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Analyzing the Effectiveness of Politically Motivated Mass Murder in the US

Iconic street sign posted around South Armagh at the time of the 1993 Sniper Campaign [1]

Iconic street sign posted around South Armagh at the time of the 1993 Sniper Campaign

5,089 words

I see no use for violence in our movement. I am not a pacifist, nor do I believe that the current ruling class does not deserve it. But a brief comparison of the use of violence for political purposes throughout the last 100 years should make it clear why this is not the right choice for us, and such acts and their perpetrators should be expressly condemned. Since potential mass killers are probably not swayed by moral considerations, my argument against such violence is purely pragmatic.

The essential elements of targeted killing are 1) picking the target, 2) the method, 3) the operational impact on the enemy, 4) the propaganda impact on the broad spectrum of the public from supporters to enemies, and 5) the tempo and intensity of attack which can be maintained.

This article will review the mass shootings by Dylann Storm Roof (Charleston Black Church [2]), Wade Michael Page (Wisconsin Sikh Temple [3]), Elliot Rodger (UC Santa Barbara [4]), Anders Behring Breivik (Norwegian Socialist Summer Camp [5]), James Wenneker Von Brunn (DC Holocaust Museum [6]), and Frazier Glenn Miller (Overland Park Jewish Community Center [7]) all of which have been used to hurt our cause through guilt by association. This article will not analyze the Aurora Movie Theater Massacre, Sandy Hook, and other massacres which are not used to attack our cause. I will also give examples of how state and non-state actors have handled these five elements of targeted killing more professionally.

1. Choosing a Target

Mourners in Oslo [8]

Mourners in Oslo

Roof stated that Blacks are taking over America and raping White women. Therefore he went to a midweek prayer meeting in a historically important Black church. These are probably Blacks who are the least linked with whatever grievance about crime Roof has with the Black community. They were rather exemplary members of their community who exhibit a self-discipline that surpasses that of so many Hollywood Nazis and keyboard warriors. We must remember that while The Bell Curve proves our racial incompatibility as a whole, the curves also overlap. Roof killed a State Senator by accident, but wasn’t he simply filling a seat that is safely in Black hands? Could Roof have really thought that this will impact either of his points of concern?

Page intended to kill Muslims, whom he probably thought of as “ragheads.” He ended up killing Sikhs, turban wearers who are the historic enemies of the Muslims.

Rodger (who was not even White, much less a White Nationalist), was lashing out at women, who failed to recognize that he was a “supreme gentleman.” He did this by killing random women, but ended up killing four men and three women. Unlike the others, he probably didn’t see his act as a change maker but rather as pure collective punishment/revenge for his shortcomings.

Breivik and Von Brunn definitely put more thought into the targeting question. Breivik wanted to stop the Cultural Marxists who were running Norway so he tried to wipe out their next generation of leaders, a bit like Anakin Skywalker with the Jedi kindergarteners.

According to Edgar J. Steele’s analysis [9] at the time, Von Brunn wanted to draw a link between the Jewish elite and their Black lackeys by provoking the death of a Holocaust Memorial guard. This is a bit of a longshot as some accounts claim the guard was killed by the bullet of another security guard, and it is disputed whether Von Brunn even fired his weapon.

Miller, like Page and Rodger, totally failed to hit his intended target. He killed two Methodists (one was a child) and one Catholic.

Grading the Shooters

So with the exception of Breivik, it is hard to say that there could be any possible impact on their enemies other than temporary sadness. A significant number totally failed to hit their targets, and several failed to make a serious impact. All of them should receive Fs, with the exception of Breivik. However, the fact that Breivik killed so many minors means he should not get high marks either. He may force compliance through fear on a certain segment of the population, but he alienates a potentially sympathetic population through this act, so let’s say he gets a D+.

The Professionals

The First of Many Assassinations of Operation Nemesis [10]

The First of Many Assassinations of Operation Nemesis

Contrast these with Operation Nemesis [11], the initiative of Armenian community leaders to kill the architects of the Armenian Holocaust. Those they assassinated were all found guilty in absentia by a court in Istanbul under the auspices of the government the Young Turks helped to found. Therefore their vigilantism remained controversial, but their choice of targets is indisputably legitimate. The architects of the genocide were largely out of power and non-operational, but their propaganda goals were met when the first assassin who waited by the body to be arrested was found not guilty by the Berlin jury which was convinced of the justice of his act.

The insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan loved targeting police recruiting [12] events and polling stations. They want to keep the foreign occupiers on the front lines of police work, thus further alienating the indigenous population. If the insurgents had been successful in scaring away voters, the democratically elected government would be of disputed legitimacy.

The state-sponsored Loyalist gangs of Northern Ireland carried out a campaign of drive-by shootings of working class bars where Catholics and Protestants socialized together in order to eliminate any inter-sectarian grey areas where personal friendships could develop. Thus they reinforced the British grand strategy of framing the struggle as one of sectarian hatred. Contrast this with the Dissident Republicans who, as soon as Bush was out of the White House, killed policemen and soldiers. They killed the policemen for exactly the same reasons as the Iraqi Insurgents, since the police force was in the process of a rebranding and had introduced recruitment from the Nationalist community. The Sinn Fein co-Head of Government condemned those who killed the police officers as being traitors to the Republican cause [13], but when soldiers were murdered two days earlier [14] the condemnation was muted and minimal, even by those who disarmed and engaged in the Peace Process, as an occupying army.

Overview

It should be abundantly clear that the concept of Legitimacy is central to the choice of target. Also, remember that not all constituencies are the same. Europeans accustomed to democracy and human Rights will not “go with the flow” like so many Iraqis and Afghanis were ready to do with the insurgency. The sympathy of Europeans may not have been alienated by a group had it, for example, opened fire during a Board Meeting of Lehman Bros. around the time of its collapse. Americans probably would have been alienated by that kind of violence. Europeans would have largely been unsympathetic had such an attack occurred in the fall of 2007. Showing how both sides of the Northern Ireland conflict used the legitimacy angle should illustrate how an emotionally disenfranchised and an emotionally enfranchised working class are manipulated by competing elites.

The first step in picking a target is to properly identify it, confirm its legitimacy, and (unlike State actors, which are held to lower standards) to attack it without collateral damage. The next step is to ensure it goes well with the other elements listed below.

2. Method of Attack

Of Roof, Page, and Rodger, only Roof wore body armor. They used simple semi-automatic handguns, they simply entered what they believed were target rich environments and opened fire. Rodgers’ killing spree was of the morbidly Bacchanalian variety, like that of Richard Ramirez or Andrew Cunanan before him.

Breivik was armed like a professional commando to match his goal of killing as many as possible.
Again leaning on Edgar J. Steele’s analysis, Von Brunn used a .22 caliber rifle, which is the weakest firearm available. Von Brunn clearly was more concerned with his impact on gun control than his body count. He tried to have it both ways and still attack but with a weapon that could never credibly be demonized by the likes of Michael Bloomberg.

Miller, who was certainly aware of the Von Brunn attack and probably also Steele’s analysis used a fairly standard shotgun. As an ex-felon, he had to acquire this by illegal means. Was this the best he could get or was he concerned about his potential impact on gun rights in the US, as well?

Grading the Shooters

Once again the grades are not spectacular. Roof, Page, and Rodger each receive Fs for a clear failure of forethought on method. Breivik spent years training and achieved exactly what he set out to do. Setting aside any moral questions for the moment, it must be recognized that his tactical execution was as professional as possible and therefore he must get an A. Assuming Edgar J. Steele’s analysis applies in both cases of Von Brunn and Miller, they clearly did give some forethought on the appropriateness of their method to larger political goals, but in the tactical performance on site they left much to be desired, C-.

The Professionals

Alexander Litvinenko's Death Bed photo seen round the world [15]

Alexander Litvinenko’s Death Bed photo seen round the world

One of the most interesting choices of method for a political killing in recent years was the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko [16], by putting polonium 210 in his sushi in a London restaurant. There are so few capable of producing this that the Russian FSB was almost certainly behind it, in order to show other potential dissidents and their supporters just how serious Putin is about not letting anyone speculate on who caused the Moscow apartment terror attacks. The slow death of this dissident kept it in the news for a long period of time and added to the drama. Had he been knifed in the streets his story would not have been a headline even for a day, let alone for a couple weeks. Their method coincided with their operational and propaganda objectives.

