BY AL FONZI
There's something deeply wrong in American culture as the events of Oct. 1 so aptly demonstrate. The violence perpetrated against innocents in Las Vegas defies explanation even a week later, with no definitive reason for "why?" Pundits and political opportunists have wasted no time in politicizing a tragedy for hundreds of families so I will simply quote the most eloquent statement I've read to date regarding the mass murder and wounding of more than 500 people. Mike Rowe of the TV series Dirty Jobs said it best, in my opinion:
"Take comfort in men who threw themselves over other people's children. They are no less real than the killer and they are still with us.
"Take comfort in the woman who loaded wounded strangers into her car and drove them out of harm's way.
"Take comfort in the hundreds of first responders who risk their lives every day and the hundreds of anonymous citizens who stood in line to give their blood.
"Take comfort in the fact all good people are shattered and that you are not alone."
Beyond those words from an unexpected source, that is all I will say about what has occurred until the investigations are complete and more importantly, the dead are buried.
The title of this article refers to the apologists for the violence being perpetrated across the political spectrum but especially the extreme left, which far too many pundits seem willing to give a pass. Having served repeated tours of duty where wars and civil wars have torn countries apart, I look with alarm at the disintegration of American political culture. Ignoring the rhetoric and more importantly, the violence against those with whom the left disagrees is very dangerous and is lighting a fuse that may very well explode in the faces of their apologists.
Anyone who studies the history of violent revolution will tell you that revolutions usually consume their own as quickly as they devour their enemies. The most notorious group of the violent left, "Antifa," supposedly referring to their motivation of being "anti-fascists," recently let it be known that their targets are not only conservatives, Republicans, and anyone else they dislike, but also liberals, whom they state will also get a bullet.
As I observe those in the mainstream media who have become pseudo-apologists for Antifa, such as the column last week by Robert Cuddy ("A theory about violent protesters," Oct. 5), I have to conclude that they are either asleep or fast becoming delusional. The idea that the violence being perpetrated by Antifa, BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), and other extreme leftists is actually a right-wing plot ranks with some of the best fantasies of Art Bell, the late-night radio talk-show host specializing in alien visitations and government conspiracies.
Cuddy didn't leave anyone out in his rogues gallery, essentially from FOX News to anyone who dares to diverge from mainstream progressive dogma. Those he castigates dare to unabashedly honor those who serve in uniform, be it in military service, law enforcement, firefighters, nurses, or saluting the flag and revering the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Some of us even dare to admit belief in a Supreme Being who is the ultimate law-giver and to whom we will someday give an account of our life.
I digress: The violent left, especially "Antifa," "BAMN," the various Marxist and anarchist groups that have banded together pose a serious threat to the stability and security of the nation. To understate the risk they pose to the civil liberties of everyone is foolish. Most totalitarian regimes came into power via some form of revolution and mass movement, but power is then seized by a highly organized group willing to use violence to impose their will. That's how Lenin and the communists seized power in 1917 Russia, a coup that overthrew their rivals after the Czar had been removed. It happened in pre-WWII Germany when the Nazis extensively used street violence and eventually political assassinations to eliminate their political rivals, resulting in their ability to be "legitimately elected to office" in 1932.
Antifa emerged from a campus environment in which political intimidation, violence against anyone who opposes them, and virulent anti-Semitism has become the norm. Dismissing the threat such groups pose is dangerous.
I served in Bosnia as a peacekeeper and participated in the investigation of war crimes. The chief instigators of that war and its infamous atrocities were college professors and the violent hyper-nationalist groups they inspired, most of whom resemble some of the violent offspring of American campuses. Let there be no mistake: "Antifa" is a fascist movement intent upon destroying the American Republic. If not forcefully repudiated by all good Americans of all political persuasions, the havoc they unleash may well rend asunder the fabric of American liberty. Δ
Al Fonzi is an Army lieutenant colonel of military intelligence who had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Send comments through the editor firstname.lastname@example.org.