Top 3 White Terrorist Attacks in America this Week

By Juan Cole

Our capitalist class may be becoming an absolute danger to ordinary Americans. By promoting a doctrine of absolute right to gun ownership (which rather helps gun manufacturers) and at the same time encouraging people to hate the Federal government and resent paying taxes, they are creating a whole class of alienated far right shooters.

The American far Right, with its white supremacism, fascination with guns and explosives, profound hatred for the Federal government, poses the biggest terrorism threat in the country by far. Worse, they receive support from right wing media in the US because they hate taxes just the way the ultra-conservative media moguls do. Although their attacks are ideological, directed at civilian victims and violent, they are seldom categorized as ‘terrorists.’ Rather what they do is “mass shootings.” In the meantime, plots hatched by Muslims in the US during the past few years appear almost always to be a form of entrapment by the FBI.

The right wing noise machine has even deflected blame from itself for whipping up anti-government sentiment by falsely alleging that most mass shooters are Democrats!

The Cliven Bundy stand-off with the Bureau of Land Management, in which Sean Hannity and other Fox luminaries strongly took Bundy’s side, brought out the crazies. At least one of the mass shootings in recent days has a connection to the Bundy incident and possibly more (Dennis Marx, like many militiamen who came to support Bundy, was a so-called ‘Sovereign Citizen.”

1. Aaron Ybarra, the alleged shooter who killed on a small Christian college campus in Seattle, had a history of obsession with the Columbine school mass shooting. Although he is being depicted as simply crazed, in fact most reports say he had hoped to kill a lot of people before committing suicide. A fixation on Columbine would tend to suggest an anti-Establishment ideology rather than making the person a random shooter.

2. Dennis Marx, who planned a big hostage-taking and mass shooting at a courthouse in Georgia, was a member of the ‘Sovereign Citizen’ movement that sees the Federal government as illegitimate.

3. Jerad and Amanda Miller identified with Cliven Bundy’s claim that he did not have to pay his taxes and fees to an illegitimate Federal government. They saw the government as oppressive and Nazi-like. They hated police so much that they shot two policemen in the back of the head while they were on a break eating pizza. The policemen had children, one a baby.

The latter 2 attempts at mass shootings recall Wade Michael Page in the far right ideology that animated them.

One difference between any old mass shooting and an act of terrorism is that the shooter has an ideology when it is terrorism. At least 2 of these 3 were ideological, and maybe all three. That we have enough knowledge of them to speak of white terrorism is not in doubt. But we won’t.

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related video:

Sam Seder: “Bundy Ranch Supporting Right Wingers Go On Mass Shooting Spree in Las Vegas”

35 Responses

  1. The food chain of gun loonies is long and well-monied, and is part of the white and Christian terrorist movement in this country. The list of enablers is long – and disgusting:

    The Tea Party crazies who shoot people in the back as they’re eating lunch are enabled on a daily basis by the Republican Party which refuses to tell them to sit down and shut up, and the GOP is enabled by the money and machinations of Big Right and the NRA, which are enabled by the really big money of the Koch’s, the Waltons and the Adelson’s, who are encouraged by Fox and CNN, who are smiled upon by the Sunday morning green room set who keep saying “both sides do it and why can’t we just find some common ground?”

    When I was a wee tyke, my parents told me that anyone who describes themselves as a “Patriot” in capital letters cannot be trusted because they’re not a patriot but a trouble maker. Lately, I’ve been reminded of this on a regular basis.

  2. They’re probably also psychotics who use their far-right ideology as an excuse to act out their psychoses. Note: that couple who shot and killed two policemen while eating pizza on a break reminds me Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. I think it’s rare for a woman, said Amanda Miller, to be a shooter. Acting out violently in public usually is still a time-honored male prerogative.

    A lot of these shooters are meth addicts. It really pumps up the primal urge and ratchets up the good old paranoia when they are on crank. But thankfully, the addiction usually takes over their political activities before they can let their weapons do their talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: and they probably forget where they put their assault rifles or stashed their ammo. Who says drug addiction only has bad side effects? These psychos should start smoking dope and chill out.

