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  1. hipparchia
    hipparchia April 27, 2007 at 1:04 am |

    you’re right, it is terrorism. and the scanty coverage does make it look like women are no importance.

    on the other hand, i live here. the media circuses surrounding the murders were horrendous, especially paul hill’s “martyrdom.” the pro-lifers [blech] descended on us in DROVES, from all corners of the universe. i for one am glad when these assholes do NOT get media attention.

  2. Matt Browner-Hamlin
    Matt Browner-Hamlin April 27, 2007 at 3:12 am |

    Maybe if there was a widespread internet rumor that 9/11 was perpetrated by women these bombs would get coverage. You know, one where the definitive proof that women blew up the WTC was that no women really died in the World Trade Center — it’s the truth. Forget Al Qaida, it was one giant vaginal conspiracy, really.

    Seriously though, this is a brilliant post zuzu, thanks for bringing this up. It’s sickening that every blinking LED becomes a national saga, but it’s even more sickening that real terrorism isn’t even given the light of day when it’s perpetrated against women. The only logical conclusion is that the media does not think women are Americans. Whereas teh Fetus is a super American…

  3. Torri
    Torri April 27, 2007 at 3:15 am |

    Not only is it shrugging off women but ANYONE who supports pro-choice.
    Obviously if you dare to end a pregnancy or support a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body you deserve to be terrorized and harmed in whatever manner is dealt out, so lets not make a big fuss over this.

  4. micheyd
    micheyd April 27, 2007 at 6:46 am |

    Silly Zuzu, the definition of terrorism includes muslims! Therefore, no muslims, nothing to see here, move along…

  5. micheyd
    micheyd April 27, 2007 at 6:54 am |

    And why am I not surprised that given the recent SCOTUS decision, anti-choicers are getting violent again?

  6. snakeface
    snakeface April 27, 2007 at 7:24 am |

    It was probably only a good, honest Christian-hearted American. How can they be a terrorist when they so obviously believe in LIFE?

  7. trailer park chick
    trailer park chick April 27, 2007 at 7:52 am |

    The story in the Statesman has a lot more detail. Details like this:

    According to the federation, 32 incidents of violence or disruption against abortion providers in the United States and Canada were reported in the first three months of 2007, along with five hoax devices or suspicious packages. In 2006, abortion clinics reported seven bomb threats and four attempted bombings or arsons.

  8. OlderWiserFuckAlltoShowforIt
    OlderWiserFuckAlltoShowforIt April 27, 2007 at 7:54 am |

    If we started a rumor that Al Qaeda was behind this because it was an IED (I know that doesn’t make any sense, but work with me here) would we see some LGF defense of Al Qaeda because they obviously can’t be all bad or would we get D’Souza style blaming of the bitches for making them hate us?

  9. Tapetum
    Tapetum April 27, 2007 at 8:00 am |

    Some from column A, some from column B, NWFAS. Women’s health clinics are obviously asking to be bombed, sitting there owning their own uteruses. Al Qaeda is still an awful, evil terrorist organization, but I’m sure the LGF’s could understand how they might be driven to such acts by our decadent women.

    Ughh. I think I just turned my own stomach.

  10. Lisa
    Lisa April 27, 2007 at 8:26 am |

    I seriously hope there will be at least an investigation. Thanks for bringing this to our awareness, as apparently regular mass media are unable to do that. I’m going to repost that in my blog to make my little part of the world population aware of it.

  11. a bird and a bottle
    a bird and a bottle April 27, 2007 at 8:41 am |

    […] seem like chicken littles (or worse, like the stereotypical shrill women’s libber). Zuzu posits that there’s a real, actual, dange […]

  12. theMissingY
    theMissingY April 27, 2007 at 8:43 am |

    Somehow, this crossed in my mind with yesterday’s Puppy Theory of Terror by Richard Clarke that discusses the constant refrain of “OMG! They’ll follow us home if we don’t fight them OVER THERES”. Summary of a typical administration/media reaction:

    – fighting terrorism in another country far, far away with some possibility that the war will be exported right back to us in form of terrorism: THIS IS WHAT AMERICA MUST DO!!! Photo opportunity! We are fighting for freedom and against terror — who could possibly be against more freedom and less terror? (never mind that the result is the exact opposite)

    – fighting DOMESTIC terrorism that’s been around for years: (imagine font size 2): oh… more women and doctors targeted by our good, law-abiding citizens? Yawn. On the other hand… HEY! Can someone make a mailing list of those abortion clinic bombers? We’ve got an election coming up! We need moneeey! We need an ENERGIZED base! They are our dream audience!

  13. Hugh Mannity
    Hugh Mannity April 27, 2007 at 9:01 am |

    You gotta understand… it was only a women’s clinic.

    If it had scared some important man, like the mooninites scared the mayor of Boston, then it would be terrorism.

    As it is, it’s just a woman’s clinic, so it’s not terrorism, it’s what they deserve for getting uppity.


    *shakes head*

    I don’t understand why they don’t take this shit seriously.

  14. zofia
    zofia April 27, 2007 at 9:38 am |

    I was thinking the same thing, Hugh. Even a cartoon gets more of a response.

  15. Trypticon
    Trypticon April 27, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    Totally expected, yet totally infuriating. Women or progressives die or are threatened and it’s not even news.

    The biggest weapons cache found in the US since 9/11, including a weaponized cynide bomb capable of killing everyone in a shopping mall, was found with a bunch of white supremecists in Texas. I’d say most people have never even heard of that.

    This would be a nice time to put the threat level at red and round up violent anti-choicers in the region.

  16. When Is A Terrorist Not A Terrorist? « Mercury Rising    鳯女

    […] rorist Not A Terrorist? Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27th, 2007 When he bombs a women’s clinic, of course.  (And he i […]

  17. KS
    KS April 27, 2007 at 9:54 am |

    It’s OK If You’re A Right-wing Terrorist.

  18. Mooser
    Mooser April 27, 2007 at 9:56 am |

    Dave Huckabee, son of Ark. Gov and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, was arrested trying to bring an automatic handgun (with extra clip) on a plane.
    Naturally, it would have been “shrill” if this incident from Dave’s recent past was mentioned:

    (Miller County, Arkansas) Two boy scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David Huckabee, the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.

    Camp officials, who did not report the crime to law enforcement officials, have admitted that the act did occur and have fired the boys from their positions. However, no charges have been filed against the young men.

    Arkansas State Police conducted a perfunctory investigation, but did not attempt to locate witnesses to the crime.

    From animal torturer-murderer to serial killer, isn’t that the usual progression?

  19. Mooser
    Mooser April 27, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    Anyway, if the “puppy theory” of terrorism, ‘Mommy, a terrorist followed me home, can we keep him, please, please?’

    Well, if those terrorist puppies follow us, just let Dave Huckabee at ‘em!

  20. Sly
    Sly April 27, 2007 at 10:02 am |

    And you expect Jr.,Mitt the Flip,and Rudy the Guli to show up and stand on the rubble denouncing the terrorists and promising to track them down? That is condidered a much more enthusiatic part of the base they are vying for. Yeeech!

  21. Mooser
    Mooser April 27, 2007 at 10:05 am |

    One of the most disgusting aspects, (to me, anyway) of the abortion debate is the lowering of age of first menses by several years, due to soy products in the American diet. Or for whatever reason it happened.
    Think about it: instead of reaching mental and physical maturity at a reasonably balanced pace, American girls are having first menses at ever younger ages.
    What a combination! A social structure which encourages hyper-sexualising of young girls along with infantile attitudes, combined with ever lower age of menses.
    I am the only person who thinks this is, or rather the lack of reaction to this is profoundly anti-woman?

  22. Djinna
    Djinna April 27, 2007 at 10:10 am |

    The biggest weapons cache found in the US since 9/11, including a weaponized cynide bomb capable of killing everyone in a shopping mall, was found with a bunch of white supremecists in Texas. I’d say most people have never even heard of that.

    In other (non)news, there was another “militia” busted down here in Alabama yesterday, very little on it oustide of the regional papers.

    Martin said the militia was a military-style unit. Authorities did not obtain any information that anyone or any group was targeted by the militia. She said the militia “has a beef with the government,” but would not describe the group as being a terrorists.

  23. False Prophet
    False Prophet April 27, 2007 at 10:11 am |

    Well, even though the vast majority of US domestic terrorism is perpetuated by white supremacists and violent anti-choice activists (who overlap slightly), terrorist acts by non-Muslims/brown people don’t get media attention.

  24. The Mahablog » Only Muslims Commit Terrorism

    […] e Fetus People, it’s not terrorism. It’s free speech. Perfectly logical. Read Zuzu for more.


  25. ronin
    ronin April 27, 2007 at 10:22 am |

    The MSM would probably just blame the clinics for attracting violence. If only that icky abortion controversy would go away, people would be much nicer.


