Tag: Pulse

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Call it virtue signalling.  Call it what you will.  Every once in a while a meme pops up that encapsulates exactly what I am thinking.  So it was with this one.  I had seen various poor shots of the gay Gadsden and kept looking for a decent straight-on shot that wasn’t a poor photo of […]

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Don’t Blame “Self Loathing.” Blame Jihadism.


pulse-orlando-shootingDon’t rush to infer motivations, some warned after Omar Mateen’s attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in Sunday’s early hours. We simply don’t know, certainly in the first 24 hours, why a disturbed individual would choose to go on a terrible killing spree. Who knows what abnormalities are at work in such a person’s mind? Even if they say Napoleon or Space Commander Alpha sent them, we can hardly take their word for it.

To be sure, certain clues might have seemed vital. For example, not only had Mateen vowed allegiance to Islamic State in a 911 call during his attack (and also on Facebook, it later turned out), but IS itself within hours accepted his vow and welcomed his actions via a news agency, quite a bit faster than it acknowledged the allegiance of and praised the husband-and-wife attackers in San Bernardino last year. In fact, as New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi pointed out, Mateen, like the San Bernardino attackers and the attackers at a Garland, TX, cartoon exhibition (and like a number of attackers in Europe) had followed closely a protocol laid out by IS itself for announcing loyalty contemporaneously with an independently carried out act of violence.

Some of the wait-and-see commentators seem to regard news developments in the days since then as having vindicated their position. For example, no evidence has emerged that Mateen coordinated his attack in advance with any IS leadership. The problem here is that, as Callimachi points out, IS’s own recommendations for attacks on the West emphasize exactly the avoidance of such pre-coordination, which would give investigators more trails to follow leading to IS actors. Mateen had also followed other steps typical of IS recommendations, including taking hostages in a closed space, which increases the chance of a drawn-out siege (good for media interest) ending in the death of the attacker (who therefore cannot be debriefed for intelligence.)

Obama: Whose Side Is He On?


10776157_GWhole doctoral dissertations could be devoted to the question of what makes President Obama angry and what does not. His Tuesday broadside against Donald Trump stood in marked contrast to Sunday’s somewhat cold response to the Orlando massacre. This is a pattern.

Mr. Obama did not name Trump, referring to him only as a “politician who tweets and appears on cable news shows.” I’m not inclined to defend Trump, and will not do so now – his notion that we bar all Muslims from traveling to the United States is laden with unintended consequences. But President Obama’s studied refusal to acknowledge the reality of Islamic-inspired violence has helped to create the Trump phenomenon. In fact, it may well be the greatest contribution to Trump’s success. Some say that presidential elections are often referenda on the last guy: Carter was the anti-Nixon, Reagan was the anti-Carter, Clinton was the anti-Bush, and Obama was the anti-Bush. Thus, Trump is the anti-Obama.

Mr. Obama fumed at those who criticize his administration for refusing to use the words “radical Islam.” He mocked the idea that language matters: “Not once has an adviser of mine said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around,’ not once.” He never tires of slaying straw men. It’s not a matter of intoning magic words. The critique of Obama is that he has so often projected the image of Islam’s defense counsel instead of America’s commander-in-chief.