Friday, August 30, 2013

Homegrown Violent Extremism by Erroll Southers

Brought to our attention by Arnold Bogis at Homeland Security Watch...

Thanks for bringing our attention to Erroll Southers’ new book Homegrown Violent Extremism

Coincidentally, Mr. Southers is currently working for Johnathan Tal, of TAL Global, an associate of mine from the Silicon Valley days.  Southers has a blog where he discussed his book in a recent post in which he reminds us:

Absent a set of specific criteria, we will continue to direct the vast majority of our national security efforts against only one violent ideology (i.e., Muslim extremism).

The federal government has had a legal definition of terrorism for quite some time.

Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
By that measure most (almost all) of the terrorism we have experienced in the U.S. since 1865 has been the work of angry white men, not transnational Islamist extremists. There was a time when the federal government aggressively investigated the bombing of churches and the assassination of civil rights workers without regard to the skin color of the perpetrators or victims. Unfortunately, these days our frightened neighbors and their political representatives are not much interested in chasing anti-government extremists, white supremacists, anti-semites, tax protesters, violent homophobes, or “right to life” bombers and assassins, especially, it seems, if they happen to be white and nominally Christian. There is some tolerance for tracking down the tree-hugging arsonists, animal-loving vandals, balaclava-clad anarchists, but they’re radical lefties and probably atheists after all. I suppose it all depends on whose ox is gored, or what sort of news coverage sells the most advertising.

I look forward to reading Mr. Southers’ book.