Monday, July 25, 2016

Reign of Terrorism

Formerly the editor of the New York Times editorial page, Andrew Rosenthal gives us an indication about why he is no longer the editor of the New York Times editorial page.

In a post yesterday, Rosenthal was trying to refute one of Donald Trump’s pronouncements about Islamic refugees. Lighting on the fact that Trump had said that he would impose extreme vetting for Muslims who live in countries which have terrorism problems, Rosenthal replies that that would include just about every country.

In his words:

Given that most of Europe, a great deal of Asia, the entire Middle East, and virtually all of Africa have been compromised by terrorism (not to mention the United States), it’s hard to imagine what countries would not make Trump’s T List. Even Russia, run by Trump’s buddy and role model, Vladimir Putin, has problems with terrorism, including Islamist terrorism.

Rosenthal fails to note that this is the legacy of eight years of our citizen-of-the-world president. Under Obama, terrorism has metastasized. Our cosmopolitan president rode into office on a promise to end wars. He has made surrender the hallmark of is foreign policy. Terrorists saw it as a green light.

Under Obama’s aegis many of the leaders of Europe, led by German Chancellor Merkel, have happily opened their nations to droves of Muslim refugees. As of now Merkel has allowed in well over a million new refugees.

What could go wrong?

Less than two weeks ago people were marveling at the fact that France had seen more terrorism than Germany. And, the truck murderer in Nice was not even a refugee. France was, in many ways, paying the price for its own open-arms policy. Recently, France stopped taking in refugees, but its past behavior is coming back to haunt it.

And then, in Germany a series of terrorist or would-be terrorist attacks have caused Mrs. Merkel to feel some political heat. Of course, Merkel’s government has adopted a tactic that has been perfected by the Obama administration. If you do not call it terrorism it isn’t terrorism. Voila!

Merkel cannot, of course, blame the NRA for axe and machete attacks, so her government prefers to pretend that the killers are crazy.

The Debkafile website recounts the stories. It is fitting that an Israeli site would present the news, because these types of attacks have been happening in Israel for quite some time now. And the world, that is, the European cognoscenti have happily exculpated the terrorists while blaming the Israeli victims.

Anyway, Debkafile reports:

Two Syrian refugees committed acts of terror in different Bavarian towns Sunday, July 24, the third and fourth violent attacks in Germany in less than a week. One Syrian, a 21-year old, used a machete to murder a pregnant woman in Reutingen near Stuttgart. He was arrested - but only after a motorist saw him attacking two more people and ran him down. Local police assured the populace that there was nothing more to fear since the attack arose from a private quarrel between the Syrian man and a female colleague at work.

This did not explain why the attacker went on to stab another two victims.

On the same evening another Syrian blew himself up at a wine bar near Nuremberg, killing himself and injuring a dozen others:

That night, in Ansbach, southwest of Nuremberg, a second Syrian refugee of 27 - denied asylum in Germany a year ago but allowed to stay - was refused entry to a three-day summer popular music festival when he aroused the suspicions of guards at the gate. They let him go without asking to search his rucksack. He then went straight to a nearby wine bar and detonated the device he was carrying, injuring 12 people, three of them seriously.

Government officials explained that the suicide bomber was disgruntled because he had been turned away from a music festival.

One recalls  with Roger Cohen, that the war in Syria was the fault of the Obama administration. It was one war that could not be blamed on George W. Bush.

One week earlier another Muslim, an Afghani refugee, attacked train passengers with an axe and a knife. Authorities took pains to avoid calling it terrorism:

The first of the four attacks was carried out by a 17-year old refugee from Afghanistan exactly a week ago on July 18.  Wielding an ax and a knife, he wounded eight people on a train near Wuerzbuerg, not far from Munich, before he was shot dead by police.

Although an ISIS flag was found in his room and the Islamic State claimed the Afghan axeman as “one of its soldiers,” the Bavarian interior minister said only, “There may be an Islamic background to this but that is far from clear at this point.”

