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Kamikaze Joseph Stack: A Terrorist by Any Other Name

Joseph Stack's attack

Joseph Stack's attack

A man flies a plane into a federal building in a suicide mission in which he wishes to sacrifice himself for a political cause or objective, he must be a Muslim! Not so fast, Joseph Stack seems to have blown that idea to bits, highlighting a fact we have pointed out Ad nauseum, terrorism isn’t a Muslim only brand.

Joe Stack’s story is interesting for a number of reasons,one of them being the confusion on whether or not what he did is terrorism, though it fits the definition of terrorism to the letter,

premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets

News media outlets are a perfect example of the confusion over whether or not to label this an act of terrorism, or whether to label Joe Stack a terrorist. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Stack is a middle aged White male who isn’t Muslim. If he had been Muslim there would be no confusion, instantly pundits would be in unanimous agreement that this is terrorism.

Glenn Greenwald breaks down the hypocrisy and the double standards quite succinctly, (I recommend all read his article, Terrorism: The Most Meaningless and Manipulated Word)

The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter documents the deep reluctance of cable news chatterers and government officials to label the incident an act of “terrorism,” even though — as Dave Neiwert ably documents — it perfectly fits, indeed is a classic illustration of, every official definition of that term.  The issue isn’t whether Stack’s grievances are real or his responses just; it is that the act unquestionably comports with the official definition.  But as NBC’s Pete Williams said of the official insistence that this was not an act of Terrorism:  there are “a couple of reasons to say that . . . One is he’s an American citizen.”  Fox News’ Megan Kelley asked Catherine Herridge about these denials:  “I take it that they mean terrorism in the larger sense that most of us are used to?,” to which Herridge replied: “they mean terrorism in that capital T way.”

The things that make you go hmmm.

Think about that for a second, he is an “American citizen,” so he can’t commit terrorism? Jose Padilla was an American citizen, the una-bomber was an American citizen, Timothy McVeigh was an American citizen. Are they all exonerated because they were American citizens?

Megan Kelley’s words are even more illustrative of the Islamophobia that is commonplace now and buried deep within the American psyche, the “terrorism that we are used to” meaning terrorism can only be commited by Muslims. The “capital T,” might as well be a capital M for Muslim.

Joseph Stack is now being considered a hero and a martyr against big government and the intrusive tax system. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are abuzz proclaiming Stack a “true American hero.”

The silence from Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who must be busy with their new Orwellian organization Freedom Defense Initiative is deafening. Other Conservatives are busy boohooing against the Left and claiming that they are being painted unjustly as “extremists and terrorists.” Now isn’t that ironic?

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  • Imad

    Nobody is denying that Islamic terrorism (jihad by everyone else’s definition) a problem.

  • Sir David

    Livingengine The threat from terroism remains weather jihad is a threat depends on your definition of jihad. For those who see jihad as a personal inturnal stuggle to live a good life how does this threaten you.

  • http://loonwatch.com Emperor

    Hellboy,

    Your comments are being moderated because you are the same Cassidy and B.Lyndon who has been warned for your misinformation, obfuscation and bigotry.

  • livingengine

    The question asked by Loonwatch is “What if he were a Muslim?”

    I am not the one trying to make a connection between Jospeh Stack, terror and Muslims ie jihad.

    If Stack were a Muslim, shouted “Allahu Akbar”, and quoted from the Koran it would be reasonable to assume it was jihad.

    But he wasn’t, he didn’t, and it isn’t.

    It is a tag line at Loonwatch to ask “what if he were a Muslim?”

    I think it is fair to say Loonwatch’s mission is to obviscate jihad.

    Joseph Stach has nothing to do with Muslims, or jihad.

    Neverless, the threat of jihad remains whether Loonwatch likes it or not.

  • Les

    I don’t think Stack was a terrorist*. I don’t think the Fort Hood shooter is a terrorist either. It’s the double standard that people have with regard to “terrorism” that I oppose.

    *He was not trying to intimidate the general public in order to influence a change in government policy. He was a fool, a loser who felt that tax rules did not apply to his brilliant self so he took out his anger externally by flying into a building. It makes him a criminal and a moron, but not a terrorist. Pretty much these are the same reasons why the Fort Hood shooter is not a terrorist also. Stack’s government views and Hasan’s religious views are irrelevant.

  • Montana

    Joseph Stack was nothing but a coward, to his family, to god, to our country. Boo, hoo, hoo, I have money problems and its not my fault, it the big bad government. Talk about a domestic terrorist who happens to be white trailer trash.

