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Capitalist Punishment

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Even Bush derides 'Washington', as remote and bureaucratic. The Right in the US has a history of distancing itself from the capital and this plays well with the voters. They act out a pantomime plotted with the absurd notion that somehow others..them..the killjoys..the ones holding back progress are .. officious or.. stupid and will spend hard working people's tax money on some immigrant family's flashy lifestyle etc ...you know the trash... 'They should be arresting Commies... not employin 'em.'

Washington, although I've never been, is famously built on a swamp, but has grand classical buildings, monuments and a reputation for violence to its own, comparable to the international image that the Government has had recently, especially during this time of war. The city kills its own at a rate that makes even Glasgow, the 'Mean City', seem gentle and welcoming.

On July 10th a prominent activist in Britain's Jewish community was 'stabbed to death in Washington, in an apparent robbery and rape attempt.' according to the Guardian. Alan Senitt was trying to improve relations with the Muslim community..hence the conspiracy antennae are on full alert. However it seems likely that this good and brave man was just unlucky rather than picked out.

It is tempting to think that the US Government sees nothing wrong with killing foreigners, because its own people die at such a rate. The Government also has domestic foreigners however. When McVie, the Oklahoma City Bomber, struck the Murrah building, killing and hurting hundreds, suspicion at first, fell on foreign terrorists.

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It seemed crazy to think that a "good ol' boy", could contemplate such carnage on his own people. What on earth could they have done to deserve this appalling act of slaughter? He blamed the Government for his action. So did the Unabomber, who letter-bombed universities. What is going on? How can essentially right wing people not see the US government as an ally? What ever happened to honour among loopies?

From memory McVie was protesting about the Waco deaths. The film I saw about Waco depicts Koresh, the leader of the Cult there, as an abusive, yet hypnotic, self centred "Christian." Nobody in the cult thought it strange that he had automatic weaponry and grenades.

The idea that you could justify such contradictions shows what a 'genius' the guy was....You turn your cheek..yes..to avoid the blast from the grenade you've just thrown! He taunted the authorities and shot some agents who raided the place. The compound then burned, and this was what Koresh intended, some prediction from his bible apparently. However I am not sure as the bit about dying and forcing all your friends to die in agony with you, was not in the Scottish edition.

The agents were from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms department of the Government. The ATF became synonymous with interfering, callous Washington. However, they are armed and can fight back. Not so the children in the Murrah building. McVie was executed, which I totally disagree with, but in his case my reasons are slightly different than my usual argument.

I would normally say that to kill, even horror stories like McVie, encourages further murder. If the State kills its people, then it introduces the concept, which should be unacceptable, even to consider. "Thou shalt not kill.", seems to have no qualification. The thought that 12 sober, reasonable people could calmly kill someone is more worrying to me, than the murder itself.

Murders in Scotland are very often committed by angry or drunk relatives of the victims. Now, I have been both angry and drunk. Despite never having, so far, bumped off a relative, always sobering up just in time, I understand how this could occur. I don't understand ritually executing someone when clear-headed and I am more confused by this, than by the actual murder.

In McVie's case I do not think that there was the suggested closure for the families. Better for the families to have a hate figure kept alive, suffering in prison, than a martyr to the loony right. The only one who benefited, was McVie, who was able to escape having to consider the enormity of his insanity. He got closure.

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In memory of the good people of Oklahoma City.
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'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.

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