“American among 80 killed in Spanish train crash; driver detained.” The driver of the train that crashed in Spain, killing at least 80 people including one American,
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Forced to land in Vienna, left waiting on the tarmac for … half a day – the treatment of Evo Morales has stirred up fury in Latin America…
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Some might say that this is a weird reaction but the fact that the evil loon who carried out the attacks in Norway last week is a radical right wing ideologue has me more disturbed than when I thought it might have been an Islamist group behind it.
A report that Norway’s bomb and gun rampage may be the work of a far-right militant confronts Europe with the possibility that a new paramilitary threat is emerging, a decade after al-Qaida’s Sept. 11 attacks.
One analyst called the attacks possibly Europe’s “Oklahoma City” moment, a reference to American right-wing militant Timothy McVeigh who detonated a truck bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.
Police forces in many western European countries worry about rising far-right sentiment, fueled by a toxic mix of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry and increasing economic hardship.
But violence, while sometimes fatal, has rarely escalated beyond group thuggery and the use of knives.
That may have changed in Oslo and on the holiday island of Utoya on Friday. Seven people were killed in a bombing in the capital — Western Europe’s worst since the 2005 London al-Qaida-linked suicide attacks that killed 52 people — and at least 80 in a shooting rampage by a lake.
As I see it, lots of Important People’s eyes are on the ball of Islamic extremism, but far fewer eyes seem to be paying attention to the rise of right wing extremism in the face of the global recession.
At the beginning of this year, not long after they’d found the bomb on the bench in Spokane, a journalist named David Neiwert put together a list of nearly thirty acts of right-wing political violence that had taken place, or had been foiled, in the United States since the summer of 2008 — or roughly since Barack Obama’s presidency began to be seen as a genuine possibility. The list began with Jim David Adkisson, who killed two people in a Unitarian church in Tennessee because he was angry at how “liberals” were “destroying America.” It included two episodes in April 2009, one in Pittsburgh and one in Florida, in which men who were sure that Barack Obama’s government was coming for their guns opened fire on law-enforcement officers who had come to investigate them on other matters.
Some of the crimes on the list were briefly sensational — Scott Roeder’s murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, or Joseph Andrew Stack’s flying his small plane into a building in Austin in protest of the Internal Revenue Service, or the incoherent array of violent crimes committed by the “Sovereign Citizens Movement.” But most of them barely made the national radar at all. In December 2008, a woman in Belfast, Maine, named Amber Cummings shot to death her sleeping husband, James, who’d been savagely abusing her. Upon arriving at the Cummings home, investigators found Nazi paraphernalia and a stash of chemicals indicating that James Cummings was preparing to make a “dirty bomb” that he planned to detonate at Obama’s inauguration. Except in the local media, that aspect of the case disappeared completely. James Cummings and his bomb had nothing to do with Scott Roeder’s handgun or Joe Stack’s airplane.
It is a fertile time for such things. The country elected a black president with an exotic name. The economy, wrecked by a rigged game at the highest levels, continued to grind through a jobless recovery. The national dialogue grows coarser and wilder, and does so at a pace accelerated by technology. People sense the fragmentation — things are falling apart — even while they take refuge in those fragments of life that seem safest and most familiar.
I really hope we don’t need another Oklahoma City before people start seriously paying attention to all of the hatred and froth that has been stirred up on the right since Obama took office.
For anyone who is still up, President Obama is about to go on TV to announce that Osama bin Laden has been killed by the US military.
Anyone want to take bets on which wingnut will be the first to come up with some creative way to attack Obama over this?
1. The guy was on a terrorism watch list but not a no-fly list. WTF?
2. I expect that this will ironically make traveling even more of a nightmare. After all, our current super-strict terrorism-porn protection methods (e.g., only allowing tiny liquids, requiring us to take off our shoes) didn’t prevent this guy from getting what he needed on the plane.
3. Someone please forward me the first rightwinger who takes this opportunity to call Obama a terrorism-loving appeaser who hates his country and will ultimately rain hellfire down upon. My money is on Savage or Limbaugh. Funny how the country pulled together and backed Bush in the wake of 9/11 while the first successful terrorist attack during Obama’s term will absolutely and inevitably be met with scorn, blame, derision and – yes – probably calls for impeachment.
Update: The rightwing whinging begins. It’s ALWAYS a good day to blame Obama for [X]!
Patrick Ruffini aside, most of the wingnut attacks on Obama over yesterday’s attempted terrorist action center on word choice. RedState:If you guessed “Because they want to start in on ‘See! Obama had a terrorist attack on his watch’!!“, you are correct.
Even the White House is calling this an attempted terror attack.Pete Hoekstra (via ThinkProgress):
Administration says attempted terrorist attack. No. It was a terrorist attack! Just not as successful as they (AQ) planned.
Although, by that logic, the failed shoe bomber was a terrorist attack on Bush’s watch so…
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