Terrorism by Any Other Name

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In a climate of sometimes ugly, rough and tumble partisan politics, most responsible writers who follow our national fascination will sometimes self-censor when words or suggestions might inflame unnecessarily. The last thing you want to do is have your writing contribute to an already unseemly dialogue.

So a few months ago when Americans were in the glow of a newly elected President, I, like many others, made a conscious decision to avoid bringing up the topic of danger and safety and the very real threat that would most likely come not from Al Qaeda, but from inside our borders. The idea of a "New America" was too powerful and compelling to drag that dream down with a reality that too any clearheaded person should have been, frankly, obvious.

As anyone who has even mildly studied American racial history and the politics of white nationalism knows, the ascendancy of Barack Obama ­ in the eyes of white supremacists ­ reads something like prophecy. A Black man, the product of miscegenation, who might be a Muslim, becomes president on a platform calling for a change from Christian conservatism, and immediately selects a Jew as chief of staff.  It's a scene right out of the infamous Turner Diaries. It¹s ZOG (the Zionist Occupational Government as described in the book) come to life. Is it any surprise that the Holocaust Museum shooter, James Von Brunn, was a close associate of legendary race-baiter William Pierce, the author of The Turner Diaries and the L. Ron Hubbard of the fringe right?

Add to that the nutty imagery of Obama as Antichrist, the government takeover of banks, and a rush to snatch up guns and you¹ve got the spark for a fire just waiting to burn. But is this new information? Honestly, even before we knew who Obama was, didn't most of us already think that our greatest danger was probably inside America, not out? As innocent American Muslims were unfairly held in airports and put on no-fly lists, haven't we always suspected that TSA was barking up the wrong tree?

September 11th was writ on a large scale in dramatic fashion with a more dramatic body count, but from the Civil War to lynch mobs to race riots to church bombings to assassinations to Timothy McVeigh most all of America's acts of terror have been homegrown. Half-baked and concocted in rural living rooms not Middle Eastern mosques. Entire neighborhoods have been leveled based on the suspicion of illicit interracial sex. Did we really think the election of a Black president would go unchallenged?

But if the internal threat inside America's own ranks was so painfully obvious to any rational thinking person, why not then to the FBI and the rest of the Homeland Security Network? If Von Brunn's ex-wife seemed to suspect that he was planning a dramatic exit, then why didn¹t the NSA? And knowing that the threat was real, why is there a Guantanamo for suspected foreign enemies of the state, and not a domestic Gitmo?

If the answer to the question is that Americans are entitled to due process, then it simply proves the point that Guantanamo should be closed. It makes little sense to bend value and justice for foreign suspects, while those most likely to strike roam free and build stockpiles of weapons under the cover of the Second Amendment. Terror is terror be it an old coot with a rifle or a zealot with a bomb in his shoe, and we are either fighting it or we are not.

But first let's call these kinds of incidents what they are and put the infrastructure in place to combat them. If it looks like terrorism and kills like terrorism, call it terrorism