  26. nar
    nar April 27, 2007 at 10:40 am |

    I was with you all the way ’til the end when you talked about the VA Tech shootings. It was not “because they saw a dead woman and just assumed that it was a ‘domestic incident’ and there would be no further violence. ”

    In addition to the tragic murder of Emily Hilscher, a man named Ryan Clark was also lying dead in that room.

    There is no need to exaggerate the regular and repeated terrorist attacks on abortion clinics, employees and women in this country. When you twist the facts to make your points, you give the other side ammunition to discount you.

  27. All Spin Zone » It’s Not Terrorism When It’s Your Base

    […] s now highlighting? Highly doubtful, but at any rate, I can’t say it any better than zuzu over at Feministe when she says: Why is it tha […]

  28. The Oracle
    The Oracle April 27, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    So Improvised Explosive Devices aren’t just for Iraq, it appears.

    On Thursday, the Austin newspaper ran an article about this IED terrorist incident on front page of Metro/State section (with picture of someone kneeling by package), story finishing inside on Obit page, with a convenient map and arrow pointing to the Austin Women’s Health Clinic location.

    Well, at least this is an improvement. A day earlier, I was checking out a baseball score in the Sports Section, and if not being above the fold, I would have missed:

    College Athletics
    FBI seeking source of cheerleader threats
    (Story tells of dozens of terrorist letters containing powder being sent to national networks and their affiliates in West and Midwest “complaining about TV coverage of college cheerleaders.” The FBI is investigating, and offering a whopping $5,000 reward for information.)

    $5,000 reward? Geee, for some reason I don’t think that Gonzales’ Justice Department is taking these attacks by homegrown, religious fundamentalist terrorists very seriously.

    But you see, these two incidents are just the tip of the iceberg involving similar incidents over the past 5 1/2 years. In December 2001, a couple of months after the lethal anthrax letter attacks and after the copycat mailings began, I saw a blurb on CNN scroll across the bottom of the screen stating that the FBI was conducting 15,000+ investigations into copycat mailings. (This scroll message ran only a half dozen times and then disappeared, never to be seen again. Hmmm, I wonder why? And I wonder who pulled it and on whose orders?).

    Anyway, America, we have a problem, a major problem.

    Right-wing religious fanatics are using terrorist IEDs (fortunately just a few) and powder-filled terrorist envelopes (probably in the hundreds of thousands by now) to terrorize anyone who doesn’t agree with and submit to their religious fanaticism. These “righteous” people are no different than al Qaeda, and are just as insane and dangerous.

    And apparently, first Ashcroft’s Justice Department, and now Gonzales’ Justice Department, are hiding how many total terrorist attacks perpetrated by homegrown religious fanatics have occurred on their watch. Plus, I wonder if any minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or imam has gotten up in front of their congregation and condemned these terrorist acts, but especially any Christian minister, because I have a hard time believing that Jesus Christ, if alive today, would build an IED or sprinkle powder into an envelope with the intent of killing or terrorizing someone else.

    Anyway, the silence over these terrorist attacks in the news media and from the Justice Department is deafening. Maybe someone in Congress will be able to work this issue into their business hearing schedules, or at least have Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, conduct an internal investigation and get back to them with a breakdown of how many terrorist incidents have happened and who has been targeted? I would bet that over 95 percent of these insidious terrorist incidents have been aimed at progressive, liberal Democrats and Independents or any organization associated with them. Oh, I get it. This is why first Ashcroft and now Gonzales have been hiding this vital information from us.

  29. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 11:07 am |

    I’m with you right up to your penultimate paragraph. Then you willingly jump off the cliff of hyperbole.

    The vast majority of murders are isolated events where, in fact, no one else is in imminent danger. The Virginia Tech police did what every other law enforcement agency would have done in the same situation. While many police officers are indeed sexist, your implication that their motivation in that case was directly and solely influenced by sexism is simply ridiculous.

    Look, abortion clinic bombers and assassins of physicians who provide the service are terrorists of the most vile kind. These stories should be getting wide play in the media and the fact that they are not should itself be a big story. You’re not helping the cause by losing focus, as you did above. It’s just counter productive.

  30. Real’s World  » Blog Archive   » American Terrorists

    […] American Terrorists April 27th, 2007 by techwoman2001 In action. h/t Atrios Posted in scandal, […]

  31. ssmug
    ssmug April 27, 2007 at 11:35 am |

    If you ever get the chance, watch the documentary, “Soldiers in the Army of God,” which is about antiabortion terrorists, Eric Rudolph, et al.

    I don’t know what’s more frightening: that these groups are so blatantly terrorists (and explicitly state their plans for murder and destruction), or that despite knowing this, who they are, and where they live, our governement does almost nothing about it.

  32. Ways to End the World  » Blog Archive   » It’s not terrorism if you did it for Jesus, stupid.

    […] It’s not terrorism if you did it for Jesus, stupid. Via Atrios, an excellent post at Feministe on the media’s idi […]

  33. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 11:54 am |


    Another possible explanation for the VT police’s mistaken conclusion of the initial murders being a domestic dispute is that the two bodies were found in a domicile.

    I understand that women are frequently undervalued in our society. But, police have limited resources and at the initial stage of any investigation they are going to play the percentages…at least until they have conclusive, or at least compelling, evidence to think otherwise. How would the public respond if police shut down entire universities or large portions of cities every time they discovered a murdered person? Yes spree killings often, or maybe even usually, begin with victims known to the killer, but spree killings make up a tiny fraction of all murders committed. Which goes back to my original point that it is more likely that these police were doing what any police force would have done and were not acting out of an anti women bias.

  34. Right Wing Extremists Planned to Bomb Clinic « Michael P.F. van der Galiën

    […] ugs who left the bomb at the clinic and punish them severely on terrorism charges. More at Feministe, Pandagon and Unfogged. P […]

  35. tm
    tm April 27, 2007 at 12:04 pm |

    During the big “Fiesta” event in San Antonio, Texas, this week:

    “April 25, 2007 · For 21 years the San Antonio AIDS Foundation has provided medical care and social services to people with HIV and AIDS. The foundation relies on donations and grants to keep going. The WEBB Party is an ever growing Fiesta event and it is the single largest fundraiser for the foundation. But this year the event was cut short. Texas Public Radio’s Abra Schnur was there when it happened.”

    You can listen to the story here. (for Windows Media Player)
    Texas Public Radio reports that someone called in a bomb threat during the “Night in Oz” WEBB party, an annual fundraising event for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation. If memory serves, the caller said that there were three devices placed around the venue. Police “shut it down,” but in the end, there were no explosives. The party, however, was over–someone successfully disrupted a worthwhile community event, and frightened LGBTQ people and their supporters. I haven’t heard another word about it on other local media outlets, and I certainly haven’t seen it mentioned the national news. Have I just missed it?

    The story that kicked off this discussion perhaps has more meat: there was actually an explosive device which threatened the lives of women and others in the clinic and surrounding area. What concerns me is whether women’s clinics, LGBTQ community centers, or hell, any organization that serves underrepresented populations are being threatened or targeted by home-grown, right-wing, Christian-fundie terrorists with increasing frequency. I am disturbed that these kinds of incidents–aimed at intimidation, aimed at silencing women and other minorities–don’t get the coverage they ought to have.

    I’d bet good money that the SAPD will simply stop “investigating” the threats, and no one will ever be held accountable for the incident in San Antonio. Does that happen everywhere, too? Man, I wish we gave a damn in the United States about more than just churches and shopping malls.

  36. •••• tiny little dots ••• and other points of interest  » Blog Archive   » Terrorist- Bomb Found in Texas

    […] rrorism doesn’t count if it’s directed against women and their health care providers. Feministe » The terrorism that dare not speak its name […]

  37. preying mantis
    preying mantis April 27, 2007 at 12:08 pm |

    There’s bit of a difference between finding a pair of bodies in a private dwelling and finding a pair of bodies in a dormitory on a high-population campus, though. It’s not just “a domicile” when you have hundreds of residents and dozens of non-residents with routine and unquestioned access.

  38. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 27, 2007 at 12:21 pm |

    The Virginia Tech police did what every other law enforcement agency

    That’s bullshit, every other law enforcement agency would have unloaded a clip in the vague direction of some random black guy.

    Unfortunately Cho had beat them to it, so I imagine the reason they persued the mysterious case of a dead white girl rather than actually investigate the double homicide was because Cho had allowed them to tick off “shoot a black guy for no discernible reason” on their official police checklist already, thus allowing them to ask the all important question of why someone would have killed a perfectly good uterus.

  39. happyfungirl
    happyfungirl April 27, 2007 at 12:28 pm |

    What a combination! A social structure which encourages hyper-sexualising of young girls along with infantile attitudes, combined with ever lower age of menses.
    I am the only person who thinks this is, or rather the lack of reaction to this is profoundly anti-woman?

