Politics, et Cetera

A publication from The Political Forum, LLC

[print-me target=”body”]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

They Said It:

The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior “righteous indignation” — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.

Aldous Huxley, Chrome Yellow, (1921).

 

OBAMA AND GUNS.

For almost a decade now, most observers have conceded that the gun wars are over and that the “controllers” lost.  Even many Democrats in gun-loving states have turned themselves into national players by ditching their party’s orthodoxy entirely and openly and aggressively courting gun owners and their purportedly all-powerful “lobbies.”  Mark Warner, for example, currently the senior senator from Virginia, formerly that state’s governor, and a onetime presidential hopeful, ran for election more than once with the avid support of “Sportsmen for Warner.”  Even John Kerry, you may recall, made a pathetic pitch to gun owners in 2004, donning freshly purchased camo and staging a couple of goose-hunting photo ops in swing states like Ohio.

And then, almost without warning, everything changed.  Barack Obama, who had spent much of his first term insisting that he had no desire to push gun control, decided that he now had an absolute moral obligation revisit the subject.

The impetus – or, if you prefer, the excuse – for Obama’s change of heart was clearly the mass slaughter of children – 1st graders – at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December.  There, Adam Lanza viciously and remorselessly destroyed 27 families and, in the process, broke the gun-control peace that had endured for more than a decade.

That such a heinous act would prompt some self-reflection on the part of the nation’s leaders is unsurprising.  That this sadistic, mentally-unstable murderer would prompt Barack to turn around and target benign, mentally stable, law-abiding gun owners for retribution is also unsurprising, if pathetic in its predictability.  Children were murdered by a man using a gun.  Therefore, Barack decided that he must do whatever he could to ensure the enactment of laws that would do nothing whatsoever to prevent future mass shooting incidents.

Why, we wonder, would any sentient being pursue such a course?

In this case – and with respect to this purportedly sentient being – there are several obvious answers to our question.  Most of these have been mentioned many times by various commentators on the right and even in the mainstream press.  They include: Obama is just doing what all troubled politicians do, attempting to distract the electorate from the issues it cares about most by focusing instead on social issues that agitate specific, small but vocal populations; he is trying to placate his radical Left-wing base in the hope that it will allow him to move to the center on spending and entitlements; he is trying to unify and energize his base in the hope of “flipping” the House in 2014, giving him two years to change the world, unfettered by Republican intransigence; he has nothing better to do, having accomplished most of the Left’s wish-list, including health care “reform” in his first term; he is, as is his wont, not letting this “crisis” go to waste.  And so on . . .

There is probably some truth in each of these explanations.  But there is also a missing element in them.  Each addresses the situation passably, and collectively they provide substantial insight into the politics of gun control.  But they say nothing about the man who is urging this “new” politics of gun control.  And that man is, in many ways, the key to understanding what happened last week when the Senate took up this volatile issue and what will happen going forward.

A satisfactory answer to the question why men go fishing is not “to catch fish,” anymore than a satisfactory answer to why the chicken crossed the road in front of the car is “to get to the other side.”  A truly satisfactory answer to questions such as these would explore the nature of the fisherman or the chicken.  Likewise, a satisfactory answer to the question why Obama jumped back into the gun control argument has to go beyond the obvious and crass political motivation.  It must, we think, explore, to some extent at least, the psyche of the man himself.

Now, we don’t intend to delve too deeply into this murky pit, which probably should have a sign above it reading, “Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here.”  But even a quick peek at Obama’s career-long patterns of behavior is enough to expose him as precisely the type of person who pursues his personal ends uncompromisingly, regardless of the means necessary, and irrespective of the proverbial toes on which he has to step in the process.

