This report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has already stired up a storm of critisim on the far right, including places like the Washington Times. The kerfuffle ove this latest report is reminiscent of the one over the 2009 DHS report titled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment that Secretary Janet Napolitano hastily withdrew after the Right Wing Nosse Machine turned up its vollume past shrill.
This new report looks at three distinct types of Right Wing Violent Extreamist Groups:
- The Racist/White Supremacy Movement
- The Anti-Federalist Movement
- The Christian Identity Movement
Now just a few excerpts from the wealth of information included in the report.
Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right pdf
By Arie Perliger
Until the attack in Oklahoma, very few people noticed that the previous years (1994–5)
had been characterized by a striking rise in the number of violent attacks by American
far-right groups. After a relatively quiet 1993 in which the American far-right was almost non-active (only nine attacks), no less than 75 attacks were perpetrated in the following year, with another 30 attacks in the first three months of 1995. What occurred in Oklahoma was not a random, isolated attack but part of a wave of far-right violence which was fueled by specific political and social conditions.
The far right represents a more extreme version of conservatism, as its political vision is usually justified by the aspiration to restore or preserve values and practices that are part of the idealized historical heritage of the nation or ethnic community.
In many cases these past-oriented perspectives help to formulate a nostalgic and romantic ideological aura which makes these groups attractive for many who aspire to restore the halcyon days of a clear hierarchy of values and norms
As part of the nostalgic sentiments promoted by far-right groups, there is an emphasis on the clear and natural order that is regarded by its proponents as characterizing the idealized past.They create a yearning for a glorified past that never was in their adherents.
The material on the anti-federalist movement (anti governemnt) echos many of the struggles being played out in the current congress over the approprate scope and scale of government.
The anti-federalist movement’s ideology is based on the idea that there is an urgent need to undermine the influence, legitimacy and practical sovereignty of the federal government and its proxy organizations. The groups comprising the movement
suggest several rationales that seek to legitimize anti-federal sentiments. Some groups
are driven by a strong conviction that the American political system and its proxies
were hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a “New World Order,” (NWO)
in which the United States will be embedded in the UN or another version of global
government. The NWO will be advanced, they believe, via steady transition of powers
from local to federal law-enforcement agencies, i.e., the transformation of local police
and law-enforcement agencies into a federally controlled “National Police” agency that will in turn merge with a “Multi-National Peace Keeping Force.”
...the glue binding their membership and driving their activism has been and remains hostility, fear and the need to challenge or restrict the sovereignty of the federal government.
This excerpt looks at a lack of an overall idelogical coherence in the way individuals and institutions get singled out as tatgets for these attacks.
Many scholars treat these acts as terrorism. However, in the current study the more generalized designation of political violence is used to describe far-right violent activities, as this term is broader than terrorism. While there is no consensual definition of terrorism among academics or practitioners, most agree that it consists of violent acts perpetrated to promote specific collective national, religious, or communal ideas in a political context and in civilian settings.The toll Far Right Wing Violence has inflicted over the years has been gastly.
Most scholars also emphasize the psychological and symbolic nature of terrorism and its ability to exploit violence in order to shape political discourse. Many of the attacks in the dataset are compatible with all of these criteria. However, some of them, while exhibiting a clear political context, lack the instrumental use of violence. In other words, while the political motivation of the act is detectable, how it is supposed to impact the broader political discourse is much less clear; for this reason the symbolic element identifiable in the majority of terrorist campaigns is absent from a significant number of far-right violent attacks.
The consolidated dataset includes information on 4420 violent incidents that occurred between 1990 and 2012 within US borders, and which caused 670 fatalities and injured 3053 people.
Fourteen of the 21 years covered in this analysis witnessed more attacks than the previous year. Although in the 1990s the average number of attacks per year was 70.1, the average number of attacks per year in the first 11 years of the twenty-first century was 307.5, a rise of more than 400%.The rate of these attacks has accelerated alarmingly over the last dozen years.
The report does a number of statistical breakdowns and analysis. The biggest pattern they were able to identify was a spike in the violence during an election year and the year before it, but only if the elction was a closly contested one.
Perpetrators were individuals 54% of the time, two persons 20% of the time, amd groups 26% of the time. By age the perpetratorstended to be young: under 20 yrs old 35% of the time, between ages 20 to 29 40% of the time, 30 to 39 13% of the time and over 40 12% of the time.
65% of the attacks targeted various minorities including those witjh alternative sexual orientatuions, and including attacks against educational, religious, and community institutions associated with those minority groups.
At a time the Wright Wing blogs are buzzing with talk of a 2nd Amendment Remedy, it might be prudent to take the recent increase as a warning of more tragic violence to come.