Overview

One’s method includes tactical execution, but it is much more complicated than simply that. The method flows through all of the other elements. Different methods are appropriate depending on whether there are few or many targets in one target group and depending on the presence of non-targets and risk management around collateral damage. The operational impact of an airstrike on an airplane factory during war is far greater than a bomb dropped on an orphanage, and the same kinds of metrics apply to this tactic. Some methods are more likely to make the news than others. And let’s not forget that Americans have become fairly callous to the news of mass shootings since they first started making the national news in the mid-1990s. Of course some methods are easier to repeat whereas some innovative attacks can only be done once before necessary protective measure are put into place, which means potential for a meaningful tempo (even before the question of who picks up the baton from the last shooter) is limited.

3. Operational Impact on the Enemy

Roof’s impact is still too early to be seen, but does anyone really believe that there will be fewer Black-on-White rapes because the potential perpetrators would not want to provoke another massacre in a Black Church? Also, Counter-Currents readers are too smart to believe his premise that “Blacks are taking over.”

While our principal adversary seems to have accepted defeat on gun control in the US, their Cultural Marxist agenda continues to move forward. They finally removed the Confederate Flag from the state capitol of South Carolina, and already many major mass retailers have removed the Confederate Flag merchandise from their shelves. I see this victory by the enemy as pregnant with their own demise. I will explore this idea in another article. Regardless, for this young man who was nostalgic for colonial states in Africa and the antebellum South, these “symbolic victories” are the opposite of what he wanted.

At the recent anti-Muslim protest in Phoenix, clips of the pro-Muslim inter-faith gathering revealed that Sikhs were present. It is entirely possible that more Sikhs have been killed in hate crimes since 9/11 than Muslims. Page’s impact has probably been to unite Sikhs with their historical enemies to make a united front in the US. This is the opposite of what he wanted.

Rodger obviously had no impact on the superficiality of California college girls.

Whether or not Breivik had an impact is an open question. The clearest way to resolve it would be to compare the attendance numbers for young socialist summer camps in the years before and after his attack.

Von Brunn’s and Miller’s impact could be measured almost as clearly as Breivik’s. Were parents refusing to sign the Permission Slips allowing their kids to take field trips to the Holocaust Museum? Did they think another 88-year-old might break in with a higher caliber weapon next time? Was the Jewish Community Center avoided by Christians in Kansas out of fear that more former federal informants working in the “White Supremacist milieu” would inaccurately lash out against their former paymasters, and kill them in the process? Once again the issue of tempo raises its head.

An interesting coincidence between the two target sites: in DC a play called Emmet and Anne was about to debut, about an imaginary conversation between Emmet Till and Anne Frank, and in Kansas City To Kill A Mockingbird was about to be staged. In both cases the show did eventually go on.

Grading the Shooters

Perhaps the Operational Impact of Roof’s massacre is too early to tell. Though the outlook is not good, he can receive a “P” for Pending. Every other shooter with the exception of Breivik gets an “F.” Breivik’s grade is a “?” since I do not know the numerical impact on Young Socialist gatherings or the specific aftermath in Norway.

The Professionals

One of the most interesting discussions on the subject of targeted killing I have ever seen was held on Israeli television [17] (where else?) in which two old hands were looking back to determine the long term impact of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, the Military Commander of Hezbollah. Opinion was divided on whether their military capabilities were merely temporarily set back or permanently reduced. They pointed out that the counter-attack required for Hezbollah to maintain credibility — assassination of the Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Chief of Staff, or Head of Mossad — had not occurred yet. Instead soft targets like an Israeli tour bus in Hungary were hit.

Imad Mughniyeh, Former Military Commander of Hezbollah [18]

Imad Mughniyeh, Former Military Commander of Hezbollah

However, the ex-intelligence officer insisted that he was more skeptical than the ex-military officer about the tactic of targeted killing because while the Mugniyeh attack definitely eased pressure on Israel, Hassan Nasrallah became Secretary General after the assassination of his predecessor, and even his sworn enemies recognize him as a great man of his people. He has surpassed all of his predecessors. This was something Mossad had not predicted before the attack.

