The Haties are not a unique force in our history. You can see their faces where I live, in the old Confederacy.
But their cause is different.
The cause for the South was the "bargain" which brought them into the Union on the backs of black slavery. The struggle that defined our history through the Civil War took 75 years to erupt, and echoes on in many ways still.
The cause for the Haties is equally old, so don’t dismiss their threat.
You can trace it back to World War II, the life-or-death struggle of civilizations with intractable "others" defined by race, ideology, and a religious form of nationalism. Taking out Hitler and Tojo took everything we had. We had to fight as dirty as the enemy.
This attitude was taken into the long Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union, which was fought in 10,000 places. The European line became fixed in 1948, but the lines elsewhere were fluid. Wherever we saw the enemy we countered. We felt forced to, especially, following the success of Communism in China and the Korean conflict.
McCarthyism never died, even after McCarthy was discredited. The us vs. them attitude was an integral part of the CIA’s activities. We took out Iran’s government in 1953, replacing it with the Shah’s dictatorship. We created a dictatorship in Guatamala a year later.
This set a pattern that never really ended. The only way to fight a Communist dictatorship, even a democratic government that might tolerate them, was to enforse a right-wing dictatorship of our own. Not just Vietnam and Cuba, but throughout Latin America. We fought proxy wars in Africa, supporting pro-apartheid forces, through the 1980s. And, of course, we fought Charlie Wilson’s War, which created Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In this way we created generations of veterans, and their families, not just from our military but from our spy services, who saw the world’s struggles in black and white, and whose preference for dictatorship over democracy was proven by history.
Starting in 1968 this became the partisan divide, and since then the Haties have been let loose, on the world when Republicans were in power, on us when Democrats were.
We needed a new Cold War immediately upon winning the first, one the Project for a New American Century was quick to imagine and the events of 9-11 galvanized into action.
Meanwhile we had Oklahoma City and the Atlanta bombings. Few called these events (and others) by their right name, the name the Italians used in the 1970s to
distinguish it from the "red terror" of the left.
It was, and is, "black terror." Black terror is the great threat of our time.
Everything the Bush Administration has done can be seen through that
prism, the need for a Cold War, the need to see the world as
black-and-white, as us vs. the evil-doers, and a deep-seated
suspicion of democracy, with its messy compromises and the possibility
Where there are leaders there are followers. Where there are movements there are ideologues. Where there is grievance there is terror.
At the heart of the crisis which begins after this election (assuming that election is won) is the
need to confront this right-wing "black" terror. It has control of our government today.
All the evils of watch lists, renditions, and the rest are being
crafted and carried out by people who believe in the ideology they are
Losing power will not kill the ideology. It will drive it underground, and make it far more dangerous.
What percentage of a nation must consist of terrorist sympathizers
in order for civilization to be destroyed? We are about to find out. We
know that if 1% of us insist on doing cocaine it’s a market that is
tough to defeat. We know that if 10% of us insist on using marijuana
that it’s tougher.
Any political force that becomes an insurgency can do enormous
damage, and force draconian responses. The Bush Administration, in
creating our new extra-Constitutional laws and procedures, acted
against a handful, maybe less than a handful. It’s very possible that
the Obama Administration will find itself facing a far more substantial
threat in "black" terror, one requiring the use of all the Bush-era authories, and more, to
You need to know that. The Haties will not go as quietly as the
Weather Underground did. There are millions of them. They are
embedded deep inside our government, and in our history. They are a
distraction from the real work of our time. They are the alligators in
But we have to fight them. That is what democracy requires of us. Those who refuse to accept our system, and its results, cannot be tolerated.