By Dave Lindorff
Terrorist (l), killed up to 14, Not terrorist (r), killed 26 incl. 20 kids
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A staggering 168 people, 12 times as many as those killed earlier this week in San Bernardino, and including a whole daycare center class of 15 little children, were killed by a crazed terrorist in the 1995 Oklahome City truck-bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. The killer, Timothy McVeigh, was a right-wing Christian fanatic who wanted to avenge the killing of a bunch of Christian cultists in Waco, Texas by federal agents two years earlier. His accomplice Terry Nichols had the same deranged goal.
Although there are plenty of right-wing and fanatic Christian nut-jobs in the US, somehow Americans get on with their lives and don't worry over-much about being the victim of one of their attacks, though they happen often enough. Just recall the slaughter earlier this year of nine parishioners of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was hoping to ignite a race war, or nut-job Adam Lanza, who killed 26 people -- 20 of the schoolchildren, in the Sandy Hook School massacre.
Such terrorist killings in the US are actually pretty common, sometimes involving just one victim, as in the case of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas shot point blank in the head by a Christian anti-abortion wacko as Tiller stood handing out programs in the foyer of his church. Maybe such terrorist actions are not as common as run-of-the-mill mass slayings by people who simply slip a cog when life gets too hard for them and -- America being the land of the almost free gun --they grab a weapon or two and some boxes of cartridges from the local gun shop, and go out to cause mayhem en route to a suicide by cop, or by their own bloody hand. But they're frequent enough.
Given this uniquely violent American reality, why has everyone gotten so freaked out by the San Bernardino shooting, in which only 14 people were shot, or for that matter by the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed just three people (admittedly seriously injuring dozens more)?
Awful as this latest mass killing is, and these earlier ones, let's admit that as far American mayhem goes, they have not been particularly big deals.
No, the thing that has people, at least in the media and in the national police state, all worked up is that this time (as in the case of the Boston bombing, where one wounded kid on the loose led to a city-wide martial-law military lock-down), the killers are Muslims -- and immigrant Muslims at that. Somehow that makes it much scarier, even though the San Bernardino killers (and the Boston bombers) were not nearly as proficient at killing as McVeigh and Nichols or even Roof. Hell, McVeigh researched and figured out how to make an exploding truck that was heard 50 miles away in all directions and that took down a nine-story building! Lanza slaughtered 26 people all by himself, and even the inept Roof managed to kill nine people on his own.
The San Bernardino terrorists needed two people to kill their 14 victims.
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