At the time Israel was occupying a large portion Lebanon, and Hezbollah was one of a dozen militias operating there. They essentially killed Sam Adams expecting to make his organization go away, until they realized he was replaced by George Washington.

One attack which did seem to have a major operational impact on the US government is the Oklahoma City bombing [19]. According to the official version, a small group of low level military veterans who were deeply committed Libertarian/Constitutionalists carried out an attack on the Federal Government. However their story begins a year earlier when the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, one of the many federal law enforcement agencies) set fire to the compound of a religious cult after a very long siege. Accusations of child abuse were used as an excuse, but that is a local matter and has nothing to do with the ATF, who, obviously expecting a clean operation, began their attack on the compound shortly before they were to testify to Congress regarding the importance of their budget allocation. In the process of “saving the children” the ATF ended up burning almost all of them to death. They attempted to claim that this was a mass suicide in the fashion of the Jim Jones Massacre in Guiana, and the public still believes that. However, forensic evidence has shown the federal government to be at fault.

McVeigh and his accomplices blew up the building from which the ATF team was managed on the anniversary of the Waco Massacre. Fifteen years would pass before the raid on the fundamentalist Mormon community, again in Texas, this time by state authorities. This gap occurred despite the fact that cult compounds had clearly broken laws which should have compelled law enforcement intervention. There are numerous conspiracy theories about “who was really behind the attacks,” but none of them can explain why the federal government stands down when it came to carrying out these kind of raids. The simpler explanation is that, the Oklahoma City Attack was a qualified success for its perpetrators.

One of the most operationally successful campaigns carried out by an organization was the South Armagh Sniper Campaign [20] of the 1990s. British Army border patrols and checkpoints were targeted. Seven out of nine British deaths occurred in 1993. The result was that patrols and checkpoint were reduced, but by orders from above and by soldiers refusing to carry out such duties. The lack of ground troops made use of helicopters riskier. The result was that the border became more porous, which was both a tactical advantage for IRA smugglers as well as an end in itself, as the IRA sought to eventually wipe away the border between the Republic and 6 counties which remained in the UK. Also, in any David and Goliath struggle, even the smallest victory is a huge morale booster for the militants and their supporters.

Overview

The fact is the operational functioning of the system is so complex that it is nearly impossible to predict how particular actions will impact it in the mid and long term. Professionals often get it wrong.
Perhaps the Oklahoma City bombing aftermath has some elements in common with the Roof situation. The government drew back its iron fisted tactics which were deployed at Waco and Ruby Ridge, but rather spent its sympathy capital trying to silence Conservative AM Radio talk show hosts. With the Roof attack, the chief spokesman for the DC government almost immediately conceded that he could not win a gun control vote. Rather, symbols and rhetoric are being fought over by the political establishment.

4. Propaganda

Dylann Storm Roof and Wade Michael Page both attacked places of worship, an African American Church and a Sikh Gurudwala, respectively. In a country where religious piety is respected, this is the worst place to attack a target. What kind of professional prefers the headline “Killed While at Prayer” rather than “Killed in a Brothel.” Not since Robert the Bruce killed the Scottish patriot John Comyn [21] before the High Altar of Greyfriar’s Monastery, has a political leader’s reputation recovered from killing an enemy in church.

Rodger was a gift for his enemies whose #YesAllWomen [22] tweets trended for nearly a week.

Breivik, whose Kosher Neo-Con outlook led him to conflate Communism, Fascism/National Socialism, and Islamism ended up only convincing the public [23] that critics of Islam in Europe are Neo-Nazis whose real motivation is a diabolical desire to murder millions.

Von Brunn’s and Miller’s propaganda impact was fairly minimal. I happened to be in Washington DC at the time of Miller’s attack. Each day I made a point of passing the Newseum which has the front page of every large circulation daily newspaper in the US posted outside. I did this expecting to see a nonstop orgy of headlines about how “America must reflect on its Anti-Semitism.” I was shocked to see that on the third day this had become a local crime story covered only in two papers (and, if memory serves, it was below the fold in one of the papers already). There are insights that I am not capable of grasping as to why the media elite treats Trayvon and other Dindus so differently than attacks on their most hallowed institutions. The cynics might say that it would be different if Jews had also died, but I am not sure that is the whole story.

