The Bookworm Beat 12-10-15 — the “Islamic terrorism” edition *UPDATED*
A few words about Donald Trump’s campaign success
Donald Trump is the ordinary American’s id. The id, of course, is our most basic intelligence, the one that gives us the atavistic reflexes that recognize danger and act on it to stay alive.
Trump has cut through the political correctness that prevented all politicians, including Republican ones, from speaking the cold, hard truth: Muslims are a problem. While we know that not all Muslims are a problem, until we figure out a way to separate wheat from chaff, we are insane to invite them in without limitations.
If you pay attention to what Trump said, as opposed to what the media says he said, Trump actually made a sensible suggestion, although framed in his typical inflammatory way: America needs to press the pause button on admitting Muslims until we can formulate a policy that’s aimed at separating bad (i.e., jihadist or otherwise fundamentalist Muslims) from good Muslims. Here, in his own words, with my emphasis added:
Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” His campaign said he would keep the ban intact “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” including the facts around the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last week. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a legal immigrant who had a green card, were killed in a shootout with the police after the massacre.
Typically for Trump, he went too far, seemingly including in his proposal deporting the Muslims who currently live in America, and he spoke too vaguely. Trump later cleaned up the pronouncement to make it clear that he thinks Congress should formulate a policy to protect Americans from radical Islamists before opening the door to any Muslims. He’s right. While no policy is perfect, we need to do something to separate good (i.e, non-murderous) Muslims from bad.
And here’s the deal: We want good Muslims. People like the inestimable Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser are true Americans, and they ought to be the dominant influence in the existing Muslim-American community.
Victor Davis Hanson wrote today that Americans know they are being lied to. They understand that our government and media have turned into Soviet-like propaganda instruments that keep saying “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Trump’s virtue is that he is not forcing that insanity-making choice on Americans. He says “I see the same thing you do, and I plan to fix it.”
I can’t express how unsuited Trump is for the presidency — are we going to have a president so impulsive as to change his mind from “Let Putin handle ISIS, what has it got to do with us?” to “Let’s bomb the shit out of ISIS” and “I’ll handle terrorism so hard it’ll make your head spin” based on a single thing he saw on TV (San Bernardino) which completely changed all of his thoughts?
But he is useful for plowing through the colossal, coralled-over shipwrecks and dead hulks of leftist thought that clog the trade-routes of political expression and debate.
I have bad news for people, and maybe the country: There is no way to stop Trump until “respectable” politicians begin to understand why he’s winning and begin destroying the Legacy Failure of leftist mediated political thought themselves.
People keep talking about “When he loses.” Listen to me: He is not going to lose. Not on the current trajectory, he won’t.
Trump is setting loose passions — some useful, some vital, and some demonic and destructive — and people find it liberating to think freely for once in forever.
You can’t beat that by offering rhetorical pablum like “I’m willing to say ‘Radical Islamic Jihad.'” Well bully for you, and who the hell cares? The fetish with this phrase is a rhetorical stunt designed to convince the listener that the speaker has a Bold Apologetic Plan for Destroying Terrorism, while masking the fact that the ideas being proposed are basically Obama’s, plus more bombing.
Trump is not going to “lose” — passive voice. Someone will have to actually beat Trump, and no one’s going to beat him by simply regurgitating the leftist-enforced Polite Company Conservative line.
Most of the candidates have been trying that; like Obama’s “strategy” to “contain” ISIS, it’s failing, and for the same reason: Because it fails, conceptually, to understand the problem and the nature of the enemy.
Ted Cruz, incidentally, seems to be the first candidate to learn from the Trump playbook. He is getting increasingly specific in calling out Islamic terrorism, and in challenging Obama on his failure, not just to address the problem, but even to name it.
The lies sold to the anti-gun crowd
I’ve mentioned before IFLScience, a very popular website that’s a mixture of actual science plus a heavy dose of Leftist propaganda. The last time I mentioned it was to point out that it was advancing manifest fraud regarding climate change. In the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, it religiously followed Obama’s lead by advancing the gun control narrative. I thought I’d fisk that article a little, just as a fun way to start the day:
“#1: More Guns Don’t Make You Safer” — Under this heading, the author, Frederic Lemieux, argues that, while mass shootings happen in other countries, America has many more mass shootings, with gun ownership correlating to mass shootings; that is, the more gun owners, the more the shootings.
