The Bookworm Beat (10/23/14) — Mega giga woppa edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingNo time to talk. I’ll just dive right in.

The Canadian shooter: “Fox Butterfield, is that you?”

If you recognize the quoted phrase above, it’s because you’ve seen it often enough in James Taranto’s Best of the Web. The “Fox Butterfield Fallacy,” Taranto explains, “consists in misidentifying as a paradox what is in fact a simple cause-and-effect relationship.” Butterfield routinely committed such fallacies, with his most famous being one form or another of this “paradox”: “The number of inmates in state and federal prisons rose 2.1 percent last year, even as violent crime and property crime fell, according to a study by the Justice Department released yesterday.”

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Canadian man who killed a 24-year-old member of the Canadian army, was a recent Muslim convert who came from a wealthy, politically connected family. Those two facts yielded this Fox Butterfield gem from the Daily Mail: “He had his passport seized after being designated a ‘high-risk traveler’ – despite his mother being on Canada’s immigration board.” (Emphasis mine.)

Why do I consider that sentence a Fox Butterfield fallacy? Because it shouldn’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the most violent Islamists so often come from politically well-connected — i.e., Leftist — families.

A few other things of interest from that same article about Zehaf-Bibeau: His father was in fact Libyan, which means Dad was probably Muslim, and abandoned the family in 1999 to go fight in Libya. One can only imagine the effect that had on young Michael.  After all, look at how Barack Obama, despite losing contact with his father at only 3 months, has spent his entire life trying to recreate in America is father’s imagined Communist paradise.

It’s also telling that Zehaf-Bibeau was a criminal who rotated in and out of prison. Let me quote (again) what my cousin, a former Christian prison chaplain, had to say about convicts who convert to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

All of us here have also noticed that what stopped Zehaf-Bibeau was a gun. The only thing that ever stops a shooter is a gun, whether he turns his own gun on himself when his spree ends or whether someone else (a policeman or an armed citizen) shoots him.

And of couse, as Sadie already pointed out, Obama instantly hedged his bets by calling the shooting either terrorism or “senseless violence”:

President Obama also spoke about what he called the ‘tragic’ situation in Canada, saying ‘we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.’

In Obama’s America, if it’s not politically expedient to exploit a shooting or bombing incident — as is the case when there’s a Muslim perpetrator — the Obama lexicon invariably insists upon the “senseless violence” formulation.

I’m quite sure that, even as Canada immediately called the attack “terrorism,” the ongoing White House investigation will inevitably lead to a conclusion about a lone, deranged gunman who completely coincidentally had converted to Islam.

Barack Obama: Master political manipulator

During the Bush era, his opponents went back and forth between calling him a moron and a Machiavellian genius. It’s hard not to do the same with Obama. On the one hand, one sees the way in which he’s managed to muck up every aspect of running the American government; on the other hand, as Caroline Glick demonstrates, he’s been absolutely masterful at manipulating the political system when it comes to Iran and Israel.

A unifying theory could be that Obama is an anti-Semitic, pro-Islamic Fox-Piven acolyte. In other words, he acts with heightened skill vis-a-vis Israel and Iran, because that skill is necessary to destroy the one and elevate the other. Meanwhile, to the extent that his Fox-Piven goal is to bring American to her knees (or lower), the best tactic is to act with diminished skill, thereby allowing America to implode.  In other words, he applies his political skills selectively to reward and punish various nations, including our own.

John Oliver does something good

I find John Oliver distasteful. He’s a self-described angry Leftist who now has his own bully pulpit on HBO. In addition to not appreciating Oliver’s politics, I also dislike his style, which consists of an endless stream of awkward similes, invariably laced with profanities, that make his properly-primed audience roar with sycophantic laughter.

Having said that, Oliver does occasionally get things right — as, for example, when he tackles the problem of Afghani and Iraqi military interpreters who put their own and their family’s lives at risk to help the American military, only to see the American State Department abandon them to face Islamic terrorism on their own (language warning):

This is an issue that military and conservative bloggers have been agitating about for years.  It took way too long for it to cross over to the mainstream media, but I’m not going to complain when a Leftist media outlet finally picks up on and disseminates an important story.

While I’m not generally a fan of increased Muslim immigration into a country, since there’s no doubt that many Muslims resist assimilation and seek, instead, to expand the caliphate, these translators have proven many times over their willingness to support America.  It’s unconscionable that, even as we allow millions of Latin Americans to swarm illegally into our country, these men are left to die at Islamist hands.

I don’t know how useful internet petitions are, but if you’d like to sign one on behalf of Mohammad Usafi, you can go here to do so.

Let’s call those “ISIS” fighters by a name they really deserve

There is movement afoot amongst Muslims to deny ISIS the right to call itself “ISIS” or “ISIL” or “IS” or “the Islamic State” or anything else that, merely by being used, seems to accept that rabble’s self-designation as the new caliphate:

Whether referred to as ISIS, ISIL, or IS, all three names reflect aspirations that the United States and its allies unequivocally reject. Political and religious leaders all over the world have noted this. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “This is a terrorist group and not a state. . . the term Islamic State blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists.” President Obama made similar remarks saying, “ISIL is not Islamic . . . and [is] certainly not a state.”

Muslims opposed to allowing ISIS its name of choice suggest, instead, “Daesh”:

The term “Daesh” is strategically a better choice because it is still accurate in that it spells out the acronym of the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Yet, at the same time, “Daesh” can also be understood as a play on words — and an insult. Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, it can mean anything from “to trample down and crush” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” Already, the group has reportedly threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who uses the term.

