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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesNEOFASCISM -- THE TERRORIST ENEMY WITHIN

NEOFASCISM — THE TERRORIST ENEMY WITHIN

I have closely followed the mainstream media coverage of the aftermath of the hijacking-bombings on Sept. 11. I have also weighed in via the local press on my views of these attacks. One reader of the Source took issue with my previous article. I notice that he questioned not the facts but my dissenting tone. I was a bit annoyed by the suggestion that I should be glad that I am not living in a country that represses dissent.
Well, I am not quite sure if my critic took American History, but African-Americans have been on the receiving end when it comes to civil rights violations. And it was not until very recently — the latter 1960s — that we regained our inalienable rights and privileges. It was the courageous work of civil rights leaders and organizers who forced the American mainstream to reconsider U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
Nothing is unpatriotic about disagreeing with U.S. foreign policy. In fact, the greatest American patriot carefully considers the political decisions of the elected representative leadership which is mandated to protect the interests of the citizens. If I or any other U.S. citizen should urge caution and careful forethought about any military campaign, the best interests of the American people are being preserved.
I find it ironic that disagreement and dissent are being repressed by some national leaders who were draft dodgers — or who received college deferrals or National Guard service to avoid active combat in the Vietnam conflict.
Like thousands of other Virgin Islanders, I served the U.S. military and was honorably discharged. I have a bad feeling when the national leadership is jingoistic and only a handful had to actually bloody their hands in defense of the American people. It is not a pretty thing to do, and all military veterans would tell you to think long and hard before you go to war.
Kabul has fallen to the Northern Alliance and the Taliban is in retreat. Now the complex nature of Central Asian politics will come into play. It is well known that the Musharrif administration in Pakistan opposed the Northern Alliance in the past, and that today there is a struggle to find a broad-based governing coalition to replace the Taliban. This will be a very complicated situation, and I am not sure if anyone here in the United States or even in Afghanistan itself has a clear blueprint.
As noted before, this should have been thought out before the war on terrorism was declared. However, in the United States, and especially in the Virgin Islands, we must be concerned with what is unfolding within American society. I am astonished to hear the "counter-terrorism solutions" being proposed. We are being manipulated into surrendering the best aspects of American civilization to confront terrorism: We must give up our civil rights. We must now accept wiretapping, racial profiling, illegal search and seizures, secret military tribunals, arbitrary detentions, censorship, repression of speech, and other human rights that Americans have struggled to make their collective birthright.
As an American citizen of African heritage, I say these concessions are too great! Our forefathers shed blood in foreign lands in defense of the best traditions of America when those same rights were denied at home, and they shed even more blood in the domestic front when they struggled to make U.S. society live up to its ideals. Today, we are told to rally around the flag, question nothing, and do as we are told.
Fundamentalism found within all faiths
We are making a big mistake. We are focusing on the foreign suspects of terrorism, and we are ignoring the domestic sources. In the past two months, it was considered treason to suggest that there were other possible suspects or theories for the rationale of the attack. It was Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, period. No other possible perpetrators, theories and political forces. The U.S. mass media have focused on Islamic fundamentalism as the sole source of violent acts against Americans.
Since many Virgin Islanders are not familiar with the politics of Islamic fundamentalism and right-wing terrorism in societies with large Muslim populations, I will present a "primer" for you and show that the Sept. 11 attacks were not isolated events but part of larger conflicts within American society and abroad in the Middle East.
Fundamentalism is not an inherent trait of Islam. All major faith systems or religions have their fundamentalists or their orthodox believers who practice the fundamental principles in a rigid manner. There are fundamentalist Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Rastafari. Fundamentalists are usually non-violent — they merely implement their spiritual principles in strict ways that many people consider conservative and puritanical.
Nonetheless, among the fundamentalists in every faith system, we have witnessed the emergence of extremely violent forces that basically favor the same type of politics: right wing, ultraconservative political systems that are modeled on ancient theocracies or religious kingdoms. From the mid 1970s until the end of the Cold War in 1989, there was an explosion of violent right-wing fundamentalist organizations worldwide.
Examples: Within Israel, there are fundamentalist Jews who have brought down three Israeli administrations in the past ten years — Yitzhak Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. The major fundamentalist Jewish party is the Shas Party. Among Palestinians, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbollah are fundamentalist Muslim organizations that are committed to the creation of an Islamic state within the historic Palestinian homeland.
In the Western Hemisphere, we have our share of fundamentalists — many of whom are Euro-Christian in theological orientation. In fact, the United States has millions of fundamentalist Christians whose religious fervor and virulent ultra-conservatism are equivalent to anything that exists in the Islamic world. (Did you hear what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson stated were the reasons for the hijacking-bombings?)
