We're all wearing yellow stars
By Robert Romano
“[W]e mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”—The Declaration of Independence.
As the shroud of fascism fell on Italy, Germany, and throughout Europe in the 1920's and ‘30's, it is often portrayed that it was without resistance that Hitler became master of that continent. But in fact, it was not with a whimper that liberty fell. Nor will there ever be a bloodless rise of tyranny in this country—no matter how ruthlessly Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security attempts to suppress and oppress “right-wing extremists."
And so it was before. The casual observer of history may forget, but there were actually very legitimate, forceful acts of resistance against the fascists of the past on their path to hegemonic, totalitarian control of society.
As the Nazis descended on the Warsaw ghetto, for example, the Poles met the enemy with stiff resistance. The patriots of the Warsaw Uprising there persisted for some 63 days, for love of country, their homeland, and their families. More than 200,000 perished, including some 16,000 insurgents who fought against the invading forces.
Long before the invasion of Poland, the fascists incrementally and systematically created the framework for totalitarianism using the instrumentalities of government.
As a political movement, the fascists concocted boogeymen, utilized scapegoats, and perfected the art of political theatre, to explain the dismal economic and political state of affairs after World War I. They routinely used political violence against the scapegoats.
When the fascists took power, those scapegoats were then labeled as subversives and enemies of the state. It was the natural extension of their ideology.
That is why the recent memo by the Department of Homeland Security is so remarkably chilling. It broadly labels as “rightwing extremists” about half of the population of America—or in laymen's terms: conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans.
In outlining the “threat” posed by “rightwing extremism,” the Department of Homeland Security defined the danger in part as “groups, movements, and adherents… that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” and “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
That is remarkable. And it is frightening. In one fell swoop, the Department of Homeland Security defined as “extreme” a central tenet of federalism: primacy of the states in the federal union. On top of that, some of the central planks of the Republican Party platform—the right to life and opposition to illegal immigration—were labeled by the Department as “right-wing extremism.”
Returning veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere were fingered as targets for recruitment by the “extremists”. According to the memo, “rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.” Homeland Security justifies the claim by noting that Timothy McVeigh, perpetrator of the Oklahoma city bombing, was a military veteran.
The National Commander of the American Legion immediately fired a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, writing, “Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation's uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical ‘disgruntled military veteran' is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.”
In short, the Obama Administration has created its boogeyman. This is pure fascist scapegoating.
According to the memo, if you're a veteran who recently risked his or her life defending this great country, you might be a “right-wing extremist.”
If you're pro-life, whether you're a part of National Right to Life or the Catholic Church, you might be a “right-wing extremist.”
If you believe that illegal aliens should be deported to their countries of origin, perhaps if you joined the Minutemen, a non-violent border-monitoring group, you might be a “right-wing extremist.”
If you're a gun owner who believes in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, you might be a “right-wing extremist.”
If you believe the Tenth Amendment, and the rest of the Constitution for that matter, should be followed in accordance with the principles of limited government and the rule of law, and perhaps if you're a member of Americans for Limited Government or the Constitution Party, you might be a “right-wing extremist.”
Making matters worse—and revealing anew the ingrained arrogance of the Obama Administration—Napolitano is not backing down. She insists that “We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not—nor will we ever—monitor ideology or political beliefs.” Uh-huh.
This is, in fact, greatly alarming to millions of Americans. Clearly, whoever wrote this memo should be immediately dismissed. And Janet Napolitano should resign from office.
"This kind of mischaracterization can lead to discrimination against veterans in our society, especially in the job market," Congressman Steve Buyer said. He's right. And it's not just veterans who could be discriminated against. Or worse.
This memo legitimizes initial objections against the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. It is no longer a hypothetical question of “What if it was used for political purposes?”
Now, we're all wearing yellow stars. And the Obama equivalent of the grizzly “Law for the Restoration of Professional Civil Service” has now been officially issued from the chancellery's inner sanctum.
In the very least, the memo is a disgrace and undermines the explicit intent of the Department of Homeland Security, which was to protect the American people.
Napolitano can diffuse the situation—which is what she needs to do—not by dismissing legitimate concerns, but by acknowledging that the memo was overbroad, and apologizing to the tens of millions Americans who were targeted by it.
Else, she will only confirm the disquieting suspicion that her intentions are malevolent. She has taken the first step by apologizing to veterans, but they were not the only people alarmed by the memo.
This memo targets everyone from those who believe in limited government to those who want the borders protected to those who believe in the sanctity of life, and the government is sworn to protect them all, not just veterans. And the memo's intention to follow accusation with action is all too clear.
The memo promises that the Department “will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.”
While one cannot speak to what motivates “extremists,” it is just historical truth that patriotic Americans across the country are inspired with particular reverence by the nation's founding documents. They believe that tyrannical forms of government should be altered or abolished. They are rightly concerned with by the concentration of power in Washington.
And, if past is prologue, they will do whatever it takes to defend their liberty.
The fact is: this nation was founded upon revolution. And the more government pushes the people—especially if they feel threatened by their own government—the closer the people get to lighting that fuse.
It's a powder keg. And the American people will once again stand up against what they perceive to be the rise of tyranny in their nation, whether it be fascist, socialist, or otherwise. In short, they will pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of ALG News Bureau.