Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, delivered another bizarre, rambling, lurid tale of hysterical paranoia while speaking to the New York chapter of his group. Obama, he says, is going to unleash ISIS on the country, start race wars and collapse the economy in order to implement martial law.
“My concern is that what we saw in Katrina is what you’re going to see nationwide,” Rhodes said. “I think that’s the intent. I think the intent is to collapse our economy, make it as bad as possible. That’s why they’re not preparing to feed you. What are they preparing to do? What are they stocking up on? MRAPs, ammunition. They’re preparing to control you, not feed you.”
“I think that keeping with that communist agenda of a fourth-generation warfare assault,” he continued, “the intent is to use an economic neutron bomb —doesn’t destroy the buildings, but it kills the people eventually, it starves you out — cause chaos, and in the middle of all that chaos, spark a race war, and in the middle of that, unleash these ISIS cells that are now all over the country. And they don’t just ignore the influx of these cells, they cultivate it, they give them fertilizer, water and fresh air and make them grow.”He added that another part of this plot is an attempt to prevent new immigrants from assimilating “because the leftists in this country hate this country, they hate it, and they will get in bed with radical Islamists because they have a common enemy, western civilization.”
“I think it’s best for you to assume the worst,” he concluded, “that they are going to unleash what you could call a perfect storm. So picture Katrina, but all over the country.”
When the Oath Keepers first started, I knew what they were immediately, but a lot of my libertarian friends insisted that they were a harmless group. What could be wrong with police officers and soldiers taking an oath that they would not follow an order to commit violence on their fellow citizens, they said. But that was never what that group was really about. That was their marketing campaign. It should be painfully obvious to everyone by now what was obvious to me at the time, which is that this is just another paranoid, far-right militia that is just itching to launch another civil war over “tyranny,” which they define so absurdly that it would be impossible to have any government at all without defining it as tyrannical. It’s the armed wing of the John Birch Society and nothing more.