Friday, April 26, 2013

It All Depends On How You Define Things And Why You Define Them That Way

Mona Charen has an excellent piece this morning.  You should read the whole thing, but for me this is the money quote:
But when it comes to other groups and other motives for the same kind of terrorism — we lose our moral focus. Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Kathy Boudin have become honored members of the faculties at leading universities. Ayers is even the friend of the president of the United States. Regarding his own record of setting bombs that kill and dismember innocent people, Ayers told The New York Times on the ironic date of Sept. 11, 2001 that "I feel we didn't do enough ... (there's) a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance." So says a retired "distinguished professor" at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Today, American liberals are obsessed not with terrorism but with the color and ethnicity of terrorists. They can readily enough attribute violent tendencies to groups they dislike — the tea party, for example, which hasn't committed so much as a littering offense. But when it comes to Islamic terrorism, their voices falter.
Now, let us examine a Hate Piece written by Mother Jones Magazine in the guise of "investigative journalism" which attempts to "prove" that more people have died in this country as a result of "Right Wing Domestic Terrorism" than have died at the hands of "Extremist Islamic Terrorism.".  You can find it yourself, I don't link to Hate Pieces, or to Mother Jones, nor do I link to World Net Daily or Alex Jones and for exactly the same reason: they represent an Extremist view that spreads Hate.

First we need to have a definition of what Terrorism is, and for me it all boils down to motive and intent. If a man who happens to be Catholic shoots a man who happens to be Mormon in the course of a bank robbery, that is not terrorism, its murder done in the commission of another crime.  Likewise, if a woman who attends Tea Party rallies shoots her Environmentalist boyfriend because he left the toilet seat up too many times, its not politically motivated, its crazy, so that's not terrorism either.  A better definition of Terrorism is provided by Professor Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University, quoted here in a very thorough piece on domestic and international terrorism by the Heritage Foundation (footnotes found in the original article):

[T]he deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change. All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence. Terrorism is specifically designed to have far-reaching psychological effects beyond the immediate victim(s) or object of the terrorist attack. It is meant to instill fear within, and thereby intimidate, a wider “target audience” that might include a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country, a national government or political party, or public opinion in general. Terrorism is designed to create power where there is none or to consolidate power where there is little. Through the publicity generated by their violence, terrorists seek to obtain the leverage, influence and power they otherwise lack to effect political change on either local or international scale.[6]
According to this definition, terrorism is defined by the nature of the incident, not by the identity of the perpetrators.[7] The fundamentals of terrorism include:
  • “Violence or the threat of violence;
  • “Calculated to create fear and alarm;
  • “Intended to coerce certain actions;
  • “Motive must include a political objective;
  • “Generally directed against civilian targets; and
  • “It can be [carried out by] a group or an individual.”[8]
Essentially, terrorism can be summarized as violent acts that are “calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm to coerce others into actions they would not otherwise undertake, or refrain from actions they desired to take.”[9] Further, regular criminal acts are not counted as terrorism. So, while drug-trafficking conducted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) is not counted as terrorism,[10] FARC’s attacks against Colombian citizens are.

The emphasis above is mine, and as you see  in the examples quoted by Mother Jones as "proof" really aren't.

We also need to define "Right Wing".  Many people with a Left Wing world view will act as if the definition of "Right Wing" is "everybody who disagrees with me on anything political."  By thier definition, if you want tighter security on the border you are a "Right Winger" regardless of what your opinion on other issues might be.  That's a definition of political convenience, not one designed to give you good information.  It is desinged to allow maximum flexibility towards demonizing your enemy.  A better definition is that the Right Wing can be characterized as persons who beleive in the reduction in the size and scope of government and the power of the State, which is generally manifested by a desire for more sensible regulations and lower taxes.


Here are the names of some of the people Mother Jones says killed people as a demonstration of their "Right Wing Views."

