December 10, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Since ISIS rose to conquest in Syria and Iraq, then turning its deadly attention westward, it (with the help of its government and media accomplices) has unleashed a fresh flood of terror, which the people of the West have, unresisting, let wash over them.
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In America, Donald Trump has tapped into that terror to fuel the flames of Islamophobic hate, which he hopes will propel his rise to presidential power.
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. […] And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
The “certain things” Trump has publicly contemplated have included surveilling and shutting down mosques, forcing Muslims to register themselves in database, banning Muslims from entering the country, and combating Islamic extremists by “taking out” their families.
As Archer might tell the Donald: Do you want terrorists? Because that’s how you get terrorists. That is not to say that the average Muslim will resort to terrorism in response to such policies. The vast majority will continue to endure such persecution peacefully, with courage and resilience.
But all change for good or evil happens on the margin. Oppression and atrocity has already driven some Muslims over the edge to indiscriminate vengeance. Decades of Western and Israeli crimes against Iraqis and Palestinians have been major contributors to extremist recruitment and self-radicalization. Additional oppression and atrocity will only drive some who are now on the margin over the edge, as well.
The leadership of ISIS is fully aware of this cause-and-effect dynamic. And according to its official magazine, that is precisely what they are striving to instigate with their terror attacks. ISIS wants to shrink what it calls the “gray zone” of coexistence and civilization between Westerners and Muslims. To this end, ISIS launches brutal attacks to provoke terror and hate that drive brutal Western reactions (oppression and atrocity) which, in turn, provoke terror and hate among Muslims, driving some of them to extremism. Thus, Western warmongers and Islamophobes become useful-idiot recruiters for the terrorists.
ISIS’s ultimate aim, in the tradition of its forefather Osama bin Laden, is eliminating the gray zone altogether by polarizing the whole world into two warring camps (the “Camp of [Salafist] Islam” and the “Crusader Camp”) locked in what the neocons call a “Clash of Civilizations.” Many neocons want this, too. The only difference between the neocons and ISIS is that each thinks its side will be the one to emerge victorious from this apocalyptic clash.
Trump is no neocon (indeed, he can be an effective critic of them). Nonetheless, his divisive rhetoric and endorsements of anti-Muslim oppression and atrocity play right into the extremists’ hands by helping them dwindle the gray zone and polarize the country and world.
Indeed, even without yet achieving political power, his demagogic influence over his followers is already yielding discord and violence. And even the Muslim-massacring Pentagon warned that a Muslim ban like the one Trump proposes would “bolster” ISIS’s narrative, “pit” the U.S. against the Muslim faith, and thus be “contrary to national security.”
With every Islamophobic blathering that tumbles out of his mouth, Trump stumps for ISIS. ISIS may end up cheering Trump’s election, just as Bin Laden cheered Bush’s.
Yet all the establishment office holders and seekers (both Democrat and Republican) fainting at Trump’s scandalous utterances must not be taken too seriously. As Glenn Greenwald has detailed, Trump’s policies are, in practical terms, not very different from their own. And as Noah Millman has pointed out, Trump’s “fascism,” aside from the added dangers of it being expressed in populist form, is basically in line with the fascistic direction this country has been heading down for a decade and a half.
Trump expresses the same kind of ugliness the U.S. establishment perpetrates every day. The main difference is that Trump doesn’t mince words or drape his cruelties with euphemism. This is yet another Trump/ISIS parallel. ISIS is no less murderous than the U.S. government. It just prefers to trumpet and broadcast its atrocities over LiveLeak, while Washington strives to mask and hide the civilian carnage of its bombs.
Moreover, Trump, like ISIS, is not some spontaneous blight that appeared out of the blue. Both owe their rise to the establishment policies of the past 14 years. ISIS was seeded in Bush’s Iraq War and blossomed out of Obama’s Syrian jihad. And Trump’s grassroots support was planted with the yield of Washington’s terrorist-proliferating foreign policy, as well as blue-collar frustration (unjustly taken out on immigrants) with an economy made moribund by Washington’s prodigious spending, bailouts, endless monetary expansion, and other forms of crony capitalism.
Trump and ISIS are both creatures of the very Washington establishment that now denounces them. They are just as much symptoms as they are pathogens. The underlying disease is our own statist ideology that lets our government run rampant, engendering the emergence of such fiends.
To truly address the threats posed by Trump and ISIS, it is not enough to denounce them as fascists and Islamo-fascists. We must also renounce the semi-fascist statism our entire society harbors, or we will never be free of more blatant fascists seeking to divide and conquer.
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