    You are not the only person who thinks this, Mooser. I’ve heard this expressed in several forums.
    Our family avoids soy products and (as much as possible) the many foods which are tainted by hormone additives. This especially includes milk and meat products which are not designated “organic” and “hormone-free”. I’m convinced that the majority of the American food supply over the last 10-15 years has degraded into a chemical cocktail, with effects we will not understand for decades.
    BTW, average age of menses for my 2 daughters: 13 yrs 11 months.

  40. Mamid
    Mamid April 27, 2007 at 12:30 pm |

    where are the news reports about crisis pregnancy centers getting bomb threats?

    thought so.

  41. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 12:55 pm |

    Hey, how can there be two “jm”s?! I’m going to have to change my name!

  42. Blog of the Moderate Left » Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love

    […] ortion, Terrorism — Jeff Fecke @ 12:55 pm

    There was an attempted terrorist attack in Austin […]

  43. Frumious B
    Frumious B April 27, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    The problem is that the killings were assumed to be domestic, and therefore assumed to not be a danger to anyone else. And why? Just because there was a woman dead?

    Well, yeah. Just ask the DOJ and the FBI

    In absolute numbers, there are almost three times as many female victims of homicide by inimate partners than male victims.
    When broken down by race:
    There about about twice as many balck female victims than black male victims
    There are about four times as many white female victims as white male victims

    For homicides, intimate partners commit –

    30% of homicides of females.

    5% of homicides of males.

  44. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm |

    Murders and domestic incidents are not mutually exclusive. What did the police do after they assumed this was a domestic incident? They shrugged their shoulders then went out for coffee and donuts just because one of the victims was a woman? No, they did what every police force would have done after finding two bodies in one room. They isolated the scene–by the way, a dorm room is as much a private residence as the apartments I’ve lived in–then they identified the victims and began looking for connections and common acquaintances. Had the victims been both male, I think they would have done the same thing.

    To test your hypothesis, what do you think the police would have done if both victims were women? Dragged their heels twice as much? I honestly don’t think so.

    You wrote, “The problem is that the killings were assumed to be domestic, and therefore assumed to not be a danger to anyone else. And why? Just because there was a woman dead? ” I disagree. They most likely assumed the unknown murderer was not an imminent danger to anyone else because the vast majority of all murderers are not imminent dangers to anyone else. That is an indisputable fact. Public agencies with limited resources play the percentages until there is compelling evidence to do otherwise.

    I asked this generally in my previous post, I’ll ask you directly now: Would you have police shut down entire communities after every murder victim is discovered?

    And to R. Mildred @ 41: Thanks for further illustrating the “jumping off the cliff of hyperbole” metaphor used in my original post.

  45. Allie
    Allie April 27, 2007 at 1:11 pm |

    The original source of this quote escapes me, but I am fond of it: “What, pro-lifers only condone abortion when the fetus is in its 200th trimester?” This does not show a consistent policy of respect for life, as is often cited by people linking anti-abortion and anti-death-penalty views into “pro-life”. It really doesn’t…

  46. Frumious B
    Frumious B April 27, 2007 at 1:14 pm |

    In addition, it’s not unheard of AT ALL for spree killers to start with people they know and move on from there.

    True, but the reverse, where killers start with people they know and move on to a killing spree, is extremely rare. When faced with a spree, it’s easy to use hindsight to say “oh yeah, he started with people he knew, that fits the pattern.” When faced with a homicide, which is what the police first saw, it’s much more difficult to say “oh yeah, our boy is going to go on a spree.” You are using your hindsight to insist that the police should have been clairvoyant.

    And they didn’t “write off” the homicide. They hauled in the most likely suspect for questioning. Jebus, zuzu, there has probably been more murders in NYC this year than VT victims, and I bet a fair number were domestic violence incidents. Do you think we should lock down Manhattan every time someone gets killed in case it turns into a spree?

  47. Balloon Juice
    Balloon Juice April 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm |

    […] Abortion Clinics Bombing By: John Cole   April 27, 2007 at 1:22 pm She is right. Planting bombs at abortion clinics i […]

  48. nik
    nik April 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    Wasn’t this discussed in another thread? I remember hearing something along the lines of the police talking to a friend of hers who said the dead woman’s boyfriend owned guns, and she’d recently been to the firing range with him. And that they’d picked the boyfriend up. I’ve got to admit, if I were them I’d be thinking at that point it was all over bar the paperwork.

    That aside, the leap from two dead, to two shot dead, to two murdered isn’t automatic. Coming across people who’ve been shot dead can’t be that common for your average cop, even in the states. I’m not sure how much the cop who got there first would know, and how much he’d prod around to find things out and how long these things take to work out. Accidental death, or suicide, must be a possibility when you come across two bodies.

  49. Deborah
    Deborah April 27, 2007 at 1:45 pm |

    Brilliant post, zuzu.

  50. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 27, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    Would you have police shut down entire communities after every murder victim is discovered?

    Yeah zuzu, don’t you know that expecting the campus police to err on the side of caution would have caused the land to burn, the seas to boil (but you can’t take the skies from me)?

    Okay so here’s the scenario: you have two dead bodies, you’re assuming that the white girl was the target and that the second body was just some guy who happened to be near to the shooting and was shot on the principle of the thing (or something).

    What sort of person are you looking for?

    well you can assume that he’s the woman’s bf, but he’s still got to be the sort of person who’ll shoot random bystander who might interfere.

    So do you A) react like you have someone who’s indiscriminately homicidal and armed and extremely dangerous loose on campus, lock down the campus, and spread the campus police about so that if he is spotted again on campus, or god forbid shoots anyone else, the police can radio back in and converge on the killer. Or do you B) stick your thumbs up your ass and waggle it around until someone thinks to ask students, by email, during the early class run, to look out for anyhting unusual, 20 minutes after the second shooting has already begun, because gunfire is again, one of those normative VT things.

    hmmm… Oh but I forgot that the campus police only had two officers, or it was simultaneously impossible to lock down the campus while it was also entirely possibel to lock down the campus, or it would be unreasonable to lock down the campus (for reasons that you can’t be bothered to explain), or double homicides are a normal and regular part of VT life (you pay your tuition fees, you take your chances of being killed in a random domestic dispute), or erring on the side of caution when two people have already been killed is Teh EVEEEELLS (for reasons you or anyone else have yet to elucidate).

    All of which leaves me with the undeniable impression that, while I like hyperbole, you’re an idiot.

  51. motley2
    motley2 April 27, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    I found this at msnbc but wasn’t exactly on the front page. I didn’t see it on the drudgereport though.

  52. Stuart Coleman
    Stuart Coleman April 27, 2007 at 2:00 pm |

    I totally agree with you, I had the same exact reaction. It’s also not called terrorism when it’s animal-rights groups. I guess you have to be middle-eastern to be a terrorist.

  53. ginmar
    ginmar April 27, 2007 at 2:04 pm |

    If you’ve got two dead bodies and no gun then you still have a murderer on the loose. And evidently if you have women being threatened by anti-choice assholes, you just have a lot of women who are each individually asking for it.

  54. Gina
    Gina April 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm |

    zuzu doesn’t know something, amazing. Thanks for being honest.

  55. Esto también es terrorismo | Mentiras Piadosas

    […] ontrario, miente deliberadamente. Viene esto a cuento de una historia que trae cabreadas a varias blogueras americanas. Resulta que ha habido u […]

  56. David Dyer-Bennet
    David Dyer-Bennet April 27, 2007 at 2:25 pm |

    It’s interesting, because accusing a man of domestic abuse or sex crimes is the very best way to get all sorts of civil rights taken away from him instantly, some of them without trial. Women *as victims* are highly regarded, it seems. It’s only women making their own choices that are dangerous; or some such.

    I certainly agree that some of the anti-choice forces are using tactics the same as people we routinely call “terrorists”, and I don’t see a reason for treating them differently. I do wonder if it’s because they’re targeting women’s rights, or if its because we know they’re WASPs, though. The “bomb in front of the Post Office” test isn’t precise, since there’s no well-known antipathy between any particular group and the Post Office, the way there is between Planned Parenthood and the anti-choice bigots. It might be basically racist rather than basically sexist. Or, more likely, a complex combination of those plus other things.

  57. evil fizz
    evil fizz April 27, 2007 at 2:29 pm | *

    It’s also not called terrorism when it’s animal-rights groups.

    I hear an awful lots about eco-terrorists and ALF (Animal Liberation Front) is usually labeled terrorist.

  58. Gina
    Gina April 27, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    Lets be honest, anyone who bombs etc. should be labeled terrorist, but when you say fringe for environmental you should say it for any group that bonbs zuzu. All bombing should be condemned by the greater group.

