The warning signs all are there.
For anyone paying attention.
The real question is whether the massive slaughter of Muslims, particularly Middle Eastern Muslims, has evolved from possibility to likelihood. The trend, however, is indisputable.
There is one essential precursor to genocide: A widespread feeling the victim class is sub-human. The more widespread the feeling, the more likely the genocide. The less human the victims are perceived to be, the more likely the genocide. At some point, the question becomes not one of if, but when.
A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Video footage is worth many times more. Observe the footage in this story, from Mondoweiss, The Israeli Military Should be Grateful for the New York Times. An injured Palestinian lies motionless on a Hebron street, while more medics than needed for the task load another person into an ambulance. Not one of them moves to assist him. Then, an Israeli soldier shoots the motionless man in the head at point blank range. The other soldiers do nothing.
If you possible can spare the time, click through to the piece and its embedded video. Words, at least my words, can’t describe it.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the video is how many Israelis are in it, with none showing any recognition of the injured Palestinian’s humanity. He was, in their minds, an animal, or less.
What happened on that Hebron street reflects a mentality that has evolved to monstrous proportions over several decades. Muslims are something less.
Bill Maher now warns Democratic politicians that they must use the term “Islamic” when referring to terrorism.
Ted Cruz proposes we closely surveil Muslim neighborhoods in America because they’re … Muslim. This I’m guessing would be simultaneous to his carpet-bombing of lands controlled by ISIS, including the innocent, mostly Muslim, inhabitants of those lands, to “see if sand glows in the dark.”
Hillary Clinton, in a pandering speech to AIPAC, chooses not to mention Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians, while referring to the entirely peaceful BDS movement as “alarming.”
Donald Trump proposes we block Muslims from entering the country and saw his poll numbers improve, markedly.
I keep harkening back to the meeting I had with Muslim-Americans 8 years ago during my Congressional campaign. They explained their biggest fear: There will be another 9/11 type of event and it will become open season on Muslims, with law enforcement doing nothing to stop the carnage. I thought that fear more than legitimate back then, far more so now.
When Europeans are the victims of terrorism, the reporting in America is 24/7.
When Muslims in Africa or the Middle East are the victims, the reporting is relegated to page A14, or a couple blog sites.
Worse yet is the non-coverage of Muslims killed en masse by Western-sponsored violence, as Glenn Greenwald illuminates in Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence:
You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets. No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where those people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you’ll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened — usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble — but, even in those rare cases where such attacks are covered at all, everything will be avoided that would cause you to have any visceral or emotional connection to the victims. You’ll never know anything about them — not even their names, let alone hear about their extinguished life aspirations or hear from their grieving survivors — and will therefore have no ability to feel anything for them. As a result, their existence will barely register.
The existence, the humanity, of Muslims indeed barely registers. Will it register more than barely if the killing of Muslims becomes more systematic? No, which paves the way for it to become so. Systematic killing of Muslims, of course, would constitute genocide.
The looming genocide of Muslims is inextricably connected to the so-called War on Terror. Patrick L. Smith at Salon, in We brought this on ourselves, and we are the terrorists, too, discusses our collective refusal to confront the reality that terrorism is a reply to our own actions, rather than some random event. The concept of a “war on terror” plays an outsized role. Smith explains:
The term “war,” as in “the war on terror,” serves the same purpose without all the scholarly pretension. Dehumanizing the enemy has long been standard practice, of course: It is easier for soldiers to shoot or bomb people when they are reduced to “the Japs,” “the Gerrys,” “the gooks” (a term that dates to the American campaign in the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century) or “the Argies,” a Falklands War coinage.
Genocide occurs because it’s sold as something else. And so it is with the genocide threatening Muslims today. War level killing is justified, if at all, by there being a war. Absent a war, our killing of two million plus Vietnamese certainly would be considered genocide. It likely was anyhow, as Nick Turse explains in Kill Anything That Moves.
Calling it a “war on terror,” therefore, serves two purposes. First, it allows for the dehumanization of the “enemy” that takes place in wars, as Smith explains. Second, it provides cover, as “war” is not (necessarily) genocide.
The root of the problem is our unwillingness to confront the context in which terrorism arose. Here, Smith is spot on:
The fear of terror arriving on shores where it was never expected is obvious and not to be diminished (or exaggerated for political gain, either). But I mean something else: I mean our fear of facing up to ourselves, our fear of history, which is to say our responsibility for events that are gradually overtaking us, however great or otherwise one may judge this responsibility.
All of which is to say, our fear of context. We cannot avoid it forever is the best one can say.
I’d add this: The longer we do avoid context and the longer we indulge the fear of facing up to ourselves, the worse the ultimate reckoning will be. The reckoning ultimately could take one or both of two forms, one obvious and one not so obvious. The obvious form of reckoning would be the terrorism we legitimately fear occurring on a much greater scale than it does today. The not-so-obvious form would be the sort of reckoning Germans had to face in 1945 when they realized what they, as a society, had done.
I’ve never feared more for humanity than I do right now.