Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Foreign Affairs

On the Terrorist Attack

First, they shouldn't be calling it an "attempted" act of terrorism.  By affecting our behavior for the worse the mere attempt to down an airliner is an act of terrorism.   Our current feckless leadership is exemplified not only by DHS Secretary (and prospective Supreme Court nominee) Napolitano but also by Attorney General Holder's boilerplate statement in his press release on the episode (with my comments in brackets):

"This alleged attack [alleged only if you think the real attack might have been gastritis] on a U.S. airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "Had this alleged plot to destroy an airplane been successful, scores of innocent people would have been killed or injured. We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously, and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice [and given an opportunity to denounce America in a U.S. court, should his attack fail]."

Holder's boilerplate statement looks preposterous in light of his decision to try various Guantanamo detainees.  One reason the "panty bomber" (Mark Steyn) waited until landing to set off his device was to assault Americans on American soil.  He must also have been counting on a backup plan of addressing a U.S. court.  Should that turn out to be a motive, Holder should certainly offer his resignation.   

Victor Davis Hanson and his NRO colleagues have more.  Let gratitude be felt for the allegedly quick-acting passengers on the Detroit flight--though maybe, according to the jurisprudence of the day, they should be charged with assault instead.

Categories > Foreign Affairs

Discussions - 45 Comments

What a perfect Christmas Day gift for the right-wing extremists. Stay Scared, Hate Muslims, and Love Perpetual War!

Yeah Craig you should get in touch with your terrorist friends and tell them they need to work on their timing.

Who's scared?

Craig, listen to the Muslim radicals and not so radicals and tell me again that it is the right-wing of America that are the "haters".

We have collectively known for a long time that Islam as practiced in the Middle East and exported to many parts of the world is nothing but pure hate.

Our liberal Hollywood elite have recognized it for years, but have downplayed it as something that can't happen ever here. See movies such as Cannonball Run, with Jamie Farr playing a Saudi sheik who proclaims the downfall of the infidel West and the overtaking of the world by Islam. Even in True Lies Hollywood recognized the growing Islamic war against the West and Christians. The problem, though, is that even though we have known the reality, many such as Craig refuse to come to terms with it and, instead, project the hate upon the liberal political enemy ... the right wing of America.

Is that all you are, Craig, a crass ideologue willingly blindfolding himself to the reality of the world?

I don't like fundamentalists of any stripe. Yes, there are some (too man) Muslims who are "haters" but there are also at least as many (percentage-wise) Christian warrior "haters" who are, in many ways, an equally fundamentalist mirror image of the foreign Others. Bringing to life the idea that terrorism is war by other means, the nutjobs from countries that won't - and couldn't - declare war on the USA, find other ways to engage in their holy wars (ours operate drones from windowless rooms in Nevada)...

It occured to me that it was odd that our government had extra security measures ready just hours after this story broke. I would think they would have put them in place beforehand since they were obviously worked out.
I am also curious as to how this man got on the plane without a passport and who the sharply dressed handler who witnesses report got him on the plane was. The story really sounds to me like a drill turned real without the bomber knowing till it went off in his pants (pun not intended, but feel free to laugh).
I'll be afraid of Muslim Extremists when they start garnishing my earnings and telling me that my exhaling of CO2 is killing the planet.

Speaking of windowless rooms, Craig, haven't you droned on enough about the view you enjoy from yours?

I suspect he waited till the landing phase of the flight for his self detonation to utilize the falling embers and parts to effect still more trauma on the ground.

The main difference between the Islamic jihadists and any comparable Christian sect is the same as the comparison between, say, Somali pirates boarding a cargo ship and stowaways on an ocean liner. The one is using the vessel as a free mode of transportation and the other means to overtake the ship and turn it towards it own ends. And it is precisely those different ends that describe the threat of the jihadists that is absent in any other religion. Fundamentalism is not the enemy. The jihadists aren't fundamentalists except in their desire to destroy what they do not control.

Michelle, have you considered a career in stand-up comedy... in the cafeteria at The Heritage Foundation?

To Craig Scanlon: Just in case there is any doubt in your mind about the little regard I have for your wit, your first comment especially reminded me how much I regret that fools have so much time to bore the rest of us.

And what exactly constitutes a fundamentalist, O, man without chest?

fjvnCraig, you are really getting beat up here and in this case I think you deserve it. Really, are you capable of looking at attempted mass murder and not thinking first about how this benefits your domestic political opponents - not enemies, opponents? Don't you think there is something twisted about then reaffirming your dislike of all "fundamentalists" - without differentiating between people who want to blow you up and the ones who pray outside of abortion clinics?