Fundamentalist politics has a way of creating kindred militants. Due to their tendency to rigidly apply principles articulated thousands of years ago onto complex modern societies, fundamentalist politicians and political organizations end up creating alliances with the most hideous ideologies and organizations in modern history. Within the last 10 years, Islamic and Christian fundamentalist groups have created alliances with neofascists/neonazis. In fact, the terror campaign that has been unleashed on America has clear unequivocal footprints of both groupings — Islamic fundamentalists and neofascists. In the United States, many neofascists belong to Christian Identity movements; that is, they are allied to Christian fundamentalist forces.
I know that this is a lot of difficult material. However, the evidence is there, even though the mainstream media are suspiciously silent. The hijacking-bombings have been linked to Islamic fundamentalist forces, particularly Al-Qaeda, and although we are not sure, tremendous circumstantial evidence points to both Osama bin Laden and the Taliban as accessories. These suspects are being bombed.
But what about the anthrax attacks? All evidence points to domestic neofascist forces who have ties to the Christian fundamentalists.Will the war against terrorism attack the domestic terrorists? Yes, domestic terrorists.
Neofascism alive and active in America
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are hundreds of white supremacist/hate groups in the United States. A few have been at war with the federal government for the last decade. Have you heard of the National Alliance and its leader, William Pierce? He is credited for writing the "Turner Diaries," calling for armed struggle against the federal government, destroying the skyscrapers in New York City and creating a White America. Do you remember Timothy McVeigh and his Michigan Brotherhood? McVeigh was executed, but what about his Michigan Brot
herhood? Clippings from the "Turner Dairies" were found in his possession and in his car. It was his bible.
Ironically, he was granted a stay of execution on May 11 because more than 4,000 pages of "misplaced evidence" had been suppressed by the FBI. McVeigh's co-conspirators, Terry Nicholls and Michael Fortier, have insisted that others were involved in the bombing attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Kansas City. Who else is involved in this bombing?
Did you know that between January 1998 and April 2001 there were 172 false anthrax threats in the United States? And that one-third of them were directed against abortion clinics? Did you know that a domestic terrorist group called the Army of God targets abortion clinics for attack? According to Planned Parenthood, 90 family planning and abortion clinics have received anthrax threats within the last five years.
Did you know that during the last 10 years, an incendiary campaign has been waged against African-American churches and synagogues? Churches, pillars of the African-American community, have been burned to the ground, and synagogue have been defaced and attacked. Yet, America's response has largely been silence. Even among African-Americans, we seem not to be paying attention to this domestic terrorism threat.
We have all become victims of bioterrorism. With cold-blooded logic, the organizers of today's anthrax mass attacks (and perhaps tomorrow's smallpox or bubonic plague) have selected civilian targets everywhere! I see the footprints of homegrown American neofascists, not militant Arabs or fundamentalist Muslims. I am suspicious of the mainstream media and I am alarmed at the way domestic terrorists are allowed to roam freely, right under the radar screen.
The airbus crash on Veterans Day has raised more red flags for those of us who view domestic neofascism as an enemy of the American people. We all saw the footage of American Airlines Flight 587. Why is the mainstream media excessively focusing our attention on the "catastrophic mechanical failure"? Why is terrorism or internal sabotage dismissed so early? Perhaps we who have been victims of internal white supremacist terror are more alert to a "fifth column" than the larger American mainstream which does not have a tradition of fighting racism and prejudice.
It will be a colossal tragedy for all Americans if we discover that the "Middle Eastern terrorist suspects" were accessories to the Sept. 11 attacks but the key enemies are the domestic neofascists/neonazis who escape detection because they do not "look like terrorists." It will be catastrophic if domestic neonazis and other hate groups are not taken seriously and in the meantime we destroy American democracy and its most progressive traditions. It will be a cruel blow to all Americans if these homegrown neonazis — with their "Fortress America" and their ethnically pure American Homeland — realize their political agenda while the Bush administration wages a war against "terrorists" perceived to be solely dark-skinned foreigners.
We are in a critical stage in American civilization, if not world humanity, as we struggle against a terror threat that is not yet defined and terrorists who "lurk in the shadows." A terror that has been marketed as Middle Eastern and Islamic, foreign and un-American. The mass media have ignored the domestic enemy who easily blends into the mainstream American society. If left alone, this domestic threat will destroy from within.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, you were right — we should not have rushed to judgment; we might have to end up bombing domestic terrorists in our own country.

