One of the things that struck me during yesterday's visit to the site was the awareness of other countries concerning the increased visibility of far-right militia groups in the US. A cluster of articles (interestingly, all from German newspapers) explored this phenomenon. There were two from Germany's Frankfurter Rundschau, here and here; one from that country's die Zeit, here; and one from Süddeutsche Zeitung, here. It is this last article which intrigued me the most because of the detail with which this peculiarly American phenomenon was explored.
Here's a sample of what I mean:
Hutaree’s homepage openly presents the group’s beliefs and its goal of establishing a new world order. They display their flag and crest and give an insight into their organizational structure; they say they hope to “reach out to those who have not the word of God and those who are lost in there (sic) ideas of Christ.” ...
Above everything stands the motto "Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive." The paramilitary group adheres to a doctrine larded with biblical references; there’s hardly a sentence on the website that doesn’t contain the word Christian or the name Jesus. But their conspiracy theories have nothing to do with Christian virtues: “We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ.” And the duty of combating him and driving him out falls to the Hutaree. ...
The Hutaree militia is only one of many right-wing extremist militant groups in the United States; the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center lists 127 other groups. Most of them claim to be defenders of the American heritage intended by the founding fathers that, according to their crude perceptions, means white Christians fighting against immorality, blacks, leftists, liberals, Muslims, the American government and the rest of the world. [Emphasis added]
Clearly this is an opinion piece, but it is one which presents an accurate portrait of the group allegedly planning actions which would kick off a civil war. It is also one that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the reasons for the emergence of the Hutarees and other groups like it:
The pious Sarah Palin recently spread more of her anti-Obama health care reform poison and showed just how close she was to opening fire when she wrote to her fans on Facebook saying, "Commonsense conservatives & lovers of America: 'don't retreat, instead ⎯ RELOAD!'"
It was advice apparently taken to heart by the Hutaree folks.
While I don't think Sarah Palin and her penchant for violent rhetoric is the only person enabling the militia groups (think Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, even some members of Congress anxious to get on board with the Tea Party), I do think her emergence as the darling of farthest of the far right combined with the platform she has been handed by Fox News Network and the heightened activities of such groups as the Hutaree are connected, and not just tangentially.
Elements of the German press obviously think the US is in for a wild ride.
So do I.
Labels: Right Wing Terrorism