Posted by: JDM..... | February 22, 2010

Joe Stack a terrorist…..

…a twisted man, not a hero…

The daughter of a man who crashed his small plane into an Internal Revenue Service building called her father a hero for his anti-government views but said his actions, which killed a tax service employee, were “inappropriate.”

OK, I hate to kick ‘em when they’re down, but it sounds like there’s a touch of pathology in this family oddly reminiscent of the ramblings certain Middle Eastern terrorists are making news with these days. Dedicating one’s life to a cause might be admirable in certain situations, but whether or not it is “heroic”, or even sane is a bit subjective. To call suicide and random homicide “inappropriate” is a bit of an eyebrow raiser in its own right.

She’s grieving her father, so she gets a pass for right now. But if she sticks with the minimization and “hero” jazz, she might as well throw on a black burka and start thumbing a ride to Helmand, Afghanistan where that kind of thinking is more socially acceptable.

I read Joe Stack’s diatribe on the internet. Having spent the last quarter century of my working life dealing with tortured souls and twisted minds receiving services at a local psychiatric and substance abuse treatment facility, I ‘d have to say the man was beyond pissed off; he was irrational. He saw himself as a victim of the predatory acts of others, but in fact he spent years essentially “daring” his adversary to stop him, and when they did, he saw himself as a victim. Then he’d do the same thing all over again.

I saw that plot played out in a thousand ways over the years as I worked to help other agonized and angry human beings find their way out of the tangles of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and other pathological distortions their sick minds had created to entrap them. Most were locked into circular relationships with drugs or alcohol, or blocked by distorted personalities from seeing their situations clearly. I recall but one or two who were simply “evil”, viewing everything around them through what I came to call “Charlie Manson eyes.” Some had killed or maimed others, including people they loved. Many had tried repeatedly to kill themselves, with more than I would like to remember eventually succeeding. Tortured, angry people. I would be the first to defend any effort to define the struggles many of them fought with tragedy or with chronic mental illness as “heroic”. But when a man spends his life punching a tree that is in his way and then blames the tree because his hand is broken, I see no heroism, no sanity, no “mission” to admire. He was a sick man, and decided-like many sick and twisted men have before him-that he had the right to kill and destroy.

That said, I can say that I didn’t necessarily disagree with some of his complaints about the government, the Internal Revenue Service, and more. But that building he destroyed and the Viet Nam veteran he murdered in his rage were not his enemies any more than the Oklahoma victims of Timothy McVey were his enemies, or the thousands of husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters slain in the twin towers nine years ago were the perpetrators of any crimes against the al Qaida terrorists who murdered them.

I have spent decades writing and complaining about things I have believed were amiss. I continue to do so. I write. I blog. I speak out in protest. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. But I am the only one responsible and accountable for my words and actions. Although I have joked about writing obscenities on my tax returns, I know there would likely be consequences, justified or not, which I would prefer not to pay. Thus, instead of writing obscenities on my tax returns I write obscenities about my tax returns.

We live in a country that has some problems, but we don’t live in a country whose problems require or justify murder. Joe Stack was a twisted man who created most of his own problems but blamed them on others. He was no hero. His actions were not heroic. He was a terrorist. Instead of spurring his alleged peers into action, his suicide and the murder of an innocent man will be more likely to cause the government he found so oppressive to become even more vigilant and closed in self defense. That would constitute a “rational” response to Stack’s actions. The man was nuts.


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