onsdag den 10. juni 2009

Terrorisme i USA: mord på læger lammer sundhedssystemet

Dette indlæg har ladet vente lidt på sig. Det er nemlig slet ikke sjovt at skrive. Denne gang handler det om terrorisme i den virkelige forstand - og ikke blot om det misbrug og latterliggørelse af ordet, som begås af psykopater som Søren Pind og Brian Mikkelsen. USA er blevet ramt af endnu et terror-angreb. Et rigtigt et. Faktisk flere indenfor kort tid - men dette indlæg handler om det ene.

Men først vil jeg udtrykke min forundring og afgrunddybe harme over, at danske medier og politikere til syneladende ikke bekymrer sig en disse over terrorisme - at al deres snak om "krig mod terror" og så videre har været det rene hykleri og løgn. At der var hykleri indblandet vidste jeg godt, men at det åbenlyst var 100% hykleri, og at de ikke mente et eneste ord, det gør mig harm. Hvad er ellers konklusionen, når de skriver stolpe op og stolpe ned og råber skingert op om alt, der til nærmelsesvis kan kaldes terrorisme, så længe det er brune folk fra eksotiske lande, der mistænkes, men ikke gør noget ud af det, når det her drejer sig om amerikanske, kristne fundamentalister, der myrder i sin religions navn? Det var virkelig løgn det hele - al snak om terrorbekæmpelse, afradikalisering, alt hykleriet om at stå sammen med USA og al sympatien med ofrene for den "brune" terrorisme", alt det mente de ikke et ord af.

USA er blevet ramt af en terror-bølge igen - begået af religiøse fanatikere, der kæmper for afskaffelse af demokratiet og hader kvinder - men denne gang er der ingen reaktion fra danske politikere eller fra europæiske regeringer. Hvorfor? Fordi terroren nu begås af kristne, hvide mænd? Eller fordi det at rapportere sandheden vil ødelægge billedet af en verden delt i to: de onde uciviliserede og den såkaldte "vestlige verden", hvor vi alle har "samme værdier"? Er det dette løgnagtige medie-billede, der vil blive ødelagt, hvis det blev rapporteret at et ikke uanseligt antale amerikanske forældre opdrager deres børn til ekstremt had og foragt for demokratiet, at religiøse institutioner i USA indoktrinerer børn og voksne til at bekæmpe netop de såkaldte "vestlige værdier" - og at denne bevægelse med jævne mellemrum producerer folk, der gør alvor af ordene og begår mord, vold og terror. Vil det ødelægge jeres fantasi-verden, hvis i skulle rapportere om de amerikanske og kristne pendanter til Taleban og Al-Qaida? Ville det gøre verden lidt for kompliceret? Føj!

Politiken har nærmest ikke bekymret sig om det overhovedet - en enkelt artikel er det blevet til udover et par oversatte notitser. Information har også kun bragt en enkelt selvstændig artikel, det samme gælder for Berlingske Tidende, og så vidt jeg kan se også for Kristeligt Dagblad. Men fælles for dem alle er, at ingen danske medier (så vidt jeg kan se) har talt med en eneste dansk politiker og krævet kommentarer. Og ingen dansk politiker (så vidt jeg kan se) har på eget initiativ offentligt udtrykt sympati med ofrene og fordømmelse af terrorismen eller ved denne lejlighed erklæret, at Danmark står sammen med USA i kampen for kvinders rettigheder. Hvor er udtalelserne fra danske politikere? Hvor er udmeldingerne fra europiske regeringer? Hvor er pressen og journalisterne? Der er intet. Og de har aldrig ment et ord af det.

Ja, jeg er harm og fuld af foragt over den rungende tavshed om dette emne. Og det er også grunden til at jeg ikke rigtig har kunnet skrive noget om det før. Istedet har jeg her en opsamling af relevante artikler om mordet på Dr. George Tiller, som for to uger siden, den 31. maj, blev skudt ihjel i sin kirke af en højreekstremistisk kristen fundamentalist. Mordet var ikke blot et politisk attentat mod ham personligt, men på hele bevægelsen for kvinders reproduktive rettigheder og sundhed i USA, og det har lammet sundhedssystemet. Ikke alene er Tillers klinik nu lukket med mordet på ham - den var en af de ekstremt få i landet, der udførte de livsreddende procedurer for kvinder, og adgangen til dem er altså nu ekstremt begrænset. Mordet er sandsynligvis heller ikke det sidste vi kommer til at se, hvis ikke politikere tager den hjemmegroede terrorbevægelse alvorligt.


