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Monday, August 13, 2012

Neo-Naziism, White Supremacists, Dominionist Christians, and the US Military

Neo-Naziism was rampant in the military as far back as the mid-1980s, at least. Later, in the late-80s, our intelligence unit was conducting witch hunts for gays but left neo-Nazis, Aryan Nationals, and other white supremacists alone even when they had racist symbols clearly displayed. 
But that's probably due to the fact that our battalion commander was himself a racist. He despised gays and atheists and made no effort to hide it. His behavior toward service members of color was somewhat more mitigated, but it bubbled just beneath the surface on his cigar-chomping face. You could watch the muscles in his face twitch when he had to speak to any lower enlisted soldier, especially those belonging to groups he hated. 
In a unit whose roster was filled with soldiers with codeword security clearances and years spent learning foreign languages - both of which cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars collectively, and millions alone individually - he set soldiers against one another to ferret out any whose least characteristics showed up on his hate-radar. Soldiers with perfect records were ousted, even jailed, for the least homosexual infraction while he permitted fraternization, even marriage, between heterosexual couples, even when one member would fall into the other's chain-of-command.
His activities eventually caught the attention of Congress, a difficult low-point to hit for a battalion commander. He had managed to achieve the worst retention rate - that is the rate of re-enlistment, a crucial goal for intelligence units because of the money spent on up-to-yearlong background checks, clearances, language training, and other training, making re-enlistment, even with a $25-35K bonus, a real bargain for taxpayers - in the entire US military. Typically, intelligence units have a very high retention rate because of the specialized training, re-enlistment bonuses, and the fact that so much time is spent in uniform to achieve the necessary skills that the lure of retirement may only be a single re-enlistment hitch away.
So, when you walked through the barracks rooms - in buildings built by Hitler specifically for his SS troops, the original Nazis - and saw swastikas and other neo-Nazi paraphernalia displayed, you knew why those displaying it could sneer at your recommendation to take it down: They had the full support of their battalion commander. 
The battalion commander was a Dominionist Christian, as well. In the 2 or 3 experiences I had with those in the military, they also sympathized with the white supremacist movement. I don't know if that's a 1-for-1 ratio or if I found some overlap, but it has always struck me that Dominionists are white supremacists, also.