I’m all for calling the group by a name that enrages them, but I’m thinking we’d do even better by calling them by a descriptive name. I suggested to a friend that we call them “HG” for “human garbage” but, after he questioned their humanity, we agreed that calling them “GARBAGE” would suffice.

Why are women turning to Islam?

Our own David Foster has a post that offers a compelling rationale for the peculiarly high number of Western women, especially young women, who are converting to Islam and following the GARBAGE crew in Iraq. Check it out.

Rebutting yet another Roosevelt era trope

In The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Amity Shlaes convincingly established that Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t save the country from the Depression, it worsened the Depression.

It’s been so long since I read her book, though, that I cannot remember whether Shlaes tackled what finally ended the Depression. What I was taught in school, and what Paul Krugman loves to repeat, is that it was World War II that ended the Depression, which is why Krugman thinks some horrible disaster would be just the perfect antidote to our current sluggish economy.

Apparently at Princeton the students and teacher have never learned about the Parable of the Broken Window, which Frédéric Bastiat articulated in an 1850 essay Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen):

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

War is just window-breaking on a grand scale.

Stephen Moore, using actual data rather than political myth, explains that what actually ended the Depression were post-war tax policies:

Government spending collapsed from 41 percent of GDP in 1945 to 24 percent in 1946 to less than 15 percent by 1947. And there was no “new” New Deal. This was by far the biggest cut in government spending in U.S. history. Tax rates were cut and wartime price controls were lifted. There was a very short, eight-month recession, but then the private economy surged.

Here are the numbers on the private economy. Personal consumption grew by 6.2 percent in 1945 and 12.4 percent in 1946 even as government spending crashed. At the same time, private investment spending grew by 28.6 percent and 139.6 percent.

The less the feds spent, the more people spent and invested. Keynesianism was turned on its head. Milton Friedman’s free markets were validated.

Of course, even with all the data in the world, you’ll never convince Krugman that his Keynesianism is wrong. He’s invested in the disaster theory of improving economies, and he’s not going to back out of it now or ever.

It’s also a myth that American executives get paid so much more than their employees

While it’s quite possible that the CEO of a big American company gets paid 331 times as much as the part-time janitor working weekends (especially the part-time janitor working weekends in the company’s Dehli office), it’s not true that, on average, American CEOs make 331 times more than ordinary employees. This particular “income inequality” myth is just another story from the same people who brought you the “New Deal worked” myth, the “one in five women are raped on campus” myth, the “women earn 72 cents on the dollar compared to men” myth, the “American healthcare is the worst in the Western world” myth, the “Climate Change” myth, and all the other untrue stories that control our politics and drive our spending.

In fact, while the average executive earns more than the average American worker, the ratio is fairly reasonable:

The AFL-CIO calculated a pay gap based on a very small sample—350 CEOs from the S&P 500. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 248,760 chief executives in the U.S. in 2013.

The BLS reports that the average annual salary for these chief executives is $178,400, which we can compare to the $35,239-per-year salary the AFL-CIO uses for the average American worker. That shrinks the executive pay gap from 331-to-1 down to a far less newsworthy number of roughly five-to-one.

Read more here.

Paul Krugman — butt head rebutted

You’re correct that I don’t usually call people “butt heads.” I just couldn’t resist that word-play here, though, because I have two links rebutting Krugman’s most recent act of stupidity. And yes, I know Krugman was once a well-regarded economist who won the Pulitzer Prize.  Now, however, he’s a doddering fool who is not deserving of any respect. There’s just no other way to say it.

Both rebuttal posts relate to a Krugman column attacking Amazon as a monopolist. Arnold Ahlert points out that Krugman’s argument boils down to this: Krugman can’t point to any specific monopolistic act on Amazon’s part, but it must be a monopoly because it keeps prices low and, worse, gives customers good access to conservative-themed books. Ahlert’s takedown is a delight.

Also delightful is a letter that Donald J. Boudreaux (Professor of Economics and Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University) wrote to the New York Times. Boudreaux takes Krugman to task for repeating Progressive myths about the government’s war against Standard Oil back around the turn of the last century:

Serious students of Standard’s practices during the late 19th and early 20th centuries understand that complaints against that company came overwhelmingly from other refiners who couldn’t match Standard’s great efficiencies. Yet no complaints came from consumers. Standard made them overwhelmingly better off – which is compelling evidence that Standard did not have monopoly power.

I love the subtle insult there, about Krugman being anything but a serious student of American economic history.

Not only is it a lie that global warming is humankind’s fault, it’s a lie that there is global warming

John Coleman, the meteorologist who founded the weather channel, is once again fighting the good fight to say that the global warming theory is bunk. Every one of the global warming predictions has been wrong but, rather than conceding that it’s a theory failed, its proponents simply change its name (“climate change”) and double down on their insistence that we humans are causing something very bad to happen. If only there was a way to cut through the Leftist media noise and get more people to heed Coleman’s words about the climatistas’ many failed prophecies:

In an open letter attacking the UN, the 80-year-old from San Diego, said that what ‘little evidence’ there is for global warming points to natural cycles in temperature.
‘There is no climate crisis,’ he wrote. ‘The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number.

‘Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

‘I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.’