    • A woman shooter is rare, plus they had to walk five miles before they reached the pizza restaurant. It’s getting very warm here (low 100s) and walking a couple of hours in the hot Vegas sun isn’t easy to do, especially wearing backpacks.

      Miller looked and sounded like a drug addict in his crying video with his shirt off.

      • OK, Jack, thanks for the feedback. I was stationed at Edwards AFB for two years after I came back from Vietnam, and to this day, I remember how hot it got in the Mojave Desert.

  3. And the band played on . . . This has been going on for years. Remember Oklahoma City? And all the assassinations of abortion providers? And the beating to death of gay men? And the attempted assassination of congresswoman Gifford? And bringing guns to town halls and rallies to menace and intimidate, esp. during the Obamacare debates? And, and, and . . . ? This is no longer legitimate or legal freedom of expression – it is violence and intimidation pure and simple, and creatures such as Rush and Hannity, leaders of the hate industry who were never elected, have taken us to this point.

    When will we be through trying to defeat these people at the ballot box? I have stated it before in comments on this blog and I will state it again. We have reached a point where the GOP is no longer a legitimate political organization so much as it is a corporate sponsored hate group. Activists need to start to focus their energies on the courts and work to get the GOP and their subsidiaries shut down and outlawed.

    Their hatred of people of lesser means, of minorities, women, intellectuals, their utter disregard for the rights and freedoms of people particularly of the global south, the vast machine of think-tanks and hate radio which do little more at this late date than incite, lie, or practice sheer sophistry, and their complete callousness when it comes to a clean, safe planet make them utterly unfit to govern. At the same time, I would argue that it is essential that the corporate sector undergo a financial divorce from our political process – hell, if it takes going to radical Athenian-style democracy and choosing legislators by lottery . . . well, how could that break the political process more than it now already is? It would at least have the advantage of taking money out of politics.

    The GOP and their anarchist mob will say they are for Freedom – well, not so much. You can have a right to a gun all you want. But if you don’t have economic security, if you don’t have a living wage, and a clean environment and (relatively) stable planet on which to live (and the stable society that follows), well, you don’t really have freedom, and you also aren’t really a conservative (Doh!) (Oh, and by the way, you really can’t have freedom without a right to due process, but the fourth amendment went bye-bye some time ago). And you don’t really have freedom when you have groups of paranoid, fever-dream fanatics in control of half the country, scaring and intimidating the other half, including intimidating, apparently, those in charge of enforcing law and order.

    • Truly excellent! As a former 1960’s die hard liberal who was clubbed and tear gassed for standing up for what I believe – successfully, but the way, until business, money and conservatives hijacked our country – I couldn’t agree with you more.

  4. “Crazy” people speak/act by metaphors, e.g. regaining national sovereignty by firing weapons, which makes news about “crazy” people.
    “Normal” people have been expressing concern, literarily, about the USA national interest and sovereignty, which seldom makes news.
    Are the crazy and the normal in the same track however different the form of communication?
    The Sunday TV talk shows should invite Juan Cole to elaborate on the matter.

  5. Let’s not forget that these gunslingers need their guns to defend “we, the people” against tyranny. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to consider the NSA spying on American citizens and selective prosecutions by the justice (sic) department to be a form of tyranny.

    • If you’re not doing anything wrong, you got nothing to worry about… Matrix GOOD, Matrix COMFORTABLE!