Is there some kind of partisan and ideological sickness at work when you learn of an attempted Al Qaeda and your first thought is to turn your venom on conservatives and Christians?

The fjvn is just a captha thing. My bad.

Thank you for using the term Muslim fundamentalist, extremist, or jihadist. The MSM is completely dancing around it ~ he's a foreign national, a possible member of al-Qaeda, and everything else but the greatest threat to the West in the form of Muslim jihadists who want to tear down American and western civilization in their nihilistic violence. American citizens have shown once again that they're not putting up with this anymore. They don't hate Muslims or love perpetual war, but they hate Islamic jihadists who are trying to kill innocents and defending themselves. Scalon, I try to make it a policy not to impugn the patriotism of lefties because it's generally a very unfair accusation, but you're making it very hard. Which side are you on, man?

Tony, I'm on the side opposed that's opposed to the Islamic jihadists AND the Perpetual War Fundamentalists who see an endless chain of bombings and invasions as the solution to every problem. It's like there are 2 clinically insane guys in the mental hospital, fighting over an imaginary pack of cigarettes, and I'm being asked to pick a side. They're both crazy. So I don't accept the bogus terms, that there are only 2 sides.

Pete, your distinction between the Jihadists and the abortion protestors is not so great. It's hardly unfathomable that one of the protestors would be packing explosives or a gun, a "wanted" list from the internet, and a Messiah complex to start doing God's work with some killing. It's also amusing that you mention political opportunism, as though the Right isn't using this botched/interrupted attack as the cheapest imaginable fodder against Obama.

PWS, I've not given a moment's thought to what you think of my wit, or whether I amuse you or bore you. I suppose if it were my goal to entertain the denizens of this particular blog, I would only need to post some links to Youtube vids of me grilling meat in a blizzard or the like...

Anyway, the fact remains that any one of us could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning.

http://griperblade.blogspot.com/2009/12/republican-stupidity-hits-new-lows.html

Craig, it is more your hatefulness and partisanship that is not so great. When confronted with the reality of an attempted mass murder, and one that seems to be part of a conspiracy, you pivot from the reality of those who would clearly love to kill you in order to fantasize about how a group of peaceful protestors might include someone who might engage in violence. So much effort in order to keep your hate focused upon those social groups you feel comfortable despising. And I did not suggest that you were engaged in political opportunism. I think you are being sincere. I really do think that partisanship, ideology, and resentment have damaged your ability to think clearly.

"any one of us could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning."

The chances of someone in the continental United States being killed in a Japanese attack between 1941 and 1945 were considerably less than that. Should we have therefore not gone to war with Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor?

John Moser, one would be opposed to both the bombers of Pearl Harbor and those lunatics who would respond to those bombing with invasion and more bombings.

And for those fundamentalist politicians who would announce a major military operation with :

"And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God."

Don't even get me started about freaks like that. They are almost as bad as those peaceful abortion protestors.

It really is quite shameful; I am agreed with Pete. I'm willing to bet that this reductivism actually does not translate itself into real life terms -- all "stripes" of fundamentalism are not in fact equally detestable to you; I'm sure that you do not get on pro-jihadist message boards with the end of pestering hardline Muslims. And that points to one or two things: a warped moral compass, or a disdain for those who would, as many have pointed out, take his own side in matters of life and death -- among others -- or both.

And your understanding of the "enemy" is not even nuanced. Very few Christians believe that the Middle East should be turned into a sand factory. "AH!," you might say, "but so too, few Muslims believe in decimating the infidels." But then, I offer you to show me the proof in the pudding -- show me the numbers, as so many liberals are wont to bow to statistics.

BTW, the writer(s) on that site you link to (the one with the bizarre probability "statistics") might want to revisit undergraduate math. Because getting struck by lighting is 20x more likely than enduring a terrorist attack, it does not follow that one would have to get struck by lightning 20x to reach the same level of probability .

Such analysis is shorn of any moral-political context, as if getting struck by lightning is as tragic as being killed brutally by a terrorist. We are lucky that Obama does not share the same pathology.

Well Dr. Moser, of course we shouldn't have! Are you not aware of the latest revisionist history that claims - nay, verifies - that WWII was avoidable? (As was the Civil War???)