  • Imad

    As long as America is in Iraq and Afghanistan using 911 as their justification, or the prevention of future terrorist attacks, then I will not tolerate this guy being called anything else lower then “terrorist.” This man called a hero? By following their idiot ways, I now recognize osama bin laden and his hijackers as heroes, becase the American govt played a major role in causing Afghanistan to shatter into tiny pieces.

    No i do not think the terrorists are heroes, I’m just taking their standards if judging a hero and applying it to Taliban and al-Qaeda. But America, coupled with the USSR, are responsible for the destabilization of Afghanistan.

    If ur debating of whether or not to call him a terrorist (like an idiot), then I have a MUCH easier way to define this man, the “All American suicide bomber.” I wanna see ANYONE deny that.

  • Sir David

    Was this suiside bomber a tea bagger ?
    He certainly was a terrorist by any sane logical definition

  • Jim

    @living

    The only person who mentioned jihad so far is the real fool here. Stack’s actions are those of a terrorist. He has a political axe to grind, he feels he has no legal outlet, he can’t get his way, so he forces his views on others by use of violence. I’m guessing you have him as a hero, attacking big government. That simply confirms the brainwashing which clearly has ahd some success in your case. Try original thought.

  • http://atlasshrugs.typepad.com Robert4

    Emperor,

    I wonder if she thinks her commentors are representative of her readers, or of the general ideas about her hate in the US.

    My own humble blog addresses some of the things she says because she refused to let me comment there. (I’ll admit that most of my posts adopted a toungue-in-cheek tone about her brilliant racist insights.) All of the Typepad accounts I “follow” on the belong to Pam’s most hateful commenters.

  • IbnAbuTalib

    Actually, if you go by the literal meaning of Jihad which is to struggle, Jospeh Stack’s actions does equate with Jihad, specifically a struggle against tax! I find it funny that rather than condemn what Stack did, livingengine takes a swipe at Muslims instead. Loon mentality at its best! Moreover, notice that the other loons are just as silent on this issue as they were on the Wembley preacher rapist. Again, loon mentality at its best!

  • Les

    @Hellboy

    And I suppose they’re against the Palestinian Authority because they think it’s an Israeli collaborationist organization that is not standing up for the Palestinians as they should? No, they’re against the PA because their government and media hate the Palestinian people and smear them as terrorists. What’s your defense of that? The PA is not a theocracy nor is it a communist tyranny. So why are Americans anti-PA? (and by Palestinian Authority, you should read it as anti-Palestinian people).

  • Les

    “If I understand your comment correctly, then your post confirms mine.”

    Yes, I’m agreeing with you and added the poll to support your thesis. That favorability ratings of the American public’s perception of these countries is consistent with the government’s attitude towards these countries. If the US says Iran is bad, the American public agrees that Iran is bad. There’s no independent thought. So if the government/media (really two branches of the same system) says that the Muslim hijab is oppressive, the public will agree. This is hardly an American ruse. Many countries are able to manipulate their citizens in this fashion. We can pretend that we live in a free and open society, but people’s minds are tightly controlled and manipulated by the media and government. There are Muslims who are even manipulated by this. They’re convinced that there is something wrong with them and they force themselves to conform to the anti-Islam attitudes of the general public even if they don’t realize it. People’s prejudices do not develop innocently. It’s the propaganda designed for certain interests.

    Also notice how the bottom of the list compromises of Muslim or communist countries. The government and media are anti-Muslim and anti-Communist. Hence the negative public attitudes towards these countries.

    “Due to this monopoly on morality America supposedly has, “un-American” has become synonymous with “immoral.”… Not cultural expression! Not out of her own will! Nope, were going to assume its for the reasons I just said when we have no idea about their culture or identity. Were gonna pass laws based only on assumptions then reality!”

    Right. And who defines what’s moral and what’s not? Certainly not secular governments. Does a government have the right to declare what’s moral? By what standard are they comparing it to? How are they comparing it? Criticisms of Islamic morality are meaningless when morality has changed over time based on changing social, economic, and geographic circumstances. What is currently considered ‘moral’ in the West did not become moral through righteous arguments. It came about due to circumstances. As an example, monogamy and having small families was first done by the Scandinavians in order to survive the harsh winters. It was obviously easier for men to take care of one wife and 2-3 children instead of 4 wives and 12 children. This practice was then adopted by the rest of Europe and now it’s considered the ‘moral’ position even though it was just a survival tactic. The point is the West has no right to claim that Islam is ‘immoral’ for having women wear the hijab and to dress conservatively since morality is always changing. For the Muslim, Who defines morality is Allah. A divine law is morally absolute and Muslims should never feel that the others know what’s best and what’s ‘moral’ because like terrorism, “morality” is a term that’s different for different people. The West is entitled to say that their morality is superior, BUT they can not tell the Muslims that they are not entitled to claim the same thing about their morality.

