Tag: Terrorism

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For the benefit of anyone under the age of 60, here’s a news flash. The Vietnam War was won by the enemy in the halls of Congress first and then on the battlefields of Vietnam in 1975. Are the Democrats who helped the enemy win in 1975 going to do the same thing with the […]

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“People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.” I thank the secretary of state for his refreshing moral clarity regarding the attackers and victims.  Preview Open

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A Report From Jerusalem


My car being in the shop, I took the bus to Jerusalem this morning. At about 7:15 AM, waiting at the corner of Bar-Ilan and Shmuel HaNavi for the bus to the campus, I heard a police siren. One siren, and you think “traffic accident,” but when six or seven more follow it with drivers honking wildly as they force their way through the backed-up traffic light, you know something is drastically wrong. Whatever it was, it was not close by, but anxiety showed on many faces waiting there, most with cellphones open to call family or check the internet.

On the bus, the driver turned up the volume so we could hear the news, and thus I learned of the attack in Har Nof. That is a “religious” — in Israel, it means “strictly Orthodox” — neighborhood, with synagogues, seminaries for men and women, schools, and large families. My late in-laws used to live near where the attack took place; I have friends who live there now, and several women from my community go there frequently for Torah classes.

Is it Cowardly to Kill Innocents?


imageWhy does everyone insist on calling terror attacks “cowardly”?

Surprising one’s opponent in a fight is a smart tactic, and one we use often ourselves. A shooter would be foolish to state their intentions in advance. When one fights, the primary goal is to win. So I think it is both mistaken and even deceptive to describe the act as “cowardly.” Indeed, since the terrorists usually plan to end up dead anyway, they really are not guilty of lacking courage.

Let’s call things as they are: It is not cowardly to try to kill innocent people. It is, simply, evil.

Why Hasn’t James Clapper Been Fired?


384px-James_R._Clapper_official_portraitYou might think that a cabinet-level intelligence officer who learns about terror plots from the news, lies to Congress about domestic spying, mistakenly characterizes an Islamist political movement taking power in a nation that’s a strategic ally as “largely secular,” and then fails to warn the President of the United States about the rise of a terror group unlike any seen since al-Qaeda destroyed the World Trade Center, might lose his job. In the Obama administration, you would be wrong.

On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, President Obama blamed “the intelligence community” for failing to assess the threat from ISIS, a/k/a “the JV team.” Passing the buck to the Director of National Intelligence, the president said: “I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria” (my emphasis).

Now, you will recall, James Clapper, the overlord of our great virtual panopticon, is the fellow who learned about the London subway bombing arrests from Diane Sawyer, who misled Congress about the scope of the NSA’s electronic surveillance programs, and who infamously declared the Muslim Brotherhood (since overthrown by the Egyptian Army) to be “largely secular.”

Islam Relevant to Obama Administration … But Only When it Comes to Real Threats, Like Global Warming


President Obama on Wednesday night — the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — said Islamic religious instruction is wholly irrelevant to the cause of ISIS … which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS, I suspect, would disagree.

But that is not to say that there aren’t elements of foreign policy in which the Obama administration thinks religion — even Islam — is a key component. Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Sept. 3 that “religion matters,” and he’s made it “a mantra” in his State Department and his foreign policy stance.

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By now, you might have read that there is an “imminent” terrorist threat originating from the Texas-Mexico border. It was first reported by Judicial Watch and then confirmed (and yet an “exclusive”) by Breitbart. (h/t Cornelius) Is it ISIS or Al Qaeda? Same garbage, different day. (h/t Annika) Preview Open

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Obama, ISIS, and Being on the Right Side of History Between Tee Times


obama-vacation-1-300x211President Obama on Wednesday slightly delayed his afternoon tee time to speak about the monstrous beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. It was an underwhelming address from the Leader of the Free World who finds the crown so heavy and bothersome that he puts it down aside the putting green.

In his address, Obama did well in the “sympathy-in-chief” role. I do believe that Obama is horrified and saddened, as all Americans are, about the tragic fate of James Foley. But Obama failed in his actual job — that of a leader who must express genuine and righteous anger about this act of barbarism against all people who cherish liberty.

