Why crashing a plane isn’t (always) terrorism

Friday, 19th February 2010 at 9:00 UTC Leave a comment

A friend asked online for explanations as to why the presumed-deliberate crashing of a light aircraft into a tax office doesn’t count as an act of terror. There’s a couple of obvious reasons; the guy who is alleged to have been the pilot is white, American, etc. – but the American Security Services had a predominantly white group of environmental activists who hadn’t killed anyone at the top of its Threat list for years before 9/11.

The Earth Liberation Front, despite having killed fewer people than the next 9 terror threat organisations, including the KKK, was held in such esteem because it was seen as a threat to the American way of life. Obama himself has even been forced to stand up and say that the American way of life is non-negotiable during speeches on Climate Change. The “American Way of Life” is so hallowed that anyone who speaks against it is in trouble.

Al Qaeda were all about destroying the American Way Of Life. So, in some ways, were the ELF. There are many things wrong with the Overdeveloped World and America in particular, but these are the moments when Free Speech is not on offer.

My suspicion is that Obama would be personally quite happy to call out this act of violence as being equally an act of terrorism, if it were not for one detail. And it is this detail that has been bugging him for over a year: Taxes. If Obama wants to launch a war on those who criticise taxes, he’ll have to send the Air Force to bomb parts of Alaska, though I’d hope he’d check with the CIA as to the whereabouts of one certain former Vice-Presidential Candidate.

If this is not an act of terrorism in the eyes of many in America, it is because a white self-made man took a plane and crashed it into the buildings of the institution that represents everything wrong with Big Government. There will be many in America who quietly agree that this man was right. How quietly will depend on whether the Tea Party Movement decides to adopt or shun this most audacious of actors.

If American society firmly believes that the government has no right to put its hand in your pocket and remove money that you have “rightfully earned”, then this man is in no way an extremist. In fact, if Obama wants to call him an extremist, he might do well to reflect on his own policies, including a health care system that will require taxation to ensure it covers all Americans. Much as people across Europe (and might I add, most of those I’ve met in Canada) are wondering how the Americans can oppose health care, many in America believe we are stupid for just letting our governments steal our money.

We may see someone attacking a tax office as an attack on our society. After all, the NHS and Schools rely on functioning tax offices before money can begin to reach those they help. To much of America, and particularly those least pleased with Obama, its a heroic act in the same vein as those that resulted in an independent America in the first place. America exists as much because people hate taxation as it does because of Protestant religious fundamentalism or pioneer spirit. Few will say it openly, but this act of desperate violence is only the sharpest example of that same spirit. It needs to be condemned for what it is (an act of aggression against civilisation), but Americans may well be surprisingly intransigent to this statement.

Oh, and Sarah Palin, this is the farthest conclusion of your politics of hatred towards all those who seek to build a better, stronger, more civilised society, in which everyone remembers that they are their brother’s and sister’s keeper.


Entry filed under: America, Barack Obama, Economics, News, Politics, Terrorism, The Right.

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