The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, January 22, 2021

"War on Terror"

Forget the 'journohacks' who populate the news and commentary desks in media outlets like the NYT, WaPo, LAT, NPR, Vox, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and the alphabet networks. Liberal author and commentator Glen Greenwald, a man who they have tried to cancel, makes them all look like the biased, dishonest, and incompetent hacks that they are. Although I don't agree with Greenwald on some issues, his commentary is always insightful, unfailingly unbiased, and undeniably accurate. That's why the journohacks hate him and won't give him a legacy media platform.

The reports of armed, right-wing violence on Inauguration Day did not pan out. [1] The media, typically incurious about such things, refused to ask why, or even spend much time noting a peaceful transition on January 20th with few protests and no riots. By they gladly pushed a narrative that set the stage what they hyperbolically called a "war on terror," suggesting the despicable neo-Nazis and KKK groups were ready to invade every city and state (think: the breathless claim that 50 state capitols were under threat). Oddly, the left-wing groups that actually did invade cities and states and literally burned things down were never mentioned as part of the Democrats' new "war." Greenwald writes:

The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying.

We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens. This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance.

Underlying all of this are immediate insinuations that anyone questioning any of this must, by virtue of these doubts, harbor sympathy for the Terrorists and their neo-Nazi, white supremacist ideology ...

As usual, Greenwald doesn't pull his punches. If the January 6th Capitol riots—an awful event that lasted less than 8 hours—become the catalyst for a government-sanctioned "war" that lumps all opposing thought into the same pile as repugnant extremist activity, we're looking at a "threat to democracy" that is far greater than even the most repugnant right-wing neo-nazi group or the most violent left-wing "anti-fascist" rioters. Violent extremists on both the right and the left represent a tiny percentage of the body politic. They should not be used as an excuse to suppress thought that questions the preferred narrative. That appears to be what is happening at the moment.


[1] All true, but there is this. Leftist extremists did riot against Biden, but of course, the majority of the media looked the other way.


Glenn Reynolds can't resist a little snarkyness when he writes:

Nothing says, “This was a perfectly normal election, and now it’s time to come together as a united nation,” like having your swearing-in behind 12-foot-high razor wire surrounded by 25,000 troops whose loyalty you doubt. That’s what we witnessed at President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday: a grim testament to the fundamental insecurity and fragility of the re-ascendant liberal elite.

Democrats no doubt hoped that the optics of this military-heavy presidential installation would convince ordinary Americans that the republic is in peril from the populist ferment that sent Donald Trump to the White House in 2016 and garnered more votes four years later than any GOP ticket, ever. It’s a peril that can only be addressed by, in James Comey’s lovely phrase, “burning down” the Republican Party. 

But the whole aura was less Lincoln and more bananas. As in banana republic. 

In banana republics, it's common for an incoming political party to prosecute and even imprison the outgoing leader. Heh, that's exactly what the Dems are doing and suggesting.