Clemency Offer Will Only Encourage Animal Rights Terrorists

When President Clinton offered clemency
to 16 Puerto Rican nationalists who waged a campaign of terror bombing
in the 1970s and 1980s, he dramatically increased the danger posed to
American businesses and researchers by the most organized terrorist groups
in the United States today – animal rights terrorists.

Over the last two decades,
animal rights groups calling themselves the Animal Liberation Front and
the Justice Department have waged a campaign of terror that includes hundreds
of break-ins and bombings. U.S. businesses and research facilities have
often been frequent targets of such criminals. In August, numerous businesses
involved in the fur trade received packages in the mail containing razor
blades and death threats sent by an animal rights organization calling
itself the Justice Department. The threats gave the businesses until the
end of the year to abandon the fur business or face violent reprisals.
The FBI is currently investigating the threats.

Those who firebomb research labs
and destroy meat packing facilities defend their actions by saying they
only target property and never people (although groups like the Justice
Department have no problem hurting people). Like the Puerto Rican nationalists,
they don’t even consider their actions violence or terrorism but rather
as acts of liberation.

The Clinton administration and supporters
of clemency for the Puerto Rican nationalists just gave this position
a big boost. Time and again television and newspaper coverage of the controversy
featured people in positions of power and influence arguing it was okay
to free these prisoners because all they did was destroy buildings and
property rather than kill human beings.

These apologists for violence miss
the point; the ultimate goal of terrorism is not to kill but create an
atmosphere of fear. Terrorists kill people only because it is an extremely
effective way to create fear, but such fear can be manufactured just as
easily by destroying property as by outright murder. Racist extremists
often use the threat of arson or other damage to physical property to
intimidate minorities, and some antiabortion extremists have attempted
to use destruction of property at abortion clinics to scare women away
from such facilities. By seeking to create an atmosphere of fear in the
targeted population, such acts of property destruction constitute the
very heart and soul of terrorism.

In defense of the clemency offer,
defenders of the Puerto Rican nationalists claim those convicted have
since renounced violence. Such renunciations are next to worthless as
the case of Rodney Coronado illustrates. Coronado was the first animal
rights activists convicted in federal court for a terrorist bombing. In
1992 Coronado firebombed a research lab at Michigan State University,
causing more than $1 million in damages. Despite a long history of other
violent activities, Coronado received only a 5 year prison sentences.
One of the factors leading to the light sentence was Coronado’s vehement
denunciation of both violence and the animal rights movement at his pre-sentencing
hearing. Once he was sentenced, however, Coronado simply ignored his previous
renunciation of violence and regularly wrote articles from prison justifying
and encouraging acts of destruction against research labs and other facilities.
Renunciation is a poor substitute for incarceration.

Violence from the animal rights
community is likely to increase in the coming years. After some initial
success in gaining public acceptance in the 1980s, the movement experienced
something of a backlash in the 1990s. Today influential members of even
relatively mainstream groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals defend illegal actions as the only way the movement will be
able to change society.

With his clemency offer to convicted
terrorists, the president gave the violent side of the animal rights movement
notice that so long as they can’t be linked to murder their actions won’t
be considered “real” terrorism. American businesses and research
facilities may have to pay the price for Clinton’s soft spot for terrorists.

Which is it Mr. Singer: Children or Cattle?

Peter Singer managed to anger
animal rights activists with a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” With his typical
flair for sweeping (and baseless) moral judgments, Singer argued that
Americans who do not give at least 20 percent of their income to solve
world hunger are morally equivalent to someone who would sell a Brazilian
child to be killed for his or her organs (a situation he borrowed from
the Brazilian film “Central Station.”)

Unfortunately for Singer,
he angered some animal rights activists and groups by recommending that people
donate to Oxfam which, all things considered, is probably the best place
to donate money if stopping world hunger is where you want to concentrate
your charitable giving. The only problem for the animal activists is that
Oxfam helps poor people in the developing world buy cattle and other animals
for agricultural purposes.

