Monday, January 4, 2016

The Difference Between That Oregon Militia and ISIS

There isn't one.  Stop acting like there is.  Trump should be bombing the shit out of those bundyist motherfuckers.
The big story of the day is the armed seizure of an empty federal building in rural Oregon by a group of domestic terrorists, some of whom are the sons of federal tax cheat and freeloader Cliven Bundy.

They’re apparently upset at the conviction and upcoming jail sentences of a couple of fellow domestic terrorists for arson. They believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority to own land, that national parks are essentially illegal, and that men like them have a God-given right to mine, log and otherwise destroy whatever forest land they want. (It remains unclear whether they would condone Native Americans for “standing their ground” and responding with force to their trespass on the same lands that God clearly gave to them first.)

I don’t want to dwell too much on the rationales and motivations for these domestic terrorists any more than I would for the people who fight for ISIS or Al Qaeda. It’s always the same thing: a group of armed, angry men believe that the Big Bad Western Government is infringing on their right to do whatever it is they very well please—whether it’s to the environment, or to minorities, women, people of different religious groups, etc. Undereducated, armed angry men are often upset at Western governments for upsetting their private power apple carts because in their small, solipsistic worlds they’re very used to being lords of their manors and local enforcers of bigoted frontier justice. That’s as true of Afghan militants in the Taliban as it is of rural Montana militiamen. The only difference is in the trappings, the external presence of the rule of law and the degree of violence involved.

As much as restraint is the better part of valor when dealing with entitled conservative crazies, principles of basic justice and fair play also need to apply. What’s good for one type of terrorist must also be good for another.
Actually, there is a difference.  Domestic terrorists - conservatard white guys with guns who think they own the world - are a genuine existential threat to the United States of America, its residents and its Constitution.
ISIS is a bunch of thugs in the desert five thousand miles away.

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