George Will, in the process of trying to argue that Jeremiah Wright is somehow, and in fact ever was, relevant to the presidential election, says the following:
In yesterday’s speech at the National Press Club, Wright repeated — decorously, by his standards, but clearly — his accusation, made the Sunday after Sept. 11, that America got what it deserved. His answer yesterday to a question about that accusation was: “Whatsoever you sow, that you also shall reap” and “you cannot do terrorism on other people and expect them never to come back on you.”
As evidence that “our government is capable of doing anything,” he strongly hinted that he has intellectually respectable corroboration — he mentioned several publications — for his original charge that the U.S. government is guilty of “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.” But yesterday he insisted that he is not anti-American: It is, he said, Americans’ government, not the American public, that is a genocidal perpetrator of terrorism. So, he now denies that America has a representative government — that it represents the public. He believes that elections constantly and mysteriously — and against the public’s will — produce a genocidal, terroristic government.
Perhaps George should look into a hearing aid, because if he was paying attention he would’ve known that Wright’s “reap what you sow” comment was a Bible quote — he is a pastor, after all*. His point was clearly an attempt to make a religious example out of the event, alluding to the US government’s history of playing Risk for real as the sowing. That this also has a secular meaning seems to confuse some people.
When I addressed Wright’s 9/11 comment before, I took issue due to the non-involvement of the innocents killed in the attack. Now Wright clarifies, and turns out to agree with my view of it more than I thought, and Will takes offense with his explanation, lampooning it as crazy talk — “What? How could this FOOL say that We The People did not and do not approve of absolutely everything that the government does?”. This view explodes once you consider that the majority of people don’t actually pay attention to what’s going on in the world, the mass media shuns the idea that any government action can have bad intentions behind it, the political elite is single-minded on most issues (this is why “wedge issues” even exist: to amplify what little difference there is), and until rather recently background info on government actions didn’t come out until all the principle actors were dead. By his logic, taking as a given that voting = the epitome of representation, then those Iraqi women selling butt for less than the average pizza in the US costs just to stay alive are simply entrepreneurs in action.
Terrorism, by the accepted common sense definition, is violence for political purposes. To ignore states in this is to dismiss most of the terrorism that has actually been committed throughout history, as political violence is the essence of what they are.
(* – This would be a perfect example of something that much of the Right — and increasingly Wright himself, I might add — simply does not understand: a symbiotic relationship between religion and politics is stupid. In that church where Wright first made this point, it was immediately understood as his interpretation of scripture; injected into secular politics in the form of a soundbite it looks like he’s cheering al-qaeda. The two simply operate off of completely separate ground rules. BTW: before anyone barks, the reason this is not equivalent to what the likes of Pat Robertson said about 9/11 is because he reversed the equation, claiming that legalized abortion & gay rights — political decisions, both — pissed off Gawd.)