Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Domestic Terror Attack in Wichita, Kansas

This story is a couple days old, but I think it is definitely worth writing about for this site, especially considering the amount of discussion that has taken place within the Notre Dame community about abortion over the past month or so.

The story I’m talking about of course, is the domestic terrorist attack in Wichita, Kansas, in which abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was assassinated while attending Sunday morning church services.  Note the use of the terms “domestic terrorist attack” and “assassinated.”  This is not me trying to be snarky because some rightwing crazy blew his gasket.  This is in fact what happened, and they are entirely accurate terms to apply to such a situation.  The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the terms “terrorism” and “assassinate” as the following:

Terrorism: the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Assassinate: murder (an important person) in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.

The fact that some idiot trolling our site answered our poll by selecting the third response, that we shouldn't care that an abortion doctor was murdered, is simply disgusting and shows the level of extremism that pervades the radical anti-choice community.  It has become commonplace among the radical elements of the right wing to use phrases such as “baby-killer” and “murderer” to describe anyone who supports the right of a woman to make her own medical decisions.  Fox News has singled out George Tiller for persecution time and again over the years and has no doubt contributed to the hysteria that overcomes many in the rightwing and leads them to take what is said by these “journalists” seriously, and act out against it.  Whether it’s Bill O’Reilly referring to Tiller as a murderer, or Glenn Beck using rightwing terrorist code language to turn his viewers against President Obama (and convince others that they can justify seceding from the Union) this kind of talk is dangerous, irresponsible, and needs to stop being allowed to frame mainstream political discussion.  Here’s an example of Fox News’ crusade against George Tiller in the past:

The assassination of Dr. Tiller was not just some incident of random violence by some whack job.  It's easy to dismiss it as such, because we would never think it moral or rational to assassinate the people who we disagree with politically.  But there are those who do.  And they use the vitriol spewed by the likes of O'Reilly to justify their heinous acts.

Of even more concern, there is a possibility that Scott Roeder, the alleged terrorist taken into custody for this crime, may not have been acting alone.  Operation Rescue, the whackjob organization that invaded South Bend during the controversy over the President's commencement speech here at Notre Dame, was busy all day Sunday and Monday telling everyone that they're a peaceful organization.  Why would people think otherwise?  Well, because in Scott Roeder's car when he was arrested, was the phone number for Operation Rescue's senior policy advisor.

It's quite possible that the senior advisor for Operation Rescue had no ties with Scott Roeder.  However, this bit of evidence certainly warrants a thorough investigation, and I'm sure the authorities are looking into any possible connections.  Though, when your movement is led by people like Randall Terry's crazy ass, who say things like George Tiller "reaped what he sowed" and when your followers are lemmings who are encouraged to think this way, it is only logical to look for a connection to terrorist attacks such as this and the right-wing organizations who fuel this kind of hateful dialogue.

And to think there are those who cried foul when DHS commissioned a report on right-wing extremism.  


Andrea said...

I was actually thinking of writing about this when I saw the story (and it's actually why I decided to ask Henry to write for the blog after all) but you did a much better job of it. At work today someone said that there's no reason this isn't an act of terrorism, and I completely agree. I'm still shocked by the hatred and violence.

ShamRockNRoll said...

Yay, you commented! Haha... well don't hesitate to post something else later. As you can see, we could use a few other active authors during summer.

Anonymous said...

Standard top-notch work from Brendan. Good shit, man.