More evidence to support the theory that Leftism is a mental illness

I’m not going to spend any time whatsoever analyzing Katrina vanden Heuvel’s hysterical screed explaining all the apocalyptic disasters that will instantly unfold if, God forbid, the Republicans take Congress. I’m simply offering the link to you as further evidence supporting the theory that people with mental problems find something comforting in Leftism, including the opportunity to have their paranoid fears taken seriously.

There’s something squirrelly about that “Norwegian” wilderness company….

Do you remember reading about the Amaruk Wilderness Corp., a supposedly Norwegian wilderness company operating in Canada, that sent vile emails to a job candidate who had attended a Christian college? It turns out that, as is often the case when Leftists go off the rails, there’s more to the story:

As more women who received bizarre and inappropriate responses to their job applications to wilderness company Amaruk come forward, efforts to reach the company’s CEO have left CBC News questioning whether the business and its jobs even exist.

Amaruk Wilderness Corp. hit headlines this week after CBC News reported on a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal complaint, in which a Trinity Western University graduate — Bethany Paquette — claims her application to work for the company was rejected because she’s Christian.

Since Paquette’s complaint was reported, CBC News has heard from other applicants, including Lucie Clermont, who applied to Amaruk last year for a job listed as the executive assistant to the CEO, which promised a $120,000 salary and world travel.

Clermont’s application was met with a number of emails asking awkward questions — some of them sexual — followed by more that became insulting.

[snip]

Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen and Dwayne Kenwood -Bjørnsenare are listed as co-CEOs of Amaruk along with several other businesses, including Norealis, Spartic and Militis.

But the men do not live in Europe and they are not diplomats. And if Olaf Amundsen — the man who allegedly sent Paquette the offensive emails — is real, the picture of him on the company website is not. In fact, it’s an image grabbed from social media site Pinterest.

Read the rest here.

I wouldn’t keep someone evil as a friend either

A phrase I first learned in Texas, and have heard repeatedly since then, is that “Republicans think Democrats are misguided, while Democrats think Republicans are evil.” That statement isn’t meant to encompass the leadership of either party. Instead, it applies to the rank-and-file. Thus, while I believe that my lovely neighbors, none of whom are deep thinkers, are seriously misguided to cling to the Democrat party, if they were to know that I’m conservative, the greater likelihood is that they’d think I’m a hate-filled, racist, misogynistic, homophobic evil person.

No wonder, then, that Leftists are more likely to unfriend people who have the temerity to put up conservative-themed posts on their Facebook walls. It’s not just that the Leftists do not want to read or think about opposing viewpoints. It’s also that they know, deep in their hearts, that no decent human being could have an “evil” Facebook friend.

There’s a new politically incorrect “Dracula” movie in the making….

The Victorians were big on ghost and horror stories, so I always assumed that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was just one of the better, more timeless horror stories, riffing off of the vicious reputation of Vlad the Impaler, a 15th century Central European monarch with a taste for impaling his enemies. When Hollywood cast Bela Lugosi as Dracula, the thick Hungarian accent was an homage to Vlad’s role in Dracula’s creation.

Had I been fortunate enough to go to school in the era of political correctness, I would have learned that all my assumptions, despite being based upon actual, like, you know, historical records, were wrong. Instead, Dracula, one of the great Victorian horror stories, was really an extended meditation on open border policies in the second half of the 19th century. Savvy Victorian readers instantly picked up on the subliminal trope that Russian and other Central European immigrants were sucking their blood.

Whatever.

Thankfully, it appears that Dracula is getting yet another makeover, and this one reflects a difference historic fact about Vlad the Impaler that was ignored for many decades: His brutality had a very specific cause and a very specific target — fighting Islamic jihadists who had once held him hostage who sought to incorporate all of Christian Europe into their planned universal caliphate.

Here’s the buzz about Dracula Untold:

Probably the most intriguing part of this reboot, for fans of the original novel and all its myriad remakes throughout the past century, is the way this film turns its evil, fanged impostor into a hero.

[snip]

In this version of the story, Transylvania is under attack by Mehmet, the Turkish Sultan’s military leader. And nothing could be more upsetting to old Vlad than to find Turks on his land. That’s because when Vlad was a child, the Sultan demanded tribute in the form of strapping young boys to fill out his troops — and Vlad’s father handed his son over to the Turkish, to be raised alongside Mehmet in the Ottoman Empire’s army. Of course, Vlad was the biggest badass the Turks had ever seen, which is how he became known as “the Impaler.”

Now he’s been allowed to return home to his family, his military service over. Unfortunately, the Sultan is looking for troops again, and he’s demanding 1,000 boys (including Vlad’s son). Which is why Vlad decides he needs a supernatural power-up from a mythical blood-sucker living in the mountains above his castle. Turns out that Tywin Lannister is up there, vamping it up in every sense of the word, and he offers Vlad a bargain. He’ll give Vlad some vampire juice so he can be superpowered for three days, and Vlad will return to being human if he can resist drinking somebody else’s warm, tasty blood.

And thus begins the fun of the film, which is ultimately all about how a nice Christian prince turns himself into a demon to destroy a Muslim army.

io9, from which the above summary comes, repeatedly calls this new version just as racist as the old version. (“Not to put too fine a point on it, the answer is a racism update.”) I don’t know. I see both the original versions and the current versions as two sides of the historic coin. The old version focused on Vlad’s Central European lineage and brutal reputation, while the current version focuses on the fact that he’s still a hero in Central Europe for having saved his subjects from Muslim depredations. And frankly, as we all get to watch ISIS (aka GARBAGE) engage in all sorts of depredations, the current version, except for the vampire stuff, sounds pretty darn accurate to me.

