micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Saturday, February 08, 2003
Notes on repression
One pleasant surprise of the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is that, despite repressive legislation, the public has largely not clamored for imprisoning or any other way infringing on the rights of those who speak out against Bush’s “war on terror.”
This Thursday editorial by The New York Sun represents an exception to this pattern as it applauds attempts to make it more difficult to publicly express opposition to the U.S. escalating the current war with Iraq because such opposition could be effective, even as it acknowledges that those attempts are not in accordance with the Constitution. The New York Sun makes a point of saying that another major terrorist attack are likely to lead to a much greater clampdown on civil liberties than the mere prevention of an anti-war protest. On this point, it is not at all clear what they are talking about. It is ludicrous to think that a terrorist attack will decrease the right of the average apolitical U.S. citizen to rent My Big Fat Greek Wedding or drive a snowmobile. Any curtailment of civil liberties will be targeted at those deemed to be on the fringes of society -Arabs, Muslims and/or critics of one aspect or another of the "war on terror." This doesn't mean that restrictions won't ever reach farther into the general population, only that they will start at the margins.
Justin Raimondo and Jesse Walker are two anti-war writers who have criticized this editorial. More importantly, as Jim Henley has noted, a number of proponents of further war with Iraq have come out against the editorial.
On October 12, 2001 I wrote about how the level of racism in the U.S. after the September 11 terrorist attacks was much less than I expected but added:
Would the situation be different if George W. Bush was urging “Real Americans” to attack Arabs, people mistaken for Arabs and Muslims? Would anybody in this country give a damn if Bush was constantly on the television talking about how “we” were at war with the Afghans?I still have that hunch.