What I am arguing is that any serious war on terror will of its own encompass the domestic-terror threat and deal with it appropriately. The current war on terror is predicated on a symmetrical military response, which is exactly the wrong approach to an asymmetrical threat.
It’s not that domestic terrorism should be given the focus of our approach; rather, it’s that the failure to focus on it at all leaves us vulnerable in a way that also reveals the incoherence of our antiterrorism policy. The reason I keep stressing our handling of domestic terrorism is that it gives us a prism for understanding what’s wrong with our ongoing response to the broader phenomenon of terrorism.
This is something I've been saying since the Oklahoma City bombing, but 9/11 has blinded people to what was actually going on in the "Homeland," sending their focus (and efforts) halfway across the world. Meanwhile, everyone knows about the anthrax letters but few know about Texan William Krar and his colleciton of cyanide gas and small armory. Similarly, time is actually given to the bolster the fantasy that the OKC bombing was NOT actually committed by domestic terrorists, but was actually the fault of Saddam Hussein or some other unnamed Islamic group. These theories are clearly smokescreens, fantastical visions and wishful thinking that would put the enemy where he belongs, in a desert country far away, as opposed to where he actually is: in our backyards and in our heartland.
Neiwert also briefly confronts the myth that repeatedly pops up in places like Freeperville and Powerlineland concerning the idea that the Fundamentalist Islamic groups are somehow related to the Left. As if liberalism is the basis (and the scapegoats) for the existence of these terrorist groups:
Allying themselves with “real” terrorists [i.e. Al Qaeda, Hizzbollah] as always been something of a fantasy of the extremist right. And the history of such gestures is that they have always been refused with scorn, for good reason.
Nonetheless, such gestures do underscore the reality that Islamist radicalism is a form of right-wing extremism, and its most natural allies in America are not — as people like David Horowitz and Powerline are fond of suggesting — on the left, but on the far right. The claims to the contrary are just another instance of the “up is down” kind of Newspeak that has become pervasive in conservative discourse.
But that’s not to say that the response to American neo-Nazi “lone wolf” terrorists and white-supremacist terror cells should be the same as that to Al Qaeda. For all their occasional similarities, there are important differences between them, and the response has to reflect that as well.
Meanwhile, as the dust starts to settle from the tragedy in Minnesota, we're seeing the usual suspects coming out of the woodwork blaming guns, violent video games, or prozac. What's more insidious, however, is that this finger-pointing ignores the young man's obsession with nazism and his postings from nazi websites. Another Little Osama in our midst and nothing was done until it was too late. I'm starting to sense a trend here.