Thursday, June 11, 2009

Right wing fanatics, more of a threat?

White supremacist guns down guard at Holocaust museum

Shooting is the fourth politically motivated attack in recent weeks in the United States

This morning I read an article by one of my favourite Globe and Mail columnists, John Ibbitson.

The article was in response to the terrible Holocaust Museum shooting that happened yesterday in Washington DC. Upon looking the article up on their website, I noted that the comment post was disabled:
“Editor's Note: Comments have been closed on this story because an overwhelming number of readers were making offensive statements about other commenters and/or the individual or individuals mentioned in the story. That kind of behaviour is a breach of our commenting policy, and so the comment function has been turned off. We appreciate your understanding.”
Coincidentally, I had had a “blog” conversation with a blogger I follow: Brian Cormier as well as one with a friend about whether "hate" comments should be censored. Should we provide a platform for wing-nuts to spew their hate etc.?

One can only imagine the sort comments that provoked the G&M to disable them. John Ibbitson...

“This is at least the fourth politically motivated attack in recent weeks in the United States. Earlier this month, one soldier was killed and another wounded outside a recruiting office in Arkansas. The suspect, a Muslim convert, has said he considered the killing justified because of American involvement in the Middle East.

Late last month, Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors who provide late-term abortions, was shot to death inside his church. The man charged in his murder, Scott Roeder, violently opposes abortion and maintains the United States government is illegitimate.

And in April, Richard Poplowski allegedly shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers responding to a domestic dispute. Mr. Poplowski is a white supremacist with a particular hatred of the police.

These attacks appear to vindicate an April Homeland Security report that warned that “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment.”
The report concluded: “Lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

At the time of its release, commentators bitterly criticized the report for stigmatizing veterans – identified as recruitment fodder for right-wing extremists – and conservatives. Yet the report's warnings appear to have materialized.”

Keith Olbermann interviews Northeastern University’s criminologist Jack Levin about the warning of right-wing extremist violence issued by the Homeland Security Department in April, and what the government needs to do to prevent it from continuing. (Countdown)

Both of these journalists spoke of the growing concern that the security threat posed by the right wing fringe in America (and Canada) is indeed greater than that posed by foreign terrorism.

History tells us economic and political instability brings out the worst in people; hopefully we have learned something.

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