The emotional impact of an attack, whether originating with a state or non-state actor, must be to encourage and rile up supporters, win sympathy from or subjugate through fear those in the middle, and discourage the opposition. It is safe to say that each of these had the complete opposite effect.

The Professionals

The Madrid Train Bombings were entirely successful [24]. The pro-Bush Spanish government was leading in the polls. The bombings were interpreted as an attack by Al Qaeda due to Spain’s involvement in Iraq. The next week the tide turned, and the Spanish people elected a government which quickly pulled out of the Iraq War. Spain has not been attacked by Al Qaeda since then.

The audience for an attack can range from the millions, as in Spain, down to a handful of individuals. In the ’90s a laboratory which conducted animal experiments tried to raise money by selling shares of stock on a minor OTC (Over the Counter) exchange. The CEO of this exchange received a credible threat on his life. He refused to trade in this company’s stock and so did every other exchange subsequently approached.

58 of 62 victims in the Luxor Massacre were foreign tourists; the prevalence of European children and Japanese honeymooners among the victims hurt the cause of the terrorists. [25]

58 of 62 victims in the Luxor Massacre were foreign tourists; the prevalence of European children and Japanese honeymooners among the victims hurt the cause of the terrorists.

Egyptian Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya had an indirect approach to creating the public mood in which they could prosper. Their militants carried out the Luxor Massacre [26] in 1997. At the time 10% of the country was employed in the tourism industry. More poverty, instability, and young men with nothing to do could only benefit their mid-term goals regardless of the bad press in the short term. Eventually, so their plan went, the people would blame the Mubarak regime, and the Islamists would be ready to provide a simple solution to those seeking answers. This was not so different from the ANC campaign of burning down high schools in black townships, and that worked very well for them.

However, public opinion turned so strongly against them and in support of the very harsh regime crackdown against Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya members and their families, that they denied the attack. The regime crackdown was so harsh that the group abandoned violence and only a few members defected to Al Qaeda nearly a decade later. It seems this strategy is being repeated in Tunisia this summer, whether it also fails remains to be seen.

Overview

Understanding propaganda impact begins with understanding the various audiences. From where does the power and legitimacy of the target derive? To borrow Gene Sharp’s language, can their pillars of support be toppled? Will they respond as wanted if frightened?

5. Tempo of and Control over Future Attacks

Grading the Shooters

All five mass murderers can be given the same grade in this section. I first covered this topic in “Jewish Demographic Destiny,” Part 3 [27]. The murder of 7 people by Mohammed Merah had a greater impact on Jewish behavior than Breivik’s 90+ body count did on the behavior of “Cultural Marxists.” Breivik’s attack is really the only one that had any potential to have an impact on policy. If, once he was arrested, there were rolling attacks whether against the government or civilians, accompanied by a demand for his release, this might have achieved something. This kind of campaign has been carried out by the Black Liberation Army [28] in the US, the Red Army Fraction [29] (Baader-Meinhoff Gang) in Germany, and by all parties within the resistance against Israel.

As it turns out, the new Knights Templars is a one-man Order, and Breivik did not inspire self-appointed Knights to do anything more than write threatening letters. Creating such a team capable of a Breivik-style attack, even before the attack takes place, is exceedingly difficult. The SPLC Intelligence Report is filled with stories about little Klan groups who after pledging to begin a revolution, commit their first murders within the group against those with cold feet. This was even the case with The Order, a focolista-type terror cell, which was the most professional racialist paramilitary organization in the US since the first and second generations of the KKK.

It will be years before the bumbling Algerian Lone Wolf terrorists of France ever match the body count of Breivik. Before they do, perhaps 200,000 French Jews will have already left for Israel largely motivated by fear of such attacks. This is because the tempo has remained steady and is likely to increase, and their focus on their primary target is unchanging.

The Professionals

LetMyPeopleGo [30]The first great example of the use of tempo in an insurgency should be familiar to every reader who sat through Sunday School. This is found in Exodus Chapter 5-12 [31], in the campaign of the Israelites against the Egyptians. Aaron is a Minister of Propoganda, Moses is the cutout, and Yahweh is the operational Commander. Clear and minimal demands are made, for a short break from work to go into the wilderness and worship before returning to work. This establishes the legitimacy of future reprisals after the Pharaoh’s refusal. Because the Pharoah’s command structure is portrayed as pure top-down, one-man rule, the psychological aspect of this war is more important than the logistical.

