So you thought the crisis over the federal government’s beef with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was over?
Now the FBI is investigating supporters of Bundy who allegedly pointed guns at armed federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management during a standoff last month.
No Americans should be pointing guns at other Americans over grazing fees that are allegedly owed by Bundy. There’s no need for that. This is the kind of conflict that should be resolved peaceably in courts of law as well as in the court of public opinion. It’s not life-and-death battle. It’s time for both sides to recognize this is not a matter calling for bloodshed and violence. Period. End of story.
Emotions are running high over the dispute – and that’s not good. It’s in everyone’s best interest to take a calm, cool look at the facts and stand down.
We don’t need another Ruby Ridge or Waco over a bunch of cows. No one should be welcoming or preparing for a shoot-out. It’s insanity. No one wins from such a scenario.
I sympathize with the Bundy family. The rancher was vilified by the government and much of the media. He’s been unfairly caricatured and portrayed. It was wrong of the BLM to dispatch 200 armed agents in an inappropriate show of force even if Bundy is all wrong and the government is all right. But that’s not the case.
There are many unanswered questions about why the government is making a mountain out of a molehill in this conflict in the desert. There is simply no urgency for armed force to be used by the government, which made similar mistakes at Ruby Ridge and Waco with horrifically tragic results.
America is facing many significant foreign and domestic challenges. We don’t need another one in Nevada over an allegation of unpaid grazing fees, for heaven’s sake.
To date, no one has been seriously hurt or killed. That is a positive thing. It’s not a time for escalating the crisis or erecting barricades. It’s a time for defusing the crisis. Both sides need to calm down and get rational. This matter only rises to a life-threatening one if Americans – on either side – react without thinking.
No one benefits from a shooting war.
Tensions are high for a number of reasons:
- Government has a track record of over-reaching and over-reacting in situations like this. That’s a fact. Frankly, one would think the federal government would have more important matters to deal with than where Bundy’s cows graze. But it’s certainly not a time to call out the cavalry.
- Many Americans are fed up with the federal government’s over-reach and bullying. Some are looking for an opportunity to settle scores or ignite a civil war.
There’s irrationality on both sides. Both sides have been responsible for incendiary rhetoric. There have been misguided and baseless charges of racism. And there has been too much cowboy swagger, too.
Cliven Bundy is not a wealthy man. Clearly, he does not have $1 million to pay the government for the grazing fees it claims.
You might expect reasonable people in government to look at the situation, slap a lien on the property and take its cut when Bundy dies or sells his land. That would be logical. But it seems unlikely for whatever reason.
You might also expect the government to do what if often does in other much more serious disputes like the Middle East – negotiate endlessly to find a compromise solution. That would be logical, too. But it seems unlikely for whatever reason.
You might also expect the government to wait for as long as necessary – months or years if necessary – until the armed defenders of Bundy go home, then settle one on one with Bundy. That would be logical, too. But it seems unlikely for whatever reason.
The least sensible thing the government could do, which it would do only if it actually wants another Ruby Ridge or Waco, is to provoke an armed confrontation over grazing fees so it can forever point to actual violence by those who have been labeled right-wing, “racist” domestic terrorists.
Everyone involved needs to take a deep breath, think and stand down – for their own good and the good of the country.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].