Everything you need to know about American education in one Cato chart

Trends in American public schooling

Read more here.

Krakatoa’s big bang

I already knew that Krakatoa was the loudest sound ever recorded on earth. It wasn’t necessarily the loudest sound ever (indeed, it probably wasn’t the loudest sound ever) but, back in 1883, it erupted just as Victorians were become extremely serious about obsessive record keeping. This means that, when Victorian diarists heard the sound (no matter where in the world they were located), they recorded the sound in their diaries, along with the date, time, and estimated volume. Thanks to those records, one can piece together the fact that the sound wave from the eruption circumnavigated the globe four times.

Kottke does a great job of explaining just how loud Krakatoa was. Even more helpfully, the post includes a video of a very small eruption in Papua New Guinea that nevertheless had an impressive sound wave.

Very disturbing surveillance footage comes out of the attack on the Nairobi mall

CNN was able to obtain footage from surveillance cameras showing the first day of the four-day-long attack that al Shabab Islamic terrorists made against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The video makes for horrifying viewing. It’s terrible to watch because we, as sympathetic and empathetic humans, must always be disturbed when we watch the slaughter of the innocents. It’s also terrible to watch because the “Western” look of this mall brings home the fact that Islamic terrorists are waging all-out war against us, i.e., Americans and others who live ordinary capitalist, Judeo-Christian lives.

What struck us, though, as the most terrible thing of all about the footage is the Islamists’ relaxed, calm, and calculated approach to the slaughter of the innocents. It is no exaggeration to say that their “business as usual” attitude is precisely the same attitude the Nazis had when, in a businesslike way, they shot or gassed six million Jews, plus gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, communists, and anyone else they didn’t like. (It’s worth noting that the Islamists are no more fond of Jews, homosexuals, or Christians than the Nazis were. Just sayin’.)

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (6)

The clerk has been shot, but he is struggling to live

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (4)

Having been shot, the clerk struggles to sit up, even as he is surrounded by a rapidly spreading pool of his own blood

The first second of the video shows relaxed shoppers strolling through a store in the Westgate Mall on September 21. Suddenly, although there is no audio, you know that the terrorists have started shooting outside the store, as dozens of panicked people begin running frantically for cover.

One clerk hides himself beneath the front counter, only to have an Islamist walk in and casually, without thought or effort, shoot him. The terrorist then walks away. The clerk, lying in a spreading pool of his own blood, struggles to right himself. His efforts are wasted. As he sits up, another terrorist walks by, and with the same casual air as his comrade in slaughter, delivers the killing shot.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (5)

The dark-jacketed Islamist on the left delivers the kill shot to the wounded clerk

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (7)

Panicked shoppers run and crawl across the mall’s main floor, seeking shelter from the killers

Another surveillance camera shows terrified shoppers racing through an open area of the mall in their efforts to escape from the gunman. Many drop to their stomachs and begin crawling away. Some no longer move.

A mother with two children appears on the scene, pushing a shopping cart. In the cart is a wounded child. Behind her follows a blood-stained, limping teenage girl, with her hands in the air. And then, behind that teenage girl, we see the explanation for this little procession: A gun-toting Islamist is herding these hostages along. (We are pleased to report that the woman, her two children, and the other children that she rescued all survived the attack.)

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (9)

A woman escorts her two children through a store, as she pushes a shopping cart holding a third, wounded child

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi

A terrorist herds a bloodied, wounded teenage girl through a store

The surveillance footage shows several of the terrorists wandering through stores, their gait relaxed, and their guns at the ready. Some are seen talking on cell phones. Authorities believe that they were not talking to each other but were, instead, receiving real-time instructions from outside controllers. One terrorist sees a body lie on the ground and fires an extra bullet into it . . . just in case.

The most disturbing thing of all about the whole video is that the terrorists are not in a frenzy of rage or insanity. Rather, they are exactly like workers in a slaughterhouse. On this first day, they know that they are in charge, and that’s despite the fact that there is surveillance footage showing two white men (meaning, two men who were obviously not the all-black al Shabab terrorists) holding revolvers and obviously making a plan to protect the civilians sheltered behind them. It’s believed that these men were security guards or perhaps off-duty policemen. Despite their obvious bravery, they were no match for the heavily armed killers.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (11)

For the Islamists, it’s an enjoyable turkey shoot

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (1)

This man can be seen talking on a cell phone, which authorities believe is how outside controllers directed the Islamists in the mall

The Islamists carry themselves upright and unafraid, they talk on the phone, and they break for prayers, with butts in the air for Allah. It’s very disturbing to realize that kids running around at a paintball game show more tension than these terrorists do. These killers know that, on this first day, they are unstoppable. Knowing this, they obviously enjoy themselves as they massacre the innocents.

It is important to emphasize the terrorists’ appearance because we need to understand their character in order to appreciate the war we’re in. And make no mistake – even as Barack Obama makes nice with the Muslim Brotherhood, and despite President George W. Bush’s constant claim that “Islam is a religion of peace,” Islamists have declared war against the West.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (8)

The terrorists were completely relaxed and in control as they went on their killing spree

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (2)

When they weren’t killing civilians, the Islamists took time out to pray to their god

There are millions of peaceful Muslims throughout the world, but the religion itself is premised upon Holy War and at least 10% of Islam’s followers take this mandate very seriously. Given that there are currently 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, the 10% of true believers means a worldwide army of 1,600,000,000 Muslims who actively or passively support what happened during those four days in Nairobi.