And then, of course, there were the Friday shootings at a mall in Munich, committed by a German citizen of Iranian origin. His name was Ali David Sonboly. As you know, the British media has managed to remove his Islamic first name, the better to allow people to think that he was not an Islamist. Perhaps they wanted people to think that he was a Jew.

Six attacks in twelve days. Yet, German authorities do not consider it a wave of terror, because that would suggest that Merkel’s policies have been less than successful. Or better, that she opened Germany to violent murderers and thugs.

As for the overriding question-- was the reign of terror planned and organized by ISIS or al Qaeda or some other international terrorist organization-- Col. Ralph Peters declares the question to be immaterial.

Terrorism is terrorism, he says, regardless of whether it is being perpetrated by an organized conspiracy or whether it is being initiated by so-called lone wolfs.

The problem, Peters says, is that terrorism has gained a cachet, a prestige. It offers disaffected Muslim youths, people who do not know enough to participate in the economy, a way to draw attention to themselves and to their religion. It makes them feel empowered. Of course, the terrorists are not all Muslims. A small minority has a different religious background. And yet, Islamist terrorism is still the most pervasive, the gold standard, if you will.

Peters writes:

These are individuals who could never find their path until they found their way to fanatical faith. It’s about the need to submerge the failing self in something greater, something transcendent. When your prison is the world, a suicide mission’s the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card.

Repeatedly, we mock Islamist terrorists as being “not really religious” because they haven’t devoted their lives to arcane details of scripture. We’ve lost our sense of the soul’s desperation and the ecstasy of union with the divine, of God’s wonder, real or imagined. Religious knowledge has never been as important as religious feeling.

For Islamist fanatics, the act of terror is not only empowering — at the end of a powerless life — but blessed. Until we grasp that, we’ll keep being surprised.

He concludes:

Instead of struggling to explain away every new mass killing as “not terrorism,” we must recognize that the scope and scale of terrorism’s expanding. What was once an anomaly is now a ready-to-hand solution for a widening variety of misfits.

The Munich shooter collected literature on mass killings and had an online trail of studying slaughters. He spotted a growth industry and joined.

Some of these terrorists might very well be crazy. But, there are many different ways to express craziness. If you are crazy enough to want to get attention for doing something that will occupy a lot of space in the papers, you might convince yourself that becoming a copycat terrorist is just the way to go.


Anonymous said...

Soon Stuart you will hate Clinton more than Trump.

Anonymous said...

Funny how people hate Trump and yet his policies are mostly conservative security, Supreme court, pro life, pro Military police pro Israel etc .

As as I said before they hate Trump more then they love the truth.

And yes you may not believe him but you need to fill that up with more hate than objectivity.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The cosmopolitans claim to be understanding and accepting. Yet they're actually not understanding the desires of the Islamists, nor are they reflecting on how Islamist ideology subverts today's Western liberal mindset that places "tolerance" as the highest socio-cultural value. In blindly looking to accept other cultures, they're not recognizing the limits of tolerance and are instead demonstrating indifference to culture itself and ignorance of the danger metastasizing Islamism poses.

You can't mitigate against spiritual fanaticism. It's hardwired into humanity. Dogmatic cosmopolitans don't recognize that their tolerance won't work with Islamists who want to impose shariah law upon all people around the world. We are facing a different kind of threat, and tolerance is useless against it. Islamists don't believe in the separation of church and state, which is a unique viewpoint emerging from the history of Western Christendom. In the West, we gave up fighting wars of religion and replaced it with shopping. Blind tolerance won't work. It makes us into prey. It's a suicide pact.

Cosmopolitanism is really indifferent consumerist pacifism, which is why it is deaf to claims of cultural supremacy. It babbles things like "Make love, not war," and "Democracies don't go to war with each other," and the condescending "They'll get over it." It is fascinated with the idea of the noble savage, content that psychology and science will end ignorance, and answer our deepest needs and desires. But make no mistake: it is indifferent to ideology, and ignorant that the supremacy of tolerance is itself an ideology. Indifference is the opposite of love and hate. Love is not pacifism. Love can bring one to kill in the name of justice. That's why Thomas Aquinas established the doctrine of "just war." Don't try to say that to a cosmopolitanist, because they will retort with something clever, like "War is never just." This thinking deepens their ignorance and feeds their indifference. And their world gets smaller while they believe it is getting larger, teeming with "diversity." Enter the new gnosticism, paradoxically consumed with insatiable material desires.