Craig, I think the problem is that you did not express any moral outrage over a guy that tried to blow up a plane with more than 200 people in it - people of all stripes with kids and other loved ones. You have a knee-jerk reaction to name-call any who express outrage as "right-wing extremists" and try to throw in a "Heritage Foundation" slur. You try and make a moral equivalency argument with Christians to excuse the mass murder done by terrorists. You throw in a little post-modern language of hatred of the "Other" by the West as if that's a universal truth. Probably worst of all, you basically call the U.S. armed forces terrorists while excusing the terrorists for "waging war by other means." What is any moderate American who wants to live safely and in peace to make of your comments? Do you really think they are middle-of-the-road, reasonable comments? Take an honest look at what you've written. By the way, the only reason why we're fighting a perpetual war on terrorism (or used to when it was called that) was that we innocent civilians keep trying to live our lives while we are continually threatened with death by those who would destroy innocent life. Look past your ideology for a second and screw your head on right and look at the facts.

It's really amazing just how much people here insist on some sort of ritualized declaration of hate, something beyond etiquette and protocol. My sin, or at least a big part of it, is that I "did not express any moral outrage." I said "I do not like fundamentalists of any stripe" but apparently that's not good enough. I've got to hate! Do I feel moral outrage towards this guy? Well, duh. Combined with some sort of pity (much like I do the pathetic Christian holy warriors) for his apparent abysmal incompetence [the passengers are lucky he didn't think to use the bathroom!]. Has anyone ever read a thing about how, for example, the Air Force Academy in Colorado has been thoroughly soaked in evangelical Christian fundamentalism, how so many cadets are chomping at the bit to do the Lord's work? Or recall, for instance, how Mr. Schramm's own son (now a Marine - and perhaps thinking differently) pegged Jesus as an American figure:
noleftturns.ashbrook.org/comment.asp?blogID=5824#7321

The commenter named Owl said, "I'm sure that you do not get on pro-jihadist message boards with the end of pestering hardline Muslims."

How do you know that? And are you considering NLT to be a fundamentalist Christian warrior blog (as it seems clear enough that I'm being described as pestering hardline Christian conservative Americans)? As for the pro-Jihadist boards, well, I don't frequent them. Firstly, I'm not keen on the idea that some Captain America SWAT team might bash in my door and haul me off to a black site for doing so. Secondly, I assume that most such sites with seriously pernicious intentions will be largely Arabic language boards, and like 99.5% of Americans, I don't know any Arabic, so it would be rather pointless for me to try to pester them.

Tony said, "American citizens have shown once again that they're not putting up with this anymore. They don't hate Muslims or love perpetual war, but they hate Islamic jihadists who are trying to kill innocents and defending themselves." Hate to sully your USA1 narrative here, but the fellow who jumped the bumbling bomber, Jasper Schuringa, is DUTCH, not American (or is he automatically American by virtue of pouncing on the guy?), so this isn't Flight 93, Part II, sorry.

Tony also offered, "You try and make a moral equivalency argument with Christians to excuse the mass murder done by terrorists."

That's false.

and this, "you basically call the U.S. armed forces terrorists while excusing the terrorists for 'waging war by other means.'"

That too is false (and plenty more in your posts is false, too, but I haven't the time or desire to note it).

John Moser's comparison is silly. The leader of Japan declared war on the United States, and its military attacked an American military base, so it was obviously legitimate to go to war with Japan. As far as civilian deaths went (in Japan vs. the USA), I think the Japanese had slightly more, no? But I'm sure, in many minds, All-American Jesus would have approved of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"The leader of Japan declared war on the United States, and its military attacked an American military base, so it was obviously legitimate to go to war with Japan."

In fact, Japan never declared war on the United States. The attack on Pearl Harbor was assumed to speak for itself.

"But I'm sure, in many minds, All-American Jesus would have approved of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

When in doubt, change the subject. To claim that a military response to a direct attack is justified is not to claim that any conceivable military response is justified. Nobody here, to the best of my knowledge, has advocated nuking the Middle East. But if we're to take the plain words of your initial comment at face value, the proper response to a terrorist attack is not to retaliate against our enemies in any fashion, but rather to lambast "right-wing extremists."

And nobody's asking you for "some sort of ritualized declaration of hate." But if this is how you respond to a terrorist attack, you really should keep your virtual mouth shut.

"In fact, Japan never declared war on the United States. The attack on Pearl Harbor was assumed to speak for itself."

So, you're employed at Ashland Univ. as a history professor, right?

http://ww3.wpunj.edu/irt/courses/hist365/declarewar.htm

Quoting the document:
"We hereby declare War on the United States of America and the British Empire. The men and officers of Our Army and Navy shall do their utmost in prosecuting the war."

Further, I didn't change the subject (quite an accusation for someone who moves from a comparison of contemporary risks taken by Americans to... Pearl Harbor). Since terrorism is often defined as targeted actions against civilians/non-combatants, it seemed the closest (but not equal) link between the current so-called War on Terror (or, per Rumsfeld, the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism) and the conflict between the USA and Japan in WWII. As far as I know, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Nigeria have not declared war against the USA, nor launched any military attacks against us.