Since Singer is already on record
that eating meat is superfluous and therefore equivalent to murder except
in dire emergency situations, his position seems to be that Americans
are heartless murderers regardless of what they do. Are we to save a child
at the expense of a poor cow? In his book, Animal Liberation, Singer is unwavering in his view that this is unacceptable, especially
since animal agriculture is completely unnecessary.

Aside from this there are a couple
other problems and inconsistencies with Singer’s argument. First, he repeatedly
mentions the horrors faced by children in the Third World, which is certainly
a legitimate concern. It is surprising that given his well-known
views on suffering, that Singer does not simply recommend that Americans
underwrite a program to painlessly euthanize children who are probably
going to starve to death or die from malaria anyway. This would probably
be less expensive as well as meet Singer’s utilitarian criteria of minimizing
suffering.

Second, Singer’s attempt at equating actively murdering someone with refusing to contributing to aid organizations is absurd, especially in the context of international aid. Singer
laments that aid from the developed world to the developing world is far
below goals set by the United Nations, but never mentions that a large
part of the reason is the horrible track record of such aid. The main
reason people starve in Third World countries is due to the corrupt, incompetent
governments there and, as heartless as it may sound, feeding those governments
more aid money is often counterproductive and may prolong suffering
by making corrupt regimes survive longer than they would without the aid.

Already this year controversy erupted
when it was revealed that aid intended to help out poor Russians was diverted
into the accounts of Russian politicians. Studies of the International Monetary Fund
and World Bank aid programs suggest that up to half of all such aid to
the most impoverished parts of the world may be diverted. Certainly some
groups such as Oxfam do a wonderful job, but Singer’s emphasis on large
amounts of giving for such a narrow purpose is extremely shortsighted
and by no means the obvious best solution to combat world hunger.

PETA Takes on McDonald's

Apparently People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has learned nothing from one of its biggest advertising
fiascoes, which is a good thing from this writer’s point of view. Claiming
that talks with McDonald’s aimed at reducing animal suffering had broken
down, PETA vowed to wage an advertising campaign against the popular restaurant
chain.

One of the ads will feature a drawing
of Ronald McDonald holding a bloody butcher knife and a dead chicken with
the tag line – “Son of Ron – America’s Biggest Serial Killer.”
Didn’t PETA learn anything from the backlash over the ad they took comparing
meat eaters to Jeffrey Dahmer?

McDonald’s spokesman Walt Riker
said the ad campaign was “unwarranted and tasteless and disgusting,
and I’m sure it will turn off a vast majority of Americans who might see
it.” Indeed.

Clinton's Clemency Offer Will Only Encourage Animal Rights Terrorists

When President Clinton offered
clemency to 16 Puerto Rican nationalists who waged a campaign of terror
bombing in the 1970s and 1980s, he dramatically increased the danger posed
to Michigan businesses and researchers by the most organized terrorist
groups in the United States today – animal rights terrorists.

Over the last two decades, animal
rights groups calling themselves the Animal Liberation Front and the Justice Department have waged a campaign of terror that includes hundreds of break-ins
and bombings. Michigan businesses and research facilities have often been
frequent targets of such criminals. In August, several Michigan businesses
involved in the fur trade received packages in the mail containing razor
blades and death threats sent by an animal rights organization calling
itself the Justice Department. The threats gave the businesses until the
end of the year to abandon the fur business or face violent reprisals.
The FBI is currently investigating the threats.

Those who firebomb research labs
and destroy meat packing facilities defend their actions by saying they
only target property and never people (although groups like the Justice
Department have no problem hurting people). Like the Puerto Rican nationalists,
they do not even consider their actions violence or terrorism but rather
as acts of liberation.

The Clinton administration and supporters
of clemency for the Puerto Rican nationalists just gave this position
a big boost. Time and again television and newspaper coverage of the controversy
featured people in positions of power and influence arguing it was okay
to free these prisoners because all they did was destroy buildings and
property rather than kill human beings.

