Terrorism

Obama whispers “bang-bang” to terrorists

Featured image According to the Washington Post, weapons and ammunition are in such short supply at the centers where Iraqi army units receive training to fight ISIS that the trainees are yelling “bang-bang” instead of shooting. Last August, when President Obama announced that the U.S. would undertake a mostly proxy war against ISIS, I would have said that yelling “bang-bang” is the perfect metaphor for his anti-terrorism campaign. Today, whispering “bang-bang” is »

Domestic surveillance — we need it now more than ever

Featured image In his observations on terrorism in Belgium, John writes that electronic surveillance of some sort very likely played a role in enabling the authorities to strike before the terrorists could carry out their planned attack. John is right. But we don’t need to look to Belgium to see the critical role such surveillance plays in protecting against terrorism. Recently, authorities here in the U.S. were able to prevent an attack »

Observations On Terrorism In Belgium

Featured image Tonight in Belgium, authorities raided a number of sites to arrest terrorists who were planning, and apparently about to execute, attacks in that country. In one instance, the terrorists opened fire, with the result that two terrorists were killed and one wounded. That made headlines, but the problem is broader: Thierry Werts, a representative of the Belgian federal prosecutor, said at a news conference in Brussels on Thursday night that »

Stockholm syndrome at the Washington Post

Featured image Stockholm syndrome occurs when hostages express empathy, sympathy, and/or positive feelings about their captors, even to the point of identifying with and/or defending them. The Washington Post, whose reporter Jason Rezaian has been imprisoned in Tehran for more than five months, appears to be experiencing something resembling Stockholm syndrome. Consider this article by Carol Morello. She reports that Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has expressed concern about what he »

A word from Stephen Harper

Featured image Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a no-show at the march in Paris on Sunday, and he is taking some heat for it at home. From where we sit, however, it is a matter of profound national shame and embarrassment that the Prime Minister of Canada makes the president of the United States and his crew sound like cretins. We don’t need Prime Minister Harper to make this out by »

Defender of the faith

Featured image Like al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State and all the rest, the Paris terrorists promote the imposition of Sharia law in the name of Islam. They all understand themselves to be Muslims acting on behalf of the faith and its prophet. Yet the Obama administration makes a special point of standing up for the good name of Islam, such as it is, and refusing to credit the »

Why did Obama stay home?

Featured image Just about everyone has offered an opinion as to why President Obama stayed away from the Paris anti-terrorism rally and why he sent no top administration official. I have a theory which I’ll offer momentarily. Let me begin, though, by saying that I don’t think it’s a big deal that Obama didn’t go. The massive turnout of ordinary Parisians was important because their appearances were sincere. It’s heartening that such »

The Good, the Bad and the Crazy

Featured image Reactions to the terrorist attacks in Paris have covered a broad gamut. In the good category I put the Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who explained on Dutch television what radical Muslims who don’t want to live in a free society should do: Heh. It’s a rare moment of candor in politics. In the bad category, we have Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan, who disgraced himself with these bigoted ramblings: »

Midweek in Pictures: Special Paris Mis-Match Edition

Featured image Can’t wait until Saturday to share all of the memes piling up about Obama’s egregious decision to skip the largest political gathering in Western Europe since World War II.  I recall being in Europe in December 2008, shortly after Obama’s election, and just about every European I met was giddy over Obama.  I wonder what they think of him now.  Have they figured out that he’s just not that into »

Time for a “backlash” in Europe

Featured image It’s a familiar pattern in the U.S. and in Europe: within hours of a terrorist attacks by Islamists, the media begins fretting about an impending “backlash” against Muslims. Thus, the Washington Post informs us that “the terrorist violence [in Paris] is fueling fears of a backlash against Muslims, particuarly among France’s community of 5 million, the largest in Europe.” But what to a liberal is “backlash” may, to a more »

A Pack, Not a Lone Wolf

Featured image This post is a companion to the one immediately below. One of the ways liberal politicians and commentators have used to minimize terrorist attacks is to attribute them all to “lone wolves.” Being a lone wolf is a step below the junior varsity, apparently. In the case of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, countless media outlets rushed to give it the “lone wolf” label, even though there were at least two »

What Was Obama Thinking? A Plausible Answer

Featured image We wrote here about President Obama’s seemingly bizarre decision to stay away from the anti-terrorism rally in Paris, which was attended by more than a million people and led by more than 40 heads of state [or other high-ranking dignitaries]. This morning White House spokesman Josh Earnest fell on his sword, admitting to reporters that the administration erred by not attending the Paris unity march: “I think it’s fair to »

Is Islam “a religion of peace”?

Featured image The question has an essentialist ring to it, and thus is probably best left unasked. Indeed, I doubt it would be discussed had not two American presidents referred to Islam as a religion of peace. But Presidents Bush and Obama raised the issue and so we’re stuck with the debate. Max Boot offers a sensible perspective: Is Islam a religion of peace, as many claim, or is it a religion »

Breaking: CENTCOM Hacked

Featured image Good grief: just as Obama is giving a speech on cybersecurity to the Federal Trade Commission, the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command—CENTCOM—have been hacked and taken over by someone claiming to be ISIS: The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was hacked Monday while President Barack Obama was delivering an address about cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission. The hack, by an individual or group claiming to »

Holder’s homily

Featured image Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris yesterday. Holder had time to make the rounds of the Sunday morning gabfests, but notto join the million-plus throng marching with more than 40 heads of state from around the world somewhere outside the studio with Holder’s satellite uplink. Both the New York Post and the New York Daily News note Holder’s absence from the march. The gabfest maestros could have asked what »

Where Was Obama? (Update: Steve Answers)

Featured image Tonight in Paris, up to three million people marched to support freedom of speech and to defy Islamic terrorism. They were led by more than 40 heads of state–along with France’s President Francois Hollande, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dozens more. But no high-ranking American official attended. Barack Obama did not join his fellow leaders. Nor did he send Joe Biden, John Kerry–whose »

A Reminder from . . . Woody Allen?

Featured image It is not often that I turn to Woody Allen for practical wisdom—or any other kind of wisdom—but John Podhoretz brings to our attention a fragment of dialogue from Manhattan that fits the Charlie Hebdo aftermath just right: “Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know? We should go there, get some guys together. Get some bricks and baseball bats and explain things to ‘em.” »