Like his fellow gun control activist, the tiny-totalitarian mayor of New York, Barack Obama is a bully.  He has always been a bully and now he’s a bully with his own airplane, his own military force, and seeming total control over an unthinking and thoroughly beguiled press.  Missing in this debate about gun control is any acknowledgement that behind the goofy smile and gawky wave of the “most powerful man on earth,” lurks a little boy who spits when he is told no; a petulant child who is manifestly lacking in Plato’s first and third virtues, prudence and temperance; a petty tyrant who, like so many of his ilk throughout history, is more likely to be guided in times of trouble by his spleen than his brain.

Obama jumped imprudently into the gun-control arena after the tragedy in Newtown without giving any thought to what might constitute a measured and reasonable response by the government.  When his largely sanctimonious pledges were revealed to be politically unviable, he became so angry that he stomped his feet, pounded his fist, and threw a full-blown hissy fit in the Rose Garden.  This gun fight, it turns out, is not going to be as easy as was the healthcare fight.  This time, he can’t simply steamroll his way to victory.  And that makes him extraordinarily unhappy.  And when a bully grows extraordinarily unhappy, he throws a tantrum.

What this means for the rest of us, then, is as clear as it is exhausting.  The immediate fight over gun control may be over, but the aftermath is likely to be a dominant factor during the next three years of the Obama presidency.  Let us explain.

Throughout the 1990s, a handful of us on the Right complained endlessly about how Bill Clinton’s was a “poll-driven” presidency.  Clinton, we lamented, had no serious and earnest beliefs of his own.  Rather, his beliefs changed with the proverbial wind of public opinion.  If the voters were for X, then Bill was for X also.  If the voters changed their minds and decided instead that they were for Y, then lo and behold, Bill would “evolve” and find that he too supported Y.  Bill was all about power and affection.  He wanted the people to love him, and he was terrific at convincing them that their ideas were really his ideas.

Part of this was political strategy, of course.  Bill and his old pollster pal, Dick Morris, called it “triangulation.”  They looked at the right-wingers on one side of an issue, the left-wingers on the other, and then picked a point in between.  This allowed Bill to seem “moderate” by comparison to both and thus to cater to the electorate’s seeming desire for a little of this and a little of that.

Morris, ever the pretentious twit, described it this way: “It was the idea of a thesis, an antithesis, and a synthesis.  And when we originally discussed it, we did so in terms of Hegel, which we had studied at Oxford.  But in American politics, we spoke of triangulation.”

Whatever the case, Bill and Dick made “polling the presidency” an art form, which explains in part why this priapic perjurer left the White House as one of the most popular two-term presidents in the nation’s history.

On the campaign trail back in 2007, Obama famously broke with his Democratic predecessor on this strategy.  “Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us,” Obama told Iowa Democrats, “just won’t do.”  He said he wanted to be a REAL Democrat, one who was proud of his liberal Senate voting record and proud not to take the “third way” to electoral popularity, as practiced by Bill and, by inference, his opponent at the time, Hillary.

For the most part, Obama has remained true to his word on this count.  He knows what he believes.  He believes it deeply, fervently even.  And he is unwilling to compromise those beliefs in order to score a few political points.

This is NOT, however, to say that the man doesn’t let polls drive his presidency.  He does.  He just does so very differently than did Clinton.

Obama believes several things about public opinion, many of which are contradictory.  He thinks, for example, that the people of this nation are generally pretty stupid and therefore must be led to the proper opinion.  And barring that, they must be told what is right, regardless of their own their opinion.  At the same time, he thinks that when public opinion favors his positions, it must be exploited and used as a tool to justify his zeal for controversial policy choices.  He also apparently believes that public opinion – a snapshot of public opinion, really – is the only real input that voters should have in the American system of governance.

All of these beliefs, of course, have been on display in the debate over gun control.  And not only does it not bother Barack that his positions on this issue with regard to public opinion are manifestly contradictory, it doesn’t appear that he’s even noticed.

