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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.

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 toll Far Right Wing Violence has inflicted over the years has been gastly.
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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am re-republishing this after original was taken (44+ / 0-)

    taken off on a on an unrelated tangent.

    "Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. - The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell 'em." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:34:42 AM PST

  •  Interesting (16+ / 0-)

    I can see this as an old problem in a new guise; this is the return of lynch law

    Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that arise in communities, such as charivari, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering. Lynchings have been more frequent in times of social and economic tension, and have often been the means used by the politically dominant population to oppress social challengers.

    Violence in the United States against African Americans, especially in the South, rose in the aftermath of the Civil War, after slavery had been abolished and recently freed black men were given the right to vote. Violence rose even more at the end of the 19th century, after southern white Democrats regained their political power in the South in the 1870s. States passed new constitutions or legislation which effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites, established segregation of public facilities by race, and separated blacks from common public life and facilities. Nearly 3,500 African Americans and 1,300 whites were lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968, mostly from 1882 to 1920.[1]

    Lynching during the 19th century in the United States, Britain and colonies, coincided with a period of violence which denied people participation in white-dominated society on the basis of race or gender after the Emancipation Act of 1833.[2]

    There's more at the link.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:38:13 PM PST

  •  Arie Perliger focuses on three (9+ / 0-)

    major ideological movements within the American violent far right:

    -- a racist/white supremacy movement,

    -- an anti-federalist movement and

    -- a fundamentalist movement

    Never once does he mention the word "paranoia" or "paranoid." Lee Atwater and "Angry White Male" go missing. "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice" didn't happen?

    John Birch Society has been the flag-carrier for Far Right anti-federalism for 50+ years and they go missing. JBSers have called presidents "communist agent" -- that was Eisenhower, first -- and claimed insane schemes for everything from public health to oil spills.

    Well financed "mainstream" operations feed the extremist. You wouldn't guess it from this.

    It's not a bad study. The weakest point is limiting attention to anti-federalism to the militia movements. Compared to the Birchers and NRA extremists, the militias are tiny. The militia operations harvest individuals who have been developed by the large-scale Far Right organizations -- plus that the biggest problems go with very small non-militia teams, such as the Oklahoma City, Murrah Building bombing.

    Follow The Money.

    Perlinger doesn't.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

    by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:41:58 PM PST

    •  The focus is on violence (12+ / 0-)

      prone entities, not the wider conservative movement. Its a reasonable focus.

      It should be noted however, he is an Israeli expert on Muslim terrorism, which has been the focus of his work. He brings an analytical framework from the world of terror assessment, not of expertise about the American right.  This shows in his discussion of anti-abortion violence, (about which I have written a great deal, here and here, for example), which I thought was not nearly as well informed as his discussions of the militia and white supremacist groups.

      •  I'd want to know the "Gateway Drug" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster, Dogs are fuzzy

        entities that lead to extremist fringe groups.

        Also to extremist delusions, period.

        Do It Yourself delusions get individuals diagnosed as paranoids. There's no shortage of that.

        Manufactured delusions affect far more individuals. Watch Fox News any 15 minute stretch.

        What are the routes to violence ???

        What does a probabilistic State Machine look like for individual transitions between these nodes ?

        We do this type of work for product marketing, for purchasing transitions. Why not politics and Far Right beliefs and violence ?

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:06:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the simplest answer (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CwV, BeninSC, bontemps2012

          is that people are not products.  After that, we have to acknowledge that there is no one answer.

          •  Far Right delusions are the products. (0+ / 0-)

            Typical fantasy: people need guns 1,000,000 times a year in America to ward off home-invaders.

            Tracking "consumers" as they traverse through "nodes" of Far Right propaganda memes -- that ought to be doable.

            "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

            by bontemps2012 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:51:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, in a totalitarian state (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it might be possible. But those of us who have done research on the various elements of the far right can tell you that these things do not come as easily as you seem to think.

              •  Really ??? Nobody has done this? (0+ / 0-)

                We don't need a database like NSA.

                We don't need the whole planet.

                The big pay-off is figuring out where the entry points are. Which propaganda campaigns from which organizations have the highest recruitment yields.

                Traversal ratios are simple enough. I'm amazed at what you say. That a standard Ad Biz technique is thought to be inapplicable.

                Defining "nodes" and service "queues" for propaganda products is work, but not particularly difficult.

                If this State Machine has nodes for 100 organizations, plus service "queues" for each node's 20 most popular propaganda memes, then we should be able to see what is happening.

                Works for selling soap.

                "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                by bontemps2012 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:08:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I thought at the time that Ronald Reagan's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA wildwoman

        non-response to abortion clinic violence gave tacit approval to the escalation of right-wing terrorism. I think the anti-abortion movement gives a kind of twisted eye-for-eye cover to many right-wing instances of violence. People often fall back on the liberals are baby killers meme.

        Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

        by Marihilda on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:09:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My only complaint (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Marihilda, CA wildwoman

    is that the the study breaks the racist/White Supremacy & "Christian Identity" movements into two separate groups.

    I could be wrong, but based on what I've read, "Christian Identity" is the idea that white Europeans are the TRUE descendants of the lost tribes of Israel & Jews are "impostors" and, thus, inferior & deserving of extermination. In other words, racists and "Christian Identity" believers are one and the same and the "religion" of Aryan Nations, etc. is Christian Identity. If you believe in "Christian Identity" you are, in fact, a White Supremacist. So why separate the two?

    Other than that, VERY interesting. I can't wait for the most extreme of Repukes to start calling West Point one of those "hot beds of secularism & liberalism" (though, to get into & graduate from West Point, you DO have to have a brain & do a good amount of reading & critical thinking, so maybe the criticism isn't THAT far off the mark in Right Wing World).  

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:18:33 PM PST

  •  I keep thinking it's ALL about "white separatism" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, zzyzx, CA wildwoman

    The anti-federalists hate Washington because it was instrumental in forcing desegregation upon the classroom, the workplace, the neighborhood and the voting booth.

    But the Feds could not desegregate churches. It took ten years of court battles to fully implement school desegregation, and during that time white "separatists" yanked their children out of public schools and enrolled them in church-affiliated "christian academies".

    The evangelical movement adopted right-wing political ideas to attract new recruits from the generation whose parents "fled to the suburbs" following desegregation of housing.

    Open Klan-style racism became socially unacceptable, but they could still vent their resentment as opposition to "big government", taxes , public schools, unions, welfare spending, etc.

    The GOP nurtured and exploited that resentment, and the gun industry exploited whispered fears of a coming "race war" to sell military-grade arms to folks who swear that they aren't racist, but live with a constant dread that they just can't put a name to.

    The emergence of a violent fringe from all this was inevitable, as was the backlash to the election of our first non-white President.

    Hopefully, the younger members of "separatist" families will have their eyes opened by this experience, and see the  right-wing "anti-government" politics of their parents for what it is... crypto-racism.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:23:20 AM PST

    •  I think you're spot on, it's what I've observed. (0+ / 0-)

      Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

      by CA wildwoman on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:45:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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