No longer content with absurd claims that the January 6 Capitol riot was as bad as the 9/11 attacks, Democratic Party-aligned pundits are now insisting that it was in fact worse.
On a recent appearance with MSNBCs ReidOut with Joy Reid, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said he felt the Capitol riot was much worse than 9/11 and that this is the most perilous point in time since the beginning of the American Civil War.
To me, though there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11, because its continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think were in a much worse place than weve been, Dowd said. I think were in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.
I do too, Reid said.
Not to be outdone, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Smith cited Dowds hysterical claim but adding that not only was January 6 worse than 9/11, but it was actually going to kill more Americans somehow, even counting all those killed in the US wars which ensued from the 9/11 attacks.
He couldnt be more right, Schmidt said at a town hall for the Lincoln Project. The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following.
A total of 2,996 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks, and a further seven thousand US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exactly one person was killed in the January 6 riot, and it was a rioter shot by police inside the Capitol Building. Early reports that rioters had beaten a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher turned out to have been false.
These bizarre alternate-reality takes are awful for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that this so-called insurrection everyone is still shrieking about never at any point in its planning or enactment had a higher than zero percent chance of overthrowing the most powerful government in the world, and the fact that they are manufacturing consent for new authoritarian measures just like 9/11 did.
But perhaps the most annoying thing about all the melodramatic garment-rending over how close the US Capitol came to being taken over by violent extremists is that the US Capitol has been under the control of violent extremists for a very long time already.
For all the fretting everyone has been doing about fascists and white supremacist groups, those are not the violent extremists posing the greatest threat and amassing the highest body count today. Neither are the communists. Neither are the anarchists. Neither are the radicalized Muslims, nor the fundamentalist Christians, nor the environmentalists, nor the incels. No, the most dangerous and deadly group of violent extremists in our day are adherents of the mainstream status quo politics of the US-centralized power alliance.
And its not even close. Certainly many of the groups listed above are dangerous and undesirable, but theyre not the ones raining explosives upon families around the world for power and profit. Theyre not the ones brandishing nuclear weapons with steadily increasing recklessness as they ramp up a new cold war against Russia and China. Theyre not the ones poisoning the air and the water and rapidly destroying the environment we all depend on for survival. Theyre not the ones enslaving humanity to a brutal, oppressive and exploitative global capitalist system which leaves far too many toiling for far too little when theres plenty for everyone.
That would be the so-called moderates of the western empire, who in reality are anything but.
It is violent to wage nonstop campaigns of military mass murder and impose civilian-killing economic sanctions on nations which disobey your dictates. It is extremist to brutalize, brainwash and enslave humanity while continuously shoving the world in the direction of extinction and armageddon in the name of profit and unipolar hegemony. Because US officials sit almost entirely on the right side of the global political spectrum, we can accurately say that everyone is fretting about violent right-wing extremists storming a Capitol building that had already long been occupied by violent right-wing extremists.
And yet when Facebook started sending Americans warnings that they may have viewed extremist content scrolling through their feeds, posts supporting this most dangerous group of extremists were not the content they were being warned about, but any kind of content which opposes the status quo those extremists have created. Theyre killing the ecosystem and murdering people every single day while imperiling us all with the risk of nuclear war, my social media feeds are full of Americans literally trying to crowdfund their own survival while the worlds worst add trillions to their wealth, but its the people who want to change this abusive system who are the dangerous extremists.
Some analysts focus primarily on criticizing the really obvious monsters who spout racist and bigoted rhetoric to advance their toxic agendas. Others focus more on criticizing the monsters that are harder to see through the fog of feigned politeness and propaganda distortion, the ones you see in government buildings and on Fortune Magazine covers and on TV news shows telling you what to think about the world. Those who spend their time criticizing the latter more than the former are often attacked and ridiculed as fascist sympathizers and Kremlin assets, but only by those who dont actually see the monsters that they are pointing to.
Hollywood trained us to fear psychopathic killers prowling around in the dark so we wont notice the psychopathic killers who rule our world in broad daylight. Weve been trained to fear the serial killer covered in blood and wielding a chainsaw so we wont notice the serial killer wearing a suit and wielding a pen.
Our collective maturity cannot begin until we learn to see the violent extremist monsters where they actually exist, and not just where weve been trained to look for them.