      ________________
      Just caught part of “The Matrix” again on cable. Where Morpheus is educating Neo on the difference between Reality and The Desert. Blame laid at the feet of Smart People who created this planet-wide net of increasingly “artificial” and synthetic intelligences that didn’t have much need for protoplasm, until us humans blackened the sky to keep them from using solar energy. What a ripe fruit for Joseph Campbell to dissect. I see that the Turing Test for credible machine intelligence was just “passed,” maybe: “No, A Computer Did Not Just Pass The Turing Test –Sorry everyone.” link to buzzfeed.com But for all the skeptical comments, including the linked one, lookie at how enthusiastically people are still cheering, rah! Rah! for “success” in creating “true” AI. And how much money and genius are going into the development of nanobots, that may run a better chance of turning the planet into Grey Goo, link to science.howstuffworks.com, than the Trinity event (first nuclear device explosion in the open atmosphere) did of igniting the atmosphere, a much more accelerated version of what we humans are up to via CO2 and methane and stuff: link to sciencemusings.com (Note that Hitler was apparently more concerned about the survival of the planet than our own Exceptional US Imperial War Administration, General Groves and Truman and those dudes… Go figure.)

  6. When governmental trends are rapidly toward increasing secrecy, it is hardly a neutral perspective to speak of growing citizen paranoia without also speaking of growing governmental, security, police, and military paranoia. The latter will inexorably produce the former. Citing citizen violence without mentioning governmental violence fundamentally misleads as to causes. The standard policy of secret organizations is to mislead, lie, and accumulate power beyond citizen control. It is simply not possible to have a functional democracy with multiple large, proliferating, secret, militarized organizations. The proper, neutral perspective that is being missed here is how to reverse the trends of secrecy and militarization of organizations in everyday contact with normal life. What is increasingly absent is trust.

    link to nytimes.com

    • The problem with what you are saying is that the political violence here is all coming from one side. This is a war by white reactionaries against everyone else, not by the groups most victimized by government misconduct. And the war has both armed and political wings, which are successfully mainstreaming an ideology in which government exists only to punish those who interfere with a restored white monopoly on power. How do you think those far right groups would act if private citizens on the left also started organizing militias? You’d see real fast how little this really has to do with the government, as opposed to the sharing of political power.

  7. How likely is it that the USA is going to vote itself into sanity? The same money controls both sides and all the media. This monster can only get worse steadily until it crashes. Then after a major crash perhaps something can be done. This business of pretending that American style democracy is viable, real, is not helping. It just keeps everybody loyal to the killing machine for a few more months, this pretending that electing Hillary is going to change things for the better. “Abandon all hope” is the only approach. Drop out and watch her fall, encourage the nuts, send money to the crazies, for it is only by going through the crash of American power that life on earth can be preserved and sanity return. A mad regime that built a line of nuclear reactors all around the unstable Pacific rim is beyond hope for all time, and they are by far THE leader in climate change. Those who keep hope in American democracy alive are now in the service of The Dark Side, for they sustain the machine. They keep good people working for a deadly system.

    • You’re right that the empire will have to fall. But encouraging passivity in the face of genocidal, gun-worshiping racists is not going to work. The nukes will still exist after the government falls, and reactionaries can switch awful fast from isolationism to imperialism once they get their hands on big enough weapons. The Confederates dreamed of enslaving Latin America once they finished off Washington, you know.

  8. Meanwhile, this time, in the Portland, Oregon area:

    Our hearts and thoughts go out to the entire Troutdale and Reynolds community today as they cope with this morning’s school shooting.

    Reynolds High: (At least) the 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook
    Portland Mercury
    “Details are slowly emerging in the aftermath of this morning’s shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale—in that we’ve learned, so far, that one student was shot and killed and that the shooter also is dead. As for whether anyone else was injured or whether the shooter also was a student? Officially unknown. But here’s something else that’s pretty empirical: Since a gunman murdered 20 children in 2012’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, gun safety advocates at Everytown USA have tracked some 73 other school shootings over the following year and half. And Reynolds High School just became number 74 on their list.” link to blogtown.portlandmercury.com

    Now, is this a great country – or what?

  9. The anarchists of the late 19th century had a hatred of the capitalists and bourgeosie that matched their hatred of the state. Today’s right-wing anarchists have set their sights solely on the state. The idea is that once the evil institutons are destroyed, utopia will naturally emerge. 19th century anarchist theorists and writers inspired many lone nuts to throw bombs and shoot people.