Mordet på George Tiller og den amerikanske terrorbevægelse

New York Times, var en af de første aviser, der turde at bryde hykleriet og kalde mordet på Dr. Tiller for hvad det er - hjemlig terrorisme.
The murder of Dr. George Tiller, who was shot to death as he stood in the foyer of his church in Wichita, Kan., on Sunday morning, was a reprehensible act of domestic terrorism directed toward the dwindling cadre of physicians who risk their safety to perform legal medical procedures.

Dr. Tiller’s death, the fourth killing of an American abortion provider since 1993, was the first since 1998 when a sniper gunned down Dr. Barnett Slepian in his home in the Buffalo area. For Dr. Tiller, and physicians like him, the threatening protests and incidents of violence and harassment never really stopped.

For his principled devotion to women’s health and constitutionally protected rights, Dr. Tiller was the target of protests at his clinic, his house and his church. In 1986, his clinic was bombed, and, in 1993, an abortion opponent shot him in both arms. He was forced to fend off trumped up legal challenges aimed at shutting down his operations. Last month, vandals attacked his clinic. Nevertheless, he somehow persevered in a state that is one of the battlegrounds in the fight to restrict abortion.

Jill Filipovic spørger i The Guardian: 'Who killed George Tiller?', og konstaterer at det ikke blot drejer sig om en enkelt galning i en ekstremistisk terror-bevægelse, men om en bevægelse der har mange lag og får politisk og retorisk støtte fra den politiske mainstream-diskurs:
Anti-choicers harassed his patients, day in and day out. They bombed his clinic. They shot him once before. They filed lawsuit after lawsuit and even convinced local prosecutors to launch criminal investigations and trials (none were successful). They published his home address and the full names of his family members on their websites. They posted information about anyone who did business with him, from where he got his coffee to where he did his dry cleaning.
They had him and his staff wearing bullet-proof vests to work every day. Tiller drove an armoured car and protected his home with a state-of-the-art security system. And, to better enable stalking and harassment, they posted his daily comings and goings – including the fact that he attended services every Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church, the place where he was ultimately shot and killed.
All because he was a licensed physician who performed legal medical procedures.
Not surprisingly, his killer is strongly suspected to be affiliated with the "pro-life" movement. If that's the case, it makes Tiller the 10th person in the United States to be murdered by anti-choice terrorists.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Since 1977, there have been at least 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery and three kidnappings committed against abortion providers in North America. Tiller himself survived an assassination attempt in 1993.
Some pro-life groups are issuing statements of condemnation and attempting to paint this murder as the work of an extremist. But this latest act of terrorism is, sadly, not an anomaly. It is part of a clearly-established pattern of harassment, intimidation and violence against abortion providers and pro-choice individuals. And mainstream pro-life groups shoulder much of the blame.

Melissa McEwan skriver i the Guardian 'A murderous wake-up call', og undrer sig over, at skiftende regeringer og begge politiske partier i USA har været tilgivende og forstående overfor de hjemlige kristne terrorister:
Tiller's murder was an act of terrorism, against Tiller personally but also part of a decades-long campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence directed at abortion providers and abortion seekers. It is one of the most brazen, unapologetic terrorist campaigns in America, its coordination and orchestration frequently done right out in the open – at meetings, on websites, in email alerts. Yet the US government has largely failed to acknowledge its existence, even as groups like Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center have documented its breadth and effects.
(..)
In the long-term, however, the two parties must fundamentally change the tone of the abortion debate and redefine our societal tolerance for anti-choice extremism.

Josh Harkinson har dækket den højreekstremistiske fanatiske bevægelse i USA, som Tillers morder var en del af - bl.a. i artiklen i Mother Jones: 'Hanging out with Anti-abortion extremists in Wichita':
In January, 2007, I visited the Wichita, Kansas, abortion clinic operated by Dr. George Tiller, who was shot to death in church yesterday by an anti-abortion crusader. Tiller's clinic had just become the last one in town. A shuttered clinic nearby had been purchased by an anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue, which was in the process of converting it into its headquarters, complete with a prayer garden and a memorial to the 50,000 unborn children that the group claims were murdered there. Over the next two days, I learned a lot about Wichita's radical hothouse of abortion foes.
Troy Newman, Operation Rescue's charismatic leader, who some have suspected is partly to blame for Tiller's murder, drove around town with me and vented his rage that nobody had yet shut down Tiller, who he called "the abortionist to abortionists."
(..)
Operation Rescue is famous for a strategy of harassing its foes outside their homes. "People have a public identity that they like to keep seperate from their private identity," Newman explained, "but we believe you can't separate the two when you are talking about killing babies. And people are more likely to listen to what you say and be influenced when you bring the issue home to where they work and live." It was a full-court press of constant annoyance: "You poke, poke, poke until they scream," he added, "and then you just keep poking some more."

