"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis
By Matt Kennard, Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. Posted June 17, 2009.
Why the U.S. military is ignoring its own regulations and permitting white supremacists to join.
Since the launch of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military has struggled to recruit and reenlist troops. As the conflicts have dragged on, the military has loosened regulations, issuing "moral waivers" in many cases, allowing even those with criminal records to join up. Veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder have been ordered back to the Middle East for second and third tours of duty.
The lax regulations have also opened the military's doors to neo-Nazis, white supremacists and gang members -- with drastic consequences. Some neo-Nazis have been charged with crimes inside the military, and others have been linked to recruitment efforts for the white right. A recent Department of Homeland Security report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," stated: "The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." Many white supremacists join the Army to secure training for, as they see it, a future domestic race war. Others claim to be shooting Iraqis not to pursue the military's strategic goals but because killing "hajjis" is their duty as white militants.
Soldiers' associations with extremist groups, and their racist actions, contravene a host of military statutes instituted in the past three decades. But during the "war on terror," U.S. armed forces have turned a blind eye on their own regulations. A 2005 Department of Defense report states, "Effectively, the military has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy pertaining to extremism. If individuals can perform satisfactorily, without making their extremist opinions overt they are likely to be able to complete their contracts."
About the title: The article opens with a profile of an Iraq War veteran named Forrest Fogarty. There's seven paragraphs discussing his teen and early adult years in the white power movement and his experience with army recruitment, and then:
In 2003, Fogarty was sent to Iraq. For two years he served in the military police, escorting officers, including generals, around the hostile country. He says he was granted top-secret clearance and access to battle plans. Fogarty speaks with regret that he "never had any kill counts." But he says his time in Iraq increased his racist resolve.
"I hate Arabs more than anybody, for the simple fact I've served over there and seen how they live," he tells me. "They're just a backward people. Them and the Jews are just disgusting people as far as I'm concerned. Their customs, everything to do with the Middle East, is just repugnant to me."
Read the whole article here
(I'd've just done a "Digg" post, but I kept getting an invalid url message, no matter what I did. Maybe I'll Digg this post instead, just to get the story the wide attention it deserves... But if anyone from Digg happens to be reading this, or anyone at all knows how to work around whatever the issue was (I suspect it had something to do with the quote marks in the title--& thus in the url--myself), please let me know...)
UPDATE: Looks like it was a Salon News article first: Neo-Nazis are in the Army now. I "dugg" that one instead, but I'll stick with this post, anyway...