This is an asymmetrical war. The Islamists fully realize that they cannot defeat our military, so they don’t bother. They also recognize that, because they are an informal network that spans the globe, rather than representing any specific country, it’s extremely difficult for western armies to meet them on the battlefield. After all, Western armies wage war against nations, not against loose alliances of individuals.

There was little that these security guards could do with their small guns against the massive arms the terrorists brought in

There was little that these security guards could do with their small guns against the massive arms the terrorists brought in

Still, people did survive, thanks in no small part to many individual acts of bravery

Still, people did survive, thanks in no small part to many individual acts of bravery

The result is that the Islamists attack the softest targets – unarmed civilians and, optimally, children. This most recent attack against a civilian population was not aberrant. It was entirely consistent with an ideology that routinely attacks schools and other soft targets, as it did in Beslan, Russia, and as it repeatedly does in Israel.

As long as Western leadership is in denial about what is going on, we are all sitting ducks, or fish in a barrel, or turkeys at a shoot, or whatever other metaphor you want to use for a helpless population that is perpetually at risk of experiencing a slaughter against which it cannot defend itself. The only two things we, as individuals, can do are to (1) exercise our 2nd Amendment rights so that we can try to defend ourselves in the event of an attack or, at least, take a few of them with us when we go; and (2) elect politicians like Allen West, who understand that Islam is engaged in an existential war against the West, and that the West can win only by destroying the Islamists. (This doesn’t mean killing all Muslims, but it does mean waging total war against the 10%.)

(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form at Mr. Conservative.)

The utter depravity and nihilism of modern Islamic terrorism

The Watcher’s Council submissions this week are extraordinary, but this one rises head and shoulders above them all.  I don’t want it to be buried in the long list of articles that makes up the Watcher’s Council submissions.  This deserves to be read, read again, shared, analyzed, and otherwise trumpeted far and wide, because it is phenomenally important.  It is the most direct statement I’ve yet seen, not about the nature of Islam, but about the nature — the nihilism and depravity — of the violence committed in Islam’s name.  Moreover, it refuses to let the West pretend that the violent is anomalous, rather than being an intrinsic part of modern Islam.  In the same way, it is a scathing indictment of the moral cowardice and political correctness that renders the West incapable of acknowledging that modern Islam is very, very sick.  Its stark reality must be countered or it will destroy the world much more surely that Chicken Little fears about the earth warming.

A good man with a gun saves as many as 100 people at the mall in Nairobi

An armed former Royal Marine who happened to be in the Westgate Mall in Kenya when the Al-Shabab terrorists struck, may have saved as many as 100 people.

Former Royal Marine armed with gun saves lives

For all that liberals profess to think better of people than conservatives do, one of the most striking things about them is that they believe that, the moment people get hold of guns, they turn into crazed killers.  The vast majority of people, when given a gun, will use it only for good or, at the very least, not for bad.  Disarming them means that they are unable to come to anyone’s defense.

I don’t know if this Royal Marine fired his gun, or if he just used his other skills to rescue people.  Nevertheless, one has to wonder whether he would have been as effective if he didn’t have his friend at his waist.

Obama says that he would like to see more Americans die in terrorist attacks

That headline is not a lie.  The greatest orator since Abraham Lincoln had a serious policy discussion with . . . wait for it . . . Jay Leno.  During that serious, I mean really serious, talk, Obama explicitly stated that it was unfortunate that Americans were less likely to die in a terrorist attack than in a car accident.  Really:

POTUS said the U.S. was not overreacting.

POTUS said people can still take vacation, just do so in a “prudent way” by checking on the State Department Websites for up-to-day information before making plans.

“The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately.”  (Emphasis added.)

You and I both know that President Silvertongue was trying to say something along the lines of this:  “The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident.  While we’d like to see both types of statistics drop, it’s useful to put terrorism’s risk into perspective.”

But that’s not what Obama said.  What he said is that it’s unfortunate that the average American faces a lower risk of dying at a terrorist’s hands than he does of dying in a car accident.

What’s really funny about all this is that Obama’s disastrous foreign policies are such that it’s entirely possible that he’ll ensure that, without the number of fatal car accidents decreasing, Americans really will end up dying in ever greater numbers at terrorist hands.  Perhaps President Malaprop speaks the truth after all.

Fort Hood: Workplace violence or act of terror?

If you think the Fort Hood massacre was a terrorist act by a determined jihadist, rather than an “act of workplace violence that was coincidentally committed by a Muslim who spouted jihadist rhetoric,” consider signing National Review’s petition at Change.org:

Petitioning Chuck Hagel

The Ft. Hood massacre was an Act of Terror

Petition by National Review

The Fort Hood massacre was an act of war carried out by a violent jihadist who had infiltrated our Armed Forces while taking advice and encouragement from Anwar al-Awlaki, who was so clearly an al Qaeda commander that President Obama authorized his wartime killing by a drone strike. We are a nation at war based on a congressional authorization of military force enacted after al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans in the atrocities of September 11, 2001. If the war is to be waged seriously, the government must recognize that the Fort Hood massacre – in which twice as many Americans were killed as were killed in the jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 – was an act of terrorism committed by the enemy. We must honor the sacrifice of those killed and wounded at Fort Hood by acknowledging its true context.

To: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

The Administration has designated the Ft. Hood massacre as workplace violence, and not what it was: an Act of Terror. By not designating this event as such an act, it disrespects the lives of the 13 who lost their lives that day, and dozens more who were injured and those helped their fellow soldiers.

