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Shuttle Disaster Cheered by Extremists

Neo-Nazis and other extremists interpret the deaths of the space shuttle Columbia's multicultural crew as divine judgment.

While most Americans gazed sadly at images of the latest NASA disaster, neo-Nazis rejoiced at the loss of the space shuttle Columbia on Feb. 1. In their eyes, the multicultural shuttle crew — especially its Israeli payload specialist — deserved nothing less than total annihilation.

The Vanguard News Network circulated a cartoon of a hooded Klansman watching the shuttle explode and commenting, "Maybe 'diversity' really iz [sic] 'Our' strength." On the Keystone State Skinheads E-list, "Keith" suggested, "Let's put them all on a shuttle." "Tom" of the neo-Nazi White Revolution echoed that wish: "Too bad that 14 million kikes weren't on board when it went into sparkler mode."

David Pringle, membership coordinator for the nation's largest neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance, took a stab at cleverness by parodying a television ad campaign: "One Space Shuttle — $4,000,000,000; One IsraHelli Asstronaut — $10,000,000 in training; One IsraHelli Airforce pilot dying over Palestine, Texas — Priceless."

Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman took the location of the destruction as a sign of good things to come. "The symbolism of the Israeli 'combat air force' pilot blowing up in the approximate vicinity of Palestine, Texas, requires no embellishment or explications," Hoffman wrote. "Rarely does what we might call 'the hand of God' move so dramatically in world affairs."

Pringle and Hoffman's gloating was notably similar to the celebratory Web page posted by the pseudo-Islamic Taliyah al Mahdi movement. "It is clear that there can be no coincidence in the remains of these traitors falling on 'Palestine,' Texas," reads the page. "All Praise is due unto Allah for the execution of this Zionist and the indifferent criminals with him."

Back in the neo-Nazi realm, Sean Cougar reminded the White Revolution E-group that rocket technology was created during Adolf Hitler's reign and that a German, Wernher Von Braun, brought the technology to America. "[H]ow right is it that the first Jew in outerspace [sic] should perish," Cougar commented. "Dr. Von Braun's revenge?"