The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘al-Qaeda’


One day after shuttering our embassies, there is more media talk about the threat from al-Qaeda.  It’s not hard to find stories about the latest techniques these maniacs are cooking up – including a new type of liquid bomb that can be applied to clothing and is undetectable when dry.  I assume that it is activated through a process of self-immolation.  I don’t think I’ll volunteer to work in that test lab.

It’s hard for me to identify with the mindset of anyone who thinks that killing is a good thing – and the more the better.  It’s a concept that is totally alien to me and to my experience and yours as well, I suspect.  So it’s hard to put myself in the sandals of someone who thinks that way.  But if we are to try to anticipate what the jihadists may be planning – I believe that is exactly what we must do – try to think as they do.

While we might find their motivations incomprehensible, just because they’re crazy doesn’t mean that they have to be stupid as well.  The amount of co-ordination that went into the 9/11/01 attack suggest that we should not dismiss them as being unable to carry out a complex plan.

Given the assumption that al-Qaeda operatives may be insane but smart, one has to wonder at the gross stupidity they exhibit in their means of communicating with each other.  Even before the extent of NSA spying on Americans was disclosed, it should have been apparent to al-Qaeda that the U.S. and allies have probably been actively nosing into their affairs for at least a decade.  That would include written and telephone communications.

Given my premise that these deranged war-mongers aren’t stupid – why would they take the risk of communicating so much information in the way of purported “targets” for this “very big operation?”  That simply makes no sense to me.  It’s as illogical as if the Allies had sent Hitler a message letting him know when and where they were planning to launch D-Day.

Maybe there is no major operation underway and they’re just having a little fun at our expense.  That might be one twisted explanation.

Or perhaps there is a big operation under way – and the information that they are putting out is intended to distract us from their actual targets.

Of course, there is a third possibility.  Given President Obama’s repeated statements during the 2012 campaign, “ Osama bin Laden is dead – al-Qaeda’s on the run,” perhaps they just don’t have a lot of respect for the American President or his understanding of how they operate and feel emboldened by his ignorance.

That third possibility might be the most disturbing of all.


Below is the Monday 8/05/13, 8:41 a.m. PDT listing of Yahoo News’ ten biggest trending stories:

1 Sally Struthers

2 Tiffani Thiessen

3 Death row inmate hanged

4 Maui shark attack

5 Dancing With the Stars

6 A-Rod suspension

7 Tawana Brawley hoax

8 Game of Thrones

9 Powerball

10 Al-Qaida threat

The individual who reads Yahoo News may not be your typical American – but then again he or she may well be.  If that is the case, it is interesting that probably that only story that has major significance – the “Al-Qaida threat” ranks only in the tenth position of what people consider to be important.  However, should these terrorists actually carry out some kind of attack (which we all certainly pray will not happen), I guarantee that story would be in first place on the list.

This is unfortunately a vivid explanation of our national disease – complacency.  We are long accustomed to feeling safe and secure and approach life in a reactive, rather than a proactive way.  It takes something like 9/11/01 to remind us that we are not immune to the dangers that exist in this world.

Most of us have yet to realize that America and all of Western Civilization is involved in a war.  It is a war against terror carried out by jihadists who believe imposing their personal beliefs on all humanity is not only justified – it is required by their god.  There is no act that is too brutal which they may employ to achieve their goal.  There is no person who is so sacrosanct that he may not be sacrificed to the cause.

Jihadi terrorism is the ultimate expression of “the end justifying the means”.  And it is time that we wake up to that.  It is time that we stopped accommodating those who invited themselves to live in the west and don’t care for the rules which exist here.

If they don’t like living in countries with Judaeo-Christian values, we do not seek to impose them on them and their religious sensitivities.  Our borders were open to them to come here – and they are open for them to leave.  I, for one, wish them a safe trip home and a good life when they get there.

America may be a sleeping giant.  We may be snoring as the gnats and mosquitoes take a bite here and draw a little blood there.  We may swat at these annoyances and continue in our reverie.

But at some point there will be enough bites and stings to awaken us.  And when that happens, beware.  The giant can be awful nasty when he is aroused to anger.


