|Last year as I was reading my textbook for a class on the subject of terrorism the two fictional works, William Pierces’s (Andrew Macdonald) TD and Edward Abbeys MWG were being compared as two pieces of terrorist literature. The book continued to argue that while TD was a manual on how to build bombs and mortars wrapped a story of white supremacists trying to takeover America in the future (but now the past), while MWG was an inspirational story to motivate like-minded individuals to perform acts of sabotage and mass destruction in the modern ‘70s. At this point I was very curious about both titles, one written from a Neo Nazi, the other an eco-terrorist perception of reality so I decided to read both stories as a comparison on anti-social behaviors, tactics, doctrines, etc.
I first read TD, it is read like a diary with dates for chapters. It is written so anyone with a 4th grade education can read it and teaches you step by step on how McVeigh (who was arrested with a copy of TD on him) built the Oklahoma City Truck bomb just by the third chapter. The book is basically an instruction manual on how to create and operate terror cells within a society and take over America with some far fetched assumptions and a little bit of help from some “insiders.” Whenever possible Pierce attempts to indoctrinate the reader or twist their views with his fictional accounts of events which are quite disturbing at times and ironically enough the main character goes out just like every jihadist dreams. Interestingly to note, the main characters kill people like bugs, approve of genocide, but strangely disapproves of torture even of the enemy.
Then I read MWG, wow what a breath of fresh air (fresh air…eco-terrorists… lol) after TD’s killing fields. Abbey wrote of a terror cell of like-minded individuals banding to together to undermine government and contractors efforts to develop America. MWG does seem more inspirational than TD, but there are some mentions of what particular chemicals and quantities one needs to bring down bridges and all kinds of idea on how to bring down a damn. Operationally the book does also give some hints on how to operate a terror cell and cause million of dollars worth of damage, but not on the same depth as TD. MWG also offers several passages of indoctrination in the form of drunken rants by one of the main characters, but ultimately every member has a different reason for being associated as they are all from different walks of life. Also to note most of the group of main characters do not advocate killing (although destroying a damn would kill people they only talk and pray of such acts.)
Both of these books offer extremism in one form or another and advocate radicalism. I would argue that Abbey knew that the government is powerful and there is no real way a small group could bring it down, thus as a moral to MWG is to accept to be punished for ones actions and there is no revolution around the corner. TD on the other hand promotes any means to revolution necessary including nuclear genocide; Pierce just needs your help to make it happen. Both books were written in the mid to late seventies and both authors passed away of natural causes but their ideologies live on, I’d recommend these books to anyone in counter-terrorism field or law enforcement. I am curious of all your opinions of these books and their authors’ politics, sense of morality and scope of reality and whatever else you would like to contribute or discuss