For example, Obama insisted last week that the gun legislation was supported by “90%” of the public, which is to say that the failure to pass the Manchin-Toomey amendment violates the overwhelming will of the people.  The President expanded on this criticism in his Rose Garden meltdown:

By now, it’s well known that 90% of the American people support universal background checks. . . . Ninety percent of Americans support that idea. . . . And a few minutes ago, 90% of Democrats in the Senate just voted for that idea.  But it’s not going to happen because 90% of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea. . . . I’m going to speak plainly and honestly about what’s happened here because the American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90% support and yet not happen.

I’ve heard some say that blocking this [Manchin-Toomey] step would be a victory.  And my question is, a victory for who? [sic]   A victory for what?  All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check.  That didn’t make our kids safer.  Victory for not doing something that 90% of Americans, 80% of Republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done?  It begs the question, who are we here to represent?

The first thing to note about this statement is that it is a wildly inaccurate depiction of public opinion on the matter.  Gallup reported last week that only 4% of Americans (86% LESS than Obama claims) think that gun control should be a priority for the federal government.  Likewise, an AP poll reported that a majority of Americans (52%) actually OPPOSE Obama’s gun control efforts, while only 49% favor any new and stricter laws at all.  Most damning of all, the pollster Scott Rasmussen found the following:

Expanding background checks for would-be gun owners is a commonsense proposal much like requiring a photo ID before someone is allowed to vote.  Both have overwhelming support.  But while people think requiring more background checks makes sense, most don’t think it will make much of a difference.  Only 41% believe more background checks will reduce gun violence.

Second, people want to make sure the checks are limited to only restricting convicted felons and those with serious mental health issues.  Only 30% want broader background checks.

Third, just 40% want to see a national database of gun owners created.  This last point really frustrates some advocates of gun control, including President Obama . . .

If people trusted the government, there would be no reason to be concerned about background checks, but only one-in-five voters believe the government currently has the consent of the governed.

A second thing to note is that Obama’s reliance on public opinion is selective at best.  As Rasmussen wryly points out, the overwhelming majority of people in this country also support requiring a photo ID for voting.  So, we ask, does Obama support this legislation?  Has he argued that it would be immoral or cowardly not to pass a voter-ID bill?  Quite the contrary.  He prefers, instead, to label as racist the majority of his fellow Americans who believe that an ID should be required to vote.

So, what do you call a politician who believes that public opinion, when it favors him, should provide an inexorable justification for action, but when it doesn’t favor him should simply be ignored or better directed?  Well . . . in this country we call him a “Progressive.”  Elsewhere in the world, though, they’d call him a fascist.

In both cases, the ideology posits that “the people” are the source of power and therefore the ultimate justification for government action, but couples this with the belief that they are incapable of functioning passably without the strong leadership of an anointed class dedicated to “shaping” their opinions on crucial matters.  Or, as the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto put it last week:

What this would seem to leave is some sort of system in which an elite would further “democracy” by both reflecting and directing the will of the people.  That is essentially the century-old idea of Progressivism, and of its not-too-distant cousin, fascism.

We use the F-word not to inflame emotions but to provoke thought, for we find the behavior of the Obama-era left only disturbing, not alarming.  The scapegoating of minorities, the thunderous demands that the Will of the People be done, have an authoritarian feel.  But they don’t have much authority.

Why?  Because the conception of “the people”– the idea that allows the left to imagine it commands the support of a vast majority – has no organic reality.  You’ve heard of the expression “reducing a person to a statistic”?  The Obama-era left seeks to inflate a statistic into a people.

Like Taranto, we don’t think that Obama’s behavior is particularly alarming, largely because he appears to be a rather shabby Progressive leader.  He picks his battles poorly and fights them even worse.  And his recent Rose Garden tantrum demonstrates a disdain for representative democracy that can’t help but impede his ability to work within in the democratic system when the going gets tough.  For example, he insists that 90% of the public supports his gun control plans.  And he uses this as the sole justification for compelling the legislature to approve those plans.  Pardon us for noticing, but this is nuts.

