Everyone’s aware of the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Two blasts in Boston, acts of terrorism perpetrated by two brothers — Chechen immigrants who had become radicalized — killed three people and injured over 250 more.
A manhunt ensued. Law enforcement came out in force to find whoever intended to harm those watching this historic event. Unlimited resources were mobilized and they quickly identified the two brothers as the suspects.
A few days later the shit hit the fan in Texas!
An even greater and more devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, a small town just north of Waco, killed at least 14 people leaving more then 200 severely injured. The power of the blast damaged a nursing home and two West schools.
The detonation of chemicals at West Chemical and Fertilizer Company left a massive crater 93 feet wide and 10 feet deep and sent a shock wave felt over 75 miles away. The plant was storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate at the time. The fertilizer company was required to report quantities over 400 pounds to the Department of Homeland Security but didn’t. Texas regulators knew but did not report it either.
Far more attention was paid to the Boston Bombing than the explosion at the fertilizer plant. Labeled a senseless act of terrorism, the media closely followed and reported every minute detail of the unfolding drama.
Equally destructive, described by the media as a tragic accident, the West explosion received far less coverage. But it was more than an accident. It was another senseless act of terrorism — corporate terrorism.
Boston was carried out by two individuals determined to inflict harm on innocent people. The terrorism in Texas was committed by secretive, but far more dangerous entities. These groups, working in conjunction, are capable of inflicting tremendous pain and suffering on our society — corporations and politicians!
This was an act of corporate and political terrorism and the number of conspirators is astronomical: from the owners and management of the plant, to the West City Council; from the executives and personnel at the Texas Department of State Health Services, OSHA, and Department of Homeland Security, to the Texas Governor’s office and Texas State Legislature; from the corporations’ and their lobbyists’ who push deregulation, to the Senators and House Members who callously de-fund and deregulate. Those that gutted regulatory agencies over the last 16 years.
Investigators were relentless in their pursuit of the two Chechen brothers — the radicalized Islamic converts — to the delight of a rabid, media fed public who cheered the capture of the perpetrators.
But where is the pursuit of those responsible for the West bombing? Where is the outrage at corporate terrorism?
Corporate terrorism has a name: West Chemical and Fertilizer Company; Exxon Mobil; BP Oil Company; Massey Mining; and Public Works Officials of Minnesota. Each of these corporate and public disasters a greater tragedy than Boston.
Political terrorism has a multitude of names, too many to list here, but it is spawned and fed by Republican ideology and corporate greed.
Will any of these conspirators face prison? Be held responsible for their duplicity in the massive disasters that destroy families and communities?
We brandish every weapon available, at enormous cost, to bring 2 alleged jihadists to justice but are reluctant to adequately finance investigations to pursue corporate or political terrorists.
The National Rifle Association terrorizes Senators and Representatives everyday. We launched two, multi-trillion dollar wars and created a multi-million dollar agency to fight terrorists after Al-Qaeda murdered 2,700 of our citizens on 9/11 and another 700 were killed in acts of terrorism over the last four decades. Over 900,000 Americans have been killed by guns during the last four decades, yet Congress is afraid to enact common-sense gun laws — fearing the backlash of the NRA.
Damage from the explosion in West, Texas was not merely an accident. It was an act of terrorism — a deregulatory nightmare and failure of responsibility that happens far too often in our uninformed and vulnerable society. The failures are extraordinary each having a huge impact on our safety and our way of life.
And this corporate failure — this greedy rapacity — goes far beyond our borders.
Is the recent building collapse in Bangladesh, killing more than 400 people, a product of corporate indifference and drive for greater profit? Is it another example of corporate terrorism?
The incident in Boston was a tragedy and we spent unprecedented resources to track down those responsible. Are we equally responsive to the reckless disregard for human life displayed by corporations like West Chemical and Fertilizer Company?
We need to get our priorities straight and quit letting these corporate terrorists off with a slap on the hand and a fine.
Whether terrorism is conducted in the name of Allah or the Almighty Dollar it is still terrorism.
It’s time we take a long hard look at what politicians and corporations are doing to our country — to the world — and hold them responsible before it’s too damn late!