[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 11 2010
The British Story
I’d like to here explore the ugliness and stupidity of the American mind by looking at commentary over a narrow issue – the December 2009 allegation that “Lockerbie bomber” al Megrahi, supposedly locked under House arrest in Libya, had gone “missing.” It tied in perfectly with anger over the Scottish decision to release the dying bomber, and his failure to die within three months. Many Americans were again enflamed to anti-Arab, ant-Obama, anti-Scottish, and anti-British sentiments.
Interestingly, the story has almost no substance, and originated in the U.K., almost as if to stir up such noise. It started with a reporter from the Times of London who came snooping around Megrahi’s house on Sunday evening, December 13. For two days he couldn’t get any Libyans there to explain to him, in English, where the killer was - they seemed to indicate he was gone, and then probably tried to shoo the reporter off. Megrahi was found to not be at his usual hospital either, so the Times then called the East Renfrewshire council about a possible violation of his house arrest.
As the ones responsible for keeping tabs on him (with phone calls scheduled every second Tuesday), the East Renfrewshire council is a small-time political force, ridiculously over their heads if called on to collect a fugitive bomber overseas for a violation. On the 15th (an off Tuesday, normally), they took the news and swiftly made an unscheduled call demanding to speak with al Megrahi and clear up the situation.
Unfortunately, as reported, the man who answered (at an unspecified hour, local time) insisted the convict was too ill to come to the phone. Whatever he was thinking, during or after the call, just who he was, we do not know. But this was told to the Times but not believed by them, and the story blew up immediately, with the scoop “Mystery as Lockerbie bomber goes missing from home and hospital.” It was posted shortly after midnight GMT on Wednesday, December 16. The first comment at 12:22 was prophetic: “Born-yesterday idiots. What did they expect?” The major theme (see below) emerges immediately. It’s likely just what the Times was thinking, or wanted others to think, as they made the assumptions needed to release such a slanted story. Others picked it up, and predicted a brewing "crisis" for Scotland.
Within ten hours, the article was exposed as perhaps nothing more than a hyped misunderstanding. The Manchester Guardian was the first to announce, at 9:52 am, "concern over the whereabouts” of Megrahi “has eased after East Renfrewshire council was able to contact [him] this morning,” at approx 9:30 am (10:30 Libya time). After that, "officials had no concerns regarding Megrahi's whereabouts and would not be taking the matter further.” But it had already been taken further and wasn't going to be brought back.
The Times corrected the record with “Growing suspicion over 'missing' Lockerbie bomber” at around 4:00 pm judging by the times on the 13 comments (The alarming article from hours earlier mustered 75 responses.) Herein they started self-referentially “The Lockerbie bomber resurfaced yesterday, but not before questions had been raised about the arrangements for monitoring a man convicted of killing 270 people.”
And these questions resounded in the following days, especially in the UK, where passions run high and almost equal numbers believe him innocent as guilty. My interest though is in comments on the episode on American news pages, far less of which covered the story.
The American Response: Nuke 'Em
I’ll start first on the Liberal side of the spectrum, which tends to run closer to the middle on this particular issue. Liberal pundits and bloggers, however they treat the whole Lockerbie subject, tended to ignore this brief lost-and-found myth, with the notable exception of the Post (of Araiana Huffington), reporting with little comment on the “missing” but not found part. It seems Liberal comment posters tended to believe Megrahi really was gravely ill, and therefore was probably dead, in a good riddance sense. This erred presumption and its resolution plus an intelligent commenter (aptly “EuroMom”) pointing out Megrahi’s actual innocence, kept the jingoism from getting as thick as it might. Of 32 comments, these are the most “American” among them.
“The free world will never understand terrorists, until they stop assuming terrorists have the same values they have.”
“It's dreadful that he was released, but of course that's nothing compared to the outrage that Bush let Kadaffi, and Libya, off the hook and lifted sanctions.”
“Have they tried calling Muammar Ghadafi? They could be having breakfast together.”