We are told to be tolerant and understanding of other cultures, yet this isn't like unusual accents, manners of speech/dress, or cuisine, or ways people choose to celebrate holidays, or other superficial cultural expressions. Islamism is weaponized missionary work, as prescribed in the Koran... evangelization at the end of a sword. When Islam imposes shariah, it is totalitarian, because it is a religious, social, economic and political system. Islamists tell us we must all live under shariah. We must submit to the will of Allah, as revealed through His Prophet. There's no reasoning with it. We can't love them into loving us, because their code of our human worth is based on whether we submit to their system. It's all-or-nothing. That's incompatible with tolerance and pluralism.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

So what do we do? Recognize the threat and take the threat doctrine seriously.

I continue to believe this is a clash of civilizations. Our strategy ought not mimic Cold War containment, but instead resemble our posture toward the Empire of Japan during World War II. We would be wise to counter Islamic shariah as we did Japanese bushido. Shariah is a revealed system of moral and religious law that is supreme over all other structures. Bushido is the samurai moral code: "the way of the warrior," and it became the spearpoint of Japanese ultranationalism and militarism in the early Showa era. Both glorify violence and martyrdom.

Islamist and Japanese totalitarianism are similar, yet distinct. Both became weaponized, propagated by a distributed network of fanatical leaders and adherents. It doesn't matter if the core theology, code or doctrine has been "perverted." Rather, it matters if its violent demands and ends are viewed as true and supported by its adherents and the supporting lay/civilian population. The Islamists have been clear that their interpretation of Islam is correct, and the Islamic world has responded consistently that violence is a moral and just way of spreading its religion, to the exclusion of other belief systems and the humanity of those practicing other faiths. Certain modern or "moderate" elements of Islamic society may not like this expression of Islam, but they cannot challenge its veracity, which is why they've been powerless to stop it. Democracy is not increasing in the Islamic world.

Shariah is the direct opposite of tolerance, and the reason tolerance won't do when facing this clear, real and existential threat. Western jurisprudence and Islamic law are irreconcilable. We'd better wake up to this reality, and either accept this "Reign of Terrorism," or assertively protect our Western way of life, because pluralism is anathema to the Islamist worldview. Cosmopolitanism is cute, but it is not courageous.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"If you are crazy enough to want to get attention for doing something that will occupy a lot of space in the papers, you might convince yourself that becoming a copycat terrorist is just the way to go."

Correct. And there is no way to stop such a person. This is why I object to giving up Constitutional rights because some crazies are using them to ruin life for the rest of us. Maybe our right to own firearms for self-defense will stop evil people from exercising theirs for the purpose of premeditated mass murder. If you say life is precious, you don't tell someone that all they have to hope for in the face of violence is the availability of 911 and finding a way to survive during the police response time. As Chief Brown said, we ask the police to do too much already. We certainly don't want people taking the law into their own hands through vigilantism, but we're all better off when we assume responsibility for our own person and the others around us when authorities cannot respond in time. That's just basic common sense, and doesn't replace or supersede police authorities when they arrive on the scene, but a responsible, armed citizen can limit the body count. Of course the Germans are afraid, and their first reflex may be to get rid of firearms because there are bad people who will use them for ill. I'm for good people being able to own firearms because they will use them for good.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Some of these terrorists might very well be crazy. But, there are many different ways to express craziness. If you are crazy enough to want to get attention for doing something that will occupy a lot of space in the papers, you might convince yourself that becoming a copycat terrorist is just the way to go.

That might be a good reason to call them JV teams, rather than world destroyers who need trillion dollar military budgets to stop trucks and box cutters.

AesopFan said...

IAC-OCD "We certainly don't want people taking the law into their own hands through vigilantism, but we're all better off when we assume responsibility for our own person and the others around us when authorities cannot respond in time. That's just basic common sense, and doesn't replace or supersede police authorities when they arrive on the scene, but a responsible, armed citizen can limit the body count."

