EVERETT DIRKSEN WAS RIGHT

Senator Everett Dirksen (R. Ill.) served as Senate Minority Leader in the 1960’s. Distinguished for other reasons as well, his greatest legacy…or the one most cited…was his statement about government spending “A billion here, a billion there and soon you’re talking real money”. Or perhaps not. According to the nonpartisan center developed in his name designed to promote better understanding of Congress, he probably never uttered those words or anything remotely close to them.   http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_emd_billionhere.htm

The lack of a credible basis for that quote has failed to impede billions of pundits from using the quote to focus attention on any other presumed societal excess that is cumulative but has an effect equal to it occurring all at once even, .I suppose, in reference to tooth decay.

Did you hear about 9/11? You recall, the despicable act of al Qaeda terrorists flying four airliners into buildings or the ground, killing nearly three thousand people in the doing.

There is no argument that that was horrific on so many levels but yet it is a singular event in American history because of the depth and breadth of its immediate, sudden, and unfathomable occurrence that affected so many real victims in one fell swoop and millions more watching in despair and/or being frightened of a similar doom for themselves. And our government has exploited and perpetuated that fear through ill-conceived laws and two destructive utterly unnecessary wars.

I bet you also vividly recall the bombs set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year perpetrated by two young Russian immigrants who had developed an obsession with Islamic terrorism. There have been other killings attributable to Muslims in the U.S. since that fateful day in 2001 that have drawn enormous media attention while at the same time only served to increase the ill treatment of American Muslims often to the point of violence and very often to craven politicians advocating the violation of the very Constitutional privileges they have vowed to uphold with their oaths of office and which they purport to adhere to in their emotional irrational rhetoric.

But, just as the two wars we instigated killed more Americans in total than the 9/11 crimes as well as many times the number of innocent civilians eradicated on that day, so have home-grown terrorists been more destructive in this country than any alleged Jihadists.

So goes the point of this Op-Ed piece arising from the weekend shootings at a Jewish Center and retirement community in Kansas by a KKKer that brought three needless deaths.

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

http://us.cnn.com/2014/04/14/opinion/bergen-sterman-kansas-shooting/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

And while we verbally and editorially assail Syria for its use of chemical weapons in its Civil War and fear Iran developing nuclear weapons to be unleashed on Middle America, with some in Congress willing to vote for war, we ignore the folks who have seemed to possess a tendency to employ chemical and biological weapons to kill their fellow American citizens.

From the same op-ed:

Moreover, since 9/11 none of the more than 200 individuals indicted or convicted in the United States of some act of jihadist terrorism have acquired or used chemical or biological weapons or their precursor materials, while 13 individuals motivated by right wing extremist ideology, one individual motivated by left-wing extremist ideology, and two with idiosyncratic beliefs, used or acquired such weapons or their precursors.

In other words, Ladies and Gentlemen, our right wing extremists give us more reason to fear than do Jihadists or left-wing fanatics. And the toll the right wing nuts have taken could have increased several fold if the idiots supporting Cliven Bundy’s illegal grazing had had their way this past weekend, having sent a veritable written and embossed invitation to federal law enforcement officials to attempt to enforce the law and remove Bundy’s cattle so they could respond in a deadly manner.

Not only was that defiance a matter of potential terrorism it would also have been an act of treason.

Not that all far right wingers are so depraved but these folks had a huge rooting section cheering them on across the country. Imagine if a few Muslims had committed a violent act and the fallout against their millions of members here would have been  unjustifiable accusations of complicity if not outright revenge attacks for their “conspiracy”.

While the op-ed particularly addresses the media failure to cover most of these right wing acts with the same emphasis they do Islamic terrorism the American public eats it up largely due to their own preconceived notions, reinforced in various ways, that they need to fear the Muslims, leading to illogical profiling.

Yes these right wing acts of violence add up. A body here, a body there and soon you’re talking real terrorism.

It turns out that the right wingers especially who want to condemn all Muslims and find nothing wrong with profiling them would have better results from profiling potential terrorists if only they would look in the mirror.

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