    • Goes around, comes around. RED used to be the color of choice of the Marxist/Communist-aligned, and a favorite dismissive epithet of the people that ordinary folks have been tricked or have been blind and stupid enough into labeling as the “Right,” as in “correct and proper and on the money and all that.” (“Left” being synonymous with “clumsy, minority, treacherous, sinister and all that,” in the stuff we learned in school not so long ago.)

      Interesting how in so very few years, not even decades, starting during the Reagan Thingie, “RED” was now the color of the True Blue PATRIOTS, a badge of honor, and gee, wasn’t Marx all about the eventual “withering away of the State,” which lo and behold is the summum bonum of the Right? Old observation, that politics is a circle (increasingly a circular firing squad), where Left and Right kiss up close and tight and indistinguishable on the far arc of the thing…

      • The shift in color-coding simply reflects different political uses of the idea of “Blood”, for red. Red was the color of inherited power, thus the pre-capitalist Right. Then it represented the blood of the working class. Now it is about inheritance again, but implicitly about racial inheritance.

    • I think the important difference is that far right extremists, everywhere in the world, refer to a past that is “natural”, thus we will naturally revert to it once the evils of modernity are abolished. This nostalgism gives the right a huge advantage – their followers really experienced that past, or think they did. Those of us who know how monstrous and unjust that past were must never stop explaining this to the apathetic, unaligned public.

  10. The disease has infected us in Canada. Last week a 24-year old, Justin Bourque, shot five RCMP officers in the Eastern Atlantic city of Moncton. Three were killed and the other two seriously injured. This of course was the work of a lone, deranged individual whose race, religion, and ethnicity are irrelevant.

    When Justin commits a crime, it’s Justin’s fault; when Abdullah commits a crime, 1.5 billion Muslims bear responsibility…

    • So true Sooyara

      The lunacy is spilling over the border but the word terrorism is not even thought of. Here in Moncton he is considered a lunatic. What if his name was Abdul? Would he still be a lunatic?

  11. A few years ago there were a spate of police killings by african americans.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    There was a third if I recall correctly but can’t remember enough details to find it.

    At the time no political interpretations were made of the black shooters motives. I suspect that the shooting in Las Vegas was more of an attempt at suicide fueled by meth. They may have had other personal grievances against the police. I personally have doubts about this sovereign citizen organization. I doubt it really exists.

    • Jerad Miller was made to leave Bundy Ranch after his cop killing desires known. He wanted to “snipe at police.”

      I think Aaron Ybarra is Latino. His last name is Spanish.

      The latest shooter in Oregon was 15 years old.

      Dennis Marx was a legitimate right wing kook. Members of the Sovereign Citizen Organization don’t recognize the federal government or its authority to tax citizens. He’s the only one who didn’t kill anybody.

    • I’m getting sick of white people claiming moral equivalence in racial violence as an excuse for ignoring the coordinated machinery of the Militia/Tea Party/GOP/Libertarian/Christian theocrat/Koch movement that also labors to strip blacks of the right to vote, again. You probably imagine there were no ties between the anti-abortion terrorists and the GOP/political wing that has made abortion inaccessible for poor women in a growing number of Red states. The terrorists won. They excited the “base”, who wore out women’s rights.

      And all these movements must draw from the example of coordination between violent terrorists and political evil in the imposition of Jim Crow in the South. They wore out America and it went away. The ideologies of all these right-wing movements are much alike.

      If you want to see how racially biased this country is when it comes to violence, try looking up the police reaction when the Black Panthers legally Open Carried in the ’60s. Or how the militias worship David Koresh but say nothing about MOVE in Philadephia. There is nothing comparable to the militia movement among non-whites today because they’d get slaughtered.

      • The police reaction to the Black Panthers in the 60s went hand in hand with the federal government actions against the antiwar movement.