“Seriously, the Brits are suprised that this guy isn't calling them? Nobody could see this coming? We all better pray this guy doesn't decide to blow another airliner out of the sky. Thanks England.”
Liberals seem a bit divided and unsure, trying to be American while bashing Bush, and hate the baddies while appearing culturally enlightened. American Conservatives, on the other hand, were far more unequivocal about the story, and discussed it with more gusto by far. They are less likely to believe he was really ill as reported, and almost entirely sure he was not only still alive, and probably up to more evil. They also tend to demand military destruction quite frequently. Consider the “Amerithot” presented by these comments following an American Thinker story “Where’s the Lockerbie Bomber?”
“…the perp is probably already in Pakistan working on the syllabus for Spring Quarter at the TTC (Terrorist Training Camp).”That last, I presume, referred not to the Scots, but to Arabs, or Muslims, or just Islamofascist terrorists, or other who refuse the Light of Christ and understand only the sword/missile. And even then you have to repeat yourself many times.
“All people like Obama will get for this is people killed.”
“There is no doubt in this citizen's mind that the Islamofascists are amused with the leverage they get from liberal rot.”
“why didn't we arrest this panty waste when he was here. or better yet why not find out where he is as he likes to rub it in our face and send some people to go extradict him.”
“Not that it would be too effective, but why can't we issue some kind of sanctions against Scotland? We must have too many Scotch drinkers in DC for that to work. What a disgrace. When is the US going to collectively wake up and realize what we are doing by accepting this kind of action?”
“How many millions need to die before the idiots in the West get real and do what needs to be done. Exterminate these vermin like the animals they are.”
For more real insight into these Arab bad guys and their vast conspiracy to enslave the world using Liberals and Europeans, one can always count on the professional observers of Jihad Watch. Surprise, surprise: Lockerbie bomber disappears.
“Didn't those objecting to the release of this criminal warn this would happen? The outrage should be driven home with all the force possible, straight back at the British. I would rather place trust in a deceitful muslim than the British, at least you know the muslim will lie to you.”
“This is what will happen when we bow to Islam. It is not worth it. For the moment it may seem to be, but what about tomorrow? What about our children and grandchildren? There is no respect for international law or legal agreements in Islam. Just their own agenda and goal to take over!”
“Just fire a dozen Cruise missiles to Tripoli.”
Michelle Malkin posted only after the "missing bomber" was found and added only "anyone else find this phone tag game with a murderous jihadists completely insane?" No, and the sanity just poured in with 45 messages, truly "American" every one. The best:
“So the lad decides to skip-what are the Brits going to do-send a Man-o-War to Tripoli? The Brits sold their soul for oil deals and can dance to Tripoli’s tune. And what will Barack Hussein Obama do? He will congratulate the Colonel for a game well played. Eric Holder can send a Letter of Concern and give the Libyans a good laugh. Most of the victims were Typical White People-maybe Little Eichmannns- so it really does not matter.”
“I bet Megrahi is living it up on the beach with a bunch of belly-dancing babes, smoking a hookah, and laughing at the Euroweenies who bought his fatal cancer story.”
“Idiot Europeans. There will come a day when they need someone to bail them out of another national crisis, much like WWII. Will anyone help?”
"We should take a page out of his play book, and strap a bomb to him. If he leaves his house, he explodes. At least it will take care of his cancer; that is if he really has it."
"Eh … strap him to the back of a Tomahawk missile and send it through Ahmagaynutjob’s living room window."
“For every day [Megrahi] is MIA, there should be a sortie of F-111’s dropping some bombs on various government buildings in Tripoli … for Old Times Sake”
On that last doozy, it seems this person is saying as long as he remains confused by a news story related by a right-wing pundit, he would authorize endless death on a foreign people he doesn’t approve of. Now I’m reminded why true Democracy simply cannot work with this many total fucking idiots around. Unfortunately, they’re shaped by those at the top of the food chain, who cultivate this ignorance and mobilize these same aggressive attitudes to bolster their own better-informed and thoroughly wicked strategems.