"And nobody's asking you for "some sort of ritualized declaration of hate." But if this is how you respond to a terrorist attack, you really should keep your virtual mouth shut."

Really, nobody's asking that, huh? My patriotism has been questioned (no surprise there) and my stating that feeling moral outrage was a "duh" was not enough (seriously, some loser wanted to blow up a plane and tried to do so with explosives strapped to his crotch and leg? Yes, that's very wrong, and detest the guy for trying to do that. It's like making a declaration that sugar is sweet.) I think the real problem is that I also denounce the right-wing extremist all-American terrorists.

But nice job pulling the O'Reilly / Fleischer, telling me that I didn't, apparently, express ENOUGH moral outrage ("He's not MAD enough!!! Don't trust him!" Apparently, keeping one's cool is not cool?), and telling me, in such a classy fashion, to keep my mouth shut.

That your mission and reality don't align does not mean that you don't percieve your 'work' as the pestering of hardline Christian fundamentalists. As you have called the vast majority of this board just such, I am in no delusion about what you percieve your online forays to be.

Scanlon says: "Has anyone ever read a thing about how, for example, the Air Force Academy in Colorado has been thoroughly soaked in evangelical Christian fundamentalism, how so many cadets are chomping at the bit to do the Lord's work?"

The difference being that the boys from CO will be reigned by United States popular opinion, restrictive ROE, international bodies, bearing the US uniform, Presidential mandate, etc etc etc. The do not have the same schizophrenia any serious Islamic fundamentalist has - weeping in front of TV cameras by day, hoods up and chest thumping by night. What you point to as seething Christian fundamentalism is a toothless dogma.

And come on -- you know what John Schramm is saying. He is only pointing to the suggestion that liberty and equality encompass the kind of morality that allow you to ramble on in the contemptible way that you do.

Scanlon gratuitously adds: "Hate to sully your USA1 narrative here, but the fellow who jumped the bumbling bomber, Jasper Schuringa, is DUTCH, not American (or is he automatically American by virtue of pouncing on the guy?), so this isn't Flight 93, Part II, sorry."

No, but it "automatically" makes him respectable. It entails that even "decadent" Europeans don't come near your nihilistic inclinations. BTW, it is cute that you took the aforementioned idea of American principles transcending time and space (which John Schramm articulates in his comment) and apply them to a comedic situation, as if no conservative were capable of giving credit where credit was due.

Once again, thank you for furnishing proof that you are off the deep end, Craig. Rather than simply pleading (which you had not done at all in the previous posts) that yeah, you were outraged, you use your answer as a forum for more anti-American and anti-military slurs and diatribes. So, please just go ahead and spew your hatred and loathing of America and the defense of her principles against those who hate all of us. The shame is that you just don't see that we are the good guys and we are in this together. I know you see that as blind and ignorant patriotism, but I guess I'm guilty of loving our country and hating those who try to destroy it. Seriously, I think we would take you much more seriously and have interesting political debates if you did not use an attempted terrorist act by a jihadist to express your hatred for America, Christians, and conservatives. Again, just read your posts and think about what you're saying. Have a nice day.

That was a message from the Emperor to his subjects after hostilities had begun. It was not a declaration of war as understood at the time--that is, a message sent to a foreign government announcing an intent to initiate hostilities. Hirohito's "declaration" was completely superfluous; are you suggesting that had he not made it that it would have been inappropriate to use force in response to the Pearl Harbor attack?

"But nice job pulling the O'Reilly / Fleischer, telling me that I didn't, apparently, express ENOUGH moral outrage ("He's not MAD enough!!! Don't trust him!" Apparently, keeping one's cool is not cool?), and telling me, in such a classy fashion, to keep my mouth shut."

Here's an idea: If you're going to visit a conservative blog, and then respond to a post about a terrorist attempt to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day with a snide comment about "right-wing extremists," don't be surprised when people tell you to shut up. Just a tip from your Uncle John.

I just heard an interview with a lawyer who was on the flight. He stated that he saw the "bomber" before he got on the plane with a sharply dressed man in his 50's who looked Indian. The witness said that the older man said to the people at the ticket desk that he needed to get this man on the flight without a passport. They said that was not possible, but the Indian man insisted and was sent to see the manager. The witness said the FBI was at his door hours before the interview and refused to let him see security footage from Amsterdam to identify the handler.

Other witnesses have said their was another handler then on the flight videotaping the "bomber" the entire time.

We don't need increased security because our current measures would have stopped this. The media is refusing to acknoledge this information so I think there is no doubt that they are taking part in the cover story here and this was most likely a false flag event.