  • Imad

    @ livinggengine:

    you’ve obviously haven’t read the article carefully enough. it did NOT accuse Stack of jihad, but of terrorism. It is obvious I think that you have made jihad synonymous with terrorism, even though it is MUCH more complicated then that.

  • livingengine

    The only people who would equate Joseph Stack with jihad are Muslims and their fools.

    Next question.

  • Imad

    @ Lea:

    If I understand your comment correctly, then your post confirms mine. Due to this monopoly on morality America supposedly has, “un-American” has become synonymous with “immoral.” Just an example: The burqa, which is obviously un-American, is now synonymous with hiding weapons or being oppressed by her husband/father. Not cultural expression! Not out of her own will! Nope, were going to assume its for the reasons I just said when we have no idea about their culture or identity. Were gonna pass laws based only on assumptions then reality!

  • Hellboy

    @Les

    What on earth is wrong about the American public having a low opinion on theocracies like Iran (which has a genocidial policy towards gays) or a stalinist dictatorship like Cuba? It doesn’t mean that Americans are sheepishly following their governments; it means that the American people do not support tyranny.

  • Any CPAC Coverage?

    Hey LW. How come you guys aren’t covering the CPAC event where they had a whole segment about Islam and Jihad? Loons included the likes of Robert Spinster, Pamela Loontastic Geller, Nonie lying Darwish, Wafa Stalin etc. Media Matters, a non-Muslim organization, seems to be covering it and exposing it. Here’s a couple of links that’ll be useful to you guys:

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201002220032

    and

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201002220029

  • Les

    @Imad “how they look at their govt and country and her citizens as if we have some sorta monopoly on morality”

    Many Americans do not have an independent view of other countries and systems, their perception simply mirrors the government’s position as portrayed in the media. See this poll of American favorability ratings of various countries — it’s consistent with the American government’s talking points:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/126116/Canada-Places-First-Image-Contest-Iran-Last.aspx

    From most favorable to least favorable:

    Canada
    Great Britian
    Germany
    Japan
    Israel
    India
    France
    Egypt
    Mexico
    Russia
    China
    Saudi Arabia
    Cuba
    Pakistan
    Iraq
    Yemen
    The Palestinian Authority (read: The Palestinian people)
    Afghanistan
    North Korea
    Iran

    Is anyone surprised by these results? Any surprise the Iran is last? That countries like Cuba and Pakistan are at the bottom? This polls show American conformity to the government line.

  • Imad

    The problem with certian Americans is how they look at their govt and country and her citizens as if we have some sorta monopoly on morality; therfore, Americans and America can’t do anything wrong. Therefore, anybody who opposes Amercas decisions is labeled as “un-American” (as if I could care less). Therefore, the Muslims are/were backwards, because they don’t think, act, or speak like us.

  • http://loonwatch.com Emperor

    Robert4,

    Thanks for the tip about Pam. It is interesting how she moderates her site isn’t it? The woman has some of the most insane followers on the net.

    Leonora,

    Fox so under reported this especially when it happened. I saw CNN, and they had it as breaking news.

  • http://snarla.wordpress.com Snarla

    Regardless of whether he ever attended church, his name is a Christian name, and by the same standards the media judges Muslims, that’s all it takes to prove he was a terrorist driven by a toxic, religious ideology. Many times more so if he ever spoke to a Christian pastor or if he said, “Jesus Christ” often.

  • Leonora

    So glad you wrote about this Emperor!!! When I saw this on the news I went to Fox to see what they thought and didn’t have time to wait for them to cover it.

  • http://atlasshrugs.typepad.com Robert4

    Pamela Geller isn’t exactly silent. She has total editorial control over her comments section (which is why you see a dissenting comment only once in a blue moon) and her readers who can post their are defending this terrorist with the dregs of their dwindling honor.

  • Les

    Muslim + plane + building. I wonder how the media would portray that! I like how Angry Arab put it today:

    “When a man fueled by rage against the U.S. government and its tax code crashes his airplane into a building housing offices of the Internal Revenue Service, is it a criminal act or an act of terrorism?”

    Thanks AP for this important question. Very good question indeed. Well, I will answer you using the standards of Bill Keller of the New York Times. If the man is Muslim or Arab, this would be clearly a terrorist act. But if the man is non-Arab/non-Muslim, it does not qualify as a terrorist act. And if the man is a staunch Zionist, this would be considered a heroic act and the perpetrator in this case would deserve a recognition by US Congress. OK?

    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/02/moraljournalistic-dilemma-standards-of.html

    Such are the bogus standards of “terrorism”. A completely meaningless word meant to defame Muslims and Islam in order desensitize the public so that wars can continue in Muslim countries in the interest of Israel and energy companies.

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