The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The ‘Extremist’ Boomerang

Posted on | March 20, 2021 | Comments Off on The ‘Extremist’ Boomerang

Why has the media become so obsessed with “white nationalism” as a domestic terrorist threat? Kyle Shideler makes an interesting argument that what has happened is an indirect consequence of the refusal of national-security officials, in the post-9/11 environment, to be specific in naming the nature of the threat we faced. Because they did not wish to define the threat as Islamic terrorism, instead the national security establishment defined the problem as “extremism.”

That rhetorical evasion has boomeranged around in a perverse way so that mainstream beliefs are now defined as “extremist”:

Forbidden from discussing the actual nature and ideology of the threat which they were instructed to counter, America’s intelligence and law enforcement officials lived and died by euphemism. And like the bureaucracies which perpetuate them, government euphemisms tend to expand even beyond the original logic for their creation. So, when “Islamic extremist” was no longer sufficiently vague, the phrase “homegrown violent extremist” was adopted, where “homegrown” paradoxically refers to those operating in service to a foreign ideology perpetuated by international terrorists.
The very logic of denying that foreign terrorists could be motivated by an ideology developed from within the context of their own society necessitated believing that any mainstream American within our society could be a potential threat.

Read the whole thing.



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