August 19, 2009

A Selective Grasp of History

Josh Marshall is usually pretty level-headed as far as progressives go, which is why I find his TPM post claiming that "the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence" somewhat surprising.

Granted, he is wise enough to make sure he confines himself to the American right, because it is beyond dispute that globally, it is leftist movements that win the dubious prize of being the most violent in human history, putting 120 million human beings on ice in the last century alone.

And there is indeed some truth to claims that rightist groups have been responsible for much of the political violence in the country. The Ku Klux Klan—a conservative supremacist organization even though it was a formation of and ally to the Democrat Party in the majority of its iterations—was behind much of the political violence in this country for the better part of a century. And yes, there was a militia movement during the Clinton Presidency, which did lead to the murderous terrorist bombing orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh in 1995.

But Marshall is delusional—or perhaps just dishonest—if he doesn't believe that the American left is equally responsible for political violence in America.

We can start with union-organized violence if you would prefer, and I'm not just referring to the physical assaults SEIU members have committed in recent weeks. Or we could talk about the thuggish actions of Black Panthers during the most recent election, and their leftist allies in the Holder Justice Department that refuse to prosecute them.

Or we can talk about the police officers killed by leftists over the years in assassinations by the likes of IndyMedia's Andrew Mickel or other left wing radicals. Should we discuss the Park Police Station bombing in San Francisco? How about the Nyack, NY armored car robbery that left police officers and security guards dead?

We could also discuss the leftist plots to murder dozens of soldiers and their civilian dates at Fort Dix, or the attempt on the Detroit Police Department and its Benevolent Association that would have wiped out a restaurant filled with African-American families as well.

Or we could discuss the plans of radical leftists who desired to set up their own concentration camps in the American southwest:

I asked, "Well what is going to happen to those people we can't reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?" And the reply was that they'd have to be eliminated.

And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

And when I say "eliminate," I mean "kill."

Twenty-five million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

And they were dead serious.

Perhaps it is a bit unfair of me to focus on those events. After all, those who would have carried out these plots did so in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the most part, and their attempts, while in earnest, were as incompetent then as their desire to socialize medicine is today.

Should we allow them a pass on their intent since they failed to kill the dozens of soldiers, police officers, and civilians that were the targets of their pipe and propane bombs? Or should we hold them responsible just for the relative handful of murders they were able to successfully commit? Or should we hold them responsible for both the murders they intended and those they were successful in? I'd suggest that our law demands the later, but it seems that leftist political violence is afforded a different standard in the eyes of the media, and certainly in the mythology they attempt to create.

If you follow the links I provided, you'll note that the bombings of the non-commissioned officer's dance at Fort Dix and the targeting of various police stations can be traced back to the leadership of the Weather Underground, a left wing terrorist group. The leaders of that group, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, threw Barack Obama his first political fundraiser after Ayers and Obama spent time together on the boards of various left-wing groups.

Obama, of course, in now President, and overseas a government that has attempted to label common American values as those of extremists even as it refuses to investigate groups such as the Black Panthers, ACORN, or the unions that are behind much of the thuggish behavior we've seen within recent months.

Americans of all walks of life know extremism when they see it, and they learned long ago fear it when it takes control of the government. Americans have purchased millions of firearms and billions of rounds of ammunition since Barack Obama and his progressive allies swept into power, and yet, there has been only sporadic right wing violence. The fact of the matter is that freedom-loving Americans on the right will not accept tyranny without a fight, but we will not start the battle. It is a purely defensive posture that the right has taken, despite continued leftist provocations.

The simple fact of the matter is that our radicalized left wing government and their sympathies to true radicals is a far greater threat to or way of life than those Americans who have chosen to take precautions against tyranny.

