Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A Non Fatal Case of Projection

Josh Marshall, who has a Ph.D. in American History from Brown (so he should know better) today writes the following at his Talking Points Memo (TPM) blog:

But let's be honest about what this is about. The right -- the modern American right -- has a very troubled history with political violence. The ideological pattern is clear going back at least thirty years and arguably far longer. A simple review of the 1990s, particularly 1993, 1994, culminating in many respects in the tragic 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building in April 1995 tells the tale. Mix in the militias, the thankfully inept attempt on President Clinton's life a few months before Oklahoma City (see Francisco Duran) and it's all really not a pretty picture.

What is he talking about in '93 and '94? I doubt he means the first World Trade Center bombing by radical islamists on 2/26/93 or the shooting of CIA personnel by radical islamist Mir Aimal Kasi on 1/25/93. I doubt he means the bombing death of Thomas Mosser on 12/10/94 (or of Gilbert Murray on 4/24/95) by the semi-crazy lefty known as the Unabomber.

He almost certainly means the mistaken self defense and later self immolation by Vernon Howell (aka David Koresh) of his compound and followers outside Waco, Texas on 4/19/93, and the shooting death of Denver talk radio host Alan Berg on 7/18/84 by white supremacists. And of course he specifies poor, really dumb Tim McVeigh, et al. I don't know these guys were part of the modern American right, but I'll cop to their membership therein. I'll argue that, except for some very sporadic violence against abortionists by religious zealots, that's a near complete list of right wing political violence in the past 30 years.

The historian Marshall then mentions the innocuous militias, who got a lot of media coverage but did nothing, and he then mentions by name the completely crazy Francisco Duran, whose political affiliation is unclear at best, and who shot a lot of 7.62 x 39mm bullets out of his SKS at the White House generally. Yet he leaves out just as crazy Frank Corder, who crashed a stolen plane onto the White House grounds. I wonder why the omission.

Here is a more complete list of attempts on our Presidents' lives just since dedicated Communist Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed JFK:

2/22/74--pretty crazy Samuel Byck attempts to fly a plane into the White House to kill President Nixon.

9/5/75--recently released lefty loon Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme draws a gun on President Ford.

9/22/75--released years ago lefty loon Sara Jane Moore attempts to shoot President Ford.

3/31/81--Completely crazy John Hinkley shoots Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster.

2/7/01--Emotionally disturbed Robert Picket shoots at the White House but manages to miss W.

Just as many of these guys and gals were completely crazy as were clearly lefty, but the target was enough for inclusion in the modern American right for Josh Marshall looking back on the '90s, so he shouldn't complain about my list. I see he has anticipated me and poo-poos any more comprehensive history thus:

Now, I know we'll likely get emails from right-wingers pointing out some animal rights activists who freed a bunch of gerbils, another fellow whose tires got slashed and no doubt a host of people with backwards Bs scrawled on their cheeks. But I think we all know the story here.

I don't think we do know the whole story here, Josh, or at least you don't, as you seem oblivious to this partial list of arsons and bombings, attempted and successful:

3/1/71--Dedicated lefty terrorists called the Weatherman (aka Friends of Obama) bomb the Capitol.

12/8/82--Lefty early eco-terrorist Norman Mayer pretends to have a truck bomb at Washington Monument.

4/26/83--Dedicated Communist terrorists explode bomb at National War College at Fort NcNair.

8/18/83--Dedicated Communist terrorists explode bomb at Washington Navy Yard's computer center.

11/7/83--Dedicated Communist terrorists explode bomb at the Capitol.

4/20/84-- Dedicated Communist terrorists explode bomb at Washington Navy Yard's officers' club.

12/11/85--Hugh Scrutton killed by Unabomber.

2/12/88--Lefty terrorist and member of Japanese Red Army Yu Kikumura arrested with 3 large pipe bombs destined for military recruitment centers.

3/11/97--ELF and ALF cause a million dollars damage to fur breeders in Sandy, Utah.

10/19/98--ELF burns 12 million dollar building in Vail, Colorado.

12/16/98--ELF burns .7 million dollar building at US Forest Industries in Medford, Oregon.

12/31/99--ELF starts fire at Michigan State and causes a million in damages.

11/27/00--Elf burns 2.5 million dollar home in Niwot, Colorado.

5/21/01--ELF starts fire at University of Washington and causes 7 million in damages.

8/22/03--ELF burns SUVs and Hummers worth 2.3 million in West Corvino, California.

1/17/06--ELF burns down 3 million dollar home on Camano Island, Washington.

6/06--Lefty eco-terrorists targets house of UCLA researcher Lynn Fairbanks for firebombing.

3/3/08--ELF burns 4 milti-million dollar houses in Washington.

8/2/08--Lefty eco-terrorists firebomb UC Santa Cruz researcher's house.

The arsonists and bombers mentioned above were not quite as innocuous as releasing gerbils. or as minor as tire slashing; but I have to admit that, so far, the ELF and ALF have not been as deadly as the Weathermen were to other Weathermen.

Mr. Marshall then doubles down at the end:
Let's be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence. It's deep-seated; it's recurrent and it's real. And it endangers the country.

Let's be even more honest and admit that the modern American right's political violence has been completely overwhelmed by the deep-seated, recurrent, real danger of the political violence from the left.

And that's just in America. 20th Century political violence in Europe and Asia was lefty dominated by a ratio approaching 1,000 to 1.


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