While Talking About Right Wing Extremism in Europe, Let’s Not Forget Our Own

Gladsen_TerroristIt’s interesting that the American mainstream media can report on the rise of right wing extremism in Europe, or discuss it in terms of radical Islam in the Middle East, without connecting it to on our own right wing extremists.

France has the Front National. Germany the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). Italy the “Forza Nuova” (New Force). Britain the British National Party (and there’s even a move afoot to revive Oswald Moseley’s 1930s fascist movement). The United States has the Tea Party

In April, CNN’s national security specialist Peter Bergen and David Sterman, a research assistant at the New America Foundation, reported on CNN that U.S. right wing extremists are more deadly than jihadists. Bergen and Sterman pointed to the problem:

Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.

If the media tends to ignore it, the Obama administration does not, and Eric Holder’s move to back the DOJ’s committee on Domestic Terrorism was a wise one. It is only a shame he waited so long. Our right wing extremists like Tony Perkins, meanwhile, are busy painting liberals as the real terrorists. Perkins, reports Right Wing Watch, recently called Obama “Satan personified” and a “terrorist” who “threatened” House Speaker John Boehner “and his family.”

The European media is certainly aware of the threat posed by right wing extremism. As The Guardian reported in February, it is an old problem.

[T]he tendency towards violence within the far-right scene has grown in the past year. In the UK, the conviction of terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn and uncertainty about the future of the English Defence League (EDL) without former leader Tommy Robinson have raised new concerns about the potential for violent splinter groups and rogue individuals.

If this sounds like the United States, it is because it is.

In January, The Guardian reports, “EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström publicly stated that rightwing extremists posed the biggest threat to the European Union today.”

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s 2014 report, Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe, was the result of a partnership between the Swedish Ministry of Justice and the ISD, “aiming to enhance understanding of what works in preventing and countering far-right extremism in 10 countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Sweden, the UK.”

Europe's Right Turn

The report made 10 “key recommendations,” putting, at the top of its list, the requirement that responses to the far right “need to be underpinned by a strong legal framework,” but asserting also that “governments need to put in place national strategies and action plans for tackling the threat from the far right.”

You will remember The Department of Homeland Security’s own report in 2009, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, which warned of the rise of right wing extremism in the United States. You will no doubt also remember the violent reaction of the right wing.

Michelle Malkin called it a “hit job.” According to House Minority Leader John Boehner, the report “Offensive and Unacceptable.” Malkin claimed it “was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS.” She said she “couldn’t believe it was real.” Newt Gingrich tweeted that “The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired.”

Sadly, it was all too real, as were its findings. Far from being the stuff of fantasy, they proved to be the stuff of nightmares, as since then, the United States has sunk to an unprecedented level of right wing violence. The recent Las Vegas shootings have brought our own problem with homegrown right wing extremism into sharp focus.

The DHS report was, lamentably, withdrawn with apologies and right wing extremism continued to escalate. Holder’s recent announcement renewed the storm of protests on the right but it’s all too obvious now that the threat is real, even if the mainstream media continues to refuse to connect the dots.

The 2009 report’s definition of right wing extremism was on the spot:

Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines ‘rightwing extremism in the United States’ as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

As was the report’s finding that “disgruntled” war veterans were swelling the ranks of “white power militias.”

As Adalia Woodbury reported here on June 6,

The reality is the report was right. The attack on the Sikh Temple in 2012 was by a Neo-Nazi who was recruited while he was in the army. Then there’s the case of the right wing radicals from Georgia who organized a far-right militia unit while they were in the Army. Eventually they murdered to hide their planned acts of terrorism.

Extremists know where to find recruits and it shows: David Sterman pointed out in The Atlantic, “Right-wing extremists are more likely than violent Islamist extremists–or, as they are sometimes called, jihadists–to have military experience. ”

[A] government survey of 17,080 soldiers found that 3.5 percent of them had been contacted in order to recruit them into an extremist organization and that 7.1 percent said they knew another soldier who they believed to be part of an extremist organization.

Those of us with two brain cells to rub together, thought the reaction alone justified the report. The current reaction to Holder’s announcement is more of the same. Unfortunately, our options are as limited as those of Europe. While those extremists have any control over the national dialogue, their role will be downplayed. While they have any control of the government, the government’s ability to defend itself and its people will be limited.

The mainstream media loves to talk about right wing extremism in Europe while ignoring our own, who are more a threat to us than al Qaeda. Our streets are filling with them. As are our restaurants and stores. Fox News praises them. People are dying and more will die. That has to change. The United States must clean out its own nest of vipers.