My friend NEO published a piece which deals with a subject on which I had intended to write.  Since he did so, I would refer you to his post as he did an excellent job as always of giving details on the subject of closing our embassies this Sunday because of “fear of al-Qaeda” malevolence”.

We are, through the month of August under a “high security watch”.  Those of us who remember back to September 11, 2001 will recall how the threat level was indicated by a barometer of varying colors.  We took those indications seriously after the events of that fateful day.

The warning coming from our government is that people who are travelling – especially to the Middle East should take extra precautions.  I would imagine that anyone who had business in the Middle East, which is perhaps the world’s most volatile powder keg, probably already knew to do that.

Together with the traveler’s advisory and the announcement of the closing of a number of our embassies was the statement that “due to NSA electronic surveillance, thirteen potential ‘situations” had been diffused before terrorists could carry them out.”

Perhaps this will sound a bit like paranoia – a mindset I try to avoid – but I find that statement less consoling than I do self-serving.  It is, of course, hard for anyone to prove or disprove that thirteen separate incidents did not occur for any specific reason – electronic surveillance or otherwise.

It’s hard for me not to wonder that if NSA surveillance is so effective, why did we have the tragedy at the Boston Marathon?  And it’s hard for me not to ask the question, is the recent threat warning and the embassy closing really due to any actual threats (real or imagined) – or is this just a dog and pony show to diffuse the rising anger coming from the American people about the surveillance which our government has unconstitutionally engaged in on all of us?

Perhaps that sounds like paranoia to you.  If the NSA scandal were unique – I might question my point of view myself – as I often do.  But as we all know, the NSA is merely the latest in a litany of scandals in which the administration has voluntarily embroiled itself.

But for a moment, and merely for the sake of discussion, let’s take the recent advisory at face value.  The question that we need to ask is, “Is the closing of our embassies the right response?”

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life it is that evil exists.   Closing our eyes to it and attempting to hide from it merely strengthen its resolve to destroy us, taking our “prudent” retreat as a sign of weakness.  In order to destroy evil we must, as much as we would like to avoid doing so, confront it.  This is a principle known as moral courage.  That is a principle that has been a pillar of American action throughout our history.

We may try to placate evil (in this case terrorism), but like the greedy blackmailer who has received his demanded ransom, he now comes back and asks for more.  And he will never stop asking until we stop allowing him to suck us dry.

There is little argument that the terrorists of whom I speak, share a common bond.  That bond is Islam – or what we politely call “radical” Islam.  Is there another version?  Like the blackmailer, Islam treats all who are not believers as though they are second-class people and tolerates their presence only if they pay a special “tax”.  If that isn’t blackmail, perhaps I need to get a better understanding of what is.

And we in America, like most of our friends in Europe have gone along with paying this tax – but we call it “accommodation”.  Take a look at Europe to see how well that strategy has worked.  The recent outbursts in France, the beheading of a soldier in the UK, the list goes on ad nauseam.

You can only deal reasonably with people who are themselves reasonable.  Terrorists are, virtually by definition, not members of that group.  And so it is high time that we stopped dealing with them as though they were.  It is high time that we stopped making excuses for those who have no good will toward us and treat them as the evil enemy that they are.  When reason and logic fail, we need to exert the considerable force that we have to make our statement clear.

The closing of our embassies makes exactly the opposite statement and only serves to further empower this evil.  It can smell weakness, lack of resolve and the abandonment of moral principles.  These are the pheromones it uses to  track down its prey.  And we are that prey.

We know what happened to the first two little pigs when the Big Bad Wolf came to their homes.  They sought shelter with their brother in his well-built house, believing they were safe and secure that all the wolf’s huffing and puffing could not blow it down.

But unlike the third little pig who slammed the door in the wolf’s face, our wolf has already entered our home through the back door and is contemplating his next meal.

The message we should be sending is a simple one.

“We are open for business as usual.  Be advised that we are armed, dangerous and ready to apply deadly force if you provoke us to do so.  Enter at your own risk.”

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