  59. WillisWasabi
    WillisWasabi April 27, 2007 at 2:39 pm |

    I agree with some others here. You made perfect sense until you dragged VT into it. That was way off into the weeds. There’s no way you can pervert the VT mass-murder into terrorism. What was the political statement? The ramblings of a sick individual with a beef against wealthier college students and whatever else he wrote about doesn’t add up to terrorism. It was just a (really horrific, largest ever in the US) mass-murder.

    I find it sort of revolting that you would take that tragedy and misuse it to further your agenda, whether I agree with it or not.

    Would you next claim that last year’s Atlantic City female prostitute serial killings should be considered terrorism because it dragged on for months? You know, that was “just violence against women” too…

  60. orby
    orby April 27, 2007 at 2:51 pm |

    to Austin’s credit, they announced that they are treating this incident as an act of terrorism.

  61. bluestockingsrs
    bluestockingsrs April 27, 2007 at 3:07 pm |

    It’s interesting, because accusing a man of domestic abuse or sex crimes is the very best way to get all sorts of civil rights taken away from him instantly, some of them without trial. Women *as victims* are highly regarded, it seems. It’s only women making their own choices that are dangerous; or some such.

    The first half of this post describes what happens to someone accused of a crime, not only men who are accused of crimes against women -simply being accused of a crime results in a loss of civil rights, despite our innocent until proven guilty justice system.

    If you have issues with that criminal justice system certianly address that, but it isn’t a woman’s fault that she afforded greater protection as a victim by our system, that protection grew out of an ongoing practice of violence against women, mostly perpetrated by men.

  62. Moira
    Moira April 27, 2007 at 3:09 pm |

    I can’t shake the thought that part of the upcoming debate to ban abortion entirely is going to include “If there weren’t any abortion clinics, nobody would be bombing them. We’re fighting terrorism as best we can.”

    But then, it’s been a day for viciously depressing thoughts.

  63. It’s Only Terrorism When Brown People Do It - BlogDC

    […] enthood.jpeg” rel=”lightbox[pics1723]” title=”austinplannedparenthood.jpeg”>Feministe, while noting an incredibly brief AP article on an at […]

  64. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 3:42 pm |

    R. Mildred,

    You write, “What sort of person are you looking for?

    well you can assume that he’s the woman’s bf, but he’s still got to be the sort of person who’ll shoot random bystander who might interfere.”

    Granted. But how many of the twenty-five thousand members of the VT community were bystanders who might have interfered? First, they’d have to know that Cho had just shot two people. How many people knew that in the two hours between the incidents? Second, they’d have to decide to confront him themselves rather than alerting the police. How many people have that kind of courage?

    Knowing what the police knew at the scene of the first incident and prior to the second incident, anything they could have reasonably done differently–including sending out an email alert, which they should have done–would probably not have altered the ultimate outcome. How many people noticed Cho acting irrationally after the first murders and before he started firing in the Engineering building? What indications did he give “random bystanders” in those two hours that he was going to kill thirty more people?

    Do you really want the police to shut down entire communities of thousands of people every time something horrible happens? Since the VT incident I’ve read of a number of cases relevant to this discussion. Last week, a man with a history of violence in the Sacramento, CA area threatened actions that would make VT pale in comparison. Did the police shut down the suburban town where he resided until he was caught, just to error on the side of caution? No. Were any people harmed as a result? No.

    Earlier this week on the campus of City College of San Francisco, a man dressed in full camo regalia began acting erratically and making threatening statements in class. Did police lock down the campus and the surrounding neighborhood to err on the side of caution until the guy was aprehended? No and they had the benefit of hindsight with respect to what happened in Virginia just a couple of days previously. They isolated the building where he was, waited for backup, then arrested him, all within about twenty minutes of the first report. Were people who lived, worked or studied nearby put in danger as a result? I don’t know, but the odds are no.

    Today in Santa Cruz, CA, two people were shot and killed at work in what initially appears to be, yes, a domestic incident. Did police shut down the town just in case the motivation for the crime might have been more sinister? No. Were any additional people injured or killed as a result? No.

    Also today, a note was found threatening a VT-like massacre somewhere in Florida. In this case, authorities did shut down a community college campus to be on the safe side. Were these police more righteous than those at VT. I don’t know, but they, too, had the benefit of hindsight.

    My point is that most police act as best they can given the information they have. And a big piece of that information is that in the vast majority of all murders people other than the initial victim(s) simply are not in imminent danger. Do you want police to use their limited resources to err on the side of caution, to go into lockdown-bring-out-the-SWAT team mode every time someone gets murdered or every time someone makes a threat? In the case of on campus security, I’d rather see that money spent on nighttime escort services between classrooms and dorms/parking lots or on additional police patrols.

    Events like the ones cited above happen with more frequency than most people are probably aware. Because of VT, it’s likely that police will more frequently respond as those in Florida did this morning. I’m thinking we will find out how much inconvenience and expense people are willing to bear.

    As for your final assertion: Sticks and stones, baby. Take a deep breath. You’ll feel better.

  65. A.E.
    A.E. April 27, 2007 at 4:46 pm |


    Props for the Red Dawn reference. That was the 24 of the 1980s.

  66. Comments From Left Field
    Comments From Left Field April 27, 2007 at 4:51 pm |

    The Media’s Invisible Terrorist

    Feministe has the story on the bomb planted in front of a woman’s clinic in Austin, Texas.

  67. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 27, 2007 at 5:04 pm |

    Today in Santa Cruz, CA, two people were shot and killed at work in what initially appears to be, yes, a domestic incident. Did police shut down the town just in case the motivation for the crime might have been more sinister? No. Were any additional people injured or killed as a result? No.

    Er, no, because police shot and killed the perpetrator at the site (he was one of the two killed — his ex-wife is in the hospital). If the guy had escaped out into the larger neighborhood, you bet your sweet bippy there would have been a general shutdown as they searched for the armed gunman who was still on the loose.

    With the other three cases that you cited, all the cops had were threats, not ACTUAL DEAD BODIES. That’s the difference: a threat vs. a corpse.

    You know, people are being so vehement in their insistence that there couldn’t possibly have been any kind of sexism involved in the cops blowing the Virginia Tech case that I’m starting to think there’s something to it.

  68. Liberty
    Liberty April 27, 2007 at 5:05 pm |

    You’re right, it is terrorism. But not against women, it’s against proo-choice idea, wich is worst.

  69. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm |

    well you can assume that he’s the woman’s bf, but he’s still got to be the sort of person who’ll shoot random bystander who might interfere.”

    Granted. But how many of the twenty-five thousand members of the VT community were bystanders who might have interfered? First, they’d have to know that Cho had just shot two people. How many people knew that in the two hours between the incidents? Second, they’d have to decide to confront him themselves rather than alerting the police. How many people have that kind of courage?

    I think R. Mildred was trying to say:

    Emily Hilscher was the first victim in the dormitory. At the time, it was considered to be a ‘domestic dispute,’ i.e. her boyfriend killed her. However, another man, Ryan Clark, was also killed, so the police would I guess have to assume that not only did the guy want to shoot his girlfriend, but was also the kind of person who would shoot a bystanding witness.

  70. greensmile
    greensmile April 27, 2007 at 5:15 pm |

    What is it about Texas, anyway? Their state legistlature overwhelmingly votes in favor of cervical cancer for young women and nobody but nyt picks it up?

    BTW, Zuzu, are we still talking?

  71. greensmile
    greensmile April 27, 2007 at 5:38 pm |

    Shhh, Alito might LIKE a reason such as that and Bush wouldn’t see anything wrong with it.

    [we can just laugh about it among ourselves]

  72. Jon
    Jon April 27, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    Bombing an abortion clinic is wrong, but it probably gets less coverage for different reasons than the author suggests. It is probably because it is far less prevalent than Islamist terrorism. Also, in this case, no one was killed or hurt.

    Don’t get me wrong. The fact that no one was killed or hurt doesn’t make it ok, or “not a big deal.” But it does explain the lack of interest. “If it bleeds, it leads.” (unfortunately)

  73. Re:Generator Magazine  » Blog Archive   » A bomb is a bomb is a bomb

    […] A bomb is a bomb is a bomb
    April 27th, 2007by Robert Starvation

    A terrorist by any other name… These icons link to so […]

  74. lhasaluck
    lhasaluck April 27, 2007 at 6:34 pm |

    “these police were doing what any police force would have done and were not acting out of an anti women bias”

    The anti women bias is so pervasive, so ingrained in society we not only don’t see it, we deny it. The anti woman bias is precisely why “any police force would have done” the same.

  75. Mujahideen Ryder’s Blog - Not the average Muslim blog…			 » Terrorism the media doesn’t show you

    […] they’ll be happy to go into the woods and hunt Russians and shout WOLVERINES!! Read more here.