That our current President has sympathies and relationships with those who fantasized about putting their Americans in concentration camps is a far greater threat to this nation's future than those who have chosen to arm themselves against the possibility of a government that has forgotten it is exists to serve the people.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 19, 2009 09:58 AM

1) The KKK is "right" by the definition of whom?
2) McVeigh attacked a federal law enforcement outpost after the federal government orchistrated the murder (and cover-up) of men women and children in Waco. This was not "right wing policial violence".

Stop rolling over on key points to the liberals, it makes you a useful idiot to them.

Posted by: Smarty at August 19, 2009 10:27 AM

The Klan was formed in the wake of the Civil War by Southern Democrats who wanted to oppose Reconstruction and keep African-Americans subservient. It later went through several iterations, including branches in the northeast that targeted immigrants. All were led by conservative Democrats, and the union of conservative Democrats and the Klan was directly responsible for the Wilmington Insurrection, the only successful coup in American history.

The Klan has ALWAYS been a right-wing outfit, though the Democratic Party and Republican Party have flipped over time (Republicans were once the progressive party, for example).

McVeigh's bombing was right wing political violence; I defy you to explain how it was otherwise.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 19, 2009 10:41 AM

Bob, considering your moniker here you should be ashamed of yourself because you forgot the greatest amount of bloodshed visited upon America by a "leftist" administration. Yes the Lincoln Administration while Republican was Leftist and Statist and the Abolitionists were the equivalent of the modern "Environmentalist" or PETA. The inappropriately named American Civil War cost over 625,000 soldiers their lives.

Contrary to what is taught by our revisionist Public School system the War of Northern Aggression was fought to undermine the Constitution, specifically State sovereignty and the 10th amendment. Lincoln only issued the Emancipation Proclamation (which actually didn't legally free any slaves) to keep European powers from aiding the CSA. From January 1860 to Sept 22, 1862 (the Proclamation actually went into effect Jan. 1 1863) slavery was a secondary issue to preserving the Union and Lincoln was quite willing to let slavery continue if it would preserve the Union as he did in the the both the border states and the Union.

Posted by: Scott at August 19, 2009 10:51 AM

Then there's Matthew Marren, the guy who shot SRA Jonathan Schreiken for the crime of being a member of the USAF.

Posted by: Pablo at August 19, 2009 10:53 AM

>>"And yes, there was a militia movement during the Clinton Presidency, which did lead to the murderous terrorist bombing orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh in 1995."

I can't belive you're going along with this lefty nonsense. There was no connection between the militia movement and Timothy McVeigh, let alone did the former "lead" to the latter.

Posted by: Steve at August 19, 2009 11:08 AM

It's not just the violence perpetrated by a relatively small number of leftists. It's also the excuses and justifications offered by vastly larger numbers of leftists. Not to mention the persistent liberal refusal to even notice leftist violence, and the longstanding liberal tendency to fall in love with left-wing thugs like Che and Castro and the Panthers and Mumia Abu Jamal.

Posted by: pst314 at August 19, 2009 12:18 PM

You forgot to mention the SDS of the 60's. I can remember them being the one force that we were most scared of as they would bomb ROTC building at schools, with or without students present. AT LSU you had to take ROTC in the 60's so your life was on the line due to this leftist scum.

Sorry CY, the KKK was originally set up to stem the tide of Republican aggression to the defeated south. Not to specfically suppress Blacks. Though that was a by product due to the Federal legislation that was inacted.

Posted by: David at August 19, 2009 02:15 PM

Wasn't McVeigh kicked out of a militia because of his views? I know there was hysteria about militias after the OKC bombing but I do not know of any violence that can be directly associated with militias.

Posted by: Steve at August 19, 2009 05:19 PM

We don't have to go back that far to see leftist violence. Remember the GOP headquarters that was shot up in Washington (State) and I believe it was either Kentucky or Tennessee. A leftist tried to run over Katherine Harris with his car. A leftist beat up a GOP volunteer in Florida. All these were during the 2004 campaign. Another GOP office was broken into, vandalized and computers stolen during the 2004 election.

