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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Terrorist Training

You have probably seen in the past couple of weeks reports that skinheads and other neo-Nazis are getting into the U.S. military, despite an official ban. The story originated from the courageous Southern Poverty Law Center, based on an interview with an investigator from the Department of Defense. The SPLC is headquartered in a shiny building on a hill in Montgomery, Alabama, not far from the state capitol building (which was the first capitol of the Confederacy and the endpoint for the famous Selma-Montgomery civil rights march in 1965), the "First White House of the Confederacy," and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King preached in the 1950's. The SPLC tracks the Klan and other racist hate groups.

Anyway, I saw the reports echoed in blogs and thought, well, that figures. Most blogs attributed the Pentagon's stepping around its own policy to its desperation to get bodies, any bodies, into uniform and off to Iraq--which makes sense. When he's got a quota to fill, a recruiting sergeant may choose not to notice that his candidates seem a bit slow, or have a few too many needle marks on their arms, or that they've got swastikas tatooed on their shoulders. Most bloggers also pointed out that having these kind of soldiers is hardly the way to win hearts and minds in Iraq, and that our tax dollars are now going to train some of our most dangerous people in the use of advanced weaponry, which may well end up being used back home (Timothy McVeigh and John Allen Mohammed, for example). Most bloggers suggested that this was a dangerous and probably inevitable side effect of starting a stupid and pointless war and becoming desperate for troops. What I didn't see in these blog posts was the suggestion that training our skinheads is actually a goal of Bushie policy--until now.

Chris Floyd cites evidence from the SPLC report and elsewhere which suggests that this is all part of the Bushies' plan (to the extent they can be said to have a plan). Here are some excerpts from Floyd's article:
Hundreds, possibly thousands of neo-Nazis and "white power" extremists have infiltrated U.S. forces in a deliberate strategy to get training in weapons, urban warfare and covert operations, the Pentagon's own investigators report. These homegrown terrorists avowed enemies of democracy, committed to sparking the same kind of horrific civil war in America that George W. Bush has spawned in Iraq have wormed their way into some of most elite military units, as well as filling up the ordinary ranks with cretinous "race warriors."

This infestation is being actively abetted by the Bush Regime.
The infiltration is part of a concerted strategy by the neo-Nazi movement to use Bush's war for terrorist training much as their extremist brothers in al Qaeda are doing. In skinhead magazines and innumerable websites, they pass along handy hints and exhortations to their cloaked comrades in the field and potential recruits at home. "Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman's war," writes Steven Barry, a former Special Forces officer now serving as "military unit coordinator" for the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the New York Times reports.

"[The race war] will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and 'cleansed,'" writes Barry, as if he were channeling one of the deadly Iraqi militias sponsored by the Bushists in their self-confessed "Salvador Option" an undercover program named for the right-wing Central American death squads armed and trained by the Reagan-Bush administration in the 1980s, as the New Yorker reports.

"Join only for the training, and to better defend yourself, our people and our culture," says another all-American goosestepper, Army engineer and Iraq war veteran John Fain. "We must have people to open doors from the inside when the time comes."

But it looks like some big-time insiders are already opening those doors. The percentage of "moral waivers" being granted to recruits for past misdeeds and for previously disqualifying factors such as violent extremism and gang membership has "more than doubled since 2001," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The tacit acceptance of neo-Nazis in the military is part of a broader pattern at work in the Bush Imperium: the "mainstreaming" of right-wing extremism in American society, an alarming development well documented by journalist Dave Niewert at Orcinus. White-power advocates once stuck under rocks on the lunatic fringe now appear on network television as respected spokesmen on the "immigration question." High-profile Bush-backers in the mainstream media Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh and other gasbags routinely tout "fantasies" of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, and death for "traitors," i.e., anyone who opposes the hard-right line. Bush himself has openly embraced demented religious extremists like the "Dominionists" whose rabid doctrines of Christian nationalism are scarcely distinguishable from the religious perversions that undergird most neo-Nazi philosophies. He has brought them to the very center of power, in government, the media and in institutions like the Council for National Policy, the right-wing steering group whose regular meetings of White House officials, TV evangelists, corporate honchos, conservative journalists and Dominionists help set the party line peddled by those media blowhards.

In its heedless lust for loot and dominion, the Bush Faction will use anyone: neo-Nazis, neoconservatives, theocrats, dictators, death squads, nutballs, gasbags. The blowback from this nest of vipers will poison American life for generations but of course the Bushists don't care. America is nothing to them but a cash cow and a billy club. Let the stupid rabble worry about war-trained Nazis in the streets; the Bush elite will be safe and cozy in their gated, guarded mansions.