Monday, July 23, 2007

Lefties: Time To Turn In Your Membership Card

After the 9/11 attacks, I made it a point to pay close attention to the reaction of extremist elements from across the United States. As might be expected, some of those on both the extreme right and left took a bit discreet pleasure at the carnage. For both groups, it was a blow stuck against the Jewish puppet state or the capitalist corporate order, depending on their point of view. Most of these people had the good sense to keep their positive reactions to themselves, for fear of losing what little creditability they had among mainstream Americans. Billy Roper, head PR guy for the National Alliance (NA), was an exception. Shortly after 9/11, he sent out a group e-mail praising the attackers:

"the enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friends…We may not want them marrying our daughters…but anyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill Jews is alright [sic] by me. I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude."

William Pierce, then-leader of the NA, felt compelled to issue a statement making clear that Roper’s comments did not reflect NA policy. Because advocating a National Socialist government is one thing, but hey, let’s not get crazy here. People on the left were much more muted. I recall reading one commentary in The Nation magazine in which the author said that when people on the American left started praising the 9/11 attacks, she would turn in her lefty credentials. It appears that that day has come. Of course, Ward Churchill and Ted Rall have been making supportive statements about the 9/11 attackers for a while, but such admiring comments have begun to become more prominent on the left, especially among anarchists. Consider this recent exchange on Infoshop, in which one of the site’s administrators describes the positive effects of the attack on the World Trade Center:

“The 9/11 attacks, first of all, gave lots of hope to the oppressed around the world, in that they showed that the big bad United States could be attacked and get a kind of comeuppance for its deeds of the past two centuries [Comeuppance? See, this is the problem. He sees the attack in symbolic rather than personal terms.]…I agree with [Ward] Churchill that 9/11 was an effective and justifiable act of resistance. I don't think he was suggesting that this mode of political terrorism be emulated and I wouldn't agree with him if he advocated this. I would also point out that the attacks may have been justified, but I'm against the people who perpetrated the attacks [So you’re fine with massive terrorist attacks, as long as they’re not perpetrated by Muslims]…I explained above why I see the aftermath of 9/11 as containing many positives for people around the world. Obviously, it's a mixed bag.”

Words can’t really adequately describe the sheer madness of the above statements. And to think that I’m still a Crass fan. Did the anarchists change, or did I?


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