    This entry is filed under Ne […]

  76. JD
    JD April 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm |

    Don’t forget: it ain’t terrorism if it hits the gay bars either! A faggot like myself the victim of a good, “Christian” terrorist? Naaaah, non-breeders can’t be killed by Christian terrorists, ‘cuz there are none, right?

  77. Mooser
    Mooser April 27, 2007 at 7:09 pm |

    Happyfungirl, thanks for responding. I’ve only just began (as the wonderful Karen Carpenter put it) to learn about this subject, and its ramifications. (eweifications?)

    When I’m being cynical, which almost never happens more than about 23.75 hours a day I might say:

    Conservatives think that a women is just that thing attached to a uterus.
    Progressives think that a women is just that thing attached to a vagina.

  78. bridgetka
    bridgetka April 27, 2007 at 7:19 pm |


    It is probably because it is far less prevalent than Islamist terrorism..

    I can think of two acts of radical Muslim terror on U.S. soil: the first World Trade Center bombing, and 9/11.

    On the other hand, see here for statistics on abortion clinic violence. As trailer park chick stated above, the first three months of ’07 alone have seen 32 acts of violence at clinics. So no, Islamic terrorism is no where near as prevalent as Christian terrorism in this country; it’s just that no one gives a shit. Women are fair game.

  79. bastard.logic
    bastard.logic April 27, 2007 at 7:21 pm |

    Willful Indifference

    by matttbastard
    So when is an act of (attempted) terrorism on US soil not nationwide front page news? When the perpetrator (and target) doesn’t fit the accepted narrative:
    A 27-year-old man has been arrested and taken into federal custody in con…

  80. jm
    jm April 27, 2007 at 7:29 pm |


    My bad using the Santa Cruz incident as an example. The first report came across the radio as I was about to leave my car this morning and I obviously wasn’t listening closely enough.

    Nevertheless, had the shooter made it back into the population, are you seriously arguing that the police would have imposed a general shutdown of the entire city (Santa Cruz being a relatively small town). If by general shutdown you mean ordering businesses closed and residents to stay put wherever they are at that moment–which is what I’m hearing people say the VT police should have done–then I think you’re wrong. At most, they would have issued an alet, set up roadblocks and started a manhunt. Further, I wouldn’t want them to go into full lockdown mode based on a murder. Murders happen every single day and in the vast majority of cases no one other than the initial victim(s) is in imminent danger.

    I lived half my life in a small rural university town in northern CA. Years ago, the wife of a faculty member was found dead, presumably murdered. At the scene no gun was found, nor an alleged perpetrator. The police did not shut down the town even though there was, in fact, a cold blooded gunman running around. Why? Because they were playing the percentages. That’s what public agencies, and people in general, do when they have limited resources. The murderer was later caught–it turned out to be the professor–tried and convicted.

    The world is an inherently dangerous place. I’d rather accept the risk and go about my life than cower in fear every time something horrible happens.

    By the way, if you read my original post way back at 30, you’ll see that I’m not arguing that sexism isn’t involved. I’m arguing–maybe not clearly–that the subsequent thirty deaths at VT are not directly attributable to any alleged sexism on the part of the police. It turned out that the police in that case had two hours to find and apprehend Cho. In that two hours they did what police do at the initial stage of a murder investigation. Short of not issuing an email alert, what did they fail to do that could have reasonably prevent the second incident? I don’t think the email would have necessarily changed the ultimate outcome. How many people knew Cho was responsible for the first two deaths or noticed him acting irrationally in the two hours before the second set of shootings?

    What would you have had the police do? If you lockdown the campus, why not lockdown Blacksburg? Why not lockdown an area within two hours driving time from the campus. Why do people assume the killer was going to remain nearby in the VT case?

    The lockdown argument, taken to its logical extreme, results in police having more power over my life than I’m willing to grant them.

  81. Mooser
    Mooser April 27, 2007 at 7:33 pm |

    Well, if it makes anybody feel any better, about a year after I got married, I found out my wife had shot her first husband! Missed his femoral artery by a quarter of an inch. The way I hear it, he didn’t get the can out to the curb on Garbage Day, or he mixed up the recyclables. Anyway she had a good reason, cause she got off.
    I gotta go- my wife wants another drink.

    Coming, dear!

  82. April 27, 2007 at 7:38 pm |

    […] ’80s, that’s when we watched them, so they’re ’80s cartoons to us. Feministe » The terrorism that dare not speak its name […]

  83. Ron
    Ron April 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm |

    Jezus, The issue is the ongoing terror war being waged IN the US by religious conservatives not Virgina Tech and the relative prevalence of domestic vioulence. JM trolls the conversation completely off track and half the commenters take the bait. Oh and, BTW Jon, terror attacks against the gay community, abortion providers and any others who oppose or contradict their repressive agenda are by far more numerous than Islamist jihad. The dozens of powder laden letters mentioned by a commenter are only a continuation of the more than 15,000 such mentioned earlier as well. The object of terrorism is to invoke terror, fear. Don’t kid yourself (or the rest of us), each fucking letter is a terrorist attack, each phoned in bomb scare is a terrorist attack, regardless of whether or not someone is physically hurt. And don’t kid yourself that the targets are just lesbians, gays, feminists or abortion providers. THE TARGETS ARE EACH AND EVERY AMERICAN. The message: Don’t do this, don’t support this, don’t even talk about this or we might kill you too. These people are more of a threat to this country, every one of us than Bin Laden or Al Queda could ever hope to be.

  84. John Moore
    John Moore April 27, 2007 at 8:28 pm |

    I think it is because few people feel threatened by it – not because of some anti-feminist plot by the media. My observation is that the media is rabidly pro-choice and anti-right. Why would such a media mislabel these acts of terrorism? Because media operates by narratives, and terrorism to them is something that scares lots of people.

    The same media that fails to label this terrorist act as what it is also never reports the police beatings of pro-life demonstrators or the large pro-life march in DC every year (but the pro-choice march is always reported, even when it is smaller).
    It is not necessary to use gender-based theories or visions of persecution to explain media behavior. The main stream media is incompetent and biased in many different ways. Bomb threats against abortion clinics are not news, because the media finds them uninteresting. In the same way, the recovery of over 500 WMDs in Iraq since 2003 isn’t news, because it goes against the media’s war narrative.

  85. The American Street  » Blog Archive   » Surging At Home

    […] g terrorism as we are fighting drugs with a war. It doesn’t work. Zuzu at Feministe, about the bomb found at an Austin, Texas, abortion c […]

  86. By their works ye ahll know them... « Homeless on the High Desert

    […] w them…
    Friday, April 27th, 2007 in White Rose

    Zuzu at Feministe, about the bomb found at an Austin, Texas, abortion c […]

  87. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 27, 2007 at 9:29 pm |

    Nevertheless, had the shooter made it back into the population, are you seriously arguing that the police would have imposed a general shutdown of the entire city (Santa Cruz being a relatively small town).

    Of course not. They would have shut down a three-block radius around the crime scene while they searched for the gunman.

    And this is what gets me about your whole argument. To you, shutting down a three-block radius around a crime scene is exactly the same as shutting down an entire city.

    At most, they would have issued an alet, set up roadblocks and started a manhunt.

    Of those three, the VT cops only did one — they issued an alert via e-mail that didn’t reach most of the students and didn’t mention that there was still a man with a gun on the campus. No roadblocks. No manhunt.

    So even by your standards, they didn’t do enough. That’s the problem here.

    What would you have had the police do? If you lockdown the campus, why not lockdown Blacksburg? Why not lockdown an area within two hours driving time from the campus. Why do people assume the killer was going to remain nearby in the VT case?

    The lockdown argument, taken to its logical extreme, results in police having more power over my life than I’m willing to grant them.

    You really don’t have to break into hysterical hyperbole that we’re all going to descend into a police state if god forbid the cops should start looking for criminals when they find two people dead.

  88. happyfungirl
    happyfungirl April 27, 2007 at 9:30 pm |

    In any event, I’m not sure what soy products and lowered age of menses has to do with failing to call out abortion-clinic bombers as terrorists.

    That does seem like a real leap of logic when you put it that way. I just saw a common theme of general disregard for the value of women’s health. Plus, admittedly, the current dismal state of our food quality is sort of a pet topic of mine.

    That said, yes. The jerks who kill or threaten to kill or injure people in ANY location should always be referred to as terrorists. Always. Even if the intended victims are women or children or “illegal” immigrants or brown-skinned, or whatever…

  89. Darleen
    Darleen April 27, 2007 at 9:48 pm |


    And you’re an expert on police procedures since … ?

    As has been told to you before and what you are determined to ignore is that the vast majority of murders are done by people known to the victim(s).

    You blew it when you ignored the dead man. The police guessed wrong when they first worked the acquaintance/domestic angle, but it wasn’t wrong because it came from a misogynist POV. It was just wrong because it was one of those exceptions to the rule.

