Thursday, September 27, 2012

More military hand wringing over "far right" extremists

Another "warning" from military circles about the dangers of right-wing violence in America. This time it comes out of West Point. Or  more specifically, it's from an assistant professor at West Point who is also the director of what appears to be a privately funded anti-terrorism think tank.

The writer's name is Arie Perliger, and here's a bit of what he writes:
This article provides clarity on the various components of the American far right. It also offers a basic analytical model to better understand its current violent trends. The article’s findings—which are based on a dataset of more than 4,400 cases of violent attacks by far right elements during a 22-year period—will be expanded in a more detailed study that will soon be published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
It'll be interesting to see what he comes out inside his larger study. His preliminary take seems to see Ku Klux Klanners and racist skinheads as some kind of major force in America. And he seems to see other right wingers ready to join in their actions - or at least offering sympathies. And you better not call yourself a patriot, that apparently puts you on this Perliger's watch list too.

Perliger makes no attempt to define any difference between the far right elements he writers about, and the far right elements on Capitol Hill or in the Tea Party frequently vilified by some Democrat politicians and other progressive operatives.

His article appears to make a nice companion piece to 2010's attack on conservatives by the Southern Poverty Law Center where Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and others were deemed enablers of right wing extremism.

I can't say I'm too impressed with what else I've seen out of Perliger and his crew. I looked a couple of other offerings today.

In June 2011, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point appeared to be cheerleaders for Arab Spring:
The United States has much to gain from the success of the ‘Arab Spring’ and much to lose if it fails. Failing to engage the ‘Arab Spring’ at the appropriate level and invest in the youth led movements at this critical juncture in the history of the Arab world, the United States risks positioning itself as a Moscow watching and lamenting the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Another writer at  the center has penned a new article about the current situation in Libya.

It seems the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point is just now waking up to the way jihadi forces are taking advantage of the void created when Libya's government under Gaddafi collapsed. I find that odd, since it was widely reported a year or more ago that many of the fighters who worked to oust Gaddafi were veterans of jihad forces that fought American troops in Iraq.

Did anyone expect Islamic forces that engaged in combat with the U.S. in Iraq would now welcome an American presence in Libya?

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