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The Latest Round of Terrorism and the Race

The past weekend was another bloody one in radical Islam’s ongoing war against America and the rest of the western world, with three more apparent terrorist attacks occurring in a St. Cloud, Minnesota, shopping mall, along a charity foot race route in New Jersey, and in the fashionable Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. No one was killed but dozens were seriously injured, and although one suspect has been arrested in both the New Jersey and New York incidents there’s not yet any link to the Minneapolis attacks and no definitive evidence that any of it is tied to international groups, but it’s all the scarier to contemplate that these sorts of things are just popping up spontaneously.
The Islamic State, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant or if you prefer to use the ISIS and ISIL initials that omit the word “Islamic,” has claimed credit for the guy dressed in a security guard’s garb who started attacking unsuspecting shoppers at the Minneapolis mall and stabbed nine people before being killed by an armed off-duty police officer who luckily happened to be shopping there. That guy was named Dahir Adan, a member of the greater Minneapolis area’s large Somali-American population that was relocated there from their war torn land, and while it’s not yet clear if the Islamic State or whatever initials you want to call it are merely trying to take credit it does seem clear that he was sympathetic to their Islamic supremacist views. Meanwhile the guy being accused of setting off those pressure-cooker bombs in New Jersey and New York is named Ahmad Khan Ramani, a naturalized American citizen born in Afghanistan, and although no one is currently claiming any credit for his atrocities his friends are telling the press that he’s been noticeably more religious since a trip to his ancestral homeland. Even the most polite of those press seemed to acknowledge that radical Islam and its ongoing war against America and the rest of the west might well have had something to do with it.
All of which, of course, leads us to the more pressing matter of presidential politics.
While the stereotypically Democratic governor of Minnesota went into the usual recitations about Islam being a religion of peace, and the Democratic governor of New York and the Republican governor of New Jersey were being just slightly more frank, and the administration of Democratic President Barack Barack Obama was emphasizing how there’s yet not definitive link to any broader plots, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was at least calling for “tough vetting” of immigrants from lands where the more radical sort of Islam prevails. Such cynical sorts as ourselves note traces of her former president husband’s successful “triangulation” strategy of taking a slightly less extreme version of the Republican nominee’s more popular stands, in this case Republican nominee Donald J. Trump’s policy of “extreme vetting,” and of course she added the stereotypical Democratic asides about blaming Islam per se for the more radical interpretations of the faith, but we glumly suspect that some portion of the voting public will find it an acceptable balance.
Meanwhile the Republican nominee was taking a much tougher approach, telling his friends on the Fox News Network’s “Fox and Friends” that “We’re going to do something extremely tough over there, like knock the hell out of them. And we have to get everybody together and we have to lead them to a change because we’re not knocking them, we’re hitting them every once in a while, we’re hitting them in certain places, we’re being very gentle about it, we’re going to have to be very tough.” Which we suspect some portion of the voting public will find very reassuring, but such cynical sorts as ourselves wonder how knocking them over there will affect what’s happening so frequently here, and how it squares with the more placidly isolationist policies that he has advocated for elsewhere in all this mess, and whether either of them mean a word of it.
Before the wounds of the weekend’s victims were even treated, the Republican nominee was was once again congratulating himself for having “called it” and the Democratic nominee was alleging that the difference between “tough vetting” and “extreme vetting” was fueling Islamic radicalism, and both were making claims about the other that some portion of the public will likely find persuasive. Such cynical sorts as ourselves took a day to say a prayer for those victims, and offer a plea that America somehow and for some reason still enjoy God’s blessings.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. Bud writes: “No one was killed but dozens were seriously injured, and although one suspect has been arrested in both the New Jersey and New York incidents there’s not yet any link to the Minneapolis attacks and no definitive evidence that any of it is tied to international groups, but it’s all the scarier to contemplate that these sorts of things are just popping up spontaneously.”

    Strange. When I first heard about a man slashing multiple shoppers in a Minneapolis mall and a bomb going off in New York and more bombs found in New Jersey my first thought was that the thing that these events had in common was that they were probably terrorist attacks by Muslims rather than disaffected Anglicans. The odds were good that one or both would be named Mohammad. But I was wrong; neither of the perps was named Mohammad. As for the rest I was right. Does that make me a racist? Or does that mean I can connect the dots that tell me that Muslims in our midst have been attacking Americans using knives, axes, guns and bombs and that when the news of a new attack of mass violence hits the airwaves we immediately understand that there’s a pattern here.

    Garden variety Americans are pretty good at murder and mayhem. The black residents of Chicago have been killing each other in record numbers this year. Ditto for residents of Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Los Angeles and other urban areas that have been run by Democrats for decades. Glenn Reynolds has been asking why Democrat run cities are such cesspools of crime and corruption. But I digress.

    People are shot or stabbed every day for any number of reasons: robbery, jealousy, a drug deal gone bad, gang violence. But when we hear about these events our antenna don’t go up. Except for attacks on police by Black Lives Matter partisans these are not ideological crimes.

    The attacks by the followers of the Religion of Peace – those peaceful Muslims we hear so much about; the ones who the press and the politicians tell as the real victims of these attacks – stand out; they have a similarity. They are similar in this respect: they are random; the victims are unknown to the attacker. They have none of the motives that the garden variety criminals have. They are attacks of ideology. They can only be understood as the work of fanatics and their purpose is terror and death.

    If you, like Bud, don’t find any link between the terror attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minneapolis you have not been paying attention, or you are blinded by your ideology. You don’t want to understand because understanding means that you have to deal with the fact that there are a few million people in this country who, for religious reason, can go on a killing spree and you don’t want to have to think about that. You don’t want to have to think of ways that will prevent the next attack because it will upset your preconceptions. You can take comfort that the odds of your being killed in the next attack are low. And – to paraphrase Hillary – what difference at this point are a few more or less of your neighbors in the grand scheme of things. So you tell yourself that doing something effective means – in the words of Barack Obama and his friend Paul Ryan – “that’s not who we are.” So you turn your head and pretend not to see the links.

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