Common sense has been in short supply around the world in all governments.
What I want to know is, when does a feckless government cross the line into treason against their own people?

Some of them seem to be getting awfully close.

Ares Olympus said...

This is interesting:
France’s anti-terrorist executive (sous-direction anti-terroriste- SDAT) has ordered Nice’s municipality authorities to destroy all CCTV footage of the Nice Attacks on Bastille Day that rocked the city on July 14, 2016.

According to SDAT, by destroying the CCTV footage, the dignity of the victims will not be insulted and the jihadists will not be able to use the footage for purpose of propaganda.
An article in France’s l’Est R├ępublicain newspaper attempts to calm the French public of the government’s “right” intention by publishing an article with the title “No, the footage of the attack has not been deleted,” Global Research reported.

The report proclaims that the Ministry of Justice has not ordered the obliteration of evidence but just the deletion of the images from the cameras in Nice.

We now live in a world that 10 minutes of terror can be repeated in video forms in millions and billions of replays, so not just the survivors of an attack get to see a crime, but the entire world.

We can ask who is protected by censorship? If you're a person of shame, like police officers perhaps, you don't want to see the ever growing list of public videos of police acting badly since they are not representative of the whole. But if you're a person of rage, and you may be proud that someone from your tribal identity is doing the work of justice in an unjust world, like ISIS might see itself, or any terrorist group of the past.

And if violence in videos are promoted, and promotion encourages copycat people in their own independent rage, knowing their mass-murders and death will be repeated endlessly replaces, multiplying your revenge upon a world you hate.

I don't have any simple answer for this predicament. We're moving towards a world of ever greater surveillance and in the hands of police this can be used to catch criminals, like at the Boston marathon bombers. But should the police have the right to suppress public access to videos that may be used as propaganda, and self-radicalization of confused people?

When the enemy is hidden people outside of civilized discourse, it seems easy to take the side of government authorities to suppress public access, but by following that path, you're also trusting the government, that people in charge will not use evidence suppression to cover up their own culpability in failing to protect as well as their own lawless violence.

In this world of mass-media propaganda, suppressing public access violent videos must be considered as a legitimate issue to debate.

Or perhaps not? Organizations like WikiLeaks show that all you need is one self-righteous "whistleblower" to release government held-copies anyway. And propagandist will likely have no shortage of material no matter how much suppression is attempted, and future terrorists can just coordinate their own observer camera to document their violence and not turn the footage into the police anyway.

I suppose my answer would be for individual conscience. So if I take a video, whether police brutality or a terrorist attack, and I share that video with authorities, they have a right to request I delete my copy to avoid inciting more violence, but they shouldn't have the authority to force me to do so.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

To my point, and from Bret Stephens' piece in today's WSJ: "A civilization that believes in nothing will ultimately submit to anything."

Dennis said...


Again well stated. I have to admit as I see the death toll go up almost every day, including the knife attack in a church that killed a priest in France and the doctor who was killed in Berlin, that I am beginning to believe that it is the American people who share a big part of the responsibility for much of this because they are so busy fighting an internecine war agains't other Americans and voting for people who only serve themselves politically by instigating this divisiveness.
They have taken their attention away from the truly important things that make us a people and a culture worth being a part. They have forgotten what it takes to be a country and a free people. There are not enough people in the military, the police or other agencies meant to protect this country to significantly affect the growing terrorism that is extant because we fail to recognize the existential threat to our own survival. How many times can people be feed the idea a unicorns and love conquers all before taking into stock the reality of this country as it exist in this world?
I, myself would rather have a sober assessment that the "everything is coming up roses" fantasy being painted by the democrat "What Me Worry?" crowd. I would rather see the dark turn into the light as opposed to the light turn to the dark side. One cannot move to the light without recognizing the dark so that it can be addressed.
One's values and principles are not worth a thing if one is dead. I still wait for the adults to wake up, but we may have placed so much emphasis on youth that there are no adults left.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis, I think you'll enjoy this article as a capture of where we are:

Dennis said...


