Radicalizing the ‘Homeland’

Friday, March 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

by William Norman Grigg

“We’re talking about a radicalization in this country that is linked to an overseas enemy,” insists former IRA fundraiser and current head of the House Homeland Security Committee Pete King, in defense of his planned hearings into terrorist recruitment among American Muslims. A recent incident here in Idaho illustrates the connection King is talking about, albeit not in the way he intended.

Shortly before last Christmas, a resident of Twin Falls, Idaho was accosted by a stranger at a local Wal-Mart, who threatened to kill her. That threat was made credible by the fact that the snarling would-be assailant was armed and had killed people overseas during an armed conflict in the Middle East.

The terrorized victim is a law-abiding American citizen whose only offense was to commit an act of peaceful commerce while wearing a head covering attesting to her Muslim faith. The aggressor, John C. Larsen, is a veteran of Washington’s illegal war against Iraq.

“My friends were killed by you!” Larsen reportedly screamed at the woman, who was accompanied by two small children. “I was blown up by you!” At some point in his tirade, Larsen also told the woman that she “didn’t belong in the U.S.” Leaving aside the fact that the target of his rancor was a U.S. citizen who had as much right to be here as he does, it apparently never occurred to Larsen that he and his gun-toting friends had no legitimate business being in Iraq.

A 2006 National Intelligence Estimate acknowledged that the Iraq War increased the terrorist threat, rather than abating it. This is understandable, given the hatred and resentment that are the predictable by-products of a war of aggression against people who never harmed or threatened us in any way.

People who are “blown up” by foreign invaders, and who see their friends and family slaughtered by them, often find themselves irresistibly tempted to kill others in retaliation – at the price of their own lives, if necessary.

The episode in Twin Falls illustrates a largely unrecognized form of potential “blowback” from the Regime’s ongoing wars: The creation of a large population of traumatized combat veterans, some of whom are prone to criminal violence. Although at this point he has yet to be convicted of a criminal offense, Larsen was undeniably “radicalized” by his experience overseas, and it’s difficult to describe his alleged actions as anything other than a form of terrorism – albeit not of a kind Peter King would condescend to recognize.

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