A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


January 30, 2013

Would James Madison Be Considered "Subversive" Today?

     Last week The Washington Times ran an article on a report issued by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  According to this report, titled "Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right", there are three movements within our society that they consider important enough to include in their assessment.  Normally focused on such outside terror threats as Al-Quada and other Islamic extremists, the Center has turned their attention inward, pinpointing three domestic movements it identifies as “a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement.”
     This study has already been criticized and condemned by many Constitutionally-minded support groups such as Oath Keepers, along with retired military personnel and Americans, in general.  The author of the study, one Arie Perliger, is the Director of Terrorism Studies at the Combating Terrorism Center, and is also a graduate of the University of Haifa Israel in Jerusalem, where he has studied and written extensive papers on the Politics of the Far Right in Israel.  He has also been published by Columbia University Press and Chicago University Press.  Now that we have established his obviously biased political leanings, it becomes a little clearer why his "report" is prefaced with the following disclaimer:  The views expressed in this report are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, Department of Defense or U.S. government.
     So why give it so much significance and publish it under the auspices of West Point?  This misleading paper attempts to lump such fringe groups as the Neo-Nazis and Skinheads (that would be your racist/white supremacy groups) with nut jobs who bomb abortion clinics (there's your fundamentalist group).   Granted, these movements have exhibited violent tendencies and their actions are abhorred by all moral segments of society.  But the most spurious and fraudulent aspect of this report labels an "anti-federalist" movement as sharing the same goals and actions as these criminal elements.
     Just how does the Mr. Perliger describe a member of the anti-federalist movement?  He describes an advocate of this movement as a person who "tends to have strong opinions about the federal government, believing it could be corrupt or tyrannical; that the federal government has a natural tendency to  intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.  Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most of their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement."  (Of course, he fails to cite specific instances of this so-called violence).
     But he doesn't stop there.  It's just a tiny leap of his twisted logic to connect the mainstream conservative ideology to his fabricated anti-federalist movement.  Of course, in his (wink, wink) impartial opinion, he chooses to describe liberals as “future oriented” and conservatives as "living in the past".  He sums up this conclusion by stating,  “The far right represents a more extreme version of conservatism, as its political vision is usually justified by the aspiration to restore or preserve values and practices that are part of the idealized historical heritage of the nation or ethnic community.”
     So since the values of our historical heritage are embodied in the Founding Fathers, I can only surmise that Mr. Perliger would classify such Patriarchs as John Adams, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, James Madison, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as the forefathers of the "Violent Far-Right", and worthy of inclusion in his report.  After all, it is no secret that they all viewed limited government, individual rights, and freedom from tyranny as the bedrock of our Republic.
     Unfortunately, as all Progressives tend to do, he could not disguise his disdain for "far-right groups’ [whose] ideology is designed to exclude minorities and foreigners.  The liberal-democratic system is designed to emphasize civil rights, minority rights and the balance of power.”  There you have it!  He has allowed us to see his political bias front and center.
     What has happened to the study and research of the blatant foreign extremists that wish to commit violence against this land?  Do any of these "experts" at West Point think it might be more productive to determine what mayhem and bloodshed they plan against the Homeland?
     But what is so upsetting and dangerous about such "studies" is that they are promoted from within the sacred halls of our most venerated Military establishments and accepted as Truth!  How many law enforcement agencies will receive this spurious report and develop policy based on the bogus facts and research that was conducted?  Why are our Military leaders silent on this publication?
     Perhaps even more disturbing and long-reaching is that Mr. Perliger teaches at West Point.  How many minds is he poisoning with this bitter attack on Constitution-loving Americans?  It is a sad day when our political heritage and a love for a free and independent citizenry can be painted with such a broad and black brush.  We must not let these aspersions define us.  As James Madison said, "The citizens of the U.S. are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society".  We have been entrusted with the Republic they left us, and it is our duty and our responsibility to safeguard it.  I will not be deterred by false labels or phony provocations.  There is too much at stake.

Psalm 27:11-12     "Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in straight path because of my oppressors.  Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations."
   
   

4 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Belle!
    (I know you've alredy seen this, but I'll toss it back out for your readers' enjoyment.)
    This was part of my response to a friend at West Point regarding Dr. Perlinger's "academic expression" worrying about the "rise in anti-federalist" violence.
    [Quote] Some might consider it a "dog whistle" statement that anybody on the right (i.e. doesn't agree with the Democrat Party or our current Administration -- you know, the Administration with close personal and political ties with the founders of the Weather Underground?) is now a violent, extremist, racist terrorist.

    And given that Dr. Perlinger has significant access to some of the highest law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies in America (certainly more than I do), there are some ordinary Americans out here in fly-over country that worry about just what contingency planning is going on with us in the cross-hairs. Sorta like the whacky study of a hypothetical "Pineland" insurrection of "Tea Party" groups that the Army War College put out not so long ago...or mysterious "Multi-agency exercises" in various metropolitan areas.

    ...wait, do I see a pattern? Smells like a little preparation of the battle space to me. What the heck are the great minds working for the US Army doing? Jihadis are pouring into Mali and Syria, Egypt is in flames, Iran is spinning refined uranium out of centrifuges, and Algerian & Nigerian oil fields are just plain bad places to be (if you're not Muslim)....but the Director of Terrorism Studies at the CTC has to publish on the KKK somehow linked to 'anti-federalists?' REALLY?!?! THAT's effective 'combat' against terrorism?