Image from Liberals Are Cool

19 Replies to “While Talking About Right Wing Extremism in Europe, Let’s Not Forget Our Own”

  1. These people need to be dealt with as soon as possible. I realize that everyone wants to look the other way and hope they will go away but that is not going to happen. Every time they are allowed to go unfettered it only emboldens them more.

    They have this mob rules mentality. Their willingness to resort to violence is deplorable. They are spoiling for a show down with the government thinking they can some how win. I think that they don’t think police or troops will fire an fellow americans. I think they’re wrong.

    They should have been dealt with at Bundy ranch. I feel it was a mistake to just leave and let them consider it a victory. It’s time to take out the trash.

  2. White-supremacy organizations have also sent their members to join the military and get into combat units so that they can learn tactics for the coming “race war” and practice, by killing “sand n*****s”, to murder dark-skinned people regardless of age, sex, able-bodiedness, or unarmed status. If their murderous antics are kept secret from us, they are well- known to the targeted populations and everyone affiliated with them, and public feeling towards all of us is becoming accordingly vitriolic. The Bush administration didn’t want to do anything about them. Until now,this administration didn’t dare. Something wicked this way comes, and I hope it’s not too late to avert it.

  3. Huckleberry. the people at the Bundy ranch
    wanted to be fired on. Then they could say, (we didn’t start this.) Blame is something that is Not in their sensibility’s. That’s what they wanted a (revolution). These people are desperate to take control of all branches of Gov. When the rethugs take control of all branches, the house, Senate, white House and the Supreme Court( which they do have now) our form of Gov. will fall, & change. These people have no sense of being fair, they want control, at any cost! The mistake the rethug’s made , is thinking for even one mini second, they, could control them. Now, they are owned by them.

  4. And how do the rightwing extremists get away with being the biggest threat? Because the media bows to them. Thats how they will gain power

  5. I don’t know for sure if the correlation would stand up but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck it aint no mongoose.

    STUDY: Economic Hardship Makes People More Racially Biased
    A new psychology paper finds that people’s subconscious racial biases worsen when they are made to feel that economic resources are scarce.

    Right wing TERRORIST groups skyrocketed after bush destroyed the economy and the election of a black man. It is no coincidence that 99.9% of the TERRORIST are white

  6. If no one is looking into the unsolved murders/ suspecious deaths of cops, county, state, and local elected officials then something is so wrong. I lost count over the last few years in the papers.

  7. The established right wing still thinks it can sublimate this violent and hate-filled wing to its own ends.

    That went rather well in the 30’s.

    I think one saving point is that each fascist here thinks he should be the leader, rather than submit to another.

  8. They’re holding that meeting in a county, state or some kind of park that someone? gave them permission to be in. This shows you some kind of official condones their behavior!

  9. That is an eloquent study, even though, on my browser, every image simply looks like a terminal smallpox case.

  10. I’m happy that Eric Holder wants to investigate the far-right in this Country. It was a mistake to backtrack in 2009. They have had 5 more years to become even more militant and bring more right-wing haters and gun nuts into the fold. I have no qualms about taking them down now before they become so out of control that we find ourselves in another bloody civil war. You don’t have to listen to right-wing radio, or read their literature to appreciate just how radical, hateful and blood thirsty these people are. They wrap themselves in the flag, they carry their bibles, crosses and assault weapons, and they think they’re doing God’s work. If these people take control of this Country, they’ll be every bit as bad, or worse, than the Taliban or the Nazi’s. It can happen here, don’t fool yourself into believing that it can’t.

  11. If a “hate crime” differs from other crimes in that it targets a whole class of people, then the Republican Party’s war on women is a “hate crime.” So is gentrification, (replacing “undesirables” with wealthier residents) along with all their other tactics for waging war on “the have nots!” When will our President and the DOJ make that clear?

  12. I so agree with you. The longer this is allowed to go on, the closer we come to having an American Taliban and a theocracy bordering on fascism. The role of the mainstream media can not be discounted in the ability of these groups- like the tea-party and those I refer to as the American Taliban to gain more and more power. As the austerity measures that have been employed world wide have led to massive unemployment of the young in every country-not just ours and the inequality of wealth at levels not seen since the 20’s and the changing climate have become worse- that all leads to the ability of the extreme right wing to gain control, just as many other times in history- I love history and its rather eerie how closely the times from the early 1900’s to 1914 resemble today. Lets hope that we have learned from history and can avoid the same fate as then. Peace

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