April 30, 2010

Should the USA be worried about militias?

POLITICS - Should the United States be worried about the growth of anti-government militia groups? Yes and no, but for different reasons.

Since 2008 there has been an astonishing growth of anti-government militia groups with a hatred of the White House, the New York Stock Exchange and America's banking industry. The recent capture of the Hutaree militia / terrorist group for example was planning to attack police officers in the hopes of setting off a civil war between militia groups and the U.S. government.

Yes, the USA should worry about terrorist attacks on government and financial institutions. Such attacks would damage the USA's economy and defensive capabilities, leaving long term repercussions on civil liberties and the economic status quo.

No, the USA should not worry about possible civil war with militias. People are overestimating the number of right-wing fanatics out there actually willing to declare war on their own government. Wackos are rare and their schemes are ludicrous to say the least. The vast majority of militia groups support the government, not the other way around, so the assumption that all militias are inherently anti-government is wishful thinking on the part of would-be terrorists.

But that doesn't mean the government should not take these groups seriously for the potential to damage and cause chaos.

Calming down these people will take time however. We can't just assume they're all Astroturf conspiracy theorists. Some of their anger is real, especially when it comes to bank bailouts and the current economic crisis. It doesn't matter whether they blame Bush or Obama, they blame the government in general and that dissatisfaction needs to be addressed so that such groups can be diffused with common sense instead of calling out the SWAT team.

See Also
Christian militia sought civil war with US government
Anti-government sentiments a cause for concern
William Swor, Hutaree lawyer must be on crack

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