My take: First, there’s every reason to believe that the “mass shooting” numbers are inaccurate, and conflate situations in which, for example, a father kills all his children, with situations that involve genuine stranger mass shootings. Moreover, Lemieux almost certainly fails to take into account the fact that bulk of America’s shootings take place in Democrat-run enclaves by people illegally possessing or using guns.
More important than quibbling about one type of mass shooting or another is the reality that, while mass shootings are a risk of guns, more guns do make society as a whole more safe:
It also seems appropriate to add here that when there are real mass shootings — a stranger walking into a place, pulling out a gun (or guns) and going crazy — these shootings invariably take place in “Gun free zones,” where there can be no resistance. Kind of like this:
“#2: Shootings Are More Frequent” — Lemieux’s second argument is that mass shootings are occurring more frequently. While this may be based upon incorrectly defined “mass shootings” and may fail to address blacks are killing blacks en masse in heavily gun-controlled Democrat enclaves, he might have a point on this one.
It does feel as if mass shootings are up lately. I don’t base this feeling on data, but on my gut sense that there are more shootings. Two comments on that:
First, although Obama and the media deny it, you and I know that many of these mass shootings are Islamic terrorism (Fort Hood, Tallahassee, San Bernardino, Paris, etc.). They fall (or should fall) outside the parameters of the gun control discussion because they are actually acts of war.
Second, the last time I felt America was this unstable was in 1968 when even I, a little girl, knew something was wrong in our nation. Obama, with his constant class and race warfare, with his high unemployment economy, with his valuing non-Americans over Americans, with his rejection of Americans’ national security reforms, etc., has opened a Pandora’s box. Our world is more fearful and less stable, and that’s going to bring the crazies out.
“#3: Mass Shootings Are Not Terrorism” — I couldn’t agree more. Terrorism is a different animal entirely, and for Obama and the rest of the Democrats to try to conflate them with mass shootings as a way to advance gun control is flat out crazy. Terrorism in today’s world is almost invariably tied to Islamic allegiance. Rusty, at The Jawa Report, did a beautiful graphic showing how the New York Times tries to hide this reality. His additions are the arrows and the bolded writing next to those arrows:
The other types of shooting, as Lemieux correctly says, “are linked to mental health issues, bullying and disgruntled employees. Active shooters do not share any political motivations and do not aim at weakening government legitimacy. Instead, they are inspired by revenge or a quest for power.”
For the most part, our existing gun control laws are already written to stop these crazies — except they don’t. And, as I mentioned above, no matter how crazy these crazies are, they always have enough sense to find their local “gun free” zone.
“#4: Restricting Sales Works” — Lemieux finds it very unpleasant that the Second Amendment means our laws must go in favor of permitting access. It would be so better, he believes, if he went the way of other countries and restricted access.
A few points:
(1) If you take away America’s ghetto culture, which is Democrat-run, has gun-control, and is filled to the brim with illegal guns, America’s gun homicide rates are pretty darn comparable to Europe’s, despite Americans’ greater access to guns.
(2) If you study the videos of the knife attacks terrorizing Israel right now, one thing stands out loud and clear: the best way to defend against a knife is with a gun.
(3) Do you know what Europeans are doing in the wake of the refugee surge and the Paris terrorist attack? They’re buying guns. Or at least they’re trying to get guns because they understand that, because they have a new, hostile element within their formerly homogeneous borders, they’re all sitting ducks.
(4) Terrorists can get guns; will make bombs; will use, planes, trains, and automobiles; will use box cutters; will use machetes and swords; and will use anything else they can get their hands on to kill and maim. Given the variables available, practical experience and common sense (not to mention those videos out of Israel) show that the best defense when you don’t know what the offense will be is to have a gun on site in a law-abiding person’s hands. If that person is willing to use the gun to defend his/her own life as well as the lives of others, as often as not the mass shooting is stopped before it starts. (I.e., Garland Texas.)
(5) For a variety of reasons, guns actually make us safer. Charles C.W. Cooke did a splendid constitutionally-based WaPo op-ed on the subject. If you want crazy, unhinged, and angry-at-the-Constitution, read some of the thousands of Progressive comments he elicited.
“#5: Historical Comparisons May Be Flawed” — Lemieux says it’s useless to compare pre-2008 to current data because the FBI redefined mass shootings in 2008 to single individuals (or sometimes more than one) who kill four or more people in a single incident, at a single location, and then redefined it again in 2013 to talk about active shooters.