Christopher and Wade Lay.  They killed a bank guard during a robbery.  They said they did not intend to kill anyone during the robbery, but they wanted the money to buy "adequate weapons" to kill people thy thought were responsible for the deaths of 80 Branch Davidians in Waco. Pundits on the Left will tell you that folks like Wade and Christopher Lay are "Right Wing Terrorists" rather than just plain nut cases, and that a shooting in the course of a crime is terrorism.  These are the same people who will tell you that to classify Floyd Lee Corkins II as a Left Wing terrorist is a horrendous smear and a lie of monumental proportions.  Basically, Mother Jones and others say these people are Right Wing Terrorists because they need somebody to be a Right Wing Terrorist, and these guys can't be classified as Left Wing.  In this light, classifying Richard Poplawski, as a domestic terroist is a bit ludicrous.  He shot some cops responding to a domestic abuse call as a result of a fight he and his mother had over a dog urinating on the couch.  So saying that Joshua Cartwright is because he got angry over where his Clearasil was.  Both of those cases have more to do with mental instability and domestic abuse than they do terrorism.

The same kind of "definition of political convenience" applies to the White Supremacists and Neo Nazis mentioned in the article: Kieth Luke, James Von Brunn, David “Joey” Pedersen and Holly Ann Grigsby, and Wade Micheal Page.  Leftists like to classify Nazis and Neo-Nazis and their White Supremacist brethren as "RightWingers" but, lets face it, Nazis really don't really favor reduction of the power of the State very much at all. "Nazi" is a term coined to shorten "National Socialism" and the political philosophy is more Leftist than it is Rightist, involving strict regulations and limitation of profit by business. And as far as "White Supremacists" go, they can be historically tied more to the Democrat Party than they can to any other political group.  This is simply another case of putting somebody in a category you want them to be in so as to discredit other people in that category.  Mother Jones and others want these people to be tied to the Right when they are more accurately categorized as a separate category in and of themselves.  The same can be said about Anarchists (who have more in common with Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous than they do with the Tea Party) such as Isaac Aguigui, Anthony Peden, Christopher Salmon, Heather Salmon, and calling Joseph Andrew Stack a Right Winger when the Manifesto he left behind after crashing his plane into an Austin IRS office clearaly revealed him as a Communist borders lunacy if not outright lying.

That is not to say that the Mother Jones article is total hogwash.  Its just mostly hogwash.  The case of Shawna Forde and her compatriots has some tenuous "Right Wing" connections, but the shootings she and the others were convicted of were done at a remote rural home in the course of a robbery, so it can't really be called "terrorism".

The only case that Mother Jones quotes that can undoubtedly be linked to "Right Wing Domestic Terrorists" is the case of  Brian Lyn Smith and six others who killed two police officers in Louisiana.  We know they are Domestic Terrorists because they belong to a group that calls themselves "Sovereign Citizens" which the FBI has actually listed as a domestic terrorist organization.  It does come closer to an Anarchist group than it does to the Tea Party, but it does fit the definition of a group that believes in reducing the power of the State, although its an extremist view of the concept, and therefore can be classified as "Right Wing."


Why would Mother Jones go to so much trouble?  First, they want to create fear in you.  Mother Jones is a Left Wing oriented publication---and an extremist one at that.  They want you to associate terrorism with middle aged tax protesters and homeschooling soccer moms.  They want you to Hate their political enemies, and to get that done, they want you to be afraid of them.

The one thing they don't want you to know, and the reason why their report was confined to "deaths" as a result of terrorism (and their logic as to who is a "Right Wing" terrorist was so tortured) is this:

Environmental and animal rights extremists who have turned to arson and explosives are the nation’s top domestic terrorism threat, the FBI has told lawmakers.

Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, the Earth Liberation Front and the Britain-based SHAC, or Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, are “way out in front” in terms of damage and number of crimes, John Lewis, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

“There is nothing else going on in this country over the last several years that is racking up the high number of violent crimes and terrorist actions,” Lewis said.

That's right.  If you are a victim of terrorism in this country, it is more likely that it came at the hands of Left Wing Environmental Terrorists than Right Wing Terrorists or even Islamic Terrorists.

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