American Elephants

Can We Just Talk Straight About Terrorism? by The Elephant's Child

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged two men living in Canada with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA Rail passenger train inside Canada. The RCMP said the two men planned to carry out an “al Qaeda-supported” terror attack to derail a train, which was also aimed at harming the economy.

The Police said, at a news conference, that the two men were receiving guidance and direction from  al Qaeda related elements in Iran. The men are not Canadian citizens. There was no imminent threat to the public, but had the terror project come to fruiting, innocent people would have been killed or injured.

The Obama administration has gone out of their way to make light of the threat from terrorism, but the evidence merely points out the presidents state of denial about the rising threat. CNN’s homeland security analyst, Juliette Kayyem asserted “We have not had (even) a small-scale terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.”

We have suffered a number of major attacks, and most of them have taken place on Obama’s watch. Since 2009, terrorists have attacked our military bases, assassinated our diplomats, burned our embassies and murdered  innocent spectators at a sporting event and ambushed and shot police officers.

— June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed a military recruiter and wounded another at a Little Rock Arkansas recruiting station. A convert to Islam, Muhammad identified with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

— September 2008: Afghan native Najibullah Zazi was arrested before he could blow up the New York City Subway.

— September 2009: Police nabbed Jordanian  Hosam Maher Husein Smadi before he could plant a bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.

— November 5, 2009: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 29. He was advised by al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. Homeland Security has defined this as a workplace incident.

— December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was tackled by passengers before he could detonate explosives sewn into his underwear. He was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda.

— March 4, 2010: John Patrick Bedell, a Muslim convert, shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a checkpoint in the Pentagon station of Washington Metro in Arlington, VA.

— May 2010: A massive bomb was planted by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan failed to explode in an SUV parked in Times Square. He was trained and funded by the Taliban.

— October 2010: Chicago synagogues discovered explosives packed inside two printer cartridges shipped by cargo planes from al Qaeda in Yemen. The attack failed.

— Sept. 11, 2012: On the anniversary of 9/11, al Qaeda operatives attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The armed assault targeted the consulate compound, and a nearby CIA annex. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three others and ten others were wounded in a 7 hour gunfight.

— April 15, 2013: Two Muslim jihadists set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 183.  The terrorists shot two police officers, killed one, and injured several others. One of the brothers is dead, the other in custody.

The administration continues to downplay Islamist terrorism, and proposes talks with the Taliban and with Iran.

The “Arab Spring” was mistakenly assumed to be a movement for democracy in Arab North Africa. The movement was perhaps inspired by televised shots of Iraqis, male and female, proudly voting in free elections. That was considered the equivalent of an earthquake in the Arab Middle East, where oppressive dictatorship was the norm. But Arabs had no experience of Democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to step in.

No terrorism here, nothing to see. Just move along.

Can We Call a Terrorist a Terrorist? by The Elephant's Child

The Long War on Terror continues. We practice all kinds of denial and misdirection, disguise it with euphemism, and strangely — attempt to scare people with claims of radical right-wing extremism.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has tied herself in knots attempting to re-define Islamist terrorism out of existence. Her Department has listed Right-Wing Extremist groups as threats to national security, but no one seems to know who they are, or where they are, or what kind of threat they represent. The old ladies and little children who are searched and patted down to avoid “profiling” are beyond absurd.

The Left has long objected to the idea of a “War on Terror.” They don’t like the phrase. They object to calling it Islamist terrorism.  NPR counterterrorism reporter Dina Temple-Ralston spoke for the left in the immediate wake of the bombing;

Well, officials told us that they have some promising leads, though no actual smoking gun. They expect this case will take weeks, not months, to solve. The thinking, as we’ve been reporting, is that this is a domestic extremist attack. And officials are leaning that way largely because of the timing of the attack.

April is a big month for anti-government, and right wing, individuals. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And the FBI right now is comparing this to the Eric Rudolph case. That’s the 1996 bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta. That involved a relatively simple bomb that was hard to trace.

The Left was determined that the bomber must be domestic, white, racist, and apparently Republican. The denial of the existence of Islamist terrorism is becoming pathological. If there is such a thing as Islamist terrorism, then we might have to admit that the Arab Spring was not a hope for democracy, that overthrowing dictators in Egypt and Libya did not result in peaceful democracies, and  that our questions about Benghazi had never been answered.

Once the connection to Islamist terrorism is established, Muslims call in to radio talk shows anxious to deny that —  this is not Islam. Islam is a peaceful religion. These people are not Muslims, they are radicals, and so on. And that is undoubtedly true. But Islamist radicalism is a problem within the Islamic religion, and it must be corrected by Muslims. The rest of us can’t fix it. And I don’t see any determined movement within the Muslim religion to disavow the radicals.

We are the object of their jihad, the “Great Satan.” We can make war on the jihadists, we can use our military, we can use drones, we can try to help Moslem countries to modernize, we can send them aid, we can help with modern techniques of agriculture, medicine and education. But that does not solve the problem. Can Muslims address the  portion of their faith that seeks jihad against the West?  Or are we doomed to carry on until it all blows up?

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