Limbaugh today crossed into extremely dangerous territory. Was his language intentional, a dog-whistle to his Dittoheads? It is difficult to believe that he did not know what radio programs he was quoting when he called Obama and "the Leftists" "cockroaches."
Limbaugh began, as he does on so many days, by essentially leveling a charge of treason against the President of the United States. Obama, he said, has shocked everyone, because they can't believe that a President would actually want to do what Obama is attempting: to destroy this country's economic system, and overturn Capitalism.
But then Limbaugh talked about the real problem:
"Those people never ...the Obamas of the World, the Leftists, they never go away. They never give you a sense that they've ever been beaten. So it's an ongoing, never-ending battle. It's very rare that you get to claim victory, and I think that's very frustrating to people. At some point, you want to be able to say you've won - if not the war, you want to be able to say you've won the battle. But the moment you win the battle, and you know you've won - the war continues. Because these people, they're like cockroaches, they just keep coming back..."
If you were alive and sentient in 1994, as Limbaugh was, there is one immediate association you think of when you hear a radio personality call the "other side" "cockroaches" - you think of the Rwandan massacre. that is the word that Hutu radio used for months before the massacres to dehumanize the Tutsis, who would become the victims of mass murder perpetrated by their fellow citizens.
In 1993-94, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was a Rwandan radio station which appealed to the Hutu population, with its combination of bawdy humor, popular Zairean music and racist propaganda against the Tutsi. "It frequently referred to Tutsis as "cockroaches" (example: "You [Tutsis] are cockroaches! We will kill you!"). The station was especially popular among young people, who made up the majority of the Interahamwe militia, which carried out the slaughter. Once the massacres started, RTLM radio actually broadcast the location of groups of fleeing Tutsis, so that the Interahamwe could track them down and machete them.
Repeatedly, announcers at RTLM referred to the Tutsi "cockroaches," reducing them to creatures less than human, disgusting and disease-ridden vermin. "A cockroach gives birth to a cockroach... the history of Rwanda shows us clearly that a Tutsi always stays exactly the same, that he has never changed." Human Beings are hard to kill, hard to hate, hard to eliminate, but the "Invenzi" were Tutsi cockroaches, and needed to be stepped on and crushed. Their elimination from the Earth would actually be a service to humanity.
The Hutu extremists spent months preparing their tribesmen for the elimination of the Tutsi. The Rwandan-French magazine Kangura, begun in 1990, was preaching extermination of the Tutsi for three years before the first machete blow was struck. In December 1993, the cover featured a picture of a machete, with the legend:"Which weapons are we going to use to beat the cockroaches for good?" At that point, the Hutu were so used to hearing the fellow citizens referred to as "cockroaches" that extermination of the pests gave them no pause. Hutu machetes rained down on the heads of thousands and thousands of their countrymen, whom they have been inculcated to hate.
Over 800,000 people - perhaps as many as a million - were brutally slaughtered over a 100-day period beginning in April 1004. They had been inflamed by voices on the radio, who then directed the killings. Approximately 20% of the population of Rwanda was exterminated.
It's 18 years later. Perhaps Limbaugh believes that we have forgotten the Rwandan genocide, and the primary function of dehumanizing language in that horror. Perhaps he thinks that we won't recognize that his own language echoes the genocidal encouragements of RTLM.
Limbaugh speaks of a "war" against "the Leftists," who, like cockroaches, will simply not go away, even after you have beaten them. "They just keep on coming back." El Rushbo offers no suggestions for ways in which these Leftist pests may be eradicated. But his diatribe today makes it clear that beating them at the ballot box is not sufficient to eliminate them. After all, like cockroaches, "they just keep coming back."
This is a period when the Plutocrats, and their GOP lackeys, are expending every last bit of capital to defeat Obama and the "Leftists" (which is anyone who stands in opposition to them). The stakes have never been higher. Now that they have revealed their true natures - and their real goal, which is the elimination of America's middle class - they are truly going for broke.
Is Limbaugh's exterminationist rhetoric designed to prepare his listeners for a final attack against the forces of Liberalism? If only one "Leftist cockroach" is "exterminated" because of Limbaugh's words, he may still be held accountable, even if it takes 16 years.
That is how long it took before RTLM announcer Valerie Bemeriki was convicted by a court in Rwanda, and sentenced to life imprisonment for her role in inciting genocidal acts. It was she who said: "these Tutsi rebels... They are cockroaches. .. We will squash the infestation. This is RTLM, Hutu power radio." The right to free speech does not include the right to incite others to acts of violence.