January 24, 2013
So, what’s Uncle Sam doing with the money that used to be part of your paycheck, but isn’t anymore?
Among the goodies you’re paying for is a report entitled, “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” produced by the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Its author is a little-known academic, Arie Perliger, most of whose previous work had to do with terrorism in Israel. What he knows or doesn’t know about America is not made clear by his report. If you’re in the mood for 148 pages of drivel, you can read the whole document here.
Is this merely an exercise in wasting money, or is it something more sinister? They couldn’t be trying to teach our future army officers to view at least half the population of America as potential enemies, could they?
Oh, no, no—this is the “violent Far-Right!” You know—those lurking, scary people who believe the federal government “to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government.” It says so right on Page 28 of the report. Even scarier, these people have “an enduring affinity towards traditional values.” (Page 17)
That’s starting to sound a bit like you and me, isn’t it? I’ll bet you didn’t know you were someone the U.S. Army might have to be ready to shoot, someday—when your “affinity towards traditional values” breaks out into mayhem, or praying at a high school football game, or failing to applaud a “gay pride” parade.
We infer from Prof. Perliger’s golden prose that the federal government is, in what passes for reality in his mind, not corrupt (oh, mercy, no!), not tyrannical, and certainly not interested in intruding on anyone’s civil and constitutional rights. If we are West Point cadets studying this ca-ca, we may infer that good Americans do not support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government. And if those are bad things, then their opposites must be good—a passive and obedient populace, an absence of individual freedom, and no more self-government: we are to be ruled and herded by our betters.
Wouldn’t you love to have your money back?
Cadets are also being taught that, thanks to a “perceived overregulation” of society—only perceived? You mean it isn’t so?—bad, misguided people (like you and me) feel “the need to challenge or restrict the sovereignty of the federal government.” (Page 31)
I plead guilty, your honor. You bet I want to restrict the sovereignty of the federal government! Challenge it? I deny it! But I wonder if the cadets ever read the Declaration of Independence. Silly me, silly you—thinking that the people are sovereign in America, not the bleedin’ government.
I hear protests from the Peanut Gallery. This report, they say, is only concerned with skinheads and Ku Kluxers and other Far-Right kooks who have actually committed violent acts against people and property. “Don’t blame us, just because those bloodthirsty maniacs believe the same things you believe!” Which kind of makes you wonder if Prof. Perliger’s trainees are going to be able to tell the difference between an ordinary, peaceful, law-abiding conservative and Timothy McVeigh.
There’s a lot in this report about racism and hate crimes, yatta-yatta, totally ignoring the very flagrant race-based murders, assaults, and robberies committed by black gangs and flash mobs. Much of Prof. Perliger’s information comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is therefore suspect. Unless, of course, you’re a big enough huckleberry to believe in data served up by a crew of Marxist quacks whose definition of a “right-wing extremist” encompasses anyone who displays the merest glint of independence or integrity. Cross a gay activist? Wham! The SPLC has you down for a terrorist hatemonger.
To crown it all, after going on for 140-plus pages about the “violent Far-Right,” indistinguishable from ordinary citizens who haven’t blown anything up yet, Prof. Perliger concludes by coming to no conclusion. What are we supposed to do about all those dangerous people who don’t support abortion? But we get no answer. The report just sort of… ends.
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Along the way, it manages to impute menace and malevolence to anyone who is not a dyed-in-the-wool, wealth-redistributing, church-hating, alternative lifestyling, baby-killing, internationalist, Goddess Gaia-worshiping progressive. Even the Catholic Church (Pages 36-37), Francis Schaeffer—one of the modern world’s leading Protestant theologians—and former Surgeon-General C. Everett Koop get splattered by Perliger’s paint-balls.
Their offense was to voice opposition to abortion, going so far as to call the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision “evil.” (You mean it wasn’t?) For this they are lumped in with murderers.
What’s your offense?
© 2013 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com