Jack Balkin skriver i 'Terrorism, Domestic and Foreign'om forskelle og ligheder mellem udlandske og hjemlige religiøse terrorister, og konstaterer, at den væsentligste forskel er, at de udlandske terrorister passer ind i den moderne myte om "terrorens væsen" som noget særligt "fremmed" - eller af "de fremmede" som forbundne med terror. Denne myte gør, at vi ikke kan se de hjemlige religiøse terrorister for hvad de er - nøjagtig det samme som de udenlandske. Overfor "de fremmede" kan vi fratage dem alle menneskerettigheder hvis bare vi bruger ordet "terror", hvilket måske er grunden til at de samme politikere, der har sat menneskerettighederne ud af kraft, tøver med at bruge dette ord overfor den hjemlige terrorisme. Nu hvor vi endelig har en vaskeægte amerikansk terrorist, så er prøvestenen for terror-lovene om han også vil få samme behandling, hvilket næppe vil ske: han vil blive retsforfulgt som en almindelig kriminel (hvilket alle burde have ret til):
The assassin who killed Dr. George Tiller at his church, murdered Tiller in order to keep him from performing therapeutic abortions for women. The murderer is one of a long line of religiously inspired radicals who have tried to shut down abortion providers through bombings and murders. They are not the mainstream of the pro-life movement; they are a fringe sect who are not content to protest abortion or even to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Instead, they believe that they are justified in bombings and killings to prevent great evils that they regard as contrary to God's fundamental law.

Using violence-- like bombings and murders-- to intimidate people in this way is terrorism. It is so in common language, it is so defined in U.S. law. The terrorist in this case and the terrorists in previous abortion clinic bombings and murders are, as far as I am aware, not foreigners. They do not have Arabic or Islamic names. They are American and they live in the United States.
(..)
The difficulty is that our national deliberations on terrorism have largely proceeded on the assumption that all terrorists are non-Americans and/or non-Christians who live in or come from distant lands. They are not part of the American community, they are not "people like us" and therefore do not deserve the rights and protections of "people like us." We can detain them indefinitely, and even subject them to interrogation procedures that we would never apply to "real Americans."
(..)
Whenever we contemplate national security courts, or preventive detention, or military commissions, or enhanced interrogation techniques, or any of the various devices that have become characteristic of the War on Terror, we should always stop to ask whether we would apply those techniques and devices to domestic terrorists born and raised in the United States with white skin, Christian beliefs and Christian names. That is because Dr. Tiller's assassin is not the last domestic terrorist claiming to act in God's name. There will be more.


Mord og chikane i årtier

Det er ikke første gang at noget lignende sker. Siden aborten blev tilladt i USA er 8 læger /sygeplejersker m.v. der arbejdede på kvindeklinikker blevet myrdet. Dr. Tillers klinik er før blevet udsat for brandbomber og det er ikke første gang, han er blevet skudt - i 1993 forsøgte en anden kristen terrorist at henrette ham på vej til klinikken. Han overlevede og har siden været nødt til at køre på arbejde i en pansret bil med skudsikker vest, ligesom klinikken brugte formuer på at være brand- og bombesikret.

Den daglige frygt deler han med mange andre i sundhedsbranchen i USA. Da to kvinder blev myrdet i Massachusets i 1995 skrev Merle Hoffman:
I was out of town when I learned about the murders of two clinic workers in Brookline, Massachusetts - Shannon Lowny at Planned Parenthood and Leanne Nichols at Pre-Term. How does one measure a living sacrifice? Insurance companies have tables of worth - a leg, so much, an arm, so much more. But how do you measure these deaths?

I thought of my clinic staff and the heroism of their everyday lives. I own Choices. My commitment is a quarter of a century old. They "only work there."

But that hardly describes their commitment. Waves of protectiveness and responsibility washed over me, a bitter sadness mixed with fury and grief. I stayed on the telephone for hours to share their horror and rage and to listen to their silence, which told me so much more. Now they knew in their guts what they had heard in their minds - that none of us are safe, that there is no impregnable protection, that all of us are potential targets.
(..)
But this "negativity" is a powerful reminder of what is at stake for women if they lose this battle. If you followed the story at all, you could have predicted Brookline. Doctors were, according to the anti-choice canon, "baby killers," the ones whose instruments were the methods of destruction, who carried out their evil work in "abortoriums" and committed "holocausts" on innocent children. It followed with a horrid logic that clinic workers, young women just doing their jobs - answering phones, copying charts, counseling, teaching, being there for patients - were collaborators. And as such, they were part of what had to be snuffed out, their lives shattered in moments of madness.

