It is sobering. Ever since Sept. 11, the major thrust and objectives of our Homeland Security agency et al., has been to protect our country from terrorist attacks from foreign countries and terrorists. Billions have been spent on the effort. Billions more will be spent. However, considering what has unfolded in Belfast, Maine, in the last couple of months, the next attack may well not come from foreign sources but from our own “homeland”.
On Dec 9, Mrs. Amber Cummings shot to death her allegedly abusive husband, James Cummings, state police reported. Police have since said that Mr. Cummings was busy making a dirty bomb. The self-professed neo-Nazi and white supremacist was busy making a dirty bomb in his home. His intended target was Barack Obama, according to his wife. She said he was very upset that Obama had been elected our new president.
What is underscored here is that the terrorist and the evildoer do not speak strange languages, have exotic religions or have different skin color.
In fact, he may very well be your neighbor in middle class America, or anywhere else, for that matter. Mr. Cummings was independently wealthy and lived off a trust fund. He lived in what appears to be a nice middle class neighborhood here in Maine. He was anonymous and a nice neighbor whom no one saw much of. And yet he was busy building a dirty bomb to blow someone up.
Bush, Cheney, and our last administration, all have stated that they were successful in protecting our country against another terrorist attack. Aside from the fact that you can’t prove a negative, how would they ever know this? Mr. Cummings may very well have been on the radar of Homeland Security. But as far as I can tell, that is not case. Apparently he was not on anyone’s radar.
This underscores the need to realize that our enemies are not all foreign. They are also homegrown. Who can ever forget Timothy McVeigh? He was a white, middle-class, Iraq veteran, and hell-bent on killing as many Americans as he could.
We, as a people, must realize that not all our enemies are from without. The fear-mongering in the last eight years has been almost solely directed at foreign sources. We have started two wars and have spent billions to deflect and stop the next terrorist attack.
In all this fear-mongering (some well-taken, as there are those who do want to destroy us), no definite picture has ever emerged of white-middle class Americans building bombs.
My intention here is not fear-mongering. My intention is to make people aware that hate and fear and murderous intentions are not possessed solely by out-groups intent on destroying us. Hate and fear and murderous intent are alive and well here in America. And there are well-meaning Americans who inflame and fan these in-tentions and emotions to murderous levels.
There are, unfortunately, many more Mr. Cummingses being nurtured and being breed in the quiet suburbs and country side of America. We would be wise to be aware of this fact. Also, we, as a people, should tune out the hate and divisive rhetoric that is being incessantly broadcast on our TV screens and radio stations 24-7. This hateful speech does not bode well for a healthy United States.
For the well-being of our future children, the survival of our country, and the continuance of our way of life, we do not need to be generating and nurturing homegrown dirty bomb builders like James Cummings.
James Chasse lives in St. Agatha.