What’s the right wing’s responsibility for Colorado Springs attack?

America was hit by another terrorist attack last week, and once again its source was domestic, not foreign. Three people, including a police officer, were killed in the attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday in Colorado Springs.¹

It’s a continuation of a pattern. Since the tragedy on Sept. 11 more than 14 years ago, attacks by white supremacists, anti-government, anti-abortion and anti-immigrant extremists have killed almost twice as many people in this country as attacks by jihadists. Those who have decided to exercise their alleged “Second Amendment right” to push political change through armed violence have targeted Sikhs, Jews, African-Americans, Unitarians, government employees and, as in this case, those linked to abortion providers.

The list of victims also includes police officers, who have repeatedly been targeted for ambush and assassination by white anti-government extremists.

Typically, as in the Colorado Springs case, the perpetrator of the domestic terror attack has been a “lone wolf,” a socially alienated white male. But such descriptions, considered by themselves, hide a clear pattern. If you scan through the database of such attacks compiled by the New America Foundation, you discover that while such men have generally acted alone, they have typically turned to right-wing extremist groups and websites for inspiration, indoctrination and instruction. The radicalization of vulnerable minds works in much the same fashion that jihadist groups have spread their own hateful message to a geographically diverse audience.

Now, does that mean that the pro-life movement is somehow responsible for the Colorado attack? No, it does not. But in some quarters, to even notice a parallel between jihadists and our own home-grown terrorists is cause for defensive hysteria. For example, Leon Wolf, writing at RedState, complains bitterly that liberal commentators “have already convicted the entire Republican Party of murder” in the Colorado Springs case. Any effort to link even extremist pro-life rhetoric to the actions of Robert Dear, the suspect in the Planned Parenthood attack, must be rejected, he argues.

Wolf goes on to contrast the reaction to the Colorado Springs attack to public reaction to the recent attacks in Paris:

“And yet, when 130 innocent Parisians were killed by violent Muslim terrorists, neither Anjem Choudary nor any other Muslim cleric was rushed before cameras and demanded to condemn and apologize for their religious brethren. In fact, the media went to great pains to allege, again and again, that Islam was not responsible and had nothing to do with this. Hillary Clinton specifically said that Islam had “nothing to do” with what happened at all, as if all the many attackers suddenly contracted a violent mental illness that we don’t have a specific name for yet.”

Let’s deal first with Wolf’s claim that in the aftermath of Paris, Muslims weren’t “rushed before cameras and demanded to condemn and apologize for their religious brethren.” It is a monumental example of hypocrisy and self-inflicted blindness. For one ugly example:

Additional examples can be found here and here and here and many other places as well.

Again, I think Wolf has a somewhat valid point. I too am wary of trying to use acts of violence by extremists as a means to sully an entire mainstream religion, political party or movement. There are cases in which the connection might be drawn, but most of the time the charge of causation is much too morally grave to be sustained by the flimsy evidence at hand. It is not a claim to be made lightly, particularly in cases when the alleged killer appears psychologically disturbed.

A cartoon posted on Twitter in the wake of the Paris attacks by Philistine Ayad, an American-born Muslim feminist.

A cartoon posted on Twitter in the wake of the Paris attacks by Philistine Ayad, an American-born Muslim feminist.

That said, it’s interesting to watch conservatives who have insisted that mainstream Muslims must share collective guilt for the crimes of extremists who claim Islamic inspiration, and who claim that Black Lives Matter has the blood of police officers on its hands, now emphatically rejecting any suggestion of their own shared responsibility and collective guilt for attacks such as those launched repeatedly against Planned Parenthood.

If you are going to traffic shamelessly in accusations of shared responsibility — if you’re going to indulge yourself in lunacies such as denying food stamps to Syrian refugees in Georgia based on what Islamic extremists did in Paris, for example — well, this is what it feels like on the receiving end.

This is just a very small taste of it.

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¹Under federal law, crimes qualify as domestic terrorism if they “appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping.”

 

Reader Comments 0

1533 comments
whatcanIsay
whatcanIsay

what about the women who where extorted and did not receive their cut of the profits from the selling of their product grown in their body?  Should you speak up for the women who where ripped off? 

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

"It is a monumental example of hypocrisy and self-inflicted blindness."

This phrase is an accurate description of Jay's post.

stefpe
stefpe

@irishmafiahigs "11,000 people killed by firearm (mostly suicide)"

Um. Actually, 11,000 was the number of homicides. There were also 21,000 suicides by firearm.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

 My co-worker was told by three different doctors when she had a miscarriage at nine weeks that "it's not that bad, I have seen worse" when she wanted to take FMLA to get over the lost and all three denied her request. It's apparent that all three of these doctors did not believe that a life was lost with the miscarriage because if that were true her FMLA would have been approved.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Obama encourages Turkey to close it's border with Syria.  Hello, irony, I see you hiding over there! 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DownInAlbany 

I work for 3 physicians and 2 PA's

(shrug)

450 physicians and 55 PAs work for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHEETZ, BTW

Paul42
Paul42

53%er


Wanted to bring this up top as I was doing some business and the topic slipped way down.


So let's clarify.

Your position is life begins at conception.

Any termination is murder.

Doctors, young couples undergoing in vitro who discard unused embryos are guilty of murder.

No matter the medical threat to the mother, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, preserving the fetus is the primary objective.  The mom can die and the fetus is to be preserved no matter the method of conception.

Is that correct?

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@Paul42 So when a drunk driver causes an accident that kills the mother and her "fetus" than they should only face one charge of vehicular homicide.

Paul42
Paul42

@InTheMiddle2 @Paul42

That makes no sense. 

Life begins at conception, terminating it is murder, those are the particulars.  Life of mother, pregnancy from rape, doesn't matter.  Fetus at all costs.

You can address that or keep doing what you're doing,.

Peachs
Peachs

The problem with right wing terrorism is it hits the hinterlands where we are not prepared to deal with it.  Colorado Springs is really not a rural dirt road but it is not NYC either and the local police is going into a situation out gunned by the pert, and the odds are tremendously against him. One thing I think we will see is a call to action for more gun control as the far right gets a dose of what they think is good for the goose. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Peachs What "more gun control" do you think it will take to satisfy you libs?

YouLibs
YouLibs

My tonsils were murdered back in 1955, sniff.


They were alive, dammit.


It's still hard for me to talk about it without getting all emotional.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Basically, if you insist on calling embryos "babies," you're part of the problem."


Maybe we should call them "ni&&ers" or "jews" so we can exterminate them at will and feel good about it.  You know, like has been done in the past...


Do you see the parallels? 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@fiftythreepercenter 

No, actually.  Are you attempting to make the case that embryos are being "exterminated", because they are "embryos"?

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger No, he is showing how the progressives have to make something sub-human in order to commit atrocities against it.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

cortex, I answered your JR wisdom comment below.

irishmafiahigs
irishmafiahigs

2014 : USA


11,000 people killed by firearm (mostly suicide)


33,000 killed in traffic accidents


327,000 babies killed by abortion


Guess which one the lefty loonies are most concerned about 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@irishmafiahigs  Just as Jason Chaffetz (R) data did not work on the hill it does not work here.  You guys are smashing it though with your support of your comic book super hero home grown terrorist Robert Louis Dear who took three lives to save a babies life.

td1234
td1234

@JamVet When are you going to put up the money or shut up? 



Kamchak
Kamchak

It took 1400 comments, but we finally got the slavery card.