A day after the attempt to decimate the GOP congressional delegation, we have yet to hear a word about the close resemblance between the behavior of the American left and the tactics of the Islamic jihadis.
In the late '90s, there was a fierce debate within Islamic terror factions – primarily al-Qaeda – as to the best strategy for confronting the Western world. Some called for spectacular, attention-getting strikes in hopes that these would break Western morale and lead to concessions to the demands of the Islamic ummah. Others called for a gradualist strategy, designed to chip away at the unity and confidence of the West through repeated piecemeal strikes.
We know who won that debate – the first round, anyway. But after the U.S. responded to the 9/11 attack with a massive military effort that effectively destroyed al-Qaeda's operational cadres while also overthrowing or nullifying several supportive regimes, jihadi planners were forced to reconsider.
Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (aka Abu Musab al-Suri) had always opposed the big-strike strategy. After losing out to Osama bin Laden, Nasar wrote a massive propaganda tract and tactical handbook, The Call to Global Islamic Resistance, and published it on the internet (where it's still available). In Resistance, Nasar outlined a simple plan for terrorizing the Dar al-Harb based on the "distributed network" principle: a non-hierarchical system with no chain of command or overall organization utilizing that splendid gift from Allah, the internet. Islamist opinion leaders ranging from ISIS spokesmen to local mosque leaders recruit and propagandize. Jihadi websites and Facebook and Instagram pages provide a more intensive level of propaganda while educating recruits in weaponry, explosives, and tactics. Would-be jihadis then strike on their own, without orders or coordination – and without any organization that could be rolled up by military or intelligence methods.
We've seen the results of this strategy in Madrid, London, Fort Hood, Boston, Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, Manchester, and so on ad nauseam. Though it hasn't yet achieved its aims, it can't be said to be unsuccessful. Even when not actively aiding jihadi operatives in their attacks – as the U.S. military did with Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood – Western leaders are left confused and impotent in the face of terror attacks that seem to come from nowhere, often refusing to even recognize their actual nature. (The latest example of this is Theresa May, who doesn't seem to grasp that the Manchester and London attacks were intended to wreck her re-election efforts and destroy her government.)
When we turn to the American left, what do we find? A group of opinion leaders (Colbert, Griffin, Whedon, Kaine, Lynch), all fanatical adherents of a pseudo-religion, propagandizing and encouraging resistance to a subhuman enemy, the "deplorables," and their political representatives. The means at their disposal consist not only of the internet, but the American media and entertainment spheres as a whole. The network consists of millions of disconnected misfits seething with hatred and frustration. The propaganda includes targets, methods, and repeated suggestions of violence up to and including murder. All that's lacking is The Call of Global Antifa, but that may well be coming.
And lo and behold, now we have terror attacks. How could that possibly have happened?
They have been neither as successful nor as shocking as those of the Islamists, which is somehow not surprising. Both of them so far – Jeremy Joseph Christian in Portland and James T. Hodgkinson in Alexandria – were rooted in the same source: the campaign of the avuncular, golly-gee socialist Bernie Sanders. (The fact that Christians chose to attack Muslims shouldn't detain us – the type who make up the antifa crowd are unbalanced at best, and many of them are bound to strike out at whatever crosses their path.)
The parallels are striking. Could it simply be coincidence? Of course it could. Fanaticism of any kind tends to dictate behavior, so we shouldn't be surprised to find left-wing extremists resembling Islamic extremists. But we also need to keep in mind Goldfinger's dictum: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action.
There have been two antifa terror strikes so far. We await the third with interest.