Representative democracy, as we understand the concept, has to do with the voters electing representatives who then make the laws; these representatives are, in turn, held accountable for their performance by those same voters, who, at the end of the term, decide whether or not to elect that representative again.  To the best of our knowledge, “public opinion,” as measured by assorted and sundry pollsters, has absolutely nothing to do with the process.

Indeed, it strikes us that our beloved President, who called the Senate dissenters on gun control “cowards,” has it precisely backward.  If indeed 90% of the people support a position and yet that position cannot clear the legislature, then the legislators responsible for the defeat would appear to be taking a very serious risk with their careers.  In our estimation, what this weould make these men and women is not “cowards,” but something far rarer and far more valuable, principled politicians.  Who, after all, crosses 90% of the voters and still expects to be re-elected?

So, what does all this mean?  Well, it means that the bully Barack Obama is angry, and he is likely to remain so because he not disposed to back off when it would be prudent to do so.  And it is likely that in this agitated state, he is going to become increasingly angry as other problems begin to arise.

From our perspective, and the perspective of other political junkies, this will be a fascinating period.  The rock and the pitcher are going to come into conflict, and as the saying goes, whether the pitcher hits the rock, or the rock hits the pitcher, it’s generally bad for the pitcher.  The recent gun battle was a prelude.  The upcoming fight when Obamacare crashes will be the main event.

 

BOSTON, AL QAEDA, AND THE EVOLVING TERRORIST THREAT.

The terrorist attack in Boston last week presents us with something of a challenge.  We have been writing about foreign and domestic terrorism for nigh on two decades now.  Indeed, as many of you may recall, we made the rise of Islamism and the concomitant rise of Islamic terrorism a chief theme of our commentary in the 1990’s, some years before the attacks of 9/11.

In theory then, we should have much to say about the matter.  But, of course, everyone is writing about this particular story right now, and many are doing it very well and very insightfully.  And why wouldn’t they be?  This is the first successful civilian terrorist attack on this nation since 9/11.  This is a BIG DEAL, to put it mildly.

What that means for us, in short, is that we have our work cut out for us.  Separating ourselves from the pack, even on an issue to which we can lay something of a claim, is not going to be particularly easy.  And it’s made even less so by the fact that, as we go to press, no one – or at least no one who is talking – knows very much at all about the case of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

No one knows where they were radicalized; where, how, or even if they were trained in explosives; if they acted alone or in concert with others; whether they were part of a larger cell, activated only recently . . . or, frankly, much else.  There is a great deal of speculation about these and other things; some very, very good; some very, very bad.  But there is no solid confirmation of anything particularly useful.  All we know for sure is that the two terrorists are/were Muslim; that the older brother, at least, was an Islamist with al Qaeda sympathies; and that they intended to kill as many people as possible in the name of their extremist faith.

Given all of this, what we’d like to do this week is to engage in a little speculation of our own, whip up a little food for thought, if you will.

Our first thought is that the attacks last week may well mark the opening of an entirely new chapter in Islamic terrorism, which could expose some serious flaws in the governmental apparatus that is charged with protecting the nation from this threat.

Back in the day, as the saying goes, we knew a number of the men who were deeply involved in counter-terrorism.  And they were brilliant, creative, clever, and courageous.  We don’t have similar sources in the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Our impression, though, is that it is an unwieldy behemoth of a bureaucratic complexity and chaos that was quite possibly one of George W. Bush’s biggest mistakes as president.

Consider, if you will, the case of the West, Texas fertilizer plant that blew up last week.  That explosion was all but certainly an accident, NOT an act of terrorism.  Nonetheless, it still gives us pause about relying for our safety on DHS.  You see, any plant in the country that houses more than 400 lbs of ammonium nitrate – which is both the chief ingredient in commercial fertilizer and a potential bomb component – is supposed to be under the supervision of Homeland Security.  The West, Texas plant had 270 TONS the stuff on hand as of last year.