Furthermore, Nidal Hassan will not be tried as an enemy combatant, but instead will be court-martialed.

Finally, without an Act of Terror designation, those wounded in defense of our nation will not receive a Purple Heart.

This is outrageous and I call on you to change the official designation now before the trial for Nidal Hassan proceeds any further.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

As of this moment, 340 people have signed the petition.  National Review is looking for 10,000.

Hat tip: Earl

Will Benghazi cause the wheels to fall off the Obama bus

Bloody fingerprints in Benghazi

(I wrote another post yesterday for Mr. Conservative that is pure Bookworm Room — so much so that I almost hesitated to put it on the Mr. Conservative site.  I did, though, because I had deadlines.  And now I’m publishing it here, in slightly modified form, so that I can have the conversation I always enjoy so much with you guys and gals.)

Will Benghazi be the Obama administration’s Waterloo? From Day One, the Obama administration has been trying to sweep under the rug a terrorist attack on American soil – and yes, it was on American soil since the consulate was a small piece of America in the middle of Libya. Obama breathed the word “terror” once, in an undertone aside, and then the administration, with the mainstream media’s help, got down to its responsiblity-avoiding narrative: the attack was all because of an obscure YouTube video. Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.

The administration’s cover-up might have been successful were it not for three things: (a) Special Forces kept the the pressure up, because they refused to see former SEALs’ Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty’s deaths go unavenged; (b) Republicans in Congress began to push hard for hearings, and announced that attack survivors, who have been discretely hidden away, would finally appear in public to testify; and (c) Fox News’ aired an interview with a whistle-blower who revealed that American intelligence has long known who did the attack and could have taken the attackers into custody or otherwise acted against them.

Suddenly, things started moving. First, the FBI finally released photos of three suspects. Second, CNN reported yesterday that those who doubted the administration and media narrative about a film review run riot have been proven right. According to an unnamed senior U.S. law enforcement official, “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP]” were a part of the attack.

Once having started with a few tumbling rocks, the Benghazi avalanche started going full force. Retired Navy SEAL Billy Allmon wrote a column for The Western Center for Journalism stating that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama deliberately left four Americans to die in Benghazi. Hillary did so by failing to give them adequate security (and then lying about events to Congress). Obama, though, is the one who really has blood on his hands because he refused to send readily available help over to rescue the besieged Americans – despite the fact that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, former SEALS who died at the scene, provided a steady stream of usable information. Instead, he got a good night’s sleep while they were fighting and dying, and then went campaigning the next day.

Today, information came out suggesting that the Benghazi avalanche that may be the thing that finally buries forever the Obama administration’s “bad video” Benghazi spin. It turns out that the State Department whistle blowers who will testify before Congress aren’t low level desk jockeys. They are, instead, extremely highly placed officials who have first hand knowledge of what happened in the lead-up to the terrorist attack and during the attack itself:

• Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and, at the time, the highest-ranking American diplomat in Libya;

• Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and

• Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks (although, as someone who had previously offered testimony, he does not consider himself a whistle-blower).

Nordstrom’s October 2012 testimony before the House oversight committee was an early indicator that the Obama administration wouldn’t be able to run away from its gross culpability. Hillary’s State Department, according to Nordstrom, absolutely refused to provide security for the consulate in the months leading to the attack. As far is Nordstrom was concerned, “For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building.”

All these stories, which will continue to grow bigger with Congressional testimony, reveal that something rotten was (and is) happening in the White House. Doug Ross, who runs the Director Blue website, has put together a timeline of everything we know with certainly about the Benghazi attack. His analysis reveals “four inescapable conclusions”:

a) Hillary Clinton lied under oath to Congress.

b) Barack Obama went to sleep knowing that a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans were under terrorist attack.

c) Barack Obama awoke refreshed the next day to begin fundraising.

d) The entire Executive Branch lied repeatedly to the American people to save Obama’s chances for reelection.

Since the attack on the consulate, the administration has lied and the media has run interference. It will be interesting to see how these two branches of the Democrat machine handle earth-shaking testimony establishing that the administrative could have prevented the attack from ever happening and that Obama deliberately left Americans to die. And it will be even more interesting to see whether the American people actually care that their president was responsible for these shocking practical and moral failures.

Bill Maher almost gets it when it comes to terrorism

In fits and starts, Bill Maher is creeping towards an understanding that the enemy isn’t America when it comes to terrorism.  He’s unable to square the circle, though, because he’s so hung up on gun control.  That is, he’s incapable of appreciating that the best way for Americans to depend themselves is for them to be armed.  Anyway, I wrote the following post for Mr. Conservative, and I think it fits in well here:

Bill Maher has periodic outbursts of logic and reason that give one hope that he may yet figure out that his blind allegiance to the Democrat party is misguided. Friday, on his HBO show Real Time, Maher showed pictures of heavily armed police patrolling Boston streets and expressed concern that “This country is becoming a police state,” adding that he finds this trend “very troubling.”

(Read here about Maher’s unexpected defense of Christianity.)

Maher’s guests tried hard to downplay his concerns. For example, MSNBC contributor Robert Traynham said that what people saw wasn’t attributable to Boston but was, instead “a federal response after a horrific bombing.” Apparently Traynham was unclear on the fact that, when the feds go all “police state” on us, it’s even worse than if an individual city or state does.

