Saturday, June 18, 2016

Omar Mateen's actions must prove the War on Terror a just war.

Mateen has his fans.
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

“I would sleep soundly at night knowing that a person like Omar is protecting us for the element which resides behind your concrete and steel (sic) walls.”

The source of this glowing praise is, Steve Brown, a police offer that recommended the Orlando nightclub killer Omar Mateen for a correctional officer’s position he had applied for. He was quoted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

I am not faulting Mr. Brown for his assessment. By all accounts Mateen was aggressive, a bully, worshiped authority and other attributes that would not hurt him in a job like that. The quote is a minor concession the WSJ makes in an account that clearly leads the reader to conclude that foreign forces are the root cause of Mr. Mateen’s makeup and subsequent actions. Religious fanatics by hook or by crook, had gotten to Mateen.

Never mind that the FBI used informants to try to get him talking about terrorist activity or that they interviewed him twice. No matter, the FBI found nothing they could hang their hat on. To be quite brutal about it, it’s quite obvious that the FBI with all its methods and experts in this field discovered only one thing; the guy was mentally ill. Mental illness in one form or another is as common as dirt in a society that treats all things, including living beings, as commodities. Insecurity, fear, alienation, these are the norm in our world.

That says something as the US/CIA operations abroad didn’t need any evidence to round up people in Afghanistan when the US started its war there shipping them drugged and hooded to Guantanamo Bay where they were held without trial, most of them found guilty of nothing at all.

The Journal, in a fairly long account does make a reference to the fact that Mr. Mateen was a regular on the gay dating scene and at the club where he murdered 49 people. That suggests….”, the Journal concludes,  “….Mateen could have been internally conflicted about his sexuality.”

That’s enough of that stuff, what’s more important is fitting the story to the crime.  Mr. Mateen has to be a terrorist, a Muslim fanatic and a threat to our way of life linked one way or another to the various forms of resistance, terrorism or otherwise, to US corporate wars abroad,.  The Wall Street Journal returns to the script, “Investigators believe Mateen was secretly using a computer to privately adopt an increasingly radicalized view of Islam that played a role in the Pulse nightclub massacre.”. (my added emphasis)

The man who we are told was open about his views, celebrating the September 11th attacks, making openly violent threats even about a piece of pork touching his hamburger and saying in response to a fellow security guard who had been shot that if anyone shot him, he’d kill them, their family, even their dog, rather than leave it to the courts, was now in covert operations mode.

“The FBI is very eager to find out” about his motives says Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. 

No, the object now is to create the motive. Mateen had been investigated and was found to be a mentally unstable person. He had pledged allegiance to various groups that the US has designated as terrorist organizations despite the groups being in opposition to each other. On further investigation, “He didn’t seem to understand Islam” at all the WSJ writes.

What they did know about him was he was mentally ill and anyone that walks outside their own home knows the streets are full of people like that.  The number has increased since the institutions were closed and they were thrown on to the streets. If one is free of mental illness prior to being homeless, it is highly unlikely after any extended period of time that they will remain that way.

Surely most people reading this have witnessed the scene of a raggedy, apparently homeless person or even a fairly well kept one walking along shouting to themselves or the world. Often, they are very angry. One guy I am familiar with went on about the Pope being the CIA and he was after him to assassinate him. A black guy who was similarly angry in his demeanor had his rantings peppered with claims of racism and mistreatment by whites.

Why would this not be the case? He’s black in America, this is an issue that would be part of his make up.  People the FBI has talked to say Mateen’s temper was “..tied to a sense that he was being mistreated as a Muslim.”

Our society mistreats plenty of people, especially the poor, veterans, those without organization and social power. Some are also singled out for political reasons it’s useful; to the ruling class. Muslims are under assault in the US. You have a presidential candidate that wants to bar them from coming in to the country. What do we do about those already here? The US war machine has slaughtered millions of them in the last 25 years. All the countries it bombs are Muslim countries. And those it doesn’t direct violence on through its drone program it does so through the proxy regime it installs and finances. Every despotic thug and their families that rule in the Middle East is backed by the US. The Zionists, a racist Apartheid regime is backed by the US.

Madeline Albright, one of the butchers that represents US foreign policy said of the 500,000 mostly women and children that died due to the US imposed sanctions on Iraq in the nineties that the deaths were “worth it.”

How might we react were these American children, America cities? The US has destroyed Iraq, once the most secular of the Middle Eastern Arab regimes and the most secure in many ways. Through it’s propaganda machine the US convinced the US public that Iraq was behind September 11th despite the perpetrators being Saudi’s. But the Saudi dictatorship is a reliable ally of the US ruling class.  It is not a surprise that these events and the Muslim religion are not part of Mateen’s make up; people are not isolated from society, even mentally ill people

Lack of a job, being thrown out of your home by the moneylenders, losing everything you have, the general insecurity, fear and alienation inherent in a society that promotes selfiushness and greed and the false idea that one's condition is a product of one's decisions alone and if you're poor, it's your fault, all these things contribute to a mental breakdown. Racism, discrimination in all its forms and a feeling that nothing can change it can contribute to a mental breakdown.

Mateen, as others have written, was an American like many other Americans.  If anything drove his madness above all else it was his sexual conflicts but it certainly wasn’t terrorism and a conscious political allegiance to any foreign power or group.

But domestic problems like the mental state of the citizenry inevitably opens up a discussion about society in general. It can be a costly affair, a “money out” situation that doesn’t bring money in. In a so-called “free” society like ours, people are free to get sick. Why should society spend money fixing them?  A defense industry, drones, bombs, securing corporate interests throughout the globe, now that’s a good investment. Mateen's actions prove that the War on Terror must go on.

If there’s no real foreign threat, they’ll create one.

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