  90. Donna Darko
    Donna Darko April 27, 2007 at 10:05 pm |

    Lemme break it down for you.

    In August 2006, the VT was shut down because two males were killed by the convict.

    The death of a woman does not mean it was a domestic incident even though 30% of female homicides are committed by an intimate. What about the 70% of female homicides that are not by an intimate?

    It doesn’t matter that it was in a domicile or dorm because of two men were killed in a dorm, they would have shut down the campus.

    What seems to have happened is a fatal assumption by the administration due to sexism.

  91. CL- Oregon Girl
    CL- Oregon Girl April 27, 2007 at 10:31 pm |

    In the northwest, we have ECO terrists — they spike trees, blow up SUVS — but because they are wacko environmentalist, they are terrists.

    I agree. Let’s call a spade a spade. If we call eco terrists terrists we should call abortion clinic bombers pro life terrists.

  92. Veritas
    Veritas April 28, 2007 at 12:48 am |

    Abortion, murder that dare not speak its name!

  93. Kragen Sitaker
    Kragen Sitaker April 28, 2007 at 1:44 am |

    According to and the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated and was crucial in tracking down the suspect, Paul Ross Evans — according to the help of the FBI and the ATF was crucial for catching the guy. He’s being charged with manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. So clearly the government treated it as a terrorist act. So far the media don’t seem to be following suit.

  94. Donna Darko
    Donna Darko April 28, 2007 at 2:17 am |

    Here’s the one comment.

    It was a black guy.

    If it had been two white guys dead in the dorm, all hell would have broke loose and they would have shut down the campus.

    Add to that the anti-miscegenist mentality of this country and the possibility Hilscher and Clark were involved, it’s extra “domestic.” The obsession with Hilscher and Cho at this point is anti-miscegenist too. The investigation should be on an overall motive not on any feared relationship between Hilscher and Cho.

  95. Peter
    Peter April 28, 2007 at 2:35 am |

    The Virginia Tech police saw only a dead woman, or a dead woman and a dead man?

  96. The Oracle
    The Oracle April 28, 2007 at 3:28 am |

    500 WMDs discovered in Iraq? It’s incredible what people who only watch Fox News believe. Yes, old Iraqi artillery shells that once contained high concentrations of deadly chemicals or gases have been found in Iraq, but since they all date back to the Iraq/Iran war in the 1980s, they just don’t pack the same punch they once did, with most of their potency having leaked away over twenty years. (At least this is what official and reputable weapons inspectors have reported). Thus, if Saddam Hussein had still had an active WMD program, these artillery shells would have been kept fully weaponized (at 100 percent potency) and there’d have been a hell of a lot more. They weren’t, so he didn’t.

    But back to the subject of right-wing religious terrorists acting like a bunch of Nazis or al Qaeda sympathizers.

    When I saw that CNN news blurb in December 2001 about the FBI conducting 15,000+ investigations into copycat terrorist mailings, this was a followup, I believe, to the announcement that an Army of God religious terrorist, an escaped convict, had been recaptured, but only after he’d mailed out close to 500 powder-filled terrorist letters to women’s clinics in the Midwest while he was on the run during November and December 2001. After seeing the CNN news blurb, I wondered if this evil religious nut’s activity counted as one incident, or 500 incidents, depending on whether or not the FBI was counting from the senders or recipients end.

    Later, this Army of God nut’s federal trial was shifted from the Midwest to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer (PI) ran a story on it. No mention in the article was made of the cumulative number of terrorist mailings that had occurred up to that time. I contacted the PI reporter and asked him why he hadn’t included any federal data about the total number of terrorist mailings, with general information about who was being targeted.. Turns out there is no federal data, or at least none that’s being released. Furthermore, the PI reporter informed me that his bosses at the Philadelphia Inquirer had decided not to pursue this federal data because revealing it might cause a panic.

    What they were really saying is that they know exactly who is behind these domestic terrorist attacks ( incredibly insane, evil and dangerous religious fundamentalists of the al Qaeda ilk), they know that a huge number of these terrorist mailings have occurred nationwide since late 2001, but they don’t want to get terrorist letters directed their way by reporting on this religious terrorist activity in our country. For instance, after the first copycat terrorist mailings in late 2001, my local newspaper put up a trailer in it’s parking lot to screen all incoming mail. Why? Because Austin is considered a liberal town with a liberal newspaper. Thus, the local newspaper was even targeted by the evil religious terrorists. The result? This Austin newspaper started running more conservative columnists on it’s editorial page, and began dropping more liberal ones, like local columnist Molly Ivins, who used to have her insightful and truthful articles run on a weekly basis, but in the year or so before her unfortunate passing, saw her article appear more and more infrequently.

    Unless this coverup of religious terrorist activity by rabid-dog right-wing religious fundamentalist terrorists is exposed completely, this trend will probably continue. Until the MSM grows some and stops “cutting and running,” the rabid-dog right-wing religious fundamentalists will continue to subvert our democracy and endanger the lives of all our natiion’s children.

    (Think about it. What if a child had stumbled across that explosive package the other day that was left outside a women’s clinic in South Austin. Kaboom!! This, my friends, is what makes these rabid-dog right-wing religious fundamentalists so insanely dangerous…and dumb to boot. They are so fixated on their idol worship of the unborn fetus that they literally endanger the lives of all other living things, including any child who gets in their way).

  97. greensmile
    greensmile April 28, 2007 at 8:01 am |

    Yow, so much worse than I wanted to even know about!

    And what you say about Fox as a prop for people who want to live in an alternate conservative reality, is too damn true. While 99% of the worlds climate science, and anybody with a thermometer is begging us to all slow down CO2 production, Fox finds one nay-sayer and quotes him uncritically.

    Not that anybody on this list gives a rat’s ass about the esteemed place of religion in american life, but I am curious about what effect y’all think factual publicity of this attempted bombing would be on public opinion. IF the story were in the nightly news, would the average viewer really assume the perpetrators must have religious motives? That is how it plays at my house. That to a lesser extent is how it would probably play in the Boston area. I am curious because I am trying to figure out if media misrepresentations of serious crimes are more a matter of suppression of what editors consider “bad press” for a personal reason or more a matter of just not knowing it is an important story to their audience.

    Doing the fact checking for a post last week on alienation as a theme in mass killings, I wound up with ten posts worth of truly scary links. Army of God is just one of dozens of groups whose “morality” discounts the humanity and the lives of any whom they consider opposed to their retarded doctrines or the lives of women which they seem to write off as insignifican collateral damage. Homeland security really ought to be looking inward.

    In a way, if you are sloppily wishing for all religion to melt away from any role in our lives in the US, these fucked up bigots are actually doing you a service. Otherwise constructive people of faith have a problem on their hands when they won’t denounce unhinged extremism and it only gets swept under the rug by a press fearful of saying anything bad about religion. If you won’t separate the good from the bad, your barrel of apples is soon has “rotten” stamped on the barrel and not the apples.

  98. Paul Holt
    Paul Holt April 28, 2007 at 8:08 am |

    It’s terrorism if you bomb civilian targets for political gain. Unless of course you’re one of the good guys, in which case it’s perfectly alright.

  99. Rachel
    Rachel April 28, 2007 at 10:36 am |

    A suspect has now been charged in the clinic case with use of weapons of mass destruction.

  100. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 28, 2007 at 11:31 am |

    I think it is because few people feel threatened by it – not because of some anti-feminist plot by the media.

    Considering that an anti-abortion nutjob was the one who planted a pipe bomb at the Atlanta Olympic Games, my question is why don’t people feel threatened by it? Clearly, these guys are more than willing to take their campaigns outside of just women’s health clinics. But you don’t want to face that, do you?

    These guys are a danger to you, even if you never even walk past a Planned Parenthood office. But you won’t realize it until you or someone you know gets killed or injured. And then you’ll whine, “But why didn’t the media tell us they were dangerous?”

  101. talking to a nut
    talking to a nut April 28, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    nar Says:
    April 27th, 2007 at 10:40 am

    I was with you all the way ’til the end when you talked about the VA Tech shootings. It was not “because they saw a dead woman and just assumed that it was a ‘domestic incident’ and there would be no further violence. ”

    In addition to the tragic murder of Emily Hilscher, a man named Ryan Clark was also lying dead in that room.

    What do you think a domestic dispute is?

    The cops thought Clark was having a thing with Hilscher, so the killer murdered them both.

    What, would it have been okay with you if he only killed her because she didn’t get him a beer? Or does the fact that the would-be lover was dead too offend you? Should the man in a love triangle get off scott free in your mind because he’s a man?

    Something about your post makes me think that you have very little human contact or don’t know anything about human relationships.

