Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Terrorism and the Left

I always find it interesting how, whenever a conservative or libertarian group - like the Tea Party- gets angry and passionate about something, all of a sudden the left get "concerned" and "troubled."  They don't get troubled by the issues raised by that group, and don't deal with any of the complaints that those people may have.  Instead, their "concern" (at least, so they claim) is about the potential for "violence" or "disturbances" that they claim may be encouraged by such movements.  The claim is that if tea partiers or conservatives or whoever are allowed to get too passionate, or become too popular, then it will mean that some nutjob will shoot at the President, or blow up a building or go on a rampage with a gun, or whatever.

And yet time and time again, we never see any violence coming from these groups, and instead see political violence coming time and time again from the left not the right.  Time and time again there are outbreaks of violence, or bomb threats or whatever, instantly assumed to me "some right wing nut", and then they turn out to be a communist or green warrior.

Just a few weeks ago we had the Discovery channel eco-loon who (like the Unabomber) had been inspired by the fringe left-wing environmentalist movement.  Business Insider has some amazing statistics on this  And now in England, the Real IRA are threatening to kill bankers in financial institutions in London, all because such bankers dare to "serve in financing Britain's colonial and capitalist system."

This is the same IRA who, in one form of another, has committed countless acts of terrorism through Great Britain and Ireland.  It is rarely mentioned that their politics are radically left-wing, and they have a great many sympathisers from the international left-wing.  Yet sure enough, here they are, slagging off capitalism and those "evil bankers" who those on the left just love to hate.

Now, I am not trying to say that the anti-banker rhetoric that is constantly spewed from the pages of The Guardian et al has caused this.  Those who commit, or threaten to commit these acts have an agenda and political opinions of their own, and it is folly to believe that if there were a few less editorials on evil bankers then we wouldn't have these problems.

However, it is interesting to imagine if such a group had threatened public sector workers.  Surely this would be blamed immediately on "conservative" rhetoric about spending cuts and how the public sector is strangling Britain?  Just like President Clinton tried to blame Timothy McVeigh's actions on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, an attack on a trade union or an NHS administrative building would instantly be blamed on "the right", the attackers would be labelled as "right-wing activists" and the narrative would go that they had woken up, read The Daily Mail or listened to a David Cameron speech, and then decided to go out and kill innocent people.

However, in a moment like this, it is worth reflecting on where the real hate speech and violence comes from. In a political climate where the left are trying to blame attacks on Muslims on those who dare to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque and grassroots conservative movements are being labelled "radical", "extreme" and "dangerous", it serves well to highlight stories like this, to show where the real dangerous extremists come from - and it isn't from the right-wing.

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