Tag: Jihadism

The Classicist Podcast, with Victor Davis Hanson: “9/11: Then and Now”

 

On a special installment of The Classicist podcast from the Hoover Institution, I lead VDH in a reflection on 9/11 and the 14 years that have passed in the interim. Why did America get blindsided in 2001? How have we managed to remain relatively safe over a decade-and-a-half where we’ve had two presidents with dramatically different approaches to foreign affairs? Is the threat from radical Islam more or less acute than it was in the aftermath of the attacks? All that and more below or when you subscribe to The Classicist via iTunes.

The Nature of Defiance

 

MuhammadThere is an argument about Pamela Geller’s cartoon contest, favored by Bill O’Reilly as well as by many garden variety liberal pundits, that goes like this:

Of course the right to free speech is sacred and the murderers who wish to infringe on that right are vile criminals. Our vigor in the defense of free speech, however, (equally obviously) does not mean that we agree with the speech we are defending. The cartoons that Geller assembled are insulting to 1.5 billion, predominantly peaceful Muslims around the world. We can judge Geller offensive or (as Bill O’Reilly does) “stupid” for deliberately mocking the religion of the benign majority just in order to taunt the violent minority.

I can embellish this argument.

The First Amendment for Dummies

 

Most of us have some ritual to help bring us to full alertness in the morning.  Since it is not socially acceptable to run an IV drip of caffeine directly into your blood stream, most people settle on coffee as their delivery method.  I prefer a shot of adrenaline in the morning courtesy of the rage induced by reading the left-wing commentariat.

Take this morning as an example. The left has never been particularly fond of the Bill of Rights, but usually avoids blatant calls to abridge First Amendment protections on speech. Not today. The LA Times, for example, is wondering where free speech ends and hate speech begins. For the Time’s edification, I have included a handy Venn diagram. The yellow circle represents hate speech, and the blue circle represents the applicability of free speech protections.

Jihadi Vampires, Jihadi Zombies

 

GarlandThe attack in Garland appears to confirm the observation that there are two kinds of terrorist attacks. The first kind – which we saw on 9/11, the London Tube and Madrid train attacks, the Mumbai attack, and in the Charlie Hebdo massacre – are made by hardened, patient, and well-trained semi-professionals, whose activities are funded (and often directed) from overseas. In contrast, the second kind — think of the Tsarnaevs or Major Hasan — is typified by amateurishness, lack of planning, and poor impulse control. Moreover, it seems that failure to join the ranks of the former often leads to the latter.

As if their nearly complete failure wasn’t evidence enough, the news in this New York Times piece should confirm that the Garland attack was a strong instance of the latter:

But any secret ties that officials might find may be less important than the public exchanges of messages on Twitter by one of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, in the weeks before the attack. Mr. Simpson, a convert to Islam with a long history of extremism, regularly traded calls for violence on Twitter with Islamic State fighters and supporters, as well as avowed enemies of Pamela Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest.