No room for politics in defeating terrorism

Is the problem with the San Bernadino massacre anger in the workplace and gun control?

David Friedman,

David Friedman
David Friedman
Credit: INN:DF

No well-meaning person was unaffected by Wednesday’s horrific attack in San Bernardino, California. Whatever one’s political leanings, the sudden and tragic loss of 14 innocent lives, and the serious injury visited upon many more, was heartbreaking and unspeakably cruel.

As that sad day wore on and every media outlet covered nothing else throughout the night, I couldn’t help but be struck by the manipulation of events by some authorities to forestall what should have been an obvious conclusion that terrorism was at hand – not because of the killer’s ethnicity but because of the nature of the attack itself -- and by left-wing commentators in their efforts to fit this crime into an appropriate box consistent with their political views. 

For starters, the timing of the revelation of the name of Syed Farook as the primary attacker says a lot. His name was well known to all reporters within an hour of the attack – it was heard over a police band radio and immediately reported by a Jewish news organization.  And, notwithstanding the local police chief professing, in an early news conference, his lack of knowledge regarding the identity of the killer, he simultaneously revealed that a raid was under way on the killer’s house – he didn’t know the killer’s name but knew where he lived?

So the release of the name obviously was intentionally delayed. Out of a purported need for “sensitivity” on account of the “Middle Eastern” identity of the killer, Fox News didn’t reveal his name until about 6 hours after the attack. About three hours later, CNN announced “breaking news” and provided the identity. MSNBC took even more time.

However, not all parties were kept in the dark about who was the killer. As a result of the intentional delay in the identification of Syed Farook, CAIR (the Council on American–Islamic Relations) – previously cited by Federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land illegal charity case in which tax-deductible contributions were illegally funneled to the terrorist organization Hamas – was able to use inside information to its advantage. CAIR went out ahead of the news and organized a press conference defending the peaceful nature of Islam that included an Imam, a Christian Minister, and the brother-in-law of the killer! Why CAIR was informed of the name of the killer ahead of the public in order to organize a self-serving news conference is, to say the very least, disturbing.


Am I the only one that thinks it is crazy for our leaders to be more concerned about the “sensitivities” of killers and their co-religionists than about the scores of innocent victims and their families, as well as a nation justifiably fearful of the next attack?
As the investigation continued on that sad Wednesday, the police discovered multiple bombs placed around the Health Center designed to detonate by remote control. Later that night, the raid on the Farook home revealed all kinds of terrorist paraphernalia, as well as contacts between Farook and a known terrorist.

President Obama took the lead on the messaging and used the opportunity, not to denounce terrorism, but rather to lobby for greater gun control. Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, the President chose to press a debatable and immediately irrelevant point – arguing without support that gun restrictions will make guns less available to bad people rather than simply denying their access to law-abiding good people – while ignoring the immediate crisis that threatens the homeland. Left-wing media pundits also made sure to advance the inane point that just because the killer is a Muslim doesn’t mean the attack was terrorism – as if anyone has ever said that all criminal behavior by Muslims is always terrorism.        

Am I the only one that thinks it is crazy for our leaders to be more concerned about the “sensitivities” of killers and their co-religionists than about the scores of innocent victims and their families, as well as a nation justifiably fearful of the next attack? The FBI’s equivocation about whether this was a terrorist act  (an instruction undoubtedly emanating from the commander-in-chief) should give us all real concern about whether this event is a domestic Benghazi – a desperate attempt to avoid an unpleasant political narrative for the Democratic party – and whether this approach compromises our safety. Is Obama really willing for the investigation to go wherever the facts lead?

The hemming and hawing about the difference between terrorism and workplace violence among our leadership and the left-wing media frankly is maddening. If Syed Farook murdered his co-workers because they insulted him, so what? The issue is not that there may have been a non-political stimulus for this heinous act. The issue is that after being insulted, he and his wife immediately proceeded to execute a detailed plan of attack with highly sophisticated weapons and bombs that were stored in their home -- stored along with other dangerous weapons undoubtedly readied for a subsequent attack as well as evidence of a relationship with other bad actors. That’s a terrorist act, and it would be so regardless of the killer’s ethnicity.

Again, we all know that there are non-Muslim terrorists and that a crime committed by a Muslim may just be a crime and nothing more. But we now seem to be evolving into a completely bizarre parallel universe where we need greater proof to label an act committed by a Muslim to be that of a terrorist than anyone else.   

The increasing tendency among leftists to narrow the definition of terrorism to relate only to entirely undifferentiated violence should concern us all. First, Kerry distinguished between the “Charlie Hebdo” attack – directed largely at Jews – and the larger attack on the Bataclan, noting how the latter was worse because there was less of a rationale for the offense. Then, the Foreign Minister of France advanced a similar argument, noting how terrorism in France had advanced from attacks against Jews to attacks against “ordinary citizens.” Now, here in the United States, we have liberals advancing the thesis that you can’t be a terrorist if you’re mad at the person you’ve killed. Oy vey.     

If we can’t all stand with one voice and identify this mass killing as a terrorist act, and if we choose instead to obsess over gun control and avoiding hurt feelings, God help us all.         




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