Please retweet if you don’t remember losing a loved one at #BowlingGreenMassacre. #NeverRemember!
— Bowling Green NPS (@NPSBowlingGreen) February 3, 2017
I bet, there was very little coverage—I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized—and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. I mean, most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.
–Kellyanne Conway, Hardball, February 2017
I’m mystified why KellyAnne Conway and her staff haven’t bothered to correct her hilariously inept reference to the Massacre That Never Was. The media has parsed the actual terror conspiracy based in Bowling Green (which involved almost none of the claims Conway made about it). But it has not referenced another key element in the Trump communications director’s confused narrative.
There was a terror attack in 2015 which Conway confused with Bowling Green. It happened in Chattanooga, which is in Tennessee, not Kentucky (but close enough that she might characterize her mistake as an ‘alternative fact,’ rather than an outright falsehood).
In this attack, an Arab American gunman assaulted two military recruiting facilities, killing four Marines. If you’re wondering why the Trump administration hasn’t bothered to point to her confusion of this real incident with faux Bowling Green, there are two reasons both of which are quite embarrassing: first, the Chattanooga shooter was Kuwaiti. In other words, he would not have been among those banned under the Trump travel ban, since Kuwait is not among the seven restricted countries. Second, the killer had lived in the U.S. since 1996. He never left the U.S. to become radicalized. He was a homegrown terrorist, the kind hardest to detect. He had not been on any terror watch list or been monitored by counter-terrorism officials.
There would be one convenient way for Trump, Conway and Bannon to extricate themselves from this mess. The problem, you see, is that they’re focussed on excluding Muslims via travel bans. But they’re not being true to their convictions. If they simply advocated banning all Muslims, including those in this country already, then they would be able to avoid all these complications involving some banned Muslim nations (but not all), domestic and foreign terrorists, etc. The best approach would be to adopt David Yerushalmi’s: Islam itself is a political ideology, not a religion. Its adherents have, therefore no protections under the First Amendment. They may be rounded up like cattle, placed in detention camps (do I hear Saharonim, anyone?), and excluded from our shores as a threat to national security.
Of course, it would be much more convenient if Trump & Bannon, Inc. could conjure a Reichstag Fire-type incident. Maybe get a few Muslims to set fire to the Capitol Building; or better yet, fly a plane into it. That should do it. Declare martial law. Start arresting Muslims. Suspend habeas corpus (it’s been done before!). Get the whole thing rolling. I should add a disclaimer here: I am a ‘professional’ satirist. Do not try this at home or anywhere else.
Oh, and there actually was a Bowling Green Massacre, just not in Kentucky. Rather it was in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1643. The then-governor ordered his soldiers to attack a camp of Lenape Indians at the site of what is today Bowling Green (New York City). 80 Native Americans were slaughtered in cold blood. Many of them babies torn from their mothers arms and hacked to pieces before their eyes. That’s a fact. An inconvenient one for Kellyanne. But a historical fact nonetheless. History and truth, clearly not their strong suit.
While the Chattanooga shooter was born in Kuwait (or to be more precise – Kuwait occupied by Iraq – he was born in September 1990 after the invasion and annexation), he was not a Kuwaiti citizen. Technically he was actually born in sovereign Iraq, as the “Republic of Kuwait” was annexed by Iraq on August 28 1990, a week before his birth on the 5th of September:
He was a -Palestinian- – with a temporary Jordanian passport (a travel document issued to non-citizen Palestinians by the Jordanian government). He was born there as his parents were guest workers. Kuwait, one must note, expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinian guest workers after the liberation, see here –
“But the largest forced displacement of Palestinians from an Arab state took place in 1991 when Kuwait expelled most of its Palestinian residents in retaliation for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) endorsement of Iraq’s brutal occupation of the emirate (August 1990-February 1991). It mattered little that this population, most of which had resided in Kuwait for decades, was not supportive of the PLO’s reckless move: From March to September 1991, about 200,000 Palestinians were expelled from the emirate in a systematic campaign of terror, violence, and economic pressure while another 200,000 who fled during the Iraqi occupation were denied return. By September 1991, Kuwait’s Palestinian community had dwindled to some 20,000.”
(the PLO’s support of Saddam was not popular with the Kuwaities after the liberation, to say the least).
Technically – he actually might have been covered by the limited initial ban (though his parents wouldn’t have as Jordan isn’t in the initial ban) – as his birth certificate might have stated Iraq.
Regarding home brewed radicalization – I believe the Trump administration’s argument is that if you don’t bring in people who are Muslim then the chance of them (however small) becoming “radical Muslims” is much reduced (obviously you can still have local converts to Islam who then radicalize, as long as Islam is tolerated in the US. However this requires an additional step (becoming a Muslim, and then radicalization – and there have been some examples of this (converts joining ISIL for instance)).
Richard Silverstein says
@ lepxii: Ah, good man yourself, lepxii. You quote from the garbage Islamophobe site Middle East Forum. Daniel Pipes’ garbage site. Don’t do that again, pal. Ever. Unless you want to be moderated or banned here (read the comment rules). Don’t quote from hasbara sites. Don’t quote from garbage.
As for whether the Chatanooga attacker was Kuwaiti, Palestinian, or Martian–just stop. Stop trying to thread the needle. It just won’t work. Your entire comment is beyond pathetic. The truth is the killer was (Arab-) American. He’d lived here 20 yrs. He was not radicalized abroad. He is the opposite of a poster boy for Kellyanne Conway.
Wait, do you think I need you interpreting Donald Trump for me? If so, why would you think that? Because I don’t. Not only that. You don’t know what you’re talking about. There are millions of Arab-Americans who immigrated here from Muslim countries. About .0001% of them have become Islamist and engaged in terror attacks in this country. In our country, that is, in a democracy, we don’t think the way you do. We don’t ban millions of immigrants from particular countries because .001% may turn out to be criminals or even terrorists. You see, we believe in democracy here. Unlike you.
If you publish Islamophobic shit like this again here I’ll ban your ass faster than you can blink.
I apologize for the middle-east forum quote – google led me there (I remembered this fact from around the Gulf-war, googled for a reference, and posted one – which I agree wasn’t the best hence my apology). Here is a more appropriate reference for the expulsion of Palestinians from Kuwait –
As for the attacker’s nationality – I responded mainly because you stated he was Kuwaiti, which I believe isn’t accurate. As for whether Arab-American / Palestinian-American (for a someone who came in at 6 years old), Arab, or Palestinian – it is really splitting hairs.
“200,000 Palestinians were expelled from the emirate in a systematic campaign of terror, violence, and economic pressure while another 200,000 who fled during the Iraqi occupation were denied return.”
Any suffering by Palestinians is only acknowledged by Hasbarists if the suffering was inflicted by other Arabs.
Try to get something like that out of your pen on the Naqba for a change.
so true Elisabeth (and I know some of that as I live in Israel)…the Israeli’s are masters of obfuscation/deflecting/dishonesty/’justifying’ any and all of their violations of international law/common human decency