Even Lemieux concedes that the FBI was correct to make the change. When a divorce goes sour and one spouse kills the other and the children (whether with knives, guns, gas, bombs, beatings, bats, etc.), that is a mass killing, and sometimes a mass shooting, but it’s a private affair and certainly not the same as the one that garners real time headlines about a “mass shooting currently taking place….”
Aside from saying that historical versus current comparisons are like comparing apples to oranges, Lemieux has nothing more to say on the subject. I’m not really sure what his point was.
“#6: Background Checks Work” — Lemieux again dreams of us being a nation without those darn restrictive gun rights. If we could just let people use guns only for government approved purposes, in government approved ways. Then we’d be safe.
Do I have to repeat what all Second Amendment advocates have pointed out? I guess I do: California has background checks every bit as restrictive as any gun-grabber could dream, yet the killers still managed to assemble an arsenal. They lied (so well that Homeland Security didn’t even notice them), they got foreign money, and they used shadow buyers. When people are determined to kill, they will find a way.
I’m done now. On to the next thing in my spindle.
Merkel may love her refugees, but not everyone in her government does
Angela Merkel has promised to take a million Muslims into Germany, and has tried to force the same number on the rest of Europe. The last month has seen the insanity that flowed from her starting to make good on her promise and her strong-arm tactics. But it turns out that there is dissension even within her own cabinet. At least one person has recognized that the incoming refugees may not prove to be ideal citizens and, indeed, are being funded as as not to be ideal citizens:
The German vice-chancellor has publicly accused Saudi Arabia of financing Islamic extremism in the West and warned that it must stop.
Sigmar Gabriel said that the Saudi regime is funding extremist mosques and communities that pose a danger to public security.
“We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Mr Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.
“Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.”
Gabriel is absolutely right, of course.
The Leftists have turned parody into reality:
When it comes to the Left’s increasingly obvious efforts to separate terrorist acts from Islam, we’re witness a trend that has been going on for way too long. This seven year old satire falls into the ’nuff said category:
Is Obama right about ISIS after all?
Obama is absolutely certain that, if we give ISIS enough rope it will hang itself. According to him, if we bomb a little here and a little there, we spend $500,000,000 training five Syrian fighters, and we demand gun control at home, ISIS will slowly vanish, leaving us in control of writing a history to commemorate our victory. Given ISIS’s spectacular rise and spread, however, this seems unlikely.
But there is one surprising person who agrees with Obama, at least insofar as he thinks ISIS is already a done deal: Daniel Pipes.
Pipes, of course, is no loosey-goosey Leftie. He’s one of the foremost writers and thinkers about Islam and Islamic terrorism. He thinks that ISIS has made too many enemies too vast, both within and outside of its territory to last:
Between its alienation of its subject population and its gratuitous and unrestrained violence toward foreign countries, ISIS has made enemies of nearly everyone. Recent days alone have seen attacks on three powerful states: Turkey (the bombing in Ankara), Russia (the airliner over Sinai), and France (the attacks in Paris). This is not a path for survival. Friendless and despised, its every success shortens its life.
To the extent Obama claims a long war, Pipes says that’s wrong; if the world powers really wanted to act, they could squash it like a bug:
ISIS is not exactly the equivalent of Nazi Germany. It’s a little bug that the powers could quash at will if they put their minds to it. It survives only because no one really takes it seriously enough to fight with ground troops, the only gauge of an intention to prevail.
Contrary to other analysts, I foresee that ISIS will disappear without warning and as abruptly as it arose. This could follow on some combination of internal revolt, internecine feuds, economic collapse, and external attack.
I hope Pipes is correct. I think differently. Now that ISIS has been invited into Europe and America, that’s good enough. ISIS fights a long war. Even if it can’t hold territory in the Middle East, it will still win if it destroys the West.
UPDATE: Apropos gun control, even the Washington Post had to concede that it’s true that more gun control would not have stopped any of the recent mass shootings in this country. We have known that for a long time, but it is something to see an establishment paper admit that truth.
Our problem isn’t guns. It’s that we have a vast, heterogeneous society that in recent years has seen a weakening of social conventions that helped prevent mass killings, an increase in the number and amount of drugs doctors prescribe for troubled young men, and a social and economic breakdown thanks to President’s policies, rhetoric, and economics.