Maher wasn’t deterred. Looking at the constitutionally improper house-to-house searches for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Maher again said that this isn’t right:

To me that’s out of hand. I agree we shouldn’t have given this kid his Miranda rights because he probably had information. We wanted to take him alive . . . if you agree with that then what the cops did there was unprofessional. That’s called contagious fire.

***

He has information, he had information and he was just lying in the boat. They knew that. They put that grenade up there. He wasn’t moving. It’s ridiculous. It’s out of control.

Where Maher is unable to square the circle is with his belief that everything would be better without guns. On Friday’s show, he noted that, while American police go in with tanks, “the British police don’t even carry guns.” On another occasion, he insisted that “the Second Amendment is bullshit.

Maher seems incapable of making the logical leap that says that, if the public also has some police power – the ability to protect itself against criminals and crazies – then the police themselves don’t have to be so heavily armed. Rather than facing the entire world alone, the police in an armed, civil society, have law-abiding citizens at their back, helping out.

Americans show a much greater understanding of the situation than Maher. According to polls, an overwhelming number of Americans want to be armed when there’s a manhunt going on. Rather than being victimized twice – first by the terrorist and then by the police – they want to be active participants in their own security. This is a civic awareness that’s completely contrary to the arrogant Big Government idea that only the police are capable of protecting Americans from criminals. There’s a word for citizens who won’t and can’t take care of themselves: Victims.

“Me and Charles Krauthammer?! We’re like THIS, you know what I mean?”

Yesterday, I wrote that I examined had all the unfounded theories about the Boston Marathon bombing and reached a conclusion (emphasis added):

Frankly, looking at the above, I’m coming to believe that everyone is over-thinking the bombing.  If we just step back and ignore historic trends, iconic locations, modus operandi, and such other things, there are two things that are very clear:  the bomb was meant to sever limbs (report after report emphasizes severed legs) and it took place at a race.  Apply Occam’s Razor, and its obvious that the dark-skinned man now being sought (sorry David Sirota:  it’s not a white guy) hates runners.  Probably he ran the marathon once and lost, and has never recovered from that psychic injury — so he planted a bomb that would cause the greatest possible injury to runners.  This horror was an anti-running terrorism attack.  The appropriate response is mental screening for all runners and non-runners alike.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

I think Charles Krauthammer has been reading the Bookworm Room because today, he wrote this (emphasis added):

There was no need to be so sensitive, however. The president said that terrorism is any bombing aimed at civilians. Not quite. Terrorism is any attack on civilians for a political purpose. Until you know the purpose, you can’t know if it is terrorism.

Sometimes an attack can have no purpose. The Tucson shooter who nearly killed Representative Gabrielle Giffords was simply deranged, a certified paranoid schizophrenic. Or there might be some personal vendetta — a purpose, but not political. In the Boston case, conceivably a grudge against the marathon, its organizers, or something associated with the race.

Krauthammer actually wrote a lot more than that, and you should read it all, but I was so charmed to see that he came to the same conclusion as I — that we don’t have enough data to know what the bombing means — that I just had to stop and crow for a minute.  Honestly, if you didn’t know that I’d never met the man and, moreover, that you could clone me multiple times and I still wouldn’t have his brain wattage, you’d think we were siblings under the skin.

Throwing out my own theory about the meaning behind the Boston Marathon attack

Jeff Bauman lost both legs

Now that the police have dismissed as a suspect the Saudi man originally being questioned, the perpetrator behind the atrocity at the Boston Marathon is swathed in mystery.  Although Muslims distinguished themselves in a disgusting way by celebrating the bombing, no group has stepped forward to take responsibility for what happened.

We know that the bombs were pressure cooker bombs filled with ball-bearings that could have been made in anyone’s kitchen.  Muslim extremists have tried to use them before (the thwarted Times Square bomber, for example), but anyone can go on the internet to make them.  So that doesn’t point the finger anywhere specific.

We know that the bombs went off at an iconic American event, in an iconic American city, which is kind of al Qaeda-ish.  al Qaeda, after all, is nothing if not showy.

We also know that the bombs went off on April 15, a day no American likes, but that anti-government individuals especially dislike, so that’s kind of a neo-Nazi or crazed Ted Kaczynski thing.  Or, according to the MSM, a Tea Party thing.  As to that, the same people who pick up all the mess after rallies would never do anything as hideously messy and destructive as a bomb.

We know that, since the mid-7th century, Muslims have been going after the West, with flare-ups during the Moorish occupation of Spain, the years preceding the Crusades, the fall of Constantinople, the Siege of Vienna, and the years since the revolution in Iran in 1979.  We also know that these attacks have accelerated wildly since 1993, when the first World Trade Center bombing took place.  Since then, the list of al Qaeda (or other Islam-inspired) attacks is long, really long.  The ones that stand out in my mind are 9/11, the Madrid train bombings, the Bali nightclub bombings, the London Underground/Bus bombings, the Marine headquarters in Beirut bombings, the Mumbai attacks, the Fort Hood attack, the abortive Portland attack, the abortive Times Square attack, and the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.  Those are just the famous attacks.  Around the world, Islamists kill Westerners and Muslims they deem apostates with gleeful abandon.  Whenever the bombing is showy, significant numbers of Muslims around the world celebrate.

We also know that, in 1995, Timothy McVeigh (and perhaps someone else) committed the dreadful Oklahoma City bombing for lone-wolf reasons.  Americans of all political stripes were revolted.  In 1996, Eric Rudolph, acting alone to advance his anti-abortion views, decided to protest the killing of innocents by killing innocents at the Atlanta Olympics.  Again, with only sick, fringe exceptions, Americans were disgusted — and no group more than the pro-Life cadre in America.

