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Friday, December 04, 2015


by F.I. Goldhaber

In the years since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has suffered sixty-five assaults associated with right-wing ideologies—“sovereign citizens,” white supremacists, and anti-abortion extremists—and twenty-four by Muslim extremists, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, at the University of Maryland. You might think that this underrepresents the risk of a spectacular, high-casualty attack, but, as my colleague John Cassidy has written, the security officials who protect the public against both domestic and foreign terrorists say the domestic risk is greater. The terrorism experts Charles Kurzman, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and David Schanzer, of Duke, surveyed nearly four hundred state and local police agencies, and found that the “main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists but from right-wing extremists.” . . . It will take time to discover what mix of ideas and madness contributed to the attacks in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino. But it is a different kind of madness to pretend that we’ve learned nothing about why these types of events happen. In a study published this year in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, Mark Pitcavage, of the Anti-Defamation League, examined thirty-five “lone wolf” attackers—their tactics and ideas, and the consequences of their actions. He found that “ideology seems to have played a substantial role in the majority of the violent acts.” Nearly two-thirds of the attackers had a clear sense of what they were doing to their “perceived enemies,” and why. —Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, Dec. 2, 2015. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK COTE / THE NEW YORK TIMES VIA REDUX VIA THE NEW YORKER

The hypocrites rage on, refusing to accept responsibility
when one of their own slaughters police, doctors, and innocent bystanders.
The rhetoric that sends terrorists to attack women seeking health care
erupts anew as those fomenting hate spew vitriol across airwaves.

No one questions why medical facilities find it necessary
to have safe rooms and armored doors. Too many accept how easily those
with criminal records and mental instability acquire weapons.

Those who immediately condemned all Muslims after some radical
fundamentalists violated their own religious texts to bomb and
shoot Parisians, urge us to wait for all the facts when their protégés
splatter the blood of strangers and destroy buildings on American soil.

Violent extremists threaten the U.S., but they call themselves "Christians,"
use Bibles not Qurʾans to justify destruction and murder. We won't
eradicate terrorism if we ignore the ones we raise at home.

As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, F.I. Goldhaber produced news stories, feature articles, essays, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits in five states. Now, her poems, short stories, novelettes, essays, and reviews appear in paper, electronic, and audio magazines, ezines, newspapers, calendars, and anthologies.  Her newest book of poetry Subversive Verse collects poems about corporate cruelty, gender grievances, supreme shambles, political perversion, and race relations.