Sunday, January 3, 2016

Responding to Militia

Lots of folks are angry on my twitter feed that US government is not doing more to confront the miltia folks who have occupied a federal building housing the offices of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  They note the contrast between black kids getting shot within two seconds of police arrival and the patience the government has with white folks bearing arms while threatening federal officers.

My first reaction was to post this:

My second reaction is to welcome the patience, I guess.  I think the most successful part of the US government's handling of the white supremacist insurgency is to treat it like crime and not like terrorism. This denies the militias legitimacy as a political movement AND reflects the lessons of the 1990s.  That is, Waco, Ruby Ridge and the like did not work out so well for the federal government, so a more patient approach made more sense.  The irony here is that we realized domestically that using a heap of force against a domestic terrorist movement can backfire but have not realized the same internationally.

Maybe it helps that the political dynamics in the US, where the right wing shuts down serious consideration of the radical right as a threat to US security, buttress this approach, but again the question foes of the militias have to ask is this: do we want to give the militias what they want?  That is, violence?

Like many of reactions to the international hotspots where the demand is for more, I am always confused about what is more and about the tradeoffs.

And for those noting the hypocrisy between how blacks and Muslims are treated versus white militia folks, the right answer is not more violence against the latter, but less violence against the former.

Oh, and if it is not clear from my previous writings on this, I found these militia folks to be deluded, dangerous, and deranged.


Unknown said...

Obviously I know the stereotype, but what makes these guys white supremacists?

Anonymous said...