Good commentary. I especially like VONMISEJR's comments. Years ago I asked myself why it did not seem that I was as passionate about my beliefs as many Leftists appeared to be? I was content just to present a well reasoned argumentation for my ideas. Actually pretty boring stuff. I belonged to the CATO Institute, as I do now to a number of other think tanks, and read a good percentage of their White Papers."
The sad part is that people don't care about the facts, the numbers or the truth of your argumentation and/or. anything outside of feelings. Conservatism will never gain acceptance as long as it does not get passionate about its principles and ideas. The ideas really do deserve to be given the passion that they should generate for they are the joy of a well lived life of accomplishment.
Maybe Trump will create a little passion where it is does to exist now. Most people like a little fire in the people they vote for because it denotes a passion for the job. Think back about the people you enjoyed being around with or associated with. Their main characteristic was their passion for what they were doing. It is a fire for life.

Anonymous said...

Western foreign interventionist policy(along with poverty) has made Muslims very angry with Christians(Arab or white) in the Muslim world.

Consider this movie.

Angry Muslims are lashing out at European Christians in Arab nations.

So, why bring those angry Muslims into the heart of Europe?

Why can't whites just leave non-white lands and stay put in the West?

Look what Western intervention in the Middle East did to Christian Arabs in Iraq and Syria.

Export instability, import instability.

Fright Trade.

Anonymous said...

Just out: The Ansbach attacker was a long time member of AlQaeda and Jabhat al Nusra.

Germany probably wasn't aware of this when they allowed him to stay for therapy.
Compassionate Germans are fully aware that refugees may have gone through terrible atrocities. They are having more trouble with the notion that some of these 'refugees' ARE those atrocities, and nobody is checking.

Anonymous said...

"Just out: The Ansbach attacker was a long time member of AlQaeda and Jabhat al Nusra."

Obama's 'moderate rebel' in Syria.

AesopFan said...

Summing it all up:

Anonymous said...
Just out: The Ansbach attacker was a long time member of AlQaeda and Jabhat al Nusra.

Germany probably wasn't aware of this when they allowed him to stay for therapy.
Compassionate Germans are fully aware that refugees may have gone through terrible atrocities. They are having more trouble with the notion that some of these 'refugees' ARE those atrocities, and nobody is checking.

July 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM
Excellent point; PowerLine makes a similar one about the Normandy attackers today:
The circumstances of the attack raise yet more questions about the French government’s response to the threat of terrorism. One of the attackers reportedly was a convicted terrorist being monitored with an electronic tag while living with his parents. He was allowed out unsupervised between 8.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. The mass he attacked began at 9 a.m.


In addition, the church was one of a number of Catholic places of worship on a hit list discovered on an ISIS suspect in April 2015. Maybe the French government didn’t take the list seriously (but when I visited the fabulous Reims Cathedral in July 2015 at least three heavily armed soldiers were on the premises). Maybe it assumed, somehow, the list had an expiration date — just as it apparently assumed before the Nice attack earlier this month that the threat of terrorism had diminished because a soccer tournament had ended.

* * *
Exactly what I thought about both points, but in fact it is all too believable.
It's as if the security forces simply don't believe these people mean what they say.
So everyone is surprised when they actually DO it.
Now, they might argue that there are X people in the same category (convicted terrorist wannabes) who haven't attacked anyone, but are you willing to bet your life that no more of them will? Or is there a certain percentage of recidivist X's that France (or any country) is willing to accept?

There will be a tipping point soon, and the consequences won't be pretty.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

AesopFan @Multiple Comments:

What you just offered is stunning, and it connects back to an earlier comment you made on this thread. This kind of timeline/progression is where it becomes clear that governments have crossed the treason line. They cross it because of (a) political correctness; and (b) the fact that they are kept safe by men with guns. Their citizens -- whatever the value of that designation means today -- do not enjoy that same "luxury." The citizens are prey, even when they pray.

The problem is that treason is a crime committed by an individual, not a government. But that doesn't mean people will not revolt against their treasonous government. In this case, they don't have to storm the Bastille to have their voice heard.