Editor's note: Malik Sekou is an assistant professor of political science and history at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas campus.
We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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I have closely followed the mainstream media coverage of the aftermath of the hijacking-bombings on Sept. 11. I have also weighed in via the local press on my views of these attacks. One reader of the Source took issue with my previous article. I notice that he questioned not the facts but my dissenting tone. I was a bit annoyed by the suggestion that I should be glad that I am not living in a country that represses dissent.
Well, I am not quite sure if my critic took American History, but African-Americans have been on the receiving end when it comes to civil rights violations. And it was not until very recently -- the latter 1960s -- that we regained our inalienable rights and privileges. It was the courageous work of civil rights leaders and organizers who forced the American mainstream to reconsider U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
Nothing is unpatriotic about disagreeing with U.S. foreign policy. In fact, the greatest American patriot carefully considers the political decisions of the elected representative leadership which is mandated to protect the interests of the citizens. If I or any other U.S. citizen should urge caution and careful forethought about any military campaign, the best interests of the American people are being preserved.
I find it ironic that disagreement and dissent are being repressed by some national leaders who were draft dodgers -- or who received college deferrals or National Guard service to avoid active combat in the Vietnam conflict.
Like thousands of other Virgin Islanders, I served the U.S. military and was honorably discharged. I have a bad feeling when the national leadership is jingoistic and only a handful had to actually bloody their hands in defense of the American people. It is not a pretty thing to do, and all military veterans would tell you to think long and hard before you go to war.
Kabul has fallen to the Northern Alliance and the Taliban is in retreat. Now the complex nature of Central Asian politics will come into play. It is well known that the Musharrif administration in Pakistan opposed the Northern Alliance in the past, and that today there is a struggle to find a broad-based governing coalition to replace the Taliban. This will be a very complicated situation, and I am not sure if anyone here in the United States or even in Afghanistan itself has a clear blueprint.
As noted before, this should have been thought out before the war on terrorism was declared. However, in the United States, and especially in the Virgin Islands, we must be concerned with what is unfolding within American society. I am astonished to hear the "counter-terrorism solutions" being proposed. We are being manipulated into surrendering the best aspects of American civilization to confront terrorism: We must give up our civil rights. We must now accept wiretapping, racial profiling, illegal search and seizures, secret military tribunals, arbitrary detentions, censorship, repression of speech, and other human rights that Americans have struggled to make their collective birthright.
As an American citizen of African heritage, I say these concessions are too great! Our forefathers shed blood in foreign lands in defense of the best traditions of America when those same rights were denied at home, and they shed even more blood in the domestic front when they struggled to make U.S. society live up to its ideals. Today, we are told to rally around the flag, question nothing, and do as we are told.
Fundamentalism found within all faiths
We are making a big mistake. We are focusing on the foreign suspects of terrorism, and we are ignoring the domestic sources. In the past two months, it was considered treason to suggest that there were other possible suspects or theories for the rationale of the attack. It was Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, period. No other possible perpetrators, theories and political forces. The U.S. mass media have focused on Islamic fundamentalism as the sole source of violent acts against Americans.
Since many Virgin Islanders are not familiar with the politics of Islamic fundamentalism and right-wing terrorism in societies with large Muslim populations, I will present a "primer" for you and show that the Sept. 11 attacks were not isolated events but part of larger conflicts within American society and abroad in the Middle East.
Fundamentalism is not an inherent trait of Islam. All major faith systems or religions have their fundamentalists or their orthodox believers who practice the fundamental principles in a rigid manner. There are fundamentalist Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Rastafari. Fundamentalists are usually non-violent -- they merely implement their spiritual principles in strict ways that many people consider conservative and puritanical.
Nonetheless, among the fundamentalists in every faith system, we have witnessed the emergence of extremely violent forces that basically favor the same type of politics: right wing, ultraconservative political systems that are modeled on ancient theocracies or religious kingdoms. From the mid 1970s until the end of the Cold War in 1989, there was an explosion of violent right-wing fundamentalist organizations worldwide.
Examples: Within Israel, there are fundamentalist Jews who have brought down three Israeli administrations in the past ten years -- Yitzhak Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. The major fundamentalist Jewish party is the Shas Party. Among Palestinians, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbollah are fundamentalist Muslim organizations that are committed to the creation of an Islamic state within the historic Palestinian homeland.
In the Western Hemisphere, we have our share of fundamentalists -- many of whom are Euro-Christian in theological orientation. In fact, the United States has millions of fundamentalist Christians whose religious fervor and virulent ultra-conservatism are equivalent to anything that exists in the Islamic world. (Did you hear what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson stated were the reasons for the hijacking-bombings?)
