By Bob Cesca: Over the weekend, a homemade explosive device was ignited at a Planned Parenthood facility in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. No one was injured (this time) and the explosion was small. But it doesn't matter. The attack was entirely the work of a terrorist who clearly intended to frighten employees and patients at the clinic -- not just women in need of abortion services, but any woman who dares to enter a Planned Parenthood facility anywhere in America, irrespective of the treatment she's seeking. (Planned Parenthood predominantly offers services ranging from family planning to cancer treatment and prevention.)
The message of the weekend attacker: enter here and risk death.
We talk a lot about the "Republican War Against Women" and how a series of state and federal level laws have been proposed as a means of stripping women of their reproductive rights and, in some cases, the laws propose to literally and unnecessarily violate women with a medical instrument during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
But this attack and many others that have preceded it are part of a fighting war -- a hot war -- against women. It's a war in which terrorists have no regard for the law and even less regard for the lives of women irrespective of whether they're actually seeking an abortion. Put another way, if this was an IED detonated by an Islamic extremist next to a synagogue or church, throngs of zealots would take to the streets and the internet demanding an escalation of what they consider to be a holy war against Islam.
It's very likely Bill O'Reilly in particular would be leading the charge against the radical Islamic evildoers and, ironically, it's Bill O'Reilly who
would be critical any effort by the Department of Justice and Homeland Security to weed out the right-wing extremists who engage in terror attacks against women. Just last year, O'Reilly said:
Are you kidding me? The radical right? The last terror act assigned to them was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I mean, think about what the guy just said. Muslim terrorists have killed tens of thousands of people all over the world, correct?
How many people have the radical right killed?
Of course they don't need to kill anyone to commit an act of terrorism. Attacking a clinic is meant to precipitate fear. That's the point of terrorism. And just to set the record straight, there have been dozens of right-wing terror attacks inside the U.S. since Oklahoma City. In the decade following that deadly strike by Timothy McVeigh, there have been 60 incidents of right-wing terrorism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
We've documented, to date, 22 cases of domestic terrorism since July 2008 involving right-wing extremists of various stripes, all inflicting (or attempting to inflict) violence on a variety of "liberal" and government targets. Compare this to the Bipartisan Policy Center's report on homegrown Islamic-radical terrorism, which documented only seven incidents, all of which occurred in 2009.
One of those cases, the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, is obviously counted as an act of terrorism and, specifically, it was another belicose shot fired in the War Against Women. Not surprisingly, it was Bill O'Reilly who organized a nightly jihad against Tiller -- popularizing the term "Tiller the Baby Killer." Salon's Gabriel Winant noted the following statements from O'Reilly prior to Tiller's assassination:
On June 12, 2007, he said, “Yes, I think we all know what this is. And if the state of Kansas doesn’t stop this man, then anybody who prevents that from happening has blood on their hands as the governor does right now, Governor Sebelius.”
Three days later, he added, “No question Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands. But now so does Governor Sebelius. She is not fit to serve. Nor is any Kansas politician who supports Tiller’s business of destruction. I wouldn’t want to be these people if there is a Judgment Day. I just — you know … Kansas is a great state, but this is a disgrace upon everyone who lives in Kansas. Is it not?”
Just several remarks during a long history of attacks on Tiller. It's impossible to know if the man who shot Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder, was inspired by O'Reilly's words. But that doesn't matter, really. O'Reilly convicted Dr. Tiller in the media -- and not just any media but on the most popular cable news television show.
So then we have to wonder why O'Reilly would demand that George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch captain who gunned down Trayvon Martin, shouldn't be convicted in the media.
That’s what’s wrong with the media in this country: no longer to facts matter; accusations are enough to condemn folks. The press wants a story and doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. [...] but you know it’s wrong to convict anybody on television.
What does this hypocrisy tell us? The far-right's war against women operates outside the boundaries of sanity where fanatics and radicals have tossed aside whatever remains of the rules for decency, fairness, equality and morality in America. They operate well beyond the mainstream and their actions are unpredictable. Nothing is more important to them than the tongue-in-cheek maxim: life begins at conception and ends at birth, and once you're born, watch out -- the "guilty" will have to face Judgement Day and everyone else will have no choice but to live in fear of these sociopaths, misanthropes and nihilists. I can't think of a better description of "terrorists" than that.