The Terror Blame Game

May 4, 2010

I haven’t written anything about the attempted bombing in Times Square because I’ve been waiting for more information. The story hits close to home because my niece was standing at that exact location less than an hour before the car bomb was discovered. The mind reels to think that 45 minutes and a competent bomber are all that separated me from grieving over a lost loved one.

When the incident was first reported, I had the suspicion that this was probably a lone wolf, maybe even the Bicycle Bomber who left a bomb at the Army Recruiting station in Times Square a few years back. None of this seemed to be the kind of big statement al-Qaeda favors: no airplanes, no synchronized bombs, no mass transit. But I kept my suspicions to myself because I wanted to learn more, and while I suspected something closer to home I never doubted for a second that there was a great chance this was Islamic terrorism.

It’s too bad that others didn’t hold their tongues. Within hours, the blame game for the incident had begun and most of the talk concentrated on the idea of a homegrown terrorist. Probably a dastardly conservative.

New York Mayor-for-Life Michael Bloomberg suggested to Katie Couric that the person responsible “doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” The leftwing blog Crooks and Liars openly wondered whether the would-be bomber was a fan of Glenn Beck and was downright disappointed that this scenario didn’t pan out. Janet Napolitano, the Director of Homeland Security, appeared on the Sunday morning news shows and stressed that this was a “one-off” and “amateurish.” MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer was really “frustrated” that the bomber was Islamic because Islamic terror provides a smokescreen to all those mad conservative bombers. A CNN anchor brushes right up against pinning the blame for this on the “heartache” of foreclosure.

We saw a similar pattern with the Fort Hood shootings, when any ties to Islamic radicalism were downplayed. We saw it again on Christmas of last year, when the Underwear Bomber was whisked away and read his rights while Napolitano assured everyone that “the system worked.”

The system didn’t work, Janet. We got lucky on Christmas, and we got lucky in Times Square. So unbelievably lucky.

The system in which Napolitano puts so much faith seems determined to find mad bombers at Tea Parties, watching Glenn Beck, and listening to Rush Limbaugh. They are so out of touch that they seem to genuinely believe that people who are in favor of limited, smaller government are radicals. It is as if the very notion of strict adherence to the Constitution is somehow a leading indicator of psychopathic behavior.

Meanwhile almost every time the Left gets together for a party we end up with smashed windows, violence, and tear gas.

But my intention here is not to smear liberals as being lovers of violence or anything of the sort. The violence at these and other Left wing demonstrations usually comes from the anarchists and Communists, not the people who believe in a larger role for American government. I only bring it up to highlight the hypocrisy of those on the Left, like Bloomberg, Napolitano, and Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars who are out slaying imaginary dragons and feeling really good about it while real life monsters are packing SUVs with gas cans, propane tanks, and fireworks.

There is a war going on, despite the Obama Administration’s claims to the contrary, and even if some Tea Party activist with a few screws loose blows himself up in Times Square that doesn’t change the equation. The overwhelming terrorist threat to this country comes from Islamic radicalism. Pretending otherwise, or even hoping otherwise, is foolish and dangerous.

Michelle Malkin has lots more information on the arrest of Faisal Shahzad and Hot Air has lots of great content here and here.

The Fruit Of The Boom

January 4, 2010

A few days ago over at The Corner, Jonah Goldberg posted a simple blog post titled “Fire Napolitano.” He’s right, of course. Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano has been singularly unqualified for her office from the beginning. Michelle Malkin has an excellent post on Napolitano’s year-long record of idiocy and incompetence.

The new outcry for Napolitano’s head is because of her insistence that the “system worked” because a plane didn’t explode on Christmas day (she later retracted the statement when she found out that people were paying attention). The fact that Homeland Security had nothing to do with stopping the bombing, and that the very fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was allowed to board a plane in the first place demonstrates a clear failing of the system is lost on Napolitano. From her insistence that acts of terrorism be officially referred to as “man-caused disasters” to her smearing of conservatives and returning veterans as potential terrorists down to this asinine insistence that the system operated as expected on Christmas Day, Napolitano has demonstrated time and again that she is simply over her head. Homeland Security is not the department for political buffoonery, and Napolitano’s continued position as the head of that department can not help but reflect a lack of seriousness on Barack Obama’s part when it comes to protecting the nation.

But there is also a larger truth here, which is that the War on Terror has been infected with the poison of politics since September 12, 2001. While George Bush was right in prosecuting the war, there have been too many concessions in the name of political correctness.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab apparently had his bomb sewn into his underwear, in a style similar to Richard Reid’s shoe bomb. Because of Reid, all passengers boarding planes are required to take their shoes off. Because of a thwarted bombing plot a few summers ago in London, we can now no longer carry more than three ounces of liquids, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, colognes, etc. One wonders whether people will now be expected to drop their pants or lift their skirts in the aftermath of the attempted Christmas bombing. The usual suspects in Congress are already talking about how we need to make more widespread use of the X-ray machines that see right through your clothes and display your naked body on a screen for the security people at the airport to peruse. Arlen Spector was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace suggesting that passengers all be frisked with a simple pat down.

Again, this is idiocy borne of the simple refusal to publicly acknowledge what we all know to be true: the terrorists are dark-skinned Muslim men, single, in their 20s and 30s, and traveling alone. Instead of doing the rational thing and casting more suspicion on those who fit the profile, we are insisting that little old ladies and young children be inconvenienced in the name of almighty political correctness.

Will this approach inconvenience some perfectly well-intentioned, law-abiding Muslims? Yes, it will. They should deal with it, and save their anger for those jihadists who brought this down on their heads.

The fact is that profiling was a commonsense tool used by police until someone thought to attach the word “racial” to the technique, and brought politics and heated issues of race to the mix. But racial profiling goes on all the time. Ask any cop in Harlem 30 years ago if they were on the lookout for white drivers at certain street corners and after a certain time of night.

The current school of thought is that when bad people do bad things, everyone needs to be held under suspicion so that we don’t single out any particular group or ethnicity. Because of this latest attempted attack, airlines are now forbidding people to use the plane bathroom with less than an hour to go in the flight, and are also forbidding people to cover themselves with blankets during that final hour. One can’t help but wonder what the result will be if one of these dark-skinned, Muslim men, between the ages of 20 and 40, traveling alone, manages to insert a pound of C4 into his rectum. We’ll all be submitting to cavity searches so that we can continue to feel really good about not profiling potential terrorists.

And that’s the really dirty secret of the whole charade: we are refusing to use commonsense profiling techniques so that we can prove to ourselves that we are not racist, and that everyone has the same equal chance of being a terrorist. We’d rather feel good about ourselves than protect national security.

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