Tragedy in Orlando


orlandoAt 2.02am on 12 June’ Omar Mateen, a 29 -year old New York-born man, after exchanging shots with an off-duty policeman in the parking lot, walked into the Pulse Club with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun and began shooting. There followed 3 hours of horror, injury and death for the revellers in the well-known Orlando gay club. The Latin-themed night was winding down but there were still plenty of people dancing to the loud music and some of those present reported that they thought that the loud bangs were part of the music at first. Then complete panic ensued as the DJ reportedly lowered the music and shouted “there’s a man with a gun, get out!” The scene instantly turned to one of shouting, screaming, running and pushing, people falling on the dead and wounded, with many themselves being killed or wounded in their turn as the gun kept firing. Many ran to hide in toilets but as more armed police entered the building Mateen also retreated to the toilets finding more victims and a supply of hostages, leading his murder spree to progress to a hostage situation.

Mateen, now holed up in one room with terrified hostages, made three calls to the emergency 911 number reportedly telling them that he was doing this because “he wanted America to stop bombing his country.” During this lull, police and some survivors were helping the living out of the club which was now surrounded by the police. Meanwhile M ateen was searching the Internet for news of the shootings, and it is reported that he phoned a News 13 producer to say: “I’m the shooter. It’s me…I did it for ISIS.” A hostage who witnessed his discussions with the police negotiator says that he also praised the Boston marathon bombers. He also sent a text to his wife to ask if she had seen the news, but her only response was that she loved him.

Texts and voicemails from some of those inside the building throughout make grim reading/listening and reveal the broad range of emotions that people in these situations go through, the need of the wounded and dying to say goodbye to loved ones, the complete fear of others as they realise the shooting is getting close to them, the bravery of a young woman who videoed the carnage at the start so that the shooter could be identified.

By 5.00am, 49 people were dead and at least 53 were injured. Mateen was numbered among the dead, after, according to one of the hostages, having told a police negotiator that he was going to put four hostages in explosive vests, and that he had a vest for himself as well – although this was untrue. At this point, we are told, the police broke into the toilet area by driving an armoured vehicle through a wall (or using a controlled explosion – reports differ) and shot the killer dead.

The US media have alternated between screaming Muslim terrorist and self-hating gay Muslim. We are informed by the media that it was ” the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since 9/11!” This short sentence reveals the spin that those who rule America, the 0.1%, demand from their news-moulders, ie, forget the not inconsiderable mass shootings within that space of time by non-Muslims in the ‘land of the free,’ because all Islam must be seen as a mad enemy hell-bent on attacking and destroying the USA. Another label given to this event by sections of the US media is the: ” worst mass shooting in American history“, a label that must rankle with the American Indian community who can cite so many examples of their people being massacred in far greater numbers throughout the period of time we call “American history.”

Meanwhile, we are told that the FBI is investigating the shooting as both a hate crime – since it took place at a gay nightclub – and as a terror attack. Prior to the attack we are informed that Mateen put the following message on Facebook: ” You kill innocent women and children by doing US airstrikes. Now taste the Islamic state vengeance, in the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the USA. ” It seems strange that there was not immediate police intervention against him at the time of posting, though of course there may not have been time.

Many inches of newsprint are now being dedicated to the question: “Was Omar Mateen secretly gay?” Whether he was or not, the imperialist ‘news’ machine’s attempts to prove he was are almost laughable, or would be if there weren’t such a dangerous message behind its words. Here is one instance of a ‘witness': “I recognise his face,” said Justin Datz, 33, who works at Parliament – a hotel and resort which has been home to the city’s gay community since 1975. ” I’m not on gay dating apps or anything anymore, but he certainly looks familiar so when I heard he frequented gay bars around here, it all made sense. ” A member of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church, which condemns homosexuality, Mr Datz said he had some sense of what could have motivated Mateen. “I went through that self-hatred,” he told The Telegraph. ” You don’t know how to accept it. But I was never part of a community that would kill me for my sexuality. And I was able to deal with it – unlike him .” Well. There we have conclusive evidence, a Christian fundamentalist who ‘used to be a practising gay man’ but is now against homosexuality thinks he recognises Omar’s face, although he never knew him. Mr Datz is quick to get in the bit about Islam killing homosexuals while his own gay-condemning sect has given him the freedom

to “deal with it.” What a star witness! Equally, Mateen’s first wife has been quoted as alluding to ‘something else’ in his life (she divorced him claiming that he was abusive and unstable), yet when ased the question, was Omar gay, her answer was “I don’t know.” She is also on record as saying in the same interview: ” He never personally or physically made any indication while we were together, of that. But he did feel very strongly about homosexuality.”

It also seems now that a man answering Mateen’s description tried to buy body armour and a thousand rounds of ammunition from a Florida gun-shop some four weeks prior to the murderous attack on innocent revellers in the nightclub, but was refused and the staff at the shop contacted the FBI but could give no details of the man.

New ‘information’ also emerged the day after the mass murder, care of the FBI Director, James Comey, including statements that Mateen is supposed to have made three years ago to co-workers at a local courthouse about being connected to terrorism. ” First he claimed family connections to Al Qaeda, which, like the Islamic State, is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group,” James Comey said, adding that “He” (Mateen) “also said he was a member of Hezbollah,” a Shi’ite group in violent conflict with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. ” He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself,” Mr. Comey said.

These strange and contradictory statements, if true, could point to either Mateen’s lack of understanding of the various positions within Islam or his unbalanced state of mind. The FBI had investigated and twice interviewed Mateen over these statements which had been hastily reported and he admitted making the statements but explained that he did it in anger because he thought his co-workers were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim. The FBI then closed the investigation, and Mateen continued working as a security guard for the private firm G4S.

The Florida Department of Corrections has revealed, following enquiries, that before working for G4S, Omar Mateen worked briefly as a state prison guard. Alberto C. Moscoso, a department spokesman, said that Mateen worked at Martin Correctional Institution from October 2006 to April 2007, but did not say why he left.

It seems that the little that is known about the perpetrator of this heinous massacre is quickly being covered, distorted and twisted to fit an official line of Islam turning people to terrorism, but a truer explanation would be that imperialism, through its attacks on countries (which just happen to be Muslim) for the purposes of robbery and domination, have created resentment among many Muslims and provoked a backlash. This backlash imperialism, be it of the US, British or European variety, is managing to channel back against the countries it wishes to suppress by demonising the governments of those countries and then mobilising the disaffected Muslim youth to join its puppets Al Qaeda, Al Nusra Front and ISIS/IS/ISIL to facilitate ‘regime change’. They are made to fight for imperialism in the belief they are fighting against imperialism. Of course, every so often imperialism’s beasts of murder and oppression slip their leash and do in fact attack imperialist interests, resulting in a hit against imperialism’s own: hence, for example, the crimes committed by deranged ‘jihadis’ against ordinary people in imperialist lands. These deluded people, observing imperialist crimes against innocents in the Middle East, imagine they are ‘taking revenge’ on imperialism when they set their sights on ‘soft’ targets within the imperialist homelands. The truth is, however, that they are merely helping to mobilise public opinion to support imperialism’s wars of domination and its suppression of all dissent among the oppressed and downtrodden at home. The truth is that Omar Mateen, this American-born, American-educated young man with anger and violence issues, and his crazed narcissistic anxiety to be a centre of attention, has ‘Made in America’ written all over him.

At the end of the day, the greatest threat to the vast majority of humanity across the planet, including Americans, comes from imperialism in general and US imperialism, the largest, most spiteful and strongest imperialist power, in particular.