Friend of the TPI Mike Victor asks a key set of questions while accurately posting about the latest example of US home grown domestic terrorism.
As I listened to this story on NPR about the occupation of a federal bird sanctuary on land federalized by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, I could not help wondering if this wasn't all some great satire, an enormous joke orchestrated by someone for our amusement.
"Operational security" (as an excuse not to reveal how few people were actually there)?
The father and son for whom this action allegedly was taken disowning the action and the occupiers?
And does anyone remember who the Bundys were? We keep hearing about their standoff with the feds over illegal cattle grazing, but is everyone amnestic for what came next? When Mr Bundy, the father of the person now leading this bird sanctuary occupation, went on national television and spoke of the superiority of the white race so overtly that even Republicans gushing about him the day before raced to distance themselves from him?
So why is Bundy not described as a white supremacist, not just a freeloading illegal cattle grazer (undocumented, if you will)? What are the odds that his son shares only his father's nutty anti-government views without absorbing his racism as well?
As an aside, one of the most offensive lines in the story had nothing to do with politics or race. An occupier managed to execute two faux pas in one sentence. He said he was ready to fight but then decided to "sit down my gun."
1. The term "gun" is reserved for artillery pieces, machine guns, and other large bore weapons that still remain illegal for private civilians to own. His use of this term for his "rifle" or "weapon" is a reminder that these weekend warriors did not serve in the military.
2. Sit does not take an object. Set is the verb this gentleman was looking for. I sit down, but I set down my rifle. (More precisely, you lay down your rifle but for the love of God never say that you lie it down.)
Again, I'm struck by how delicately these armed white supremacists occupying a building of our representative government are treated by the press. If these men were jihadists (or even Muslims), African American Black Lives Matter protesters, or even Greenpeace activists angry about some disruption to the migration of birds for which they hold the observation center responsible, does anyone believe that they would be referred to as anything except terrorists?
And where are the counter-protests by all of those loyal Americans who tell us repeatedly how much they love this country but seem to have no problem seeing its colors denigrated in this bizarre freak show by Fluffy Unicorn and his grammatically,challenged Chicken Hawk cohorts?
This episode illustrates once again why putting the weapons of war into the hands of private civilians who never bothered to be trained in their proper use is such a bad idea. It doesn't take long before a group of men with no military experience feel so emboldened by holding the weapons of war that they start imagining themselves as heroes in some Hollywood action thriller. Die Hard 7: The Bird Sanctuary.... "do we get to win this time?"
The self-described militiamen occupying buildings at a national wildlife refuge accuse the federal government of overreaching its authority and say they'll remain in their new base for years.
N.PR|BY MORNING EDITION