Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Warring Classes

An addendum to this post, noting Juan Cole's remarks on the latest "terrorist" arrests:

Whereas most terrorism is a form of educated, middle class politics, this particular group clearly grew out of the grievances and resentments of race and class inequality in the United States.

The sister of one was just on MSNBC saying that he deeply resented Bush spending money to drop bombs on poor people who could not defend themselves, while depriving the poor in the United States of any support. "We are not capable," she said. This is a theory of class war, connecting the poor of Kut with the poor of Miami's inner city. The city, by the way, has horrific levels of unemployment.

The position of the poor and workers in particular is deteriorating in the US, as more and more of the privately held wealth is concentrated in the hands of a white, privileged, few. The unions have been gutted, the minimum wage is inadequate, and racist attitudes are reemerging on a worrisome scale. Cities such as Detroit, New Orleans and Miami continue to witness enormous strains coming mainly from racist attitudes. In this case, the best counter-terrorism would be more social justice.
This, of course, is where Rush Limbaugh shuts down all discussion with cries of "Class Warfare!"

But tell me what's wrong with this analysis, precisely? Bin Laden is known to come from a wealthy family, one with connections to the Bush clan. And if the situation in New Orleans and on the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf coast doesn't prove the validity of that last paragraph, what does?

As for the middle one, well, I'm convinced the DOJ is banking on these guys getting really poor court-appointed representation. Because while conspiracy is an "inchoate crime" (i.e., one where intent almost alone can be illegal, a vastly different standard than any other crime), this one seems, just on the news reports, to barely rise to the level of a conspiracy, much less a crime.

Class warfare, indeed. Only the destitute are innocent.

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