Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Waco '93

Let's never forget.

Thirteen years ago the federal government of the United States ended its altercation with a group of peaceful religious separatists – a conflict the government had initiated – by driving a tank through the Branch Davidians’ home and church, pumping the interior with poisonous gas, and keeping the fire engines at a distance while the building and the people inside burned.

At Waco, the U.S. government treated the Branch Davidians as any total state might treat its most alienated subjects. It broke into their home aggressively, shot at them recklessly and mockingly defiled their graves. It blocked off their water and their communications with family, counsel and the press. It waged psychological warfare on them. It showed no mercy on the little children that it gassed. It imprisoned the survivors, including one man who wasn’t even in the building during the siege. The Davidians were effectively dehumanized by the central state's lapdog press, and so all too few voices, even on the hyper-sensitive left, came to their defense when Clinton and Reno’s federal police stampeded them under their weight.


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