[Globe and Mail, Canada]




Polityka, Poland

America in Anger's Clutches


"During the '90s, the victims of such attacks included judges and doctors caught up in the 'culture war' on abortion, gay rights, etc. Does the Tucson massacre signal the beginning of a new wave of political violence?"


By Tomasz Zalewski



Translated By Halszka Czarnocka


January 9, 2010


Poland - Polityka - Original Article (Polish)

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords: Gunned down while meeting constituents at a grocery store, she is in critical condition after a bullet passed through her brain.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Assessing the political fallout from the shooting in Arizona, Jan. 9, 00:02:18RealVideo

America has never lacked deranged, frustrated types like Jared Laughner, who take their revenge for a lack of success by shooting other people - and easy access to firearms makes it possible. Usually, however, they shoot indiscriminately, often at their own family and themselves. It's been a long time since politicians were targets of their fury. The last time was the turbulent '60s in the last century, when President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed by assassins’ bullets. During the '90s, the victims of such attacks included judges and doctors caught up in the “culture war” on abortion, gay rights, etc. Does the Tucson massacre signal the beginning of a new wave of political violence?



Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Massacre in Tucson: 'A Sad Day for America'

TLZ, Germany: America's Hate-Filled Rhetoric 'Unworthy of a Democratic Nation'

Telegraph, U.K.: Will Obama Stand Up to Left's Exploitation of National Tragedy?

Guardian, U.K.: Shooting of Giffords Highlights 'Man-Up' Culture in U.S. Politics


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Warning signs preceded the shooting on Saturday. Arizona has been close to the boiling point for months, after its adoption of a law against illegal immigrants [SB 1070]. As elsewhere, a battle over health care reform was fought there, a topic on which the ultra-right Tea Party movement is not afraid to say what it thinks: its candidate in neighboring Nevada, Sharon Angle, suggested that “Second Amendment remedies" (right to bear arms) might be necessary. The office of Congresswoman Giffords, now fighting for her life after the shooting, became a target of attack after she supported health reform. Right-wing idol Sarah Palin called them to “reload” their weapons in the clash with Democrats. That did much to heat up the media atmosphere. Conservative Fox News channel hosts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck rant against President Obama, presenting him as a krypto-communist. Left-leaning MSNBC’s commentators then respond and the unfortunate game of attrition continues. It's hard to imagine that Loughner was impervious to such an atmosphere, since he knew who he was trying to shoot - even if he doesn't quite understand what his act is supposed to stand for.  



Since the attack, many appeals have been heard to calm the divisive rhetoric. Until things get back to normal, we can expect mutual politeness to continue. The rhetoric of hate and violence is in fact a reflection of the sharp divisions in contemporary America: fear of the country’s future and frustration with politicians who are unable to subdue forces beyond their control. In the short term, the Tucson massacre may harm Republicans, since two years ago it was their party that unleashed the spiral of anger against the “un-American” president and his supporters.




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 10, 11:29pm]


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