Many conservative writers have used the grief following the attack to fuel their fight against progressive thought even if they have few solutions themselves
At times like this, the right really takes the gloves off.
On cue, all over the world, a large swath of the political right immediately used Mondays attack in Manchester as well as our collective grief and outrage as ammunition in its perpetual war on progressives. What else would you expect?
The main accusation, as always, is that the left has no solutions to the problem of homegrown terrorism because of a slavish devotion to political correctness. But if you read closely, youll find that mainstream conservatives dont really have any solutions, either or none theyre prepared to spell out. Those with mainstream credentials are content, for now, to insist that we all buy in to their perpetual hostility towards, and suspicion of, Islam and all its believers.
The far right, of course, is less squeamish in calling for mass deportations, racial profiling and an immediate ban on Muslim immigration.
Author: James Delingpole built a tawdry career on promoting climate change denial at the UK Telegraph. Since moving to Breitbart, he has shown himself adaptable by inserting himself into the websites already seething Islamophobia beat.
Why you should read it: Delingpoles piece is a good study in a well-established genre of journalism favored by the right in the wake of a terrorist attack. The method is to comb social media for people whose first instinct is to shield Muslims from a racist backlash, and brandish these tweets and status updates as evidence that the left is coddling jihad. If you can squeeze Soros-flavoured conspiracy theory in somewhere, so much the better.
Extract: So why, every time, without fail, do we get the same achingly predictable response on social media from the useful idiots of the progressive left? Why do they insist on focusing their rage on people like Katie Hopkins when clearly this has nothing whatsoever to do with people like Katie Hopkins?
1. Stupidity. Thanks to a dumbed-down education system and ignorant, left-leaning teachers, a lot of people lack either the knowledge base or the intellectual capacity to understand that whats going on here really is a Clash of Civilizations not some series of random incidents provoked by Islamophobia and foreign policy.
2. Ideology. Many Soros-funded progressives see Western Civilization as the problem. They want it to fail. They want open borders. They hate people who oppose these things far more than they hate terrorists.
Author: Roger Franklin is a predictable, axe-grinding and fairly unimaginative reactionary who is ensconced at Australias oldest rightwing magazine, Quadrant. Hes obsessive and prolific on topics such as Islam, leftist media and climate change.
I wouldnt usually detain Burst Your Bubble readers with my native countrys bottom-feeders, but Franklin offers a particularly stark example of the conservatives desire to blame terrorism on the left, and where it can lead.
Why you should read it: On the day of the attack, Quadrant published a piece by Franklin which sounded off about a panel show on the Australian public broadcaster the ABC. Some of the guests were trying to add nuance to sweeping views of Islam, as well as promote the idea of human-caused global warming. This was so offensive to Franklin that he wrote that it would have been more just if the bomb in Manchester had detonated in the ABCs studios.
This copy was later scrubbed without any notice to readers. Luckily, some of his critics captured the original before it disappeared. They thus preserved a disturbing manifestation of a widespread rightwing wish to demonize, or even exterminate, its perceived adversaries.
Extract:Life isnt fair and death less so. Had there been a shred of justice, that blast would have detonated in an Ultimo TV studio. Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panels likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanitys intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.
Author: Paul Joseph Watson, Alex Joness British mini-me, has followed the same broad path that the rest of the organization has. He was never on the left, of course, but over time his commentary has focused less and less on the Illuminati and chemtrails, and more and more on pushing a stridently anti-Muslim, anti-feminist and anti-left message.
Why you should listen: Alex Jones, whatever his many faults, has a certain charm as a media performer. Paul Joseph Watson has none. Yesterday, Alex Jones shamelessly milked recordings of bombing victims at the beginning of his radio show. Watson was, if anything, even less subtle. The advantage of listening to this video in his entirety is that it presents the message of the alt-right with none of his bosss keep-Austin-weird zaniness. Watson hates Islam, the left and feminism, and he wants to use the attack to encourage his fans to see all of those things as both evil and inextricably connected.
Extract: See how far you can get through this six minutes.
Publication: The Spectator
Author: Alex Massie is Scotland editor of the Spectator, and contributes to the Scottish Daily Mail, the Scotsman and the Times.
Why you should read it: This is one of the very few pieces of commentary from rightwing media commentators that are not determinedly whipping up panic. It urges decency, tolerance and restraint. All of this is creditable. But it doesnt much consider how all of this relates to a seemingly intractable Syrian war.
Extract:In the aftermath of this, nuance is easily lost but no less important than ever. To observe that an act of terrorism was religiously motivated does not mean responsibility for it is shared by all the perpetrators co-religionists. And yet it remains reasonable to ask what motivated the bomber, who inspired him, whose writings or teachings or words gave him the serenity and security of righteousness and ask what can be done to counter this. We ask because we need to know and because knowing can aid the process of doing something, however imperfectly, about it.
Publication: National Review
Author: David French he of the abortive presidential campaign has previously graced this column.
Why you should read it: As always, French affects a reasonable tone. He worries that western governments have broadly accepted the risk of intermittent terror attacks, because trying to do anything substantive about it would be too politically costly. Oddly, he compares what he sees as the complacency of current western leaders with the decisive actions of George W Bush. Needless to say, he doesnt give much space to considerations of how Bush-era adventurism contributed to bringing about the terrible situation we find ourselves in.
Extract: Here is the bottom line since the end of the Bush and Blair administrations, it seems clear that all of the great Western democracies would rather face an increased terror risk than make the sacrifices that have been proven to mitigate the danger. There is little appetite across the entire American political spectrum for an increased ground-combat presence in the Middle East. So the slow-motion war against ISIS continues, and terrorist safe havens remain. In the United States, even Trumps short-term and modest so-called travel ban has been blocked in court and lacks public support.