Monday, December 15, 2008

Nazis in the Military

No, it’s not a flashback to 1942; the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of white supremacists in the military has increased since 9/11.

The FBI report details more than a dozen investigative findings and criminal cases involving Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as well as active-duty personnel engaging in extremist activity in recent years. For example, in September 2006, the leader of the Celtic Knights, a central Texas splinter faction of the Hammerskins, a national racist skinhead organization, planned to obtain firearms and explosives from an active duty Army soldier in Fort Hood, Texas. That soldier, who served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, was a member of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group.

As David Neiwert reports in Crooks and Liars,

This has the deadly potential to become a significant component of the predictable surge in far-right activity likely to manifest itself in the United States in the coming months and years, especially as Democrats and liberals expand their hold on power. We run the risk of re-creating the conditions that arose in Germany and Italy after World War I: the presence of scores of angry, disaffected, and psychologically damaged war veterans, fed a steady diet of “Dolchstosslegende,” poised to organize into a political force aimed at “rebirthing” the nation and its heritage.

In our current situation, these veterans not only will have served with neo-Nazis amid their ranks, they will likely be faced with unemployment and a wrecked economy, eager for someone to blame and fully trained and capable of violent action.

It can happen, and it can happen here.