Today we learned that David Sirota, who writes at Salon and is apparently desperate for publicity, is hoping that it was a white male — a la McVeigh and Rudolph — who planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon, because nasty Americans have this peculiar habit of thinking that is the Muslims who are responsible when things get blown up.  He wants us to know that white people blow up things too (and kill — white people do kill).  Wascally Amewicans!  We’re so dumb that we actually make a distinction between lone white crazies who are rejected by the political class they claim as their own, and whose killings are thankfully small in number, and Islamic crazies, who function as part of a large network, who are celebrated by their religious compatriots, who are encouraged by their religion (and their clerics) to kill as much as possible, and who actually have carried out more than 20,000 terrorist attacks around the world since 9/11.

Frankly, looking at the above, I’m coming to believe that everyone is over-thinking the bombing.  If we just step back and ignore historic trends, iconic locations, modus operandi, and such other things, there are two things that are very clear:  the bomb was meant to sever limbs (report after report emphasizes severed legs) and it took place at a race.  Apply Occam’s Razor, and its obvious that the dark-skinned man now being sought (sorry David Sirota:  it’s not a white guy) hates runners.  Probably he ran the marathon once and lost, and has never recovered from that psychic injury — so he planted a bomb that would cause the greatest possible injury to runners.  This horror was an anti-running terrorism attack.  The appropriate response is mental screening for all runners and non-runners alike.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Is the fact that the bombing occurred on April 15 significant?

In almost every area of my life, I’m a procrastinator.  The exception to that rule is taxes.  I never wait until the last minute with my taxes, so I got them off some time ago (and very painful it was too).  The result was that I didn’t even think of today’s date — April 15.

I know that the bombings in Boston had the hallmarks of al Qaeda — multiple simultaneous explosions, a running Saudi, a significant American place — but the date is more significant to anti-government homegrown nuts, while the place is as significant to them as it would be to al Qaeda.

Frankly, I want this to be the work of al Qaeda.  (I would have preferred that it never happened, of course, but since it did, I have my preferences about its origin.)  I genuinely fear that, if it was another Timothy McVeigh, the media will use the Boston massacre, as some are already calling it, to destroy Republicans and conservatives in America.  It will lend fuel to the fire that conservatives are terrorists, it will justify overriding the Second Amendment, it will justify continued attacks on the First Amendment (by allowing the government to force Christian institutions to pay for abortions and to provide services for same-sex marriage, despite doctrinal problems), and it will mark every Republican as a potential mass murderer.

After 9/11, the media and government doubled over backwards to paint Islam as the religion of peace, despite the fact that Islamists all over the world have rained bloodshed and terror over people.  You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that if this is a homegrown anti-government group, despite the fact that it will be a lone faction rejected by all conservatives and Republicans and despite the fact that the last act of anti-government terror took place in 1994, the media will spend the next three years (through the 2016 election) making sure that the words terrorist, Republican, and conservative are synonymous.

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon bombing UPDATED

A twitter image showing a blood stained street in Boston

Because I’m now a semi-official journalist, I’ve been working hard to write up-to-the-minute posts about the horrible Boston Marathon bombing.  Here’s the latest Mr. Conservative post, which I was able to write following my Twitter feed.  It’s been substantially updated since I wrote it, so it’s (a) under Katie Kieffer’s name, since we worked on it together, and (b) it has a ton of graphic images, so click on it with care.  It’s really quite amazing how quickly news gets consolidated there.  I knew I was on to something when several reputable sources tweeted the same story.  It doesn’t mean it’s true — the media is often wrong — but it does mean that I wasn’t going off half-cocked based upon a single tweet.  The post isn’t all me.  Katie Kieffer, another conservative blogger contributed parts of it.  Because we were in a rush, you can probably see the seams between our two writing styles.

That was the news part.  Here, at Bookworm Room, is where I get to talk about this tragedy, as a tragedy.

I have absolutely no doubt but that this is an al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliate attack.  It has all the hallmarks — symbolic locations; crowded venues; multiple simultaneous explosions; and a Saudi national found, not at the scene, despite his shrapnel wounds, but quite far away.  Innocent men don’t run.  We’ll hear, of course, that it was his instant fear of Islamophobia that caused him to run from the scene despite his wounds, but that story just doesn’t seem very credible to me.

As I said in the Mr. Conservative post, I find it highly ironic that an Islamic attack — assuming that’s what this was — took place in Boston.  Boston is the bluest of the blue.  Moreover, the Boston Marathon is very much an upper middle class event, with liberal suburbanites from all over America running in it.  In terms of the “War against Islam,” Boston has shed its image as America’s patriotic heart and has thrown itself firmly behind a world view that says America is an international bully, using Islamophobia to drive the oil companies’ secret wars for oil.

There are two ways Boston can go.  It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.

My thoughts are with the people of Boston, as well as with those who were not of Boston, but got caught in the disaster.  I hope that tragedy leads them to smart decisions, not foolish ones.

Here are the President’s remarks from his post-bombing statement from the White House.  It says nothing:

Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.

I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.

I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.

Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.

We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  So are its people.  I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We’re still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

Thank you very much.

UPDATE: Here’s your opportunity to compare today’s statement to the one Barack Obama made (complete with politically correct convolutions) the day after the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Incidentally, that was also, technically, on American soil, although not as many were injured. (I’m also unclear on the precise death toll for today, so I can’t make a comparison.)