New York Times: Joe Stack Was Right

Slashdot links to two New York Times articles (one from 1998, one from 2010) condemning “Section 1706.”  This section was one of the reasons that Joe Stack flew a plane into an IRS building.

This is terrorism. We know who the terrorist is. But what is the cause of this terrorism?

In spite of the Treasury’s Department unjust actions here — actions so egregious they have provoked domestic terrorism — Tim Geithner has not called for the repeal of Section 1706, not said it will not be enforced — indeed, he has done nothing.

We need a Secretary of the Treasury who is tough on terrorism on tough on the causes of terrorism — not an enabler of terrorism, like Tim Geithner.

President Obama should be ashamed, not only for not calling this terrorism, but also for not upbraiding Tim Geithner for his failure to confront the causes of terrorism.

14 thoughts on “New York Times: Joe Stack Was Right”

  1. I meant to say, “no differentiation”.

    Are you saying there should be no differentiation between Joe Stack and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

  2. Tim,

    There are a number of differences. Why?


    That is a serious point, a valid one, and one that Obama’s refusal to identify this as terrorism makes very hard to air.

    Without an honest discussion, it is difficult to come to honest conclusions.

  3. Because your post suggests that terrorism is terrorism, regardless. And that the President should say such. I agree.

    What I find fascinating (and depressing) is that some Americans view Joe Stack as an “American Patriot” or “hero”. Which is a straight-up endorsement of terrorism against the US Government, no different than endorsing the methods and madness of Islamic extremism.

  4. Tim,

    “Terrorism is terrorism” is a tautology. Its true, but the statement has no meaning beyond simple truth.

    Joe Stack belongs to that class of American politicians, such as John Brown and Martin Luther King, willing to execute violence as a means of political power. Unlike King, but like Brown, he was willing to kill others as a result of that execution of power.

    Too bad that so many American youth are taught to admire political violence in our system. I understand why (the political myth of MLK is incredibly useful in some ways), but its still sickening.

  5. “What I find fascinating (and depressing) is that some Americans view Joe Stack as an “American Patriot” or “hero”. Which is a straight-up endorsement of terrorism against the US Government, no different than endorsing the methods and madness of Islamic extremism.”

    Tim, there is so much wrong with your statement, I’m not sure I should even begin. Are you equating patriotism with support of the US Government, so that the two occur together, and always together? Are you equating all other targets of Islamic extremism (mosques, foreign governments, etc.) with the US Government?

  6. Curtis,
    I don’t follow. I think you’re taking my statement too far. My point is that Joe Stack used extreme violence on innocents to express a political statement – that’s called terrorism. Islamic extremists use extreme violence on innocents to express political statements – also terrorism.

    There’s nothing to celebrate about either.

  7. Lol well Tim, you now have me wondering at the difference between extreme violence and mere violence. Also, I’m now pondering the significance of what you might call, violent statements? I’m not at all sure that J.S. was “making a statement”, or at least wonder whether a different characterization of his action would be more useful for understanding the significance of these things.

    I take it that your main point is: 1. terrorism is terrorism, and, since 2. terrorism is necessarily an evil, then 3. evil is evil.

  8. Curtis,
    I still don’t follow what you’re saying. Flying a plane in to a building to destroy lives is an extreme act of violence. Joe Stack left a written statement documenting his frustrations and intention.

  9. People talk endlessly about non-state terrorism but seldom speak of state terrorism. Military terrorism as sometimes practiced by the US military, Israeli military ect has slaughtered millions of civilians. As Robert B. Asprey (Vietnam veteran and historian) pointed out in his genius book War In The Shadows The Guerrilla In History “western nations have a long history of hypocrisy in the use of force.” He also says :” Much of what politicians, generals, and the media call terrorism is actually counter terrorism, a reaction to military terrorism.

  10. Rob,

    “State terrorism” is a nonsense term. States compel through violence. That is why they are states. If you wish to live in a world before the emergence of states, hope into your time machine and visit Europe before the peace of Westphalia. Very few people would wish to join you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *