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They Hate Us For Our Freedom

September 17, 2010
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The people who did this actually do hate us for our freedom. They are demanding that we curtail the freedoms offered by this country, under our Constitution, as interpreted by our Supreme Court, that they don’t like. I keep hearing from conservatives who want to sound tough that we do not negotiate with terrorists. But the ANB is using a campaign of violent intimidation to try to force their desired political outcome. They firebombed an abortion clinic, and it’s part of a larger pattern in the area. So … why is the local sheriff hinting that he’s willing to negotiate? He said:

“The fact that there have been numerous messages directed at several organizations makes it difficult to interpret ANB’s true message. I would like for ANB or a representative to contact me directly by whatever means is most comfortable. … I promise to listen to ANB’s message. This is the groundwork needed for us to have dialogue.”

I’ll allow that he’s possibly neither a fool nor a coward and he’s hoping that they’ll communicate in a way that supplies some information that assists him in capturing them and putting them in prison. But that’s the only permissible approach. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. We catch them and we lock them up. Any law enforcement official who wants to negotiate with them should be returned to civilian life forthwith.

Sadly, there is a possibility other than crafty, foolish or cowardly. That fourth possibility is sympathizer. Which would expain a lot about why law enforcement in this country doesn’t take right wing antiabortion terrorism very seriously.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. MertvayaRuka permalink
    September 19, 2010 1:53 am

    My vote’s for “sympathizer”. Law enforcement attracts right-wing authoritarians, usually of Christian background. They don’t exactly knock themselves out trying to catch people like James Kopp or Eric Rudolph. IMO the only time they bother is if they realistically can’t avoid it without showing themselves to be obvious sympathizers, if the loss of life is going to be too high or if the disruption to commerce is going to be too great.

  2. September 19, 2010 4:36 pm

    Do the Stonewall riots fit your definition of terrorism?

    • SecondBeach permalink
      September 19, 2010 6:00 pm

      I call Stonewall Riots self defense. There’s only so many times you can have your pretty fairy head bashed concave by law enforcement before you fight back. No one is systematically oppressing the members of ANB.

    • September 19, 2010 7:02 pm

      Terrorism is, IMO, planned and deliberately targets civilians. Spontaneous violent response to police raids is neither of those things.

  3. September 19, 2010 9:21 pm

    According to you, in order for an act or a series of acts to be considered “terrorism”, they must a) be planned in advance, and b) be directed against civilians.

    Acts of violence don’t need to be directed against civilians in order to constitute terrorism. Attacks against the government can constitute terrorism as well as violence against civilians. And just because acts of violence are directed at civilians or the property of civilians doesn’t make them terroristic. Take the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, for instance. The transgender rioters damaged the property of at least one civilian. If they had planned this in advance, would anyone be calling them terrorists?

    I also don’t see the difference between planned versus unplanned acts. The fact that the Stonewall rioters didn’t plan their violence in advance isn’t what excludes them from being defined as terrorists.

    I call Stonewall Riots self defense. There’s only so many times you can have your pretty fairy head bashed concave by law enforcement before you fight back. No one is systematically oppressing the members of ANB.

    The ANB wasn’t acting in their own defense.

    You could make a similar argument in favor of burning empty abortion clinics or shooting abortionists. At Stonewall, they tried to burn police officers alive. Obama declared June LGBT month in commemoration of this riot. Using arson and lethal force in the name of securing civil rights for oppressed minorities is either terrorism or it isn’t.

    I see no morally relevant differences between premeditated versus spontaneous, or government official versus civilian. It seems to me that you’re making arbitrary distinctions so you can label pro-life violence terrorism but pro-gay violence heroism. It makes little sense for you to condemn pro-life violence on principle when you’re willing to look favorably on the exact same type of behavior when it’s done in the name of a cause you support. “It’s only terrorism when they do it!”

    I don’t care who they are, law enforcement or “physicians”, if a group of people is engaging in systematic oppression of a minority, and they are responded to with violence, this is not terrorism, it’s vigilante justice. I’m willing to bet that anyone who believes we should settle all our differences by getting town permits to hold candlelight vigils is not a member of a heavily oppressed minority. Pacifism is the ideology of the privileged.

    That being said, I don’t mean to encourage vigilante justice directed against abortionists or abortion clinics (or police officers harassing gays, for that matter). Admittedly, this could very well be my privilege talking, but I’m certainly not the first person to recommend that oppressed minorities turn the other cheek and wait for legal reform.

  4. September 20, 2010 6:49 am

    (1) Just because you don’t see a difference between spontaneous and planned doesn’t mean there isn’t one. (2) I don’t exclude from the label “terrorist” people I agree with. John Brown was clearly a political terrorist, his goals were inarguably correct. (3) Trying to parse a meaningful definition from the way the media uses the term is a fool’s errand. (4) Are you saying that antiabortion violence is not terrorism, or do you agree that it is?

  5. September 20, 2010 9:20 am

    Austin’s argument may be a bit self-interested here. Seems Austin is a bit of an antiabortion extremist himself.

    Here’s a lesson in First Amendment jurisprudence, folks: the First Amendment runs between the individual and the government. This isn’t a government blog, and I no more owe anyone space to talk here, than the Wall Street Journal owes me space in their publication.

    Austin’s views foreclose the possibility that he will meaningfully advance the conversation here, and we will not be seeing him anymore.

    • MertvayaRuka permalink
      September 20, 2010 5:37 pm

      Damn, good catch Thomas. I was getting the feeling he was angling for some kind of rhetorical “gotcha” along the lines of “unborn babies iz the most oppressed minority EVAR”, so thank you for not providing him the opportunity. Judging from his commentary at the supplied link, he’s not a very nice person.

    • September 21, 2010 11:11 am

      The square quotes around “physicians” sort of gives it away, no?

      Props to you, Thomas, for your measured and thoughtful responses.

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  1. Love Bites: Clarisse Thorn | Time Out Chicago » » More pro-life terrorist crime

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