Early on in the conflict, Pharaoh found comfort in the fact that “the Egyptian Magician’s also did the same things by their secret arts” when it came to turning staffs into snakes, turning water into blood, and summoning frogs. Little did it matter that the assymetrical impact of these tactics hurt the Egyptian economy far more than the Hebrew slaves. Why the Pharoah or the Priests would think that summoning more non-potable water or frogs was a good idea is hard to imagine. But one might say the same thing about the economic impact of modern Heads of State who wish to respond pound for pound against the acts of non-State actors.

When the Egyptian Magicians failed to summon gnats, they begin to lose their mettle and told Pharoah that they now attribute legitimacy to the insurgents according to their own standards. During the Plague of Flies, the Pharoah negotiates an end to hostilities by granting a small demand. However after the attack ceases, the Pharoah does not go through with his agreement. Gene Sharp, author of From Dictatorship To Democracy (reviewed here [32]), would not be surprised by this turn of events, which is why he encourages his readers to only seek the toppling of the regime in place and to not relieve pressure on the regime when it is demanded as a prerequisite to negotiation.

Attacks continued with the same pattern of warning and follow through, but Pharaoh did not resume negotiations during the Plagues of Livestock and Boils, only during Hail. As during the Plague of Flies, Pharoah gave into Hebrew demands to end the attack only to refuse to deliver again. No reference is made to Magicians, Advisors, or Viziers, so one might imagine an isolated, paranoid leader making decisions based on ego and pride.

The Pharoah is starting to crack at this point because he seeks to negotiate after the next threat is made. It also seems as though he wishes to follow through this time because the concession is less than what he previously promised. He realizes that he has alienated Yahweh’s constituency to a point beyond repair. The same pattern continues with Locusts and Darkness. The extraordinary claim is made by the author’s of Exodus that Moses and his people had become popular among the Egyptians, to the point that they could ask their neighbors for gold and silver then receive it. Could this be an account of extorting a tax upon their neighbors, thus creating a state within a state? Hezbollah occasionally sets up road blocks at busy intersections where their volunteers will pass by cars carrying buckets. Drivers are strongly encouraged to make donations, all under the nose of Lebanon’s weak governing structure.

We all know how this story then ends and the Hebrews seize their window of opportunity to escape. They deftly built legitimacy for themselves, used negotiations as a PsyOp, undermined sovereignty, weakened the unity of command of the State, of course, maintained excellent Tempo, and turned an oppressed minority in to a 4th Generation Warfare force. If one really wanted to stretch the use of modern military analysis, it could be said that it was after the Plague of the First Born that the OODA Loop [33] of the Pharoah finally became larger than that of the Hebrews.

It is rare to find such a concise story of how tempo impacts an insurgency.

OODA [34]

Overview

White Nationalists have no capability for maintaining a Tempo that is viewed as meaningful by the opposition. Neither a central command structure nor a cell-based system is necessary as the more chaotic example of Lone Wolf Jihadists proves. It is in fact a matter of perception on the part of the public and the System. That the New York Times attempts to convince us that “White Terror” is more dangerous with graphs [35], guest editorials by Morris Dees [36], and “debates [37]” between five writers representing essentially the same paradigm, only proves my point.

To the potential shooter who thinks he has all the first four elements of an attack figured out, you cannot reasonably expect that “this time it will be different” when it comes to tempo. It is a truly delusional mind that thinks that such an act would be inspirational given the cultural and political situation of our time.

* * *

To conclude, I believe that White Nationalism has been harmed rather than helped by killers like Roof, Page, Breivik, Miller, etc. Indeed, some of their acts have been so catastrophically counter-productive, one must question whether they were really trying to advance political aims at all, as opposed to simply indulging in nihilistic destruction. (In which case, perhaps they should have begun by killing themselves.) Thus such shooters and shootings must be condemned in the strongest language possible. I hope that anyone reading this who is actually contemplating such a killing spree will think this through carefully, then either change his mind — or find some other website to read.