Although the official narrative has Omar Mateen, the Orlando mass shooter, acting out of Isis-instigated terrorism, there's mounting evidence that religious extremism was more of an excuse for him than an inspiration. This guy wanted to create as much mayhem as inhumanly possible, and one way to ensure that he got the undivided attention he craved was to calmly call 911 to tell the media-political complex exactly what it wanted to hear.
The hawkish neocon players of the ruling establishment don't want a homegrown hate crime on steroids. They want a terrorist attack from afar, the better to give them an excuse to drop more bombs, wage more wars, spy on more innocent citizens, manufacture even more of the weapons that the liberals among them claim to abhor every time there's another "tragedy."
The neoliberal players of the ruling establishment forge ahead with their manufactured identitarian presidential campaign in the Age of the Tweeted Insult. They want to pit gays against Muslims against Mexicans against Republicans against Democrats against Trump against Obama and Clinton. They want us to forget all about the lousy economy and the class war of the feral rich against the 99%, the crumbling roads and schools and bridges, the wage stagnation, the rising death rate from suicides and drugs and untreated diseases, the child poverty, the hunger, the despair.
They don't seem to want to talk much about reports of Mateen being a closeted gay or bisexual man. They don't discuss the reality that right-wing religious fundamentalism abides within more than one belief system. Had Mateen tried all his life to "pray away the gay," to no avail? Did he try to overcome his sexual identity by donning a macho uniform and wearing NYPD regalia during his selfie poses? When nothing worked to change who he was, did he instead decide to shoot away the gay?
No matter. Fifty people, including Mateen, are dead and several more are maimed for life. But let's not waste any more time -- there's a nonstop presidential campaign on! So let's turn on the TV and vicariously revel in a bunch of millionaires (and an alleged billionaire) hurling invective at one another.
Trump: (breathing heavily and stumbling over someone else's TelePromptered words and sounding more like a cartoon villain every day) Since Obama won't use the words "radical Islam," then it just naturally follows that he supports terrorism. I know stuff. It's all part of a plot. America is so weak. We have to keep Muslims from other countries out. But nobody is more solid with the gays than I am. And Obama hates me more bigly than he hates the terrorists. I scare him more than Isis. Wahhhh.
Obama: (the centerpiece of a Deep State tableau vivant of the financialized plutonomy, the surveillance state, the trillion-dollar war machine and justice-for-some, he is showing some rare anger at Trump's ad hominem attacks against his own personal patriotism.) Let's not get bogged down in the semantics of dangerous cartoon characters. His words don't matter as much as my deeds. Hundreds of bombings and drones and and unlimited wars against global terror matter. America is not only strong, it is exceptional. We protect our people. Rah, rah. Oh, and we love everybody. We don't spy on Muslims unless we're caught spying on Muslims like that time in New York City a few short years ago. But look over there, it's Trump!
Hillary: (reading off a TelePrompter and nodding with grim disgusted satisfaction at frequent applause-ready intervals) Yeah! I'll go Obama one better, though. With me, it's words and deeds. I'm not afraid to say Radical Islam. I'm both a neocon and a neoliberal. So don't ever forget that you're not only electing a Pragmatic Progressive who can get 'things' done, you're also electing a Commander in Chief. Military Maxi-Me. Only I can bring America back to the good old days of Nine-Twelve, that great shining disaster-capitalism moment when we used the deaths of 3,000 people as an excuse to kill millions more and make defense contractors and oil companies and bankers and consolidated media propagandists richer beyond their wildest dreams. But let's 'do' gun control as a wedge issue anyway. Oh, and we love the gays more than Trump pretends to love the gays. And we welcome Muslims and war refugees, too: the rare few who can survive our sadistic, draconian, two-year-long vetting process, that is.
Since one of this week's favorite parlor games is comparing Omar Mateen to other Great Monsters in American history, my own nomination for his pathological twin would be George Zimmerman. Both, wannabe cops and gun fetishists from the Sunshine State. Both racists. Both perpetrators of domestic violence. Both also probably victims of parental and peer abuse. Both with huge boulders on their shoulders.
Mateen is dead. Zimmerman is still alive, still armed, still causing trouble, still abusive, and as far as I know, he graces no FBI terrorism watch list. He should.
Because he is still one scary sociopath, who only has to snap his trigger-happy fingers to get all the media attention he wants. He's achieved minor celebrity status. Every time he's beaten up or threatened a woman or, most recently, auctioned off the same gun he used to murder Trayvon Martin, he gets headlines.
He's not done yet.
Both Zimmerman and Mateen likely got their initial investigatory passes because they were both quasi-law enforcement types; they knew the cop lingo, the cop culture. They were deemed harmless, nasty, good ole redneck boys.
Guns are biological appendages to these types of men. Therefore, they're in dire need of emergency therapeutic amputations. Perhaps Congress could appropriate a ton of money to pay huge cash premiums or guaranteed incomes to people who voluntarily turn in their weapons of mass destruction. The relinquishers would then be placed on a list preventing them from using their bounty to purchase more weaponry. Such a program would save lives and might even stimulate the moribund economy at the same time.
Just one day before the Orlando massacre, a disturbed man walked into a ShopRite close to where I live and calmly slashed the throat of a complete stranger as he browsed in the produce section. He then blended right in with the other Saturday morning shoppers. The store was placed on lockdown while police hunted for the killer, who not having an assault rifle, was unable to cause any further human damage before he was arrested.
People with assault rifles can kill a whole bunch of human beings all at the same time. People armed with box-cutters are a lot more limited when acting out their deranged fantasies.
The failure of American politicians to ban assault weapons is tied directly to the fact that the United States is the largest arms manufacturer and dealer and exporter on the face of the earth. The same politicians who cry that the "wrong people" are getting hold of weapons don't bat an eye when it comes to selling billions of dollars' worth directly to such brutal, terrorist-enabling governments as Saudi Arabia.
As Patrick Cockburn writes in The Independent, the fact that the Orlando shooting is raising the global profile of Isis plays right into its propaganda script. Neither the Democratic nor Republican Party is willing to directly confront the underlying ideology of the group. Our leaders aren't willing to admit that Saudi Arabia is the funder and enabler of Islamic State extremism. To do so would be to cut off billions in profits for themselves. To do so would force them to plead guilty to their own complicit role and gruesome partnership with the very enemies they are creating.
Yes, Trump is a dangerous demagogue. But where were Obama and Clinton, asks Cockburn, when their good xenophobic pal David Cameron hurled similar treacherous anti-immigrant invective against the leftist Jeremy Corbyn?
Gun control talk is cheap, given how regularly it gets squelched by the symphony of big money and the chorus of pathocratic greed.