        It wasn’t just based on race.

        Compared to what happened at the Democratic convention in 1968, Kent State or many other illegal and violent government actions in the late 60s and early 70s, today’s militia movement are a just buncha yahoo lightweights.

  12. Why is it they only oppose the Federal Government when it’s a Democrat in the White House? Which leads me to believe it’s more about their politics than an actual belief. It tells me they care nothing about America.

  13. The real problem here, is that the so called good people of this Nation just sit back and let bigoted kooks like O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck and Ingeram spout their hatred under the guise of freedom of speech while getting rich. What we as concerned Citizens have to do to protect ourselves and Kids from these hate spewing, gun toting idiots, is to go after the Companies that sponsor their programs. If, and I say if, people really care about the welfare of their Children they are going to rise with one voice in protest against the Individuals and Companies that help create an Environment designed for the mentally ill to perpetrate these mass shootings.
    Until something is done it will only get worse and trust me it will. A lot of people feel because they live in a certain Neighborhood they are immune from gun violence, well to these people I say think again. I once heard Louis Farrackhan say, Crime is like a sore, it festers, it busts and then oozes to other areas. Just saying.

    • Read “Dear America: You are in the army now.”

      Edward Snowden revealed the power of the NSA to monitor the citizens. Plus, the police have become militarized. If these right-wing “militias” were really a threat, the federal govt. would disrupt their organization and crush them militarily, without a problem.

      Either you believe what Edward Snowden said about the federal govt. or in the threat of right wing militias and other groups. Both beliefs can’t co-exist.

  14. Where is the “well regulated militia” part lawfully and fully implemented exactly?

    [A well regulated (M)militia being necessary to the security of a free state,…]

    The second amendment was passed to establish a voluntary army, much like a voluntary fire department in small town.

    Does anyone really think that the beginning portion of the second amendment was stated first because it was unimportant? In fact the second part was only added toward the end in drafting the amendment, much as an afterthought. Some in congress were concerned that foreign governments would somehow collect up weapons.

    Establishment of a conscripted army when the size of the nation and the threat grew, was debated and should have eliminated the entire need for the second amendment, as written. It was only keep, at the time, because some thought that the constriction and paid army model might fail.

    So here we are…

  15. Apparently, the government is only evil if the Republicans are not running it. Also, government workers are inept and wicked. Unless they’re soldiers. Unless those soldiers are discharged and unemployed in which case they’re welfare loafers and parasites on the entrepreneurial class. Or if they’re cops beating up Occupy people and “hippies” they’re ok. Unless they’re retired and their pensions have been targeted by Hedgies.

  16. This country was built on a monstrous arrangement, whereby white indentured servants received their freedom with the understanding that they would help the plantation owners control their replacements: African slaves. In other words, the whites agreed to hold the whip. They created a culture of aggression, self-righteousness, and philistinism to suit their role and taught it to their sons.

    But the civil rights movement finally took that whip away, and millions of whites feel cheated of their birthright – though they may not consciously know that it’s a birthright to abuse and exploit others. Until we are honest about where that feeling comes from, we can’t get at the endless spew of excuses and justifications the Right uses to seduce these aggrieved people into violence.

    I see no reason why our capitalist overlords can not restore that old caste system as part of a Final Solution for our economic crisis. The Tea Partiers say they’re against big government, but would gladly volunteer to join the police and round up leftists, environmentalists and minorities, or become prison guards and abuse those prisoners. All we need is the removal on all restrictions on prison labor. The prisons are already being privatized. Once they become sweatshops, America will instantly become wage-competitive with China. Sure, the wages of those not imprisoned will plummet too, but the bigoted white ones can take out their rage on minorities just as they did under Jim Crow. White men who are willing to become soldiers, cops or prison guards will become an affluent knighthood looked up to by poorer whites.

    The militias dream of all this in their hearts, but we keep giving them a free pass because, how could “patriots” have such monstrous desires?

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