Muslim terrorists killed at least 12 people in a brazen daylight attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper the Charlie Hebdo weekly.
While the American media and public will inevitably default to a childish and simpleminded frame that deems the Paris terror attackers to be "crazy", the reality is that this group appears to be
tactically proficient, well-equipped, and effective.
Moreover--and this too is anathema to the American media and the approved public discourse--"terrorism" can be a very effective tactic: for example, suicide bombing can advance strategic goals; a small group of terrorists can be highly disruptive, cause the enemy to expend a large amount of resources to neutralize them, and undermine the targeted community's sense of security and safety.
Terrorism is a strategy that uses violence and intimidation to achieve a political goal. Terrorism may, but is not limited to, targeting civilian "non-combatants". Terrorism is not exclusive to the Middle East or other parts of the world. It is part of an American tradition of violence from the white racial pogroms and terrorism of the 19th and 20th centuries against African-Americans and other people of color through to the police violence and thuggery of the post civil rights era against black and brown communities as exemplified by the events in Ferguson and choking on video murder of Eric Garner by the NYPD.
In the age of September 11th and a perpetual American war against "terrorism", Islamic terrorists are a convenient bogeyman and monster upon which the West can fixate. Terrorism is a type of zombie politics, one that survives despite the fact that more Americans have been killed by Right-wing domestic terrorists than by Muslim "jihadists" since the events of September 11th.
Stereotyped Muslims with bombs on their backs, yelling "Allahu Akbar", beheading white people, and calling for an Islamic caliphate are far more compelling images with which to conjure up fear and anxiety (while also serving the political entertainment complex of movies, video games, and ad revenue for corporate news networks) than are like depictions of white Right-wing conservative Christians who have participated in domestic terrorism against their fellow citizens.
Beckoned on by Fox News and the Right-wing hate media, white Right-wing domestic terrorists have either actively committed or planned numerous acts of terrorist violence in the United States.
Some of these include:
1. The bombing of an NAACP office on Tuesday of this week.
2. Planting an improvised explosive device at the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Spokane, Washington.
3. The attacks by "sovereign citizens" in Louisiana, Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere against government buildings, police, and firefighters.
4. The attacks by Jared and Amanda Miller against police in Las Vegas, and that of Frazier Glenn Miller on a Jewish community center in Kansas.
While the American news media is fixated on the still developing terrorist event(s) in Paris, a cabal of white Right-wingers recently pleaded guilty to planning a horrific series of attacks in Georgia during 2014:
Yesterday, Terry Peace, Brian Cannon and Cory Williamson pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, as well as charges of conspiring to defraud the government.
Peace, Cannon and Williamson — all members of a militia in Georgia — participated in online chat discussions between Jan. 23 and Feb. 15, 2014, that were monitored by the FBI.
During the conversations online, they discussed using guerrilla war tactics and planned to launch attacks against a metro Atlanta police station and several government agencies in February 2014.
The three men attempted to “recruit other individuals to join them and to carry out similar operations in those individuals’ home states.”
Peace allegedly told other militia members to choose targets including “road blocks, TSA checkpoints, sheriffs/police conducting operations outside the Constitution” as well as to participate in the “removal of government people who support extra-Constitutional activities.”
In other words, the men plotted to launch large-scale explosive attacks against local government and police that, if successfully carried out, would have been the largest terror attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Of course, the Republican Party and its media refuse to admit the obvious connections between Right-wing ideologies, white masculinity, gun fetishism, bigotry, and political violence. And given the stranglehold of Christian Reconstruction and Dominionism on American movement conservatism, the role of Christian identity politics and white supremacy in domestic terrorism are de facto removed from any critical intervention or corrective.
Ultimately, the Republican Party and its propaganda machine's choice (with the corporate news media en masse enabling the behavior) to ignore, deflect, and shout down any discussion of the dangers posed by Right-wing domestic terrorism is white privilege as an enabler for violence, treason, and murder. In all and again, white privilege hurts and kills white people--even while too many of them continue to desperately hold onto its perceived (and real) psychological and material benefits.
Violence is a type of politics: this is true for both Islamic terrorists and white Christian Right-wing American domestic terrorists.
Radicalized and politicized religions kills people. Religious extremism, intolerance, a rejection of pluralism, and a denial of the separation between church and state in modern Western democracies killed people in the streets of Paris today.
Those same values are shared by the American White Right...and they are just as lethal abroad as they are at home.