These apologists for violence miss
the point; the ultimate goal of terrorism is not to kill but create an
atmosphere of fear. Terrorists kill people only because it is an extremely
effective way to create fear, but such fear can be manufactured just as
easily by destroying property as by outright murder. Racist extremists
often use the threat of arson or other damage to physical property to
intimidate minorities, and some antiabortion extremists have attempted
to use destruction of property at abortion clinics to scare women away
from such facilities. By seeking to create an atmosphere of fear in the
targeted population, such acts of property destruction constitute the
very heart and soul of terrorism.

In defense of the clemency offer,
defenders of the Puerto Rican nationalists claim those convicted have
since renounced violence. Such renunciations are next to worthless as
the case of Rodney Coronado illustrates. Coronado was the first animal
rights activists convicted in federal court for a terrorist bombing. In
1992 Coronado firebombed a research lab at Michigan State University,
causing more than $1 million in damages. Despite a long history of other
violent activities, Coronado received only a 5 year prison sentence.
One of the factors leading to the light sentence was Coronado’s vehement
denunciation of both violence and the animal rights movement at his pre-sentencing
hearing. Once he was sentenced, however, Coronado simply ignored his previous
renunciation of violence and regularly wrote articles from prison justifying
and encouraging acts of destruction against research labs and other facilities.

Renunciation is a poor substitute for incarceration.

Violence from the animal rights
community is likely to increase in the coming years. After some initial
success in gaining public acceptance in the 1980s, the movement experienced
something of a backlash in the 1990s. Today influential members of even
relatively mainstream groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals defend illegal actions as the only way the movement will be
able to change society.

With his clemency offer to convicted
terrorists, the president gave the violent side of the animal rights movement
notice that so long as they cannot be linked to murder their actions will not
be considered “real” terrorism. Michigan businesses and research
facilities may have to pay the price for Clinton’s soft spot for terrorists.

No Compromise's Printer Woes

The web site for the radical
pro-Animal Liberation Front magazine No Compromise recently
contained a whining screed about the difficulties in obtaining a printer
who would publish its Summer 1999 issue. Apparently they did finally find
someone willing to take on the job. As a courtesy for those of you who
do not subscribe to No Compromise, here are the titles of a
few of the articles planned for the Summer issue. You can judge for yourself
whether or not you’d agree to print the magazine:

“Smashing the Fur Trade Quickly and Efficiently.”

“Staying Safe While Fucking Shit Up”

“Simple Igniter”

“Keeping Your Mouth Shut”

“Don’t Get Caught!”

“One Hour Delayed Incendiary Device”

“Electronically Timed Incendiary Igniter”

Smithsonian Caves to Fear, Cancels Foie Gras Presentation

Animal rights advocates had
been targeting the Smithsonian Institute for several weeks after it announced
plans to hold a program called “Foie Gras: A GourmetÂ’s Passion”
on Sept. 21. Foie Gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese. Animal
rights groups maintain the practice is cruel.

Rather than citing its agreement
with this argument, however, the Smithsonian cited concern for the safety
of visitors as the main reason for canceling the program. “Because
we are always concerned with the well-being of our participants, we have
regretfully concluded that it would be in the best interests of everyone
involved to cancel the program,” said Mara Mayor, director of the
Smithsonian Associates. Michael Gilnor, owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras
and a scheduled speaker for the event, accused the animal rights groups
of inciting fear of violence to force the Smithsonian to cancel the program.

“What these people are
doing are terrorist acts,” said Gilnor. “They use means that
are close to terrorists but without the blood.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of the main groups opposing the program, said it has never
engaged in terrorism. “We have made no threats whatsoever,”
said Michael McGraw. “We would most likely dress up as ducks or geese and
hold up signs.” Of course they might also decide to light bales of
hay on fire in an act of arson as happened in two recent PETA protests.
Still McGraw is technically correct that PETA doesnÂ’t commit terrorist
acts – they just show up conveniently after terrorist acts have been committed
and provide legal and financial support for terrorists.