Terrorismen mod kvindeklinikker og sundhedspersonale eskalerede i 1990erne, men i de sidste 10 år har der trods alt ikke været nogen mord - indtil dette mord på Dr. George Tiller.National Abortion Federation opsummer her af nogle af terrorhandlingerne i USA fra 1993-1998

A chronology of abortion related murders and shootings follows:
DATE STATE/PROVINCE/TERR. CASE STATUS
10/1998 New York Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot and killed in his home in Amherst, New York. James Kopp was convicted of second-degree murder in state court and received the maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison. He was also convicted and sentenced to life on federal charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
1/1998 Alabama Officer Robert Sanderson was killed during a clinic bombing in Birmingham, AL. Emily Lyons, a nurse at the clinic was severely injured in the blast. Eric Robert Rudolph pled guilty and is serving a life sentence for the bombings at Olympic Park, a gay bar, and two abortion clinics including the Birmingham clinic.
11/1997 Manitoba Dr. Jack Fainman was shot and injured in his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. James Kopp is a suspect in the shooting.
10/1997 New York An unnamed physician was shot at in his home in Rochester, New York. James Kopp is a suspect in the shooting.
11/1995 Ontario Dr. Hugh Short was shot and injured in his home in Ancaster, Ontario. James Kopp has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting.
12/1994 Massachusetts Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols were shot and killed by John Salvi at two clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts. Five others were injured in the attacks. Salvi was sentenced to two life terms but committed suicide in prison in November 1996
11/1994 Vancouver Dr. Garson Romalis was shot and seriously wounded in his home in Vancouver, British Columbia. James Kopp is a suspect in the shooting.
7/1994 Florida Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort, James H. Barrett were shot and killed in front of a clinic in Pensacola, Florida by Paul J. Hill. June Barrett was also shot and injured in the incident. Hill was executed by lethal injection on September 3, 2003.
8/1993 Kansas Dr. George Tiller was shot and injured by Rachelle Shannon at his clinic in Wichita, Kansas. Shannon is serving an 11-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder. She is serving additional prison time for six arsons and two butyric acid attacks
3/1993 Florida Dr. David Gunn was shot to death by Michael Griffin in Pensacola, Florida. Griffin is serving a life sentence for murder


Disse historier dækker kun en lille del af den terrorisme, der har været udført af højreorienterede fundamentalister i USA mod kvinders helbred. Folk i sundhedsindustrien skræmmes ud af branchen ved daglig chikane, der ikke blot rummer chikane og blokader ved klinikker og kontorer, der udfører aborter eller giver rådgivning om prævention - personale og patienter rissikerer også at blive forfulgt og chikaneret i sine private hjem, at deres naboer og familie chikaneres og får dødstrusler m.v. Mange læger, rådgivere og sygeplejersker er derfor nødt til at holde sine identiteter hemmelige af frygt for de organiserede religiøse fanatikere på højrefløjen - kun få af dem tør stå frem, som det kan ses på støttesiden I am Dr. Tiller.

På grund af den daglige chikane er organisationen Planned Parenthood er nødt til at have frivillige, der eskorterer patienter igennem horderne af hadske fundamentalister udenfor dens klinikker og kontorer. Denne video viser de frivilliges arbejdsopgaver.



Har terroristerne vundet?

Tillers klinik var en af de ekstremt få i hele USA, der turde at udføre de fuldt lovlige helbredsmæssige aborter sent i graviditeten. Det drejer sig bl.a. om aborter, der var nødvendigte for den gravide kvindes liv og helbred - f.eks. situationer hvor en gravid kvinde får konstateret kræft og er nødt til at skille sig af med fostret for at få kemo-terapi. Eller situationer, hvor ultralyd-scanninger sent i graviditeten afslører, at fostret er misdannet og under ingen omstændigheder ville overleve fødslen. Det drejer sig også om kvinder og børn, der først sent opdager, at de er gravide - i store dele af det fundementalistiske USA er det stadig ekstremt tabu at have førægteskabelig sex og mange teenagere er blevet hjernevasket med misinformation om prævention af de selvsamme grupper, der vil forbyde abort, så de fortrænger og fortier deres graviditet eller ved måske slet ikke at de er gravide før sent i processen. Det drejer sig også om børn, der er blevet voldtaget, og ofre for incest.