That’s more than 1,300 TIMES the amount that should trigger DHS oversight.  But DHS knew nothing about it.  Granted, plants are supposed to self-report to DHS.  But in the event that they don’t – as in this case – DHS has apparently decided that it’s okay to remain blissfully ignorant.  As Congressman Bennie Thompson (D, MS), the ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, put it:

This facility was known to have chemicals well above the threshold amount to be regulated under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act (CFATS), yet we understand that DHS did not even know the plant existed until it blew up.

That’s comforting, no?

The general consensus seems to be that the Tsarnev brothers were working alone.  Yes, London’s Mirror newspaper has reported that the FBI is investigating a 12-person “sleeper cell” connected to the brothers.  But for now, the Mirror is the only mainstream media outlet making such a claim.  The rest seem to agree on the narrative of two unsettled youths, one of whom had been radicalized abroad, who set out on their own to commit mass murder.  And this, we are told, should be reassuring.

Well . . . it’s not.

Almost exactly 15 years ago – and a few years after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City – we wrote an article about the potential emerging threat from right-wing, militia/patriot-based, domestic terrorist groups.  It was entitled “We Don’t Mean to Scare You, But . . .”

Fortunately, the threat from these organizations never amounted to much, the political Left’s obsession with right-wing nuts notwithstanding.  But this is not to say that they were irrelevant.  Indeed, during their brief moment on the domestic stage, they made a significant contribution to the world of political violence via the creation of a unique and experimental organizational structure.  This structure did not serve them particularly well, but it was adopted, in whole or in part, by many Islamic terrorist groups, including the post-9/11 al Qaeda.  All of this, then, calls into question the presumption that the arrest/death of the Tsarnev brothers represents the end of the story rather than the beginning.

The structure of which we speak is known as “leaderless resistance.”  The idea behind it had been bandied about in right-wing circles for some three decades before Louis Beam, a former Klansman and one of the Patriot Movement’s leading theorists, penned a 1992 article putting more flesh on the proverbial bone.  In 1997, Jeffrey Kaplan, a professor of religion at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, discussed the concept in an article published in the quarterly journal Terrorism and Political Violence.  He put it this way:

The concept of Leaderless Resistance is nothing less than a fundamental departure in theories of organization.  The orthodox scheme of organization is diagrammatically represented by the pyramid, with the mass at the bottom and the leader at the top . . . This scheme of organization . . . is, however, not only useless, but extremely dangerous for the participants when it is utilized in a resistance movement against state tyranny.  Especially is this so in technologically advanced societies where electronic surveillance can often penetrate the structure revealing its chain of command. . . .

An alternative to the pyramid type of organization is the cell system  . . . . Since the entire purpose of Leaderless Resistance is to defeat state tyranny (at least insofar as this essay is concerned), all members of phantom cells or individuals will tend to react to objective events in the same way through usual tactics or resistance.  Organs of information distribution such as newspapers, leaflets, computers, etc., which are widely available to all, keep each person informed of events, allowing for a planned response that will take many variations.  No one need issue an order to anyone.  Those idealists truly committed to the cause of freedom will act when they feel the time is ripe, or will take their cue from others who preceded them.

According Kaplan, all of this fits very well with radical religiosity and religion-inspired terrorism.  Leaderless resistance, Kaplan noted, was merged with another Patriot concept called the “Phineas Priesthood,” which was developed by another Patriot theorist, Richard Kelly Hoskins, thereby positing a new order of religious assassins who would protect the movement and punish the oppressors.  All of this, Kaplan wrote, was synthesized into the ultimate violent, leaderless, religious movement by yet another Patriot icon, David Lane, who wrote the following:

So, let’s go on to strategy.  Resistance to tyranny within an occupied country necessarily forms into certain structures.  Most basic is the division between the political or legal arm, and the armed party which I prefer to call Wotan as it is an excellent anagram [sic] for the will of the Aryan nation.  The political arm will always be subjected to surveillance, scrutiny, harassment, and attempted infiltration by the system.  Therefore the political arm must remain scrupulously legal within the parameters allowed by the occupying power.  The function of the political arm is above all else to disseminate propaganda . . .

