It has been a very disappointing week in several quarters. Let’s review the ways:
Nationally, of course, it was immensely disappointing to see that terrorism – sometimes called workplace-violence by certain politicians – has not been eliminated, despite repeated assurances from Our Leader, Barack Obama. From the start of his presidency, Mr. Obama has stoutly maintained that it was merely our bellicose posture toward Islam and Islamic countries that made Muslims mad at us. If we talked nice and stopped acting so arrogantly, Mr. Obama declared, those followers of the Religion of Peace would sit down with us at the Table of Brotherhood, and their crazy fringe-elements would stop trying to do us harm.
During his re-election campaign last year, Mr. Obama assured us that this mission had been accomplished. Indeed, Al Qaeda had been “decimated,” since we whacked Osama bin Laden. The deadly attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya – inconveniently occurring just before the election – was brushed off as a street mob that went out of control protesting an internet video-clip which defamed the Prophet. No more worries. “What difference did it make [who killed our ambassador]?!!” shouted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at her congressional inquisitors, by way of claiming that the Libyan fiasco was simply an isolated incident on the “Arab Street.”
Yet here we are, trying to pick up the pieces after a broad-daylight attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where three people were killed and some 250+ injured – fourteen of the wounded having lost limbs due to the vicious “grape-shot” effect of nails and ball-bearings packed into IEDs that employed pressure cookers. Those who believed that The One really had “won” the War on Terror must have been truly bummed. What a drag.
Do big-haired media types pray? I don’t know, but I think something like a prayer went up from David Sirota, who wrote in Salon, “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a White American.” His convoluted “analysis” claimed that when American white guys set off bombs – e.g., Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City, 1995 – we treat them as lone wolves, while we always treat Muslims as part of an “existential threat.” We then attack their countries, leading to more bloody wars. Mr. Sirota wants no more wars – thus his wish/prayer that the Boston bomber would turn out to be a lone white guy (preferably driving a white van).
I can’t make out if Mr. Sirota thinks some kind of “racism” is at work here, but his research must have missed the fact that a prolonged investigation uncovered McVeigh’s accomplice (Terry Nichols). It did not show them as part of a larger terrorist cell. However, the Muslim terrorists of 9/11/2001 – as well as the unsuccessful “underwear bomber,” “shoe bomber” and Times Square bomber – were all found to be members of terrorist cells connected to worldwide jihadists.
“At least 53 publicly known Islamist-inspired terrorist plots against the USA have been thwarted since 9/11,” writes Jessica Zuckerman, a national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation. The public has not heard of all of these plots, but investigators are well aware of them. That knowlege is beneficial when an incident occurs. Contrary to what Mr. Sirota might think, the FBI do not treat every new plot as something never experienced before, with a pronounced institutional bias against Muslims. They know who the bad guys tend to be. This saves a lot of time in catching them.
At the end of the day, Mr. Sirota’s “wish” was both granted and denied by an ever-just Providence. The perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings of April15 were indeed two white guys – brothers, in fact, who had emigrated from Chechnya, Russia, in the 1990s. The Tsarnev boys, aged 26 and 19, had been in American schools since the late ‘90s. The older one (Tamerlan) was a boxing prospect who hoped to compete in the Olympic Games. On Marathon Day, they were recorded on security cameras, one walking behind the other, carrying identical backpacks which evidently contained the bombs. The younger man – (Dzhokhar) called Bomber #2 in FBI reports – was filmed dropping his knapsack at the site of the second explosion.
The “disappointing” aspect – at least from Mr. Sirota’s perspective – was that the two Russkie brothers are Muslims, evidently linked to Chechnyan Islamist terrorists in one of the most violent areas of the world. They were not Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopals or White Supremacists – as liberal media types are certain most latent terrorists must be. Russian security forces had warned us of Tamerlan’s possible connections with radical Muslims after his 2012 visit to Russia. In response, the FBI did nothing, although they immediately “made” him on the surveillance videos.
Both “disappointments” – as I choose to call them – derive from delusions taken to absurd lengths by both high government officials and media hucksters. By now, we are used to an exaggerated dream-world mentality among the former group, but finding it among journalists and reporters – once renowned as some of the more suspicious and cynical minds on earth – is, well… disappointing. We used to depend on those crusty characters, who wore beat-up fedoras and smoked too much, to ferret out the truth about international actors – bad or otherwise. But that time is past. Drinking the delusional political “kool-aid” - not bourbon neat - is the new normal for reporters.
This is not to say that feds dwelling in fantasyland in matters of state – particularly foreign affairs – is tolerable or acceptable. It is no such thing, for it can cause immense harm to a nation. In the late 1930s, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain based his foreign policy on the fantastic notion that German Chancellor Adolph Hitler was a man of honor who would keep his word. After meeting Hitler’s “final European demand” by giving him the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland at the 1938 Munich Peace Conference, Mr. Chamberlain returned home in triumph. Holding aloft the paper which spelled out the Munich accords, he memorably declared that it meant “peace in our time.”
But very little time, as it turned out. For the betrayed Czechs, “peace” lasted just five months. Hitler absorbed them into the Reich in March 1939, when he seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. Of course that trashed the Munich treaty. “That man lied to me,” Mr. Chamberlain bitterly remarked, but the realization came too late. The damage was done, with much more to come. In another five months Britain was locked in a desperate death-struggle with Der Fuehrer and his legions. With Winston Churchill at the helm, Britain ultimately fought to victory over the Axis, but the Empire was lost, the country was financially crippled, and things would never be the same again. Delusion-based foreign policy came at a high price. To Mr. Chamberlain, and no doubt to most Englanders, the result was very disappointing.
In our own case, the disappointments have only begun to appear as a result of Mr.Obama’s delusion-based foreign policy. He has not yet admitted that the war on terror is not over, and is certainly not won. Al Qaeda is not “decimated.” Worldwide Islamist terrorism is probably more active than ever – indeed, its strength appears to be growing. Islam is not a Religion of Peace. Student-visas should be more carefully examined; indeed, our entire immigrant-admission policy needs a thorough review.
Much overlooked in the frenzy of reportage and analysis of the Boston attacks is the fact that our twelve-year record of success against the fifty-three previous attack-plots was accompanied by vigorous interdiction of the enemy on his own ground in the Middle East. Mr. Obama has made a big deal of winding down our armed presence in those places, greatly pleasing his leftist base. But is it a coincidence that the first successful terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11/2001 has occurred during the “breathing space” we have given to the enemy in his homelands?
Media types who were wearing rubber britches in the 1970s are fond of mentioning the “lessons of Vietnam.” One of them – as any experienced soldier will affirm – is that you cannot expect to defeat an enemy without interdicting his armed forces and his supplies in his own country. Our failure to do this to North Vietnam led to their ultimate triumph. We got tired of fighting, and they simply outlasted us. If we don’t look out, Islam’s Jihadists will do the same.