Disse sene aborter er lovlige - og ofte strengt nødvendige. Men det er ekstremt svært at få adgang til dem på grund af den kristne og kvindefjendske terrorbevægelse. Ligesom i Danmark kræver de at en læge siger god for dem (af hensyn til kvindens helbred) - men stort set ingen læger tør at udføre dem af frygt for de kristne militser. Større hospitaler har ikke råd til den dårlige PR, det ville medføre at sætte patienternes helbred før hensynet til religiøse dogmer, da de er afhængige af politiske og religiøse donationer. Mindre klinikker har ikke råd til det sikkerhedsudstyr det ville kræve at beskytte sig mod den voldelige og militante del af anti-abort-bevægelsen. Andre læger og klinikker har derfor i årtier henvist kvinder til Dr. Tillers klinik i Arkansas - ikke fordi de ikke selv kunne, men fordi de ikke ville udsættes for kristen terrorisme og konservativ propaganda. Nu er Dr. Tillers klinik lukket, og et par læger rundt om i landet, der nu arbejder under konstant politibeskyttelse, forsøger at hjælpe hans patienter, men det er tvivlsomt om de kan fortsætte i det lange løb.

Terroristerne har altså virkelig haft succes, eftersom det meste af det amerikanske samfund er terroriseret til at gøre som de ønsker, og nu hvor de har slået Tiller ihjel, så vil det være meget svært for de kvinder, der har brug for hjælp, at finde noget sted. Salon.com beskriver nogle af de kvinder, der kom til George Tiller, og spørger: Where will women go now?
Susan Hill, President of the National Women's Health Foundation, who knew Dr. Tiller for over two decades and referred girls and women to his clinic, said in a phone interview, "We always sent the really tragic cases to Tiller." Those included women diagnosed with cancer who needed abortions to qualify for chemotherapy, women who learned late in their pregnancies that their wanted babies had fatal illnesses, and rape victims so young they didn't realize they were pregnant for months. "We sent him 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds who were way too far along for anybody [else] to see," said Hill. "Eleven-year-olds don't tell anybody. Sometimes they don't even know they've had a period."
(..)
Susan Hill says enduring the expense and stress of travel is the only option for most women who need late abortions in the U.S. "The restrictions under the Bush administration made it impossible for most states to allow abortions past 16 weeks. All the southern states are restricted tremendously. A few places in New York, if it was medically necessary, could possibly do it, but the paperwork was unbelievable, and there was no time left. That's why they referred people to Tiller. And for that he lost his life."
Der er flere personlige historier fra kvinder, der har fået hjælp på George Tillers klinik på A Heartbreaking Choice



Idag, den 10. juni, forlød det endegyldigt, at Dr. Tillers familie har besluttet sig for at at lukke klinikken - de orker ikke mere, og det er desuden svært at finde en læge, der vil (tør) at tage over. Som Salon skriver, er det et forståeligt valg, men det betyder også, at terroristerne har vundet - ikke bare i denne sag, men i deres kamp for at gøre abort og kvinders sundhed stadigt mere utilgængeligt i USA:
It's an entirely understandable response. It's also the exact one aimed for by extremists. Intimidation, harassment, threats and violence are the name of the game, and without a resolve on the part of the government and law enforcement to show that domestic terrorism doesn't work, it'll keep working. And is it ever: The Wichita area is now left with zero abortion providers, and the entire country has but two clinics that provide late-term abortions.




Sidste ord
Siden Obama blev valgt har den amerikanske højrefløj rustet gevaldigt op - både bogstaveligt og retorisk - og der har været flere politiske mord og massemord i USA. Alle kvalificerede gæt og undersøgelser tyder på, at der vil komme endnu mere af den slags (det lover jeg at vende tilbage til i et andet indlæg) med mindre myndighederne (inklusiv de danske!) begynder at tage det alvorligt og rette fokuset mod den højreekstremistiske og kristenfundamentalistiske bevægelse, som har rødder langt op i det republikanske parti og i landsdækkende medier. Det kan kun ske ved en seriøs omvurdering af begrebet 'terror', så fokus rettes ærligt og konsistent på handlingerne og ikke på mytologiske fjendebilleder og verden analyseres ærligt istedet for den dødbringende og naive (og racistiske) fantasi om verden som opdelt i den rene og eneste "civilisation" mod resten af verden, der befolkes af fremmede barbarer.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Vhs, du er for fed. Tak for et kanon indlæg! Din velargumenterede stil fuld af henvisninger understreger dine pointer. Tak fordi du gider formidle den her slags stof!

    SvarSlet
  2. Tilføjelse: Jeg har lige smidt et par afsnit ind om hvilke procedurer det var, Dr. Tiller udførte (i kapitlet "har terroristerne vundet?"). Det hører med til historien at det var nødvendige og af og til livsreddende procedurer.

    SvarSlet