Mark Collins – Orlando Massacre: “Terry Glavin: Beware of self-serving, fact-averse narratives…”

Excerpts from an excellent piece by one of those increasingly rare fearlessly clear-thinking Canadians:

…about what transpired in Orlando”

More from Terry Glavin 
[note esp.: “The Assyrians’ plight has been overshadowed by the suffering of the Yazidis. But they are very much in danger“]

One would have at least hoped for a decent interval of mourning for those who died in Orlando, Fla., before the screaming cacophony erupted, but even before the blood had dried on the floor of the Pulse nightclub after the deadliest lone-gunman mass shooting in the history of the United States, a great many Americans were giving every impression of having lost their minds.

It’s still going on. The only thing that matters is which of the variously competing “narratives” will dominate the vulgar contest for the most popular explanation of the butcher’s motive, the meaning of the event and the political lesson to be learned from it all…

One “narrative” that has not been inflicted on the grieving and the wounded of Orlando — a small mercy, this time around — is that the atrocity was a to-be-expected instance of Muslim “blowback” for Western imperialism…

Within hours of the fusillade that brought down Zehaf-Bibeau in Ottawa, it was celebrity American leftist Glenn Greenwald who raised the spectre of quietly vengeful Muslims in our midst: you don’t get to “run around for years wallowing in war glory, invading, rendering and bombing others” without Muslim blowback, he remarked at the time. In May 2013, when 25-year-old Royal Fusilier Lee Rigby was hacked to death by Islamist crackpots shouting Allahu Akbar with South London accents in Woolwich, U.K., American documentarian Michael Moore was crowing that the atrocity was to be expected because Westerners “kill people in other countries.”

As recently as last November, the disgraced former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, was still insisting a perfectly understandable “blowback” was the motivation behind the murder of 52 Londoners 10 years earlier in terrorist bomb attacks. “They gave their lives. They said what they believed. They took Londoners’ lives in protest against our invasion of Iraq.”

Here’s a Toronto Star headline for you from not long ago: “To tackle domestic terrorism, end foreign wars.” The Toronto 18, the convicted Montreal terrorist Said Namouh and convicted Ottawa terrorist Momin Khawaja all apparently took revenge on us for sending troops to Afghanistan. Or so the narrative went.

“Blowback” for Western imperialism doesn’t quite explain the tens of thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children who have been enslaved, tormented and murdered by the likes of Hezbollah and ISIL lately. But they don’t count. They don’t fit into any of the clever explanations making the rounds at the moment.

That’s the thing about self-serving, fact-averse “narratives.” If you’re not careful, they get out of hand and the next thing you know, innocently devout Muslims are being blamed every time ISIL or Hezbollah does something atrocious. Maybe it will soon be gay people getting blamed for their own deaths, too. In any case, there will be a “narrative” to explain it. You can be dead certain of that.

Mesdames et messieurs, faites vos jeux.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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