Serpent's Egg: Bush Nurses Nazi Vipers in Iraq

*This is an expanded version of the column appearing in the July 14 edition of The Moscow Times.*

Over and over, the Bush Regime and its media apologists have peddled the same mendacious line in defense of their war crime in Iraq: "We're fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them over here." But in fact the brutal occupation is actually breeding a cadre of vicious terrorists intent on bringing death and destruction back home to America's streets, using the deadly skills they've learned – in the U.S. military.

Hundreds, possibly thousands of neo-Nazis and "white power" extremists have infiltrated U.S. forces in a deliberate strategy to get training in weapons, urban warfare and covert operations, the Pentagon's own investigators report. These homegrown terrorists – avowed enemies of democracy, committed to sparking the same kind of horrific civil war in America that George W. Bush has spawned in Iraq – have wormed their way into some of most elite military units, as well as filling up the ordinary ranks with cretinous "race warriors."

This infestation is being actively abetted by the Bush Regime. Who says? Well, Department of Defense investigator Scott Barfield for one. "Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members," Barfield told the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a report issued last week.

In the last year alone, Barfield identified 320 white power extremists at a single U.S. army base, Fort Lewis in Washington state; only two were discharged. Some were part of just one neo-Nazi cell that has burrowed into five bases spread across the entire country, Barfield said; many of its members have joined the hundreds of known neo-Nazis now schooling themselves in Bush's masterclass in carnage.

The infiltration is part of a concerted strategy by the neo-Nazi movement to use Bush's war for terrorist training – much as their extremist brothers in al Qaeda are doing. In skinhead magazines and innumerable websites, they pass along handy hints and exhortations to their cloaked comrades in the field and potential recruits at home. "Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman's war," writes Steven Barry, a former Special Forces officer now serving as "military unit coordinator" for the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the New York Times reports.

"[The race war] will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and 'cleansed,'" writes Barry, as if he were channeling one of the deadly Iraqi militias sponsored by the Bushists in their self-confessed "Salvador Option" – an undercover program named for the right-wing Central American death squads armed and trained by the Reagan-Bush administration in the 1980s, as the New Yorker reports.

"Join only for the training, and to better defend yourself, our people and our culture," says another all-American goosestepper, Army engineer and Iraq war veteran John Fain. "We must have people to open doors from the inside when the time comes."

But it looks like some big-time insiders are already opening those doors. The percentage of "moral waivers" being granted to recruits for past misdeeds – and for previously disqualifying factors such as violent extremism and gang membership – has "more than doubled since 2001," the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Some recruiters are even helping skinheads cover up their tell-tale Nazi tattoos to get them into the military, Barfield says. Meanwhile, officers in the field are routinely failing to report obvious neo-Nazi activity – and those now-uncovered tattoos – when they spot them.

It's a far cry from the crackdown on extremism in the last decade, after the great white-power infestation of the military during the Reagan-Bush years – peaking in the Bush family's first war with Iraq, where domestic terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh learned their trade. When skinhead troops from the elite 82nd Airborne Division randomly murdered a black couple in 1995 to earn their neo-Nazi "spider web tattoos" for killing non-whites, the Pentagon brass began turfing out hatemongers and banning racist associations; one general even ordered his 19,000 men strip-searched for extremist tattoos, the SPLC reports.

Now the brass help hide those same inky taints of evil, and knowingly send "race warriors" to occupy an Arab land, to storm undefended Iraqi homes. How many "spider webs" have been earned with Bush's blessing as these extremists lord it over the "non-whites" in their power?

The tacit acceptance of neo-Nazis in the military is part of a broader pattern at work in the Bush Imperium: the "mainstreaming" of right-wing extremism in American society, an alarming development well documented by journalist Dave Niewert at Orcinus. White-power advocates once stuck under rocks on the lunatic fringe now appear on network television as respected spokesmen on the "immigration question." High-profile Bush-backers in the mainstream media – Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh and other gasbags – routinely tout "fantasies" of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, and death for "traitors," i.e., anyone who opposes the hard-right line. Bush himself has openly embraced demented religious extremists like the "Dominionists" whose rabid doctrines of Christian nationalism are scarcely distinguishable from the religious perversions that undergird most neo-Nazi philosophies. He has brought them to the very center of power, in government, the media and in institutions like the Council for National Policy, the right-wing steering group whose regular meetings of White House officials, TV evangelists, corporate honchos, conservative journalists – and Dominionists – help set the party line peddled by those media blowhards.

In its heedless lust for loot and dominion, the Bush Faction will use anyone: neo-Nazis, neoconservatives, theocrats, dictators, death squads, nutballs, gasbags. The blowback from this nest of vipers will poison American life for generations – but of course the Bushists don't care. America is nothing to them but a cash cow and a billy club. Let the stupid rabble worry about war-trained Nazis in the streets; the Bush elite will be safe and cozy in their gated, guarded mansions.