Obama has displayed more passion and employed sharper rhetoric when talking about Republicans in Congress — who, last I heard, are not in the business of sawing off heads to make their point clear. Maybe we’ll get a better performance from our president if ISIS makes fun of the Obamacare website.

Obama’s ‘Platitudes’ for ISIS


I read the transcript of President Obama’s statement today on the murder of journalist James Foley and a few phrases really jumped out: “Their ideology is bankrupt.” “…a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” “…we share a common security and a common set of values.”

How about just calling the terrorists what they are — evil incarnate — and then pledging to obliterate them? (Because as far as I can tell, the most we’re doing is “containing” the caliphate today.) 

ISIS Beheads American Journalist, Threatens Another


1408481985485.cachedBreaking news out of the Middle East:

In a video posted online Tuesday, ISIS beheads James Wright Foley, an American freelance journalist who was captured in Syria in 2012. The video says the killing is a warning to the U.S. to end its intervention in Iraq. The video also shows Steven Sotloff, a freelance journalist working for Time, and threatens that he will be next. Sotloff’s kidnapping seems to have been kept secret until now. Foley was working as a photographer in Syria for AFP when he was taken. The year prior he had been kidnapped in Libya.

No Light at the End of the Tunnel for Hamas


Over the past several hours, Israel has been withdrawing most of its troops from Gaza after having destroyed all — or almost all — of the cross border tunnels Hamas had burrowed deep under Gaza and across the border into Israel.

This is a much bigger deal than most of the media realize.

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I am a regular viewer of Special Report on Fox News Channel at 6:00 PM (EDT). I’ve noticed during the past few weeks that practically all the reporting on the fighting in Gaza is from a FNC reporter in Gaza with very little reporting from anyone on the ground in Israel. The problem I have […]

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On Bergdahl, Obama Made the Least Bad Choice


ObamaBerghdalPresident Obama has come under enormous criticism for his handling of the repatriation of Sgt Bergdahl. As always, he couldn’t help but do it in the most grandstanding way possible. The central decision, though, was the best of a bad set of choices. I’m not convinced by any of the arguments that I’ve seen here or elsewhere on the web that he could have done this much differently.

Here then, are the complaints:

We Negotiated With Terrorists

Dog Tags Vs. Hash Tags


Unknown-2A chilling picture has been making the rounds lately. It shows our First Lady with a sad face, holding up a hand drawn placard with #Bringbackourgirls written on it, a response to the abduction of more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls by the islamist group Boko Haram. Though Mrs. Obama’s feelings are no doubt sincere, her actions will not bring one child back.

I’m glad neither my father nor my grandfather is alive to have seen this photo. They never had to teach us German or Japanese due to the fact that they were willing to don dog tags.  I’m sure they would have preferred hashtags, had they been the rage back then.

I realize that’s not politically correct to say today, but those men understood the code. It goes back to before Herodotus and was memorialized in The Song of Roland in the mid-12th century. Call it chivalry, call it the “Knightly code of honor,” call it what you will: it is the bedrock of Western Civilization.

NSA Surveillance: What We Should All Agree On


I’ve received several requests to respond to Tom Meyer’s very thoughtful post about how national security hawks should respond to criticisms of the NSA surveillance program. The piece is mostly about political argument and the art of rhetoric — I’m not quite sure from the post what Tom himself thinks is the best policy — so I’ll have to respond broadly.

What makes this issue difficult is that the war is covert, against a network of non-state fighters who disguise their communications and movements as innocent, but have great destructive power aimed at civilians. We are pursuing the wartime goal of stopping enemy attacks before they happen.

Some Friendly Advice For National Security Hawks


Since Edward Snowden’s leaks and subsequent defection, there’s been a raging debate on the Right about the proper role of our nation’s intelligence services. Those who favor broader powers and a more active role for these services have been on the defensive.

nrol-39-nothing-beyond-our-reachWhile I count myself as among the critics of such programs – as much because I believe they’re ineffective as that they’re dangerous – I share the hawks’ concern for my fellow citizens’s safety: I don’t want my loved ones or countrymen blown up by Islamic fanatics any more than the next guy.* Keeping us safe and in peace requires a lot of work, including some degree of surveillance. As national security is one of the core responsibilities of the Federal Government, our intelligence services bear an incredible burden.