Wotan draws recruits from those educated by the political arm. When a Wotan “goes active” he severs all apparent or provable ties with the political arm.  If he has been so foolish as to obtain “membership “in such an organization, all records of such association must be destroyed or resignation submitted.

The goal of Wotan is clear.  He must hasten the demise of the system before it totally destroys our gene pool.  Some of his weapons are fire, bombs, guns, terror, disruption, and destruction.  Weak points in the infrastructure of an industrialized society are primary targets.  Individuals who perform valuable service to the system are primary targets . . . Wotan has a totally revolutionary mentality.  He has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his cause.

This was frightening stuff when applied to the Patriots back in 1998.  It’s probably even more frightening today when applied to the Islamists.  And lest you wonder whether we were right lo those many years ago, we call your attention to the following clip from an article published in the September 11, 2006 issue of the New Yorker and titled “The Master Plan.”  This piece is littered with quotes from a fellow called Abu Musab al-Suri, a Syrian “theorist of jihad” who had been a member of Al Qaeda’s inner council and who, from his “hideout in Iran,” “began writing his defining work, ‘Call for Worldwide Islamic Resistance,’ which is sixteen hundred pages long and was published on the Internet in December, 2004.”

In Suri’s view, the underground terrorist movement—that is, Al Qaeda and its sleeper cells—is defunct.  This approach was “a failure on all fronts,” because of its inability to achieve military victory or to rally the Muslim people to its cause.  He proposes that the next stage of jihad will be characterized by terrorism created by individuals or small autonomous groups (what he terms “leaderless resistance”), which will wear down the enemy and prepare the ground for the far more ambitious aim of waging war on “open fronts”—an outright struggle for territory.  He explains, “Without confrontation in the field and seizing control of the land, we cannot establish a state, which is the strategic goal of the resistance.”

Last week, in the wake of the Boston bombing, National Journal’s Ron Fournier penned a piece arguing that the attack in Boston could, conceivably, be more destructive, long term, and “scarier” than the attacks of 9/11.  To wit:

You might say it’s unfair to compare Boston’s relatively low death toll to 9/11 and Oklahoma City, much less to the thousands of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the daily total of gun deaths on U.S. streets.

But the Boston attack is notable not for the number of deaths, but for its social significance.  It’s one thing – a dastardly, evil thing – to strike symbols of economic and military power.  It’s another to hit the heart of America.  Death at the finish line in Boston makes every place (and everybody) less secure. . . .

From the nation’s founding, America has had two sharply delineated lives: one public and one private.  The latter is meant to be safe and sacrosanct, part of what Thomas Jefferson called “the pursuit of Happiness.”  The public life is rowdy and partisan, even violent as reflected in the Civil War.  “What happened in Boston,” said Meg Mott, professor of politics at Marlboro College in Vermont, “is that the private life got blown up and hit deep in the heart of our bifurcated American lives.  The lines were blurred, and that’s scary.”

On the one hand, we think that Fournier is reaching badly here and that his distinction between public and private spheres of life flunks the proverbial smell test.

On the other hand, he does make a point about the nature of the attack being different from those that came previously.  As we see it, this attack is potentially more menacing than 9/11 not because of the public/private business but because the target of the attack lacked any real significance to the attackers.  Timothy McVeigh attacked the Murrah Federal Building because he was angry with and wanted to damage the federal government.  The first World Trade Center bombers attacked those buildings because, to the Islamists, the Trade Center was embodiment of the American (infidel) ethos.  The second World Trade Center attackers chose the site for the same reason and because their compatriots failed to get it right the first time.  They chose the Pentagon because it represents American military power.  As a general rule, the attacks on American soil have had symbolic significance.  Until Boston.

We and others who have taken an interest in terrorism have often wondered why, if the Islamists really want to damage this country, they bothered with high-profile and “hardened” targets at all.  Why didn’t they start taking out small, non-symbolic targets one after another instead?  This is, after all, a country that is laden with high-value, potentially high-casualty but “soft” targets.  You want to bring the American infidel to his knees?  Forget about the White House or the Capitol or Central Park.  Those places are heavily fortified and well patrolled.  Instead, blow up a mall here, take out a small-town park there, unload a couple of magazines into a crowded open house in another place.  A handful of these incidents, even if the body count is relatively low, would send the entire country into a panic.

As it turns out, we were both living in the Washington area in 2001, when al Qaeda attacked the Pentagon, and in 2002, when a couple of morons from nowheresville decided to use the people of the DC metro area for sniper practice.  And we can tell you without hesitation that the so-called “Beltway Snipers” – John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo – had a greater impact at far less organizational cost than did the al Qaedists.

For three weeks in October, the entire Washington area was in a panic.  The killers killed in Maryland, in D.C., and in Virginia.  They killed a landscaper mowing a lawn.  They killed a woman sitting at a bus stop.  They killed more than one person pumping gas.  They killed an FBI intelligence analyst walking out of Home Depot.  No one felt safe.  No one knew when the next shot was coming.  And no one knew anything at all about the shooters.  Everyone in the entire DC area was on the lookout at all times for a white “box van” that turned out not to exist.  The two wreaked havoc on the “most powerful city in the world,” and were only caught when they were stupid enough to doze off in their car, with the murder weapon, at an interstate rest stop.

It’s important to remember here that Muhammed and Malvo were a couple of idiots.  Muhammed had learned to shoot in the military, but Malvo was a kid, 17 years old.  And neither of them had the sense that God gave a tree frog.  Yet they paralyzed a population of more 5,000,000 people, some of whom were numbered among the world’s greatest terrorists hunters.

We shudder to think of the damage that a handful of non-idiots who actually have a little training and also have the sense to stay away from the nation’s capital might do.  And while we are very confident in the dedication and skills of the men and women on the front line of the nation’s defense against terrorism, we think we can be forgiven for being apprehensive about the fact that this effort is ultimately in the hands of a president who seems to view the threat as an irritant that keeps getting in the way of his grand plans to apply his many “community organizing” skills to remaking America; a man who seems strangely sensitive to the “rights” of proven Islamic enemies of the United States; a man whose political career was launched in the home of terrorists whom he considered friends; a man who lately seems obsessed with placing controls on the rights of law abiding Americans to own firearms.

In his recent State of the Union speech, this man – our president – maintained that “the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self.”  This may be technically true and al Qaeda may in fact be a shadow of its former self.  But the Islamist threat nonetheless lives on and, in some ways, has grown even more menacing.  If you don’t believe us, you could ask the families of Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier, the four who were murdered last week by the Islamist Tsarnev brothers.

You could also ask the families of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods, the four Americans who were killed by al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi only five months before Barack Obama claimed that al Qaeda was all washed up.

Is it any wonder that these four deaths and the events that preceded them are still shrouded in executive department secrecy and cover up?  These deaths are inconvenient, after all.  All eight of them demonstrate definitively that the threat of Islamist terrorism remains and must be addressed.  And who has any interest in doing that?  Certainly not the President.  He has bigger fish to fry, like the NRA for example.  It’s too bad for him that these silly Islamist extremists keep getting in the way, preventing him from getting the real bad guys.

 

Copyright 2013. The Political Forum. 8563 Senedo Road, Mt. Jackson, Virginia 22842, tel. 402-261-3175, fax 402-261-3175. All rights reserved. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized services, issuer reports or communications, or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness, and we are not responsible for typographical errors. Any statements nonfactual in nature constitute only current opinions which are subject to change without notice.