  102. Ron
    Ron April 28, 2007 at 12:13 pm |

    greensmile: Not that anybody on this list gives a rat’s ass about the esteemed place of religion in american life

    Not true. One has to look no farther than the career of Martin Luther King, whose entire agenda was couched in Christian themes, for an example of the stupendous good that religious beliefs in justice and equality can produce. However, the reverse is equally true and acknowledging the good that can come of something does not lessen or mediate the evil it produces. You are right that so-called people of faith need to step forward and condemn acts of violence. Wasn’t it Pat Buchannon who made the same demand of Muslims after 9/11? Well, glass houses and all that. Perhaps there are Christians who are following this path and criticizing the evil thing that fundamentalist christian doctrine has become, but the MSM simply isn’t reporting it. Which actually is the topic of this thread.

    The blogscape, -sphere, whatever bears some responsibility here as well. I’ve seen more reference to this issue in the past two days than in years of reading these lists. Why not a little counter thingee (like the Where’s Osama icon, or number of deaths in Iraq) tallying the number of domestic terrorist assaults. Where’s the analysis? Who’s doing this, supporting this? Are there patterns, commonalities, differences in the attacks? Obviously, based on Oracles’s comment, BushCo isn’t keeping track (why would he since they’re the people supporting him). Orcinus and the Poverty Law Senter (is that it?) do work in the area, but I would think that progressive bloggers, especially those interested in women’s issues, could and should make domestic terrorism a much more regular part of their discussions.

  103. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm |

    It is not necessary to use gender-based theories or visions of persecution to explain media behavior

    I’ve got news, bb: abortions are performed on women.

    :O :O :O

    I know, I know, difficult to believe, right? So I can see why this being a gender issue might be hard to believe, too…

    oh, wait.

  104. Contrafrutexus
    Contrafrutexus April 28, 2007 at 3:50 pm |

    The Black Church is, or at least was a special case: with the exception of a very few lawyers, doctors, and funeral directors, the only place a young black man of intelligence and/or drive could achieve security and authoritative status in general society was in the church (women could do the same, but not get paid for it or receive as much recognition). (If you could endure 120-hour weeks and daily humiliation, being a Pullman porter could give your family a good life and your sons a chance, but no ability for you to reach a position anyone in white America felt the need to listen-to.)

    This means that if the Black Church hadn’t been able to get involved, black America’s most talented men would have been hors de combat from the start.

    And as for M.L. King, he certainly used Christian themes, but he also made sure to say that he was asking for rights guarantied by the U.S. Constitution, for the payment of a cheque America had written but never had never allowed to be cashed. Saying, “God’s word tells me I must demand what the law says is our due,” is very different from “God told me we were owed this.” One may well believe the latter, but it can’t be the sole basis for government action without clearing the way for Divine Revelation to be accepted as evidence in open court.

  105. greensmile
    greensmile April 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm |

    Thanks Ron. You and I know religion has good and bad faces. I wish we had a different name for whatever the hell it is that Army of God practices than what we use for what King or Timothy Simpson practice, or my friend Jude, whom I blogroll, for that matter. But they are all called religion by outsiders and most of the people on Feministe comment threads give the distinct impression that they have been cast as outsiders in the minds of many so-called faithful. All I meant was, I don’t expect much sympathy for relgion on a blog like this. Religion is the absolute shiny sword and tool of patriarchy.

  106. Darby Clash
    Darby Clash April 28, 2007 at 7:36 pm |

    I don’t understand the anti-abortionists who _don’t_ bomb clinics. If I thought actual human beings were being killed in a building, I’d at least chain myself to the door at all possible times, and quite possibly try to blow the place up, if possible without loss of moving-around-thinking-and-talking human life.

    That so many don’t indicates to me that some remnant of natural sense remains in these people: as much as they may claim to believe that a blastocyst (or a polar body?) has the same rights as you or I, they don’t have the courage of this conviction because their gut has not been absolutely convinced—the law written on their hearts, also known as the standard models of inter-human interaction favouring genetic survival, supervenes.

    Or it could just be that they’ve been corrupted a little by the world, have soemthing to lose, and so on…what are the ages of the people who do these things? I can’t help but see them as Tim McVeigh’s age.

  107. Donna Darko
    Donna Darko April 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm |

    It was a dead white woman and a dead black man. He was the RA so they probably didn’t think the two were involved but they still noticed she was white and he was black and anti-miscegenist i.e. racist feelings came up.

  108. Amanda
    Amanda April 28, 2007 at 10:01 pm |

    Several news reports, including one in the NYT, state that Emily Hilscher’s roommate was questioned and told police that Emily’s boyfriend – Karl Thornhill – owned guns and had recently taken them to a shooting range. The boyfriend was pulled over leaving campus after the first shooting, and gave answers that contradicted what the roomate had said. The police were actively investigating the first murders and following the leads that they found. They had detained a suspect. No other police agency would have shut down an entire campus in the same situation. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s a mighty big jump from double homicide (especially in a place like a dorm, where there were plenty of other potential victims who weren’t harmed or even threatened) to spree killer. Should the students have been notified sooner? Probably.

  109. catsagainstbush
    catsagainstbush April 29, 2007 at 11:36 pm |

    the question we also have to ask conservatives who stay silent when these attacks pop up is that why are they not condemning these attacks just as loudly as they are calling for Muslims to condemn Al Qaeda or suicide-bombings. Glenn Beck said himself, “This is a great example of why I think, since 9-11, Americans have gotten so fed up with the “yes, but” Muslims. The “yes, but” Muslims are the ones who show up on talk shows and in the media and say, “Yes, terrorism is bad, but” — and then they go through a list of reasons on why we should try and sympathize with people who fly planes into buildings.” Could not someone ask a right-winger the same question except with respect to abortion bombings? There seem to be many people who also add the but qualifier when it comes to bombings directed at women’s health clinics.

    My point is isn’t this same with pro-lifers who say they are for the “culture for life” but condone such heinous acts because they are supposedly for the “greater good.”

    I sense in many Americans’ attitudes that this is more of the just deserts thinking directed toward women when it comes to rape and attempted abortion-clinic bombings. There is a reason why there is silence and that this isn’t being played in the media as it should be. Perhaps the media is afraid of appearing “too liberal” as if reporting on a bombing would be a liberal action…Perhaps they’re afraid of alienating people like Pat Robertson who might claim that the liberal media is playing the “Christians = terrorists card”

  110. greensmile
    greensmile April 29, 2007 at 11:47 pm |

    I see there has been an arrest in the case of the attempted clinic bombig in Austin.

  111. Joanne
    Joanne April 30, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    To catsagainstbush:
    When you say “conservatives” I take it you mean the rank and file of the prolife movement. It should be clear by now that they do not condone violence at abortion clinics. They have frequently condemnded it and disowned those who participate in it. They have not made excuses. The bombers are to the prolife movement what Rap Brown and his ilk were to the Civil Rights Movement. Please do not link the deranged bomber in Austin with the prolife movement.

    Why such meagre coverage by the media? I can suggest one reason. No journalist wants to be used by any organization. If he or she senses that prochoicers are seeking to associate prolifers with bombers and other disreputable characters and use (say) an incident like the Austin one for propaganda, that reporter is less inclined to go along with the agenda.

    Also it must be remembered abortion itself is a violent act. It’s hard to condemn one form of violence while accepting another.

  112. Chicklet
    Chicklet April 30, 2007 at 2:44 pm |

    A medical procedure is not the same as attempting to murder and commit terrorists acts. You and your fellow anti-choice, freedom-hating misogynists are the ones peddling propoganda.

  113. catsagainstbush
    catsagainstbush April 30, 2007 at 9:01 pm |

    Joanne, no I did not mean the rank and file of the pro-life movement. I know many good people from the movement who would condemn such violence wholeheartedly. I should have made my qualifiers more clear. Yes, my wording made it sound like I believe that all pro-lifers secretly celebrate these bombings, when it was not my intention to do so.

  114. catsagainstbush
    catsagainstbush April 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm |

    and to clarify, your rhetoric also sounds like the GOP’s “but Clinton did it too” defense.

  115. Judith
    Judith May 1, 2007 at 1:01 pm |

    A friend just sent me your 4/27 piece about the infuriating refusal of US media to deal with terrorism perpetrated by the anti-abortion movement. Thanks so much for that strong, cogent work. I’m sending the following short essay as a thank you note/fan mail, hoping you will find it useful. Also: your logo is fabulous!

    A Short Essay About A Long History

    Recently I learned that my work was being discussed on some anti-abortion websites because I’d been invited to do three events in early October (2006) at Loyola University of Chicago.

    There was one guy who wrote that he was moved to reach for his baseball bat and shotgun when he thought about my being a guest at Loyola. There was one woman who argued for the value of diverse opinions. Everybody else expressed anger and sadness. General outrage was focused on the fact that I, a writer and activist for reproductive justice, had been invited to visit a Catholic school, a Jesuit university (of which, by the way, I am a graduate).