    Remember, just because some of us aren't part of the inner sanctums of Joint Planning any more, don't think we're blind to what we see. GEN Mattis is THE warrior monk of the USMC, but he's not good enough for CENTCOM anymore. And GEN Ham apparently wanted to respond in Benghazi, but he's not good enough for AFRICOM anymore. Remember what I said about patterns?

    Finally, Dr. Perlinger's executive summary conclusion, trying to disconnect the study from those who "do" from those who "think," is a little disingenuous from my sensitive viewpoint. You can't arbitrarily dissociate the cause from the effect and still be credible. Unless we're talking about Islamist extremism, that is. Everybody knows those guys' behavior has nothing to do with their culture or religion. It's just the American right wing that needs more scrutiny. Ask the CTC and Army War College, right?

    Just sayin'. [End quote]

    Belle, if you had asked me if this was serious publication as recently as 5 years ago, I would have laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of it. Now, it's just not funny. It's dangerous.

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    1. Your opinion is so valuable to this blog, and your comment is an important continuation of my post. Thank you for your insightful commentary! And I need to do a little more research, but I'm wondering if Dr. Perlinger might not have mingled in the same circles as Cass Sunstein and Bill Ayers, falling under their influence at Harvard and Chicago? And if not, he certainly has been schooled in "effective propaganda methods" by someone. First, just put the premise out there and if it is said often enough (proof isn't necessary!), then before you know it, it is accepted as truth.
      Secondly, you have brought up another troubling point for me .... where are our patriotic and honorable military leaders? I can see that many of them are being dismissed from their positions, and I am fearful of what that bodes for our military and our national security.
      And you are right, my friend, these days are becoming dark and dangerous. The American people are not stupid. Reports such as Dr. Perlinger's do nothing to secure the future of this nation. We are not buying his false and pernicious claims, and we will not take his bait. We are smarter than they think we are.

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  2. I don't know Dr. Perlinger personally, and only have a vague sense of him professionally. Like you, I can only speculate on his motivations. But his publication in this case is pernicious.
    Back around 2005-06, the CTC published some EXCELLENT analysis of terrorist organizations and their trans-national interconnections. In the last several years, I haven't seen anything of real note. Makes me wonder when Dr. P rose to seniority there.
    Living in the Old Dominion for the past several years, I can tell you the idea of a resurgent KKK is a stupid, vapid joke. That organization hasn't been significant since, well...since the late Sen. Robert Bird (D-WV) was a member about a half-century ago. And having lived on-and-off in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, and extensively traveled around there) in the 1990's and 2000's, the Aryan Nations were an even bigger joke. The idea that either group was a significant threat to the American Homeland is unsubstantiated. If the CTC wants to "combat" domestic terrorism, they should spend more time analyzing urban gangs and their connections to trans-national drug and human trafficking. The only "out of control" aspect of gun violence in America right now is in these groups.
    As to the question of military leadership, I can only make some general observations:
    - the rise of other para-military missions associated with DHS, CIA and BATFE, and even ICE, has provided a promotion path for some of the more "politically" minded officers I've seen. These are officers who see easy access to largely non-military (read: not as accountable) budgets/resources, flavor-of-the-day "missions" connected to powerful patrons in DC, with far less personal danger than being deployed to CENTCOM. Sadly, these same officers spend a lot of time in/around DC and get to make even more political connections in a self-serving feed-back loop.
    - something happens to EVERY senior officer I've ever seen rise to/above 2-stars. It is in the nature of the game that political connections and sensibilities have to be cultivated to continue advancement. Only in rare cases like GEN Hugh Shelton (former CDR USSOCOM, now retired), GEN Mattis, GEN Petraeus (who should have stayed a monk like Mattis, but I digress), and perhaps GEN Ray Odierno, do men with real combat experience and vision promote while staying "true" to the forces and missions they command. Too often, somewhere around Colonel/(Navy) Captain (O-6 grade), switching to a political viewpoint changes fine combat operators into staff-pukes looking for their next plumb assignment. That's always been an aspect of senior career paths, but it is driven a lot by the Administration in power, too. GEN Wesley Clark would NEVER have risen so high without the Clinton Administration. The current Chairman, GEN Martin Dempsey, used to be highly respected (I knew him when he was the Deputy CDR at CENTCOM), but something really odd has happened to him as he serves as this President's highest military advisor.
    - the good news is that we have spent the last decade+ operating in combat theaters half-way around the world. As problematic as that has all been, there is NO other military on the globe that could have done it. We now have a generation of military professionals who have been there, done that, and gone back for seconds (and thirds, and...). The senior officers in the field (many younger Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, etc) and almost ALL the senior NCOs in the field are tough, focused and combat experienced. We may have a lot of problems as a nation, but those troops/sailors/marines AREN'T part of it. I know you and PLW have seen them for yourselves when you've volunteered in San Antonio.

    So, where to go with all this? Keep fighting the good fight, speak out against evil and skewer the hypocrites. All of which you're doing now. God bless.

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    1. Your comments give me great hope, and I know that the heart of our military does not reside in the politically-inclined leaders at the top. It never has! The reasons that so many of our young men volunteer for the military are sincere and patriotic ones, and they will stand us in good stead in the future. God bless you for your service and love for this country. You represent your fellow military professionals well!

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