Every time I surf the nutty net, I think of my buddy’s brother, who aptly observed, “Before the Internet, every village had an idiot. After the Internet, the idiots have their own village.”
In the cyber la-la-land of the far-far-right, it’s a short step from President Obama using deadly drones in the Middle East to him siccing the winged robot warplanes on “innocent” citizens stateside.
By “innocent” citizens, the uber-conservatives mean folks like themselves. Check out their Internet/social media alternate universe of paranoia, fear-mongering, conspiratorial fantasies and flights from reality.
But the web wackadoodles aren’t all that far afield from some tea party-tilting Republican lawmakers in Washington. Rep. Louie Gohmert of the Lone Star State comes to mind.
“President Obama plans to use military drones in the skies over the United States to assassinate journalists, patriots and critics of his administration,” says one of the wacko websites. Such is “the inescapable conclusion from the emerging pattern of evidence now publicly available,” it claims.
The site also says the president schemed with the leader of the IRS employees’ union to target tea party groups and other “patriotic” outfits.
Ultra-righties despise organized labor as much as they do the guy they call our “Islamo-Socialist-in-chief.” “Comrade Obama’s” grand plan, they claim, is “white slavery” under Sharia law — in cahoots with labor unions and other “traitor” groups.
Anyway, the “pattern of emerging evidence” of Obama “treason” — according to self-appointed cyber-Paul Reveres all over the Internet — includes those “black helicopters” and “FEMA concentration camps.”
Naturally, the “liberal lamestream media” is hiding the “evidence” from John and Jane Q. Citizen, the cyber crazies chorus.
I almost forgot their other “evidence” — jet contrails that are really “chemtrails” of poison designed to turn vigilant Christian white folks into pliant fools so you-know-who can more easily make himself imam of the Islamic Socialist Republic of America.
In the real world, the tea party-tilting Republican Torquemadas in Congress have not turned up a shred of evidence linking Obama to their charges of IRS perfidy.
As for drones, the administration has admitted the unmanned aircraft have killed four U.S. citizens in Yemen and Pakistan. All but one reportedly had terrorist connections.
Anwar al-Awlaki was targeted deliberately. The president called his death a “major blow to al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate,” CBS News recently reported.
The other three died in drone attacks against targeted terrorists. Samir Khan, an al Qaeda member, died in the strike against al-Awlaki. He had told ABC News he was “proud to be a traitor” to the United States, according to CBS.
Jude Kenan Mohammad had been indicted by a North Carolina grand jury for conspiracy to commit terrorism. “As an American citizen, with a U.S. passport and American accent, he was the type of person U.S. authorities feared — and al Qaeda sought — to wage jihad in America,” CBS said.
Only Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, 16, “had no known ties to terrorism,” CBS reported. His family said he ran away from home to locate his father. Some U.S. officials said his death in Yemen was “a mistake.” CBS added, “even the president is said, in some reports, to have considered it a bad mistake.”
There is nothing wrong – and plenty right – about openly debating the use of drones. The media should be reporting honestly and factually on drones, too, giving us all sides to the story.
The president promised he will tighten up on the employment of drones in the Middle East. But, as I said earlier this week, I’m for any weapons system that kills enemies abroad without risking the lives and limbs of our soldiers.
All of the Americans the drones killed were Muslims of Middle Eastern heritage. Uber-conservatives, especially those of the Jesus-loves-me-but-He-can’t-stand-you persuasion, are not generally big fans of Islam. More commonly, they stereotype Muslims — stateside and abroad — as terrorists or terrorist wannabes.
I’m pretty sure if George Bush or Mitt Romney were president, the Obama haters would be crooning a different tune over drone strikes. I’d bet the farm they’d be saying “good riddance” to the Americans the drones killed.
They’d be slamming the quartet as “as turncoats” and practitioners of a “false religion.”
Of course, the nutty net is just one car on the right wing crazy train that departed the reality station on January 20, 2009. “Almost as soon as Obama’s hand left the Bible, there arose a loud and curiously atavistic opposition,” Charles P. Pierce writes in Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. “Granted, you didn’t exactly need the Enigma Machine to decode the racial and xenophobic currents driving much of the anti-Obama rhetoric. (A white lady in Arkansas moaning, ‘I want my country back,’ on TV isn’t laden with what you call subtext there.’)”
Monday, 27 May 2013