    The anti-abortion people’s responses reminded me how ignorant almost everybody is about the history of the Church in relation to abortion, how crucial that history is for Catholic women and girls, and how damaging that ignorance can be in the lives of millions, both Catholic and not. Fact is, Church thinking and policy on abortion have been various, to say the least, over many hundreds of years.

    I learned this while studying at the Rockefeller Archives in New York in 1999. I was reading texts about abortion, contraception and related issues, including the founding of Planned Parenthood, an enterprise of importance to some members of the Rockefeller family. I read a pamphlet prepared in the nineteen-seventies by Catholics for a Free Choice; I read hundreds of pages of minutes from meetings, a variety of reports, and lots of correspondence. My goal was simply to take in as much as I could and maybe riff on what I’d found, writing poems for a book manuscript. I was flat-out amazed at what I learned, and I want to tell everybody all about it.

    You might ask: Why? What’s the big deal? And if you did, I’d answer: The Catholic Church is a source of huge amounts of money and influence in the international politics of reproductive justice, and fights fiercely to prevent access to authentic sex education and effective family planning services all over the world.

    So. First of all, I see it’s useful to include Aristotle, that ever-present precursor to, and influence upon, Christianity: he theorized that a fetus becomes human (is “ensouled”) 40 days after conception if male, 80 if female. Since there was no way for him or anybody else in those days to know the sex of a fetus at any time during pregnancy, his theory is intriguing, to say the least. Aristotle was born in 384 BCE and died in 322 BCE; clever as he was, he did a certain amount of damage in his 62 years.

    Now, on to the Church he influenced, for a selection of useful, interesting bits:
    St. Jerome (b.347, d.420), was beatified in 1747 and canonized in 1767. He wrote to a woman named Algasis (probably his student) that “seeds are gradually formed in the uterus, and it [abortion] is not reputed homicide until the scattered elements receive their appearances and members.” Why he embraced that idea we cannot say, but we can say that such thinking scarcely supports an absolute anti-abortion position.

    Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) held that abortion was “not irregular” if the fetus was not yet “vivified” or “animated.” This distinction evokes the concept of “quickening,” which was until recently a notable marker in fetal development but now is often displaced by “viability” as a result of new medical technology and legal considerations.

    Innocent’s principles were adopted into the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, who was pope in his very old age (1227-1241). Gregory was a complicated guy, by no means a champ on every front. His record is a fine reminder of how important it is for us to recognize complexity. Born in 1145, he lived almost a hundred years and is sometimes said to have been a hero to St. Francis (who died the year before Gregory became pope), but he preached in favor of the Crusades and burned heretics.

    Thomas Aquinas (b.1225, d.1274), of all people, turns out to have been one of those who thought that abortion of only an “animated” fetus should be considered murder, a thoughtful position even now, despite the complications of “viability.”

    One of my personal favorites is Tomás Sanchez (b.1550, d.1610), a Jesuit scholar. He said that abortion was lawful when the fetus was not yet “ensouled” and also when the mother would die from carrying it to term. I thought of him instantly when the anti-abortion people complained about my being invited to a Jesuit university. (I have to tell you that my copy of the Fall 2006 issue of Loyola’s magazine arrived in the same week I decided to write this essay, and its cover says: “Welcome home to Loyola.”)

    It’s useful to know that the catechism of the Council of Trent in 1566 held that “in the natural order, no body can be informed by a human soul except after the prescribed space of time.” Though the “prescribed space of time” is unclear, council discussion was about the business of ensuring that Jesus was understood to be different from everyone else in human form because his soul was joined to his body at the time of conception, unlike all (other) human beings. This seems a useful note to sound when discussing abortion.

    Sixtus V outlawed all abortion in 1588. That was the year the Protestant Virgin Queen, Elizabeth Tudor, thoroughly trounced the power of the Church through her navy’s defeat of the Spanish Armada, a fleet blessed by the Pope and considered invincible in much the same way the Titanic was later considered unsinkable. As I recall, the Armada suffered from rough weather in the English Channel almost as much as from the smaller, faster ships that harried them, but I can’t help thinking Sixtus may have been in an especially misogynist frame of mind. Mind you, I don’t even know which came first, the edict or the defeat; but he certainly was in a near-constant rage about Elizabeth in those years.

    Only three years later, another victory for the girls’ team: Pope Gregory XIV changed the law in 1591. He allowed abortions to be done up to the 40th day of gestation (some scholars dispute this, putting Gregory’s deadline at the even longer sixteen and a half weeks). Pinpointing the moment of conception then was surely no less dicey than it is now, so this ruling was a gift to women.

    Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (b. 1696, d.1787) said that the fetus is “certainly not animated before it is formed.” It’s fair to assume he was referring to the “form” of a human being (and probably not, for example, a five or six week fetus, which still has a discernible tail). He also said abortion should be allowed when needed to save the life of the mother.

    In 1869, less than a hundred years after Saint Alphonsus’ death, Pope Pius IX forbade all abortion. Like Sixtus V, he was a hardliner, and that hard line, a ruling made less than 150 years ago, is church law in our time.

    Pius XII announced in 1958 that the pill, that miracle of mid-20th century chemistry, was immoral because it prevents ovulation. Pius was a big opponent of overt sexuality as well as birth control. (What with the current connections so often made among stem cell research, conception, contraception, and abortion, I’ll note here that in that same year a Nobel prize for physiology and medicine was shared by Joshua Lederberg and the team of George W. Beadle/Edward Tatum, all of whom were working on genetics.)

    Pius died the same year he banned the pill, and John XXIII became pope, bringing joy to millions of people all over the world, many of whom were not even members of his church. But he died in less than five years, so we will never know if his intelligence and compassion could have led him to the kind of radical shift implemented by those other popes in the past. We do know that his bishops affirmed “the value and necessity of wisely planned education of children in human sexuality.” Whatever they actually meant by this, their statement certainly could, even now, be interpreted as good news.

    In the middle of 1964, Pope Paul announced that the Church position on birth control was “being studied.” Though this is a time-honored method of delaying action (often forever), John D. Rockefeller III considered it an opportunity to further the cause of family planning. He was cautioned, in the correspondence I read at the Archives, that there would be no overturning of papal proclamations, only the possibility of reinterpretation. There was an exchange in which he was urged to understand that the Church would not accept contraception that “destroys the natural structure of the marital act.” Though JDR3 still thought there might be some acceptance of methods that intervene in the physiology of an individual person (that is, devices forbidden but chemicals allowed), his hopes were confounded (given the frequently grim effects of Norplant, Depo-Provera and other such products, that’s probably a good thing). His carefully, skillfully orchestrated attempt to influence the Pope with the enormous power of the Rockefeller fortune and its decades of global influence in matters of birth control is a fascinating history.

    Benedict now occupies the papal throne. His presence there may seem a grim emblem in the face of the desperately difficult struggle for women’s reproductive health. But in April of 2007, the Vatican told the world that this pope has now defined “original sin” in new terms. And you can be sure he’s thinking about the use of condoms in relation to AIDS. I bet he’s thinking about this history of differing opinions, edicts, principles, and the willingness of all those men to contradict each other, to overturn each other’s rules. The man’s a scholar – he’s sure to know the relevant research.

    Knowing that Vatican law has not been constant may make us angry: uncounted millions of women’s motherhood decisions have been dictated by all that back-and-forth. Or, knowing that Vatican law has not been constant may make us joyous: some men of the Church brought relief and release to many women and girls. Either way, knowing this history is provocative, energizing, liberating. Let’s tell everybody all about it.

  116. Melodious
    Melodious May 1, 2007 at 3:29 pm |

    I worked at an abortion clinic for several years until I burned out. The stress was constant in the clinic and the attacks outside the clinic were ugly and occasionally terrifying. Recently in my town a group of protesters who followed a clinic worker to her home and protested in front of her house for weeks was absolved of all charges of harrasssment and disturbing the peace. While the clinic worker garnered the support of her neighbors she was driven to a nervous breakdown by the constant attacks by these people including trying to isolate her children for the purpose of ‘saving them’. I consider these attacks acts of terrorism. Our clinic would get updates regularly on actions taken by protesters against clinics and employees. There are multiple actions taken daily on clinics all over this country. To the individual, the protesters outside the place where I worked said they were doing God’s work. I often wondered how exactly these people’s actions differed from the actions of the Taliban and Al Quaeda fundamentalist fanatics. We in America need to be alert to the growing class of religious fundamentalists in our country who would willingly spend our lives in their religious fervor.

  117. ive lost my ability to converse with original thought, its all blog roundup for me | Prose Before Hos

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  118. Sadly, No! » News On Teh March
    Sadly, No! » News On Teh March May 2, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    […] rsonal safety. And I’ll be following this case. Thank you, Debbie. Also in the news, domestic terrorists attacked a women’s clinic, […]

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