We must call the El Paso shooting what it is: Trump-inspired terrorism

August 5, 2019
Posted in Blog
August 5, 2019 Editor

We must call the El Paso shooting what it is: Trump-inspired terrorism

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It is staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate if he continues down this deeply disturbing path

photo above: Trump’s rhetoric is infused with notions of violence and dehumanization’. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images 

by 

WN: While I do not believe anyone is pure evil, manifestations of such are arguably exponentially greatest in Trump, given his worldwide influence and power. He and his huge white Evangelical support base, have an Ultimate Reckoning to contend with…

excerpts:

Last year, when a rabid, anti-immigrant antisemite murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, I called it an act of domestic terrorism inspired by the ideology of Trumpism. The shooting took place during the height of the 2018 midterm campaign when Trump was inciting fear of an immigrant “caravan” from Central America. The shooter got the message. Hours before his bloody rampage, he accused a Jewish refugee support agency of bringing “invaders in that kill our people.

And, when Trump suggested last month that four members of Congress of color who were born or naturalized in the United States “came from” other countries, he ratified the core concept of white supremacy that non-white people are not truly “Americans”.

The manifesto the El Paso shooter posted online reflects that he understood and endorsed the president’s political program to a T. The attack, the shooter wrote was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”. Echoing the president’s logic that cruel conditions of confinement will deter migration, the shooter opined that his use of violence would provide a needed “incentive” for Hispanics to return to their home countries. His violent actions were necessary, he wrote, to save America from destruction.

Trump has launched his 2020 re-election campaign this summer by doubling down on the theme of racial and ethnic division and anti-immigrant hysteria. And as sure as the sun rises in the east, a mere month into this racially charged atmosphere, an extremist suspect fearful of Hispanics gaining political power in Texas decided to go kill as many Hispanics as possible at an El Paso Walmart. It is Trump-inspired terrorism yet again.

The president’s defenders have taken great offense to the notion that any of his actions or rhetoric have contributed to what happened in El Paso, but this defense is deeply flawed.

These messages are not lost on people like the El Paso shooter: “Your president shares your view that immigrants and racial minorities are a scourge on America. They are not deserving of the privileges of citizenship and must be denied political power at all costs. They are animals anyway, so the use of violence is permissible.”

We remain 15 months from the 2020 election. It is staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate if he continues down this deeply disturbing path.

  • David Schanzer is a professor at the Sanford School of Policy at Duke University and the director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security

Please click on: Trump-inspired terrorism

  1. [1]Please see also this communiqué from "Forward".:

    Dear Reader,
     
    The shooter who killed 21 people in El Paso said that a book called “The Great Replacement” inspired him to act against a “Hispanic invasion.”
     

    You may have already heard about this idea of “replacement.”
     
    It’s why the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville chanted “Jews will not replace us.” It’s why the gunman who killed 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue was obsessed with the Jewish immigration-aid agency HIAS. And it’s why the New Zealand mosque shooter – whom the El Paso gunman and the Poway, California synagogue shooter cited as inspirations – claimed that immigration was leading to “white genocide.”
     
    It’s a far-right conspiracy theory that claims Western global elites are using immigration policy to “replace” white people with racial and religious minorities. The 2011 book, by French white nationalist Renaud Camus, didn’t single out Jews as part of this evil “elite” – but anti-Semites quickly began to claim Jewish people were pulling the strings.
     
    White supremacist websites frequently mention the alleged Jewish role in the Great Replacement. “Most people do not realize that Jews are the driving force behind mass immigration and demographic genocide,” stated the “alt-right” Wikipedia knockoff Rightpedia.
     
    The theory has even penetrated the halls of Congress. Steve King, the Republican congressman who got kicked off his committees for asking why being a white supremacist was bad, claimed last year that Jewish financier and philanthropist George Soros was behind the Great Replacement.
     
    President Trump condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” in his remarks Monday on the weekend shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.  But as CJ Werleman noted in a Forward op-ed on Sunday, Trump himself has used similar language to the El Paso shooter, saying in March that undocumented border-crossers were “invaders.”
     
    “People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is,” Trump said then.
     
    Anti-Semitic incidents have dramatically increased in frequency during the Trump administration – and hate crimes against Latinos are up tooThe Forward has continually monitored the threat of white nationalism and will keep doing so.
     
    Thank you for reading,
     
    ~Aiden Pink
    Deputy news editor

    Support for the "Need to Know" series comes in part from the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund

    These stories take time – and resources. 

    The Forward is a non-profit, reader-supported news organization and we rely on your donations to fund our fearless, Jewish journalism.

    SUPPORT MORE STORIES LIKE THESE

    The Forward Association, Inc., 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038[ Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:

    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below. Please see also this communiqué fromForward“.:

    Dear Reader,
     
    The shooter who killed 21 people in El Paso said that a book called “The Great Replacement” inspired him to act against a “Hispanic invasion.”
     

    You may have already heard about this idea of “replacement.”
     
    It’s why the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville chanted “Jews will not replace us.” It’s why the gunman who killed 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue was obsessed with the Jewish immigration-aid agency HIAS. And it’s why the New Zealand mosque shooter – whom the El Paso gunman and the Poway, California synagogue shooter cited as inspirations – claimed that immigration was leading to “white genocide.”
     
    It’s a far-right conspiracy theory that claims Western global elites are using immigration policy to “replace” white people with racial and religious minorities. The 2011 book, by French white nationalist Renaud Camus, didn’t single out Jews as part of this evil “elite” – but anti-Semites quickly began to claim Jewish people were pulling the strings.
     
    White supremacist websites frequently mention the alleged Jewish role in the Great Replacement. “Most people do not realize that Jews are the driving force behind mass immigration and demographic genocide,” stated the “alt-right” Wikipedia knockoff Rightpedia.
     
    The theory has even penetrated the halls of Congress. Steve King, the Republican congressman who got kicked off his committees for asking why being a white supremacist was bad, claimed last year that Jewish financier and philanthropist George Soros was behind the Great Replacement.
     
    President Trump condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” in his remarks Monday on the weekend shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.  But as CJ Werleman noted in a Forward op-ed on Sunday, Trump himself has used similar language to the El Paso shooter, saying in March that undocumented border-crossers were “invaders.”
     
    “People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is,” Trump said then.
     
    Anti-Semitic incidents have dramatically increased in frequency during the Trump administration – and hate crimes against Latinos are up tooThe Forward has continually monitored the threat of white nationalism and will keep doing so.
     
    Thank you for reading,
     
    ~Aiden Pink
    Deputy news editor

    Support for the “Need to Know” series comes in part from the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund

    These stories take time – and resources. 

    The Forward is a non-profit, reader-supported news organization and we rely on your donations to fund our fearless, Jewish journalism.

    SUPPORT MORE STORIES LIKE THESE

    The Forward Association, Inc., 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038[

  2. [2]It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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