Skip to comments.The Second Front
Posted on 03/24/2003 3:48:47 PM PST by conservativecorner
Before the fighting started, one of the fears expressed by critics of the war to liberate Iraq was the prospect of terrorist attacks that al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations might launch against Americans at home and abroad. A war on Iraq would distract us from the war on terror.
The Democratic Party, which did not want to go to war against Iraq in 1991 or 2003, made this its principal point of criticism of administration policy. It was the pre-war theme of Democrats like Joe Biden, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Daschle, Senate minority leader, Ted Kennedy and ex-President Bill Clinton.
Indeed, on the eve of the war, a call was issued in the name of the (probably dead) Osama bin Laden to launch such an assault on Americans as a "second front" to support the regime of Saddam Hussein.
But the war came and the terror did not. In the days leading up to the conflict, the American-led anti-terror coalition was even able to apprehend the No. 3 al-Qaeda leader and chief of its operations.
It is a remarkable fact, often overlooked by critics, that whatever may have happened to Osama bin Laden, there have been no successful terror attacks by al-Qaeda on Americans at home since 9/11. This is the strongest tribute possible to the aggressive strategy of the Bush administration, which has kept the terrorist enemy off balance and in disarray, and which is built on the perception that the war against terror and the war against regimes that harbor terrorists are one and the same.
But there is another front in the war against America that has not been so quiet. This is the war orchestrated by the anti-American left at home and abroad. While U.S. and British troops risk their lives to conduct a war of liberation remarkable in its effort to prevent civilian casualties on the other side, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators blocked traffic on American streets and tied up police, endangering civilian lives on our own.
In New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities across the country, activists are breaking the law in a manner calculated to cause economic disruption and urban chaos. In accord with the plans of the organizers, thousands of police, who are an integral element of Homeland Security defense, have been tied up attempting to prevent the activists from escalating their war at home to a level of serious violence.
This violence is coming. Molotov cocktails were confiscated in San Francisco, where an activist also took his own life in a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge. Thousands of law-breaking activists have been arrested. Abroad, where police are not so solicitous of rioters, several activists were killed.
It would be unwise not to take the threat posed by this organized attack on American policy and American security seriously. The misnamed "anti-war" movement is led and organized by leftist vanguards who proclaim their solidarity with terrorist states, including North Korea and Cuba, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
One banner raised by activists in San Francisco read "We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers." A photo of this banner is proudly portrayed on a leftist Web site that has played a key role in organizing the demonstrations (and is funded in part by a foundation headed by PBS commentator Bill Moyers). [http://www.sf.indymedia.org/uploads/ 1_shoot_officers.jpg]
It took the anti-Vietnam movement five years to reach the levels of these anti-American demonstrations and another two to initiate real violence. When that line was crossed, there were more than a thousand domestic bombings, and at least one terrorist cult was launched.
The current movement is potentially far more dangerous. Unlike its anti-Vietnam predecessor, it is allied with terrorist solidarity groups and radical Muslim organizations active on college campuses. This increases the likelihood that its violent tendencies will intensify as the war against terror abroad continues. The prospect that it will develop its own terrorist offshoots is real.
Unlike the anti-Vietnam efforts, the current movement is driven almost entirely by hate for American institutions, policies and purposes ("Washington Is the Axis Of Evil," "America Is the Greatest Terrorist State," "No Blood for Oil"). It is not inspired by any hope however illusory in a utopian future in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Socialism has been dead as a serious goal for the most of the left for decades. In its core, the left has always been a nihilistic and reactionary revolt against the modern world (capitalism, individualism, liberty), which is why it can ally itself so easily now with Islamo-fascists.
This means that the present leftist revival will not be deterred by an American victory in the current war. Its ranks are likely to grow and its tactics to become more radical as the general war on terror proceeds or should the war trigger problems in other Muslim countries. It will feed on the problems of the Iraqi peace, particularly if it is a troublesome peace, and it will continue its "anti-globalism" attacks on efforts to establish a prosperous and tranquil international order.
In its potential to disrupt American postwar policy and to limit the options of the American military lie the greatest dangers of this leftist revival, especially because of its deep resonances in the Democratic Party, half of whose constituents (and many of whose leaders) are opposed to the war.
The President has already warned that the effort to rebuilt Iraq, stabilize the region and carry on the war against terror "will require our sustained commitment." In order to sustain their security and foreign policy commitments, democracies require broad bipartisan support from their parties and from their publics.
It is this support that is threatened by the anti-American left, and it is this test that our nation must meet.
I'd like to add my own comment: Every generation seems to become a bit infatuated with some version of Communism...and to wind up learning - often the hard way - that certain snakes are not meant to be handled.
These jerks are running interference for Al Qaeda, period. In a time of war, I would treat them extremely harshly. No "in'n'out" arrest.
The protestors are now "diversionary troops" for Al Queda.
This sort of parallels my statement that what we call "Liberals" today are in fact ""conservatives". They promote keeping the status quo of the move to Socialism of the last century and the new International order. The real "Radicals" of the present are the movers and shakers of this Administration and their unacceptance of the tired old failed paradigms of the 20th Century.
(Washington, February 12, 2002) - Richard Berman Transcript:
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, my name is Richard Berman. I am the Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. The Center does not accept and has never received government funds.
