BEFORE the post as well.
Separate names with a comma.