Fundamentalist politics has a way of creating kindred militants. Due to their tendency to rigidly apply principles articulated thousands of years ago onto complex modern societies, fundamentalist politicians and political organizations end up creating alliances with the most hideous ideologies and organizations in modern history. Within the last 10 years, Islamic and Christian fundamentalist groups have created alliances with neofascists/neonazis. In fact, the terror campaign that has been unleashed on America has clear unequivocal footprints of both groupings -- Islamic fundamentalists and neofascists. In the United States, many neofascists belong to Christian Identity movements; that is, they are allied to Christian fundamentalist forces.
I know that this is a lot of difficult material. However, the evidence is there, even though the mainstream media are suspiciously silent. The hijacking-bombings have been linked to Islamic fundamentalist forces, particularly Al-Qaeda, and although we are not sure, tremendous circumstantial evidence points to both Osama bin Laden and the Taliban as accessories. These suspects are being bombed.
But what about the anthrax attacks? All evidence points to domestic neofascist forces who have ties to the Christian fundamentalists.Will the war against terrorism attack the domestic terrorists? Yes, domestic terrorists.
Neofascism alive and active in America
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are hundreds of white supremacist/hate groups in the United States. A few have been at war with the federal government for the last decade. Have you heard of the National Alliance and its leader, William Pierce? He is credited for writing the "Turner Diaries," calling for armed struggle against the federal government, destroying the skyscrapers in New York City and creating a White America. Do you remember Timothy McVeigh and his Michigan Brotherhood? McVeigh was executed, but what about his Michigan Brot herhood? Clippings from the "Turner Dairies" were found in his possession and in his car. It was his bible.
Ironically, he was granted a stay of execution on May 11 because more than 4,000 pages of "misplaced evidence" had been suppressed by the FBI. McVeigh's co-conspirators, Terry Nicholls and Michael Fortier, have insisted that others were involved in the bombing attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Kansas City. Who else is involved in this bombing?
Did you know that between January 1998 and April 2001 there were 172 false anthrax threats in the United States? And that one-third of them were directed against abortion clinics? Did you know that a domestic terrorist group called the Army of God targets abortion clinics for attack? According to Planned Parenthood, 90 family planning and abortion clinics have received anthrax threats within the last five years.
Did you know that during the last 10 years, an incendiary campaign has been waged against African-American churches and synagogues? Churches, pillars of the African-American community, have been burned to the ground, and synagogue have been defaced and attacked. Yet, America's response has largely been silence. Even among African-Americans, we seem not to be paying attention to this domestic terrorism threat.
We have all become victims of bioterrorism. With cold-blooded logic, the organizers of today's anthrax mass attacks (and perhaps tomorrow's smallpox or bubonic plague) have selected civilian targets everywhere! I see the footprints of homegrown American neofascists, not militant Arabs or fundamentalist Muslims. I am suspicious of the mainstream media and I am alarmed at the way domestic terrorists are allowed to roam freely, right under the radar screen.
The airbus crash on Veterans Day has raised more red flags for those of us who view domestic neofascism as an enemy of the American people. We all saw the footage of American Airlines Flight 587. Why is the mainstream media excessively focusing our attention on the "catastrophic mechanical failure"? Why is terrorism or internal sabotage dismissed so early? Perhaps we who have been victims of internal white supremacist terror are more alert to a "fifth column" than the larger American mainstream which does not have a tradition of fighting racism and prejudice.
It will be a colossal tragedy for all Americans if we discover that the "Middle Eastern terrorist suspects" were accessories to the Sept. 11 attacks but the key enemies are the domestic neofascists/neonazis who escape detection because they do not "look like terrorists." It will be catastrophic if domestic neonazis and other hate groups are not taken seriously and in the meantime we destroy American democracy and its most progressive traditions. It will be a cruel blow to all Americans if these homegrown neonazis -- with their "Fortress America" and their ethnically pure American Homeland -- realize their political agenda while the Bush administration wages a war against "terrorists" perceived to be solely dark-skinned foreigners.
We are in a critical stage in American civilization, if not world humanity, as we struggle against a terror threat that is not yet defined and terrorists who "lurk in the shadows." A terror that has been marketed as Middle Eastern and Islamic, foreign and un-American. The mass media have ignored the domestic enemy who easily blends into the mainstream American society. If left alone, this domestic threat will destroy from within.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, you were right -- we should not have rushed to judgment; we might have to end up bombing domestic terrorists in our own country.

Editor's note: Malik Sekou is an assistant professor of political science and history at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas campus.
We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.