On behalf of American restaurant operators and food producers, I would like to thank you for holding this hearing today. Eco-terrorism is indeed alive and well in the United States of America, and it shares a common heritage with violent animal-rights extremism. These radical movements have been responsible for well over 1,000 documented criminal acts in the U.S., most of which would be prosecuted as felonies if the perpetrators could be brought to justice.
I am not talking about peaceful protest, pickets, sign waving, slogan chanting, or forms of civil disobedience that are protected by the First Amendment. Rather, America's present environmental and animal-rights terrorists have committed arsons, assaults, vandalism on a massive scale, and a host of other property crimes that cripple food producers and resource providers, and occasionally lay waste to entire restaurants.
On September 11th of last year, on the very day America mourned the loss of thousands of lives to foreign terrorists, our own home-grown version (the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, known as "ELF" and "ALF") took joint credit for firebombing a McDonald's restaurant in Tucson, Arizona.
There is no doubt now, and the FBI concurs, that the Earth Liberation Front is associated with the Animal Liberation Front. Special Agent David Szady (now the U.S. counterintelligence executive) has told CNN that "by any sense or any definition, this is a true domestic terrorism group, that uses criminal activity to further their political agenda."
During the past three years alone, ELF and ALF have claimed responsibility for smashing bank windows, torching a chicken feed truck, burning a horse corral at a Bureau of Land Management facility, firebombing dealer lots full of sport utility vehicles, destroying valuable scientific laboratory equipment and many years worth of irreplaceable research documents, "spiking" trees in the Pacific Northwest, and even setting bombs under meat delivery trucks.
There should be no sympathy for intentionally committed felonies of this magnitude. Eco- terror and animal-rights crimes have become everyday events in America, yet they are among our most under-reported and least-punished offenses.
Members of the Subcommittee, on rare occasions the criminals responsible for these violent and unlawful acts are captured. Just two weeks ago a pair of animal-rights terrorists were sentenced to prison terms for attempting to blow up a dairy truck near San Jose, California. They were caught red-handed, with home-made bombs just as deadly as those being exploded by other terrorists in the Middle East. But the vast majority of crimes like these go unpunished. The underground ELF and ALF even have the gall to brag publicly about their felonies. ALF actually released a report in January, claiming responsibility for 137 crimes in 2001, and causing an estimated $17.3 million in damage.
ALF and ELF won't stop with damage to people and businesses with whom they disagree. Rather, they are aggressively recruiting new criminals to their vicious gang. Incredibly, the group's leaders have begun to distribute "how-to" manuals on the Internet, describing how to build bombs and incendiary devices, how to destroy fields of genetically- engineered food crops, and how to commit "arson," "thievery," and other felonies without leaving clues at the crime scene. There is even a volume on the easiest way to sink a ship.
Any 10-year-old with a computer can download much of this reading material. For a few dollars and the cost of postage, ALF "spokesperson" David Barbarash will mail the rest of the materials to anyone who asks. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted a copy of Mr. Barbarash's disturbing catalog for the record.
Equally troubling is the extent to which some eco-terrorists and animal-rights criminals have managed to garner support, both philosophical and financial, from above-ground activist organizations, including those that enjoy the same tax benefits as our nation's churches and universities.
Between 1994 and 1995, for instance, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gave over $70,000 to an Animal Liberation Front criminal named Rodney Coronado, who was convicted of arson, a felony, in connection with the $1.7 million firebombing of a Michigan State University research facility. This amount, by the way, is more than ten times the total that the same organization (PETA) devoted to animal shelters during those two years. In addition, both PETA and its president, Ingrid Newkirk, are acknowledged financial supporters of an organization called No Compromise, which operates on behalf of, and for the "underground" supporters of the Animal Liberation Front.
PETA raised over $15 million last year from the general public, all of it tax-exempt. When will PETA be held accountable?
Another eco-criminal, Dave Foreman, pled guilty in 1991 to felony conspiracy in a plot to blow up the power lines of three nuclear power generating stations. Mr. Foreman was a co-founder of the radical "Earth First!" organization, the group from which the Earth Liberation Front split during a 1992 meeting in the United Kingdom. Among its other claims to fame, Earth First! actually published the newsletter articles (in the Earth First! Journal) from which "Unabomber" Ted Kaczinsky chose his last two victims.
An organization called the Ruckus Society was started by another Earth First! co-founder named Mike Roselle. This group was largely responsible for the 1999 anti-WTO protests in Seattle, which ended in mass rioting and the destruction of Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants. The Ruckus Society trains young activists in the techniques of "monkeywrenching" which, when applied, result in property crimes of enormous financial cost.
The Ruckus Society and the Rainforest Action Network (another outfit founded by Mr. Roselle) are tax-exempt organization that have enjoyed contributions from such mainstream sources as Ted Turner and Ben & Jerry's. When will this breeding ground for environmental criminals be held accountable?
Ruckus, by the way, also gets funding from a San Francisco outfit called the Tides Foundation, which distributes other foundations' money while shielding the identity of the actual donors. Our tax law permits this sort of money-laundering. If the public is prevented from learning where a tax-exempt organization like the Ruckus Society gets their money, then the legal loopholes that permit foundations like Tides to operate as it does should be closed.
Mr. Chairman, these are all serious charges that I am making, and I urge this Committee to fully investigate the damage that ALF, ELF, and other like-minded terrorist groups have caused to American businesses, American livelihoods, and the American psyche. I would also urge the appropriate Congressional committee to explore the tax-exempt status of groups that have helped to fund directly or indirectly these domestic terrorists.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.