The left have their heroes and role models in Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro. All genocidal leftist dictators.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 19, 2009 06:26 PM

This doesn't sound like McVeigh was "right wing."

"The administration has said that Iraq has no right to stockpile chemical or biological weapons (“weapons of mass destruction”) – mainly because they have used them in the past.

Well, if that’s the standard by which these matters are decided, then the U.S. is the nation that set the precedent. The U.S. has stockpiled these same weapons (and more) for over 40 years. The U.S. claims that this was done for deterrent purposes during the “Cold War” with the Soviet Union. Why, then is it invalid for Iraq to claim the same reason (deterrence) — with respect to Iraq’s (real) war with, and the continued threat of, its neighbor Iran?

If Saddam is such a demon, and people are calling for war crimes charges and trials against him and his nation, why do we not hear the same cry for blood directed at those responsible for even greater amounts of “mass destruction” — like those responsible and involved in dropping bombs on the cities mentioned above.

The truth is, the U.S. has set the standard when it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction."

That sounds right out of the leftist playbook. You can find McVeigh's ramblings in his "essay on hypocrisy" which he penned in prison in 1998.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 19, 2009 06:46 PM

Josh Marshall is usually pretty level-headed as far as progressives go

A level-headed progressive? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Regarding Scott's comment above, the American Civil War really grew out of the need to settle the sovereignty dispute between the states and the federal government. The southern states wanted a federal government that was as weak as the old Articles of Confederation government -- which was effectively no government at all. The northern states wanted a stronger central government, but they still favored a balance between federal and state sovereignty, in which states still held a large share of the power. And that's what grew out of the Civil War.

It took another sixty years, one well-meaning but flawed political philosophy, two ill-considered constitutional amendments, and several incredibly stupid Supreme Court decisions to pave the way for the dictatorial federal government that took power in 1932, and has been steadily growing ever since.

Posted by: wolfwalker at August 19, 2009 08:40 PM

Heck yeah, CI. That was dead on.

Libs know that they own McVeigh.

Whenever they invoke him, a gracious way to view it is Projection, but the cleaner way to view it is just simple gloating for what they've done.

Heck, off the top of my head, when it comes to Democrats, I think of the Milwaukee 5 Tire Slashers.

Posted by: brando at August 19, 2009 08:50 PM

Neither McVeigh nor Nichols were members of a militia, as I recall, and were in fact expelled from a meeting of (I believe) the Michigan Militia and told not to return.

How did the "militia movement," which is a bunch of cranks sneaking around the woods in cammies hiding from the black helicopters, in any way responsible for the OKC bombing? The hysteria over these harmless nutters is a product of the SPLC and their endless fundraising.

Besides, Clinton, Begala and Carville set us straight on the OKC bombing: it was the responsibility of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, who so far remain unindicted and free to strike again.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at August 19, 2009 08:59 PM

1) If the Klan has always been right-wing, then Senator Byrd is in the wrong party. As were the democrats of the 40's, 50's and 60's who were involved in it and were GOVERNORS.

2) Did McVeigh commit violence in opposition to leftist policy, or in opposition to general purpose tyranny at Waco? Just because liberals excuse Reno and Clinton, and Conservatives don't, doesn't make it a case of right wing violence.

I say look at the union members beating down protestors, particularly when the union's party is in power as the sure sign of partisan violence. The right to bear arms surely applies to folks who both have the right to protest and the right to defend themselves.

Posted by: Smarty at August 20, 2009 10:32 PM

I see no reason to tag conservatives with the KKK. That would be like saying that the KKK was like Barry Goldwater, only more so. I expect if you went down Barry Goldwater's or Ronald Reagan's political positions one by one, you would find few, if any, points of agreement with the KKK.

Likewise, I see no connection between the militias and McVeigh. The Michigan Militia told McVeigh to get lost and not come back.

Let's not help the left smear conservatives with false associations.

Posted by: George Bruce at August 23, 2009 05:41 PM