As I write this Drudgereport has the body scanning camera as its lead story.

Oh, please. You said "Japan never declared war on the United States," I demonstrated that they did, and now you're hedging and shifting. Oh what fun.

What's even more fun is that, in giving me a condescending tip from "Uncle John," you say that the original post is "about a terrorist attempt..." But the original post, yes, actually starts out with "First, they shouldn't be calling it an "attempted" act of terrorism." So, I've got to ask you, Uncle John, whose side are you on, anyway? How dare you trivialize this attempt to destroy America and "her principles"!!

Craig, I don't question your patriotism or your brains, but when you react to attempted mass murder by your (our) country's enemies by attacking your domestic and democratic political opponents, you reveal an unhinged partisanship. When you make the pitiful reaches of comparing al-Qaeda terrorists with such "fundamentalist" activities as peaceful anti-abortion protest, the Air Force Academy scandal and the letter by PWS's son, you show an obsessive antichristian bigotry that does not even allow you to comment on al-Qaeda terrorism without trying to pivot the conversation back to social groups you are more comfortable condemning.

I also don't think that you should shut up, but I suggest that you might want to reflect on how your passions and prejudices have disordered your mind.

Tony, that was great with the "I guess I'm guilty of loving our country and hating those who try to destroy it." Can you blame me that I pictured (Ashbrook honored speaker) Glenn Beck choking up, with tears welling up in his eyes? Was it hard to type as you were biting your knuckles?

Pete said "When you make the pitiful reaches of comparing al-Qaeda terrorists with such "fundamentalist" activities as peaceful anti-abortion protest, the Air Force Academy scandal and the letter by PWS's son..."

That's bogus. I wouldn't compare Al Qaeda terrorists with "peaceful anti-abortion protest," but I might compare them to Christian fundamentalists who feel that they're doing God's work by bombing abortion clinics or shooting abortion doctors. I think the comparison should be obvious between a Jihadist and a fundamentalist Christian soldier who feels that they're engaged in a crusade or holy war against Muslims - see this article, "Jesus Killed Mohammed":
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/05/0082488

As for the old comment by John Schramm, where he insisted that Jesus was "idealogically" (sic) an American, that's surely some absurd blend of nationalism and religious zealotry, but I have no idea if he continues to believe that (perhaps it was youthful naivete), or if he feels that by serving in the Marines he's doing the Lord's work. So, let me be clear, the fundamentalist comparison only goes so far there.

...and all of the talk about my using the attack as an excuse to attack my political opponents is pretty rich, too, considering Hoekstra's recent comments going after Obama and similar mouth-frothing at the PowerLine blog (which, I note, remains on NLT's blogroll, unlike the new enemy Little Green Footballs!). If political attacks that don't treat an (attempted!) terrorist attack with the proper tone of outrage and piousness bother you, you really should be using this very blog to excoriate your blogging brethren for all of that.

I'm sure I've lost this argument, though, as I've offered no references to classic films like Cannonball Run or True Lies...

OK, I admit that I have to agree with Scanlon on one point. If LGF was on the blogroll and is not anymore (and I hope it is not due to some of the things Charles Johnson has said), then I dislike that. Johnson is in my opinion doing the right a service by trying to reign in all the crazies on our side.

Which is impossible. That's one thing that Scanlon can't understand. Strong beliefs yield strong actions, sometimes (severely) misguided. It isn't as if the left is freed up from this insanity. There is no sense of common fortune or sacrifice among citizens in this country right now - at least not as there used to be. (Jay Cost does some great analysis on the filibuster that shows the increasing polarization of the Congresses since LBJ).

But I have a feeling that apathetic America is more moderate. The difference is that the non-political American probably isn't comfortable with torture, but would have no qualms the size of Scanlon's concerning governmental intervention on national security issues of this scope. I might point out that a right-winger condemning a panty-bomber does not necessarily imply hypocrisy. That would require that each individual account for not their own opinion, but a sort of collective mood in which outliers are present. We wouldn't be suggesting that a Muslim condones jihad if he said that he was unhappy with abortion clinic bombers.

And I think another thing that escapes Scanlon is the possibility for secular acts of terror. Yes, secularism can in fact be so dogmatic as to lead individuals to gruesome acts of violence.

Craig, those were the examples of fundamentalism you mentioned, though we should also include your cheap shot at those engaged in "holy wars" who "operate drones from windowless rooms in Nevada". If you want to walk it back to only include that tiny, marginal and despised fraction of the population that advocates and carries out violence against abortion providers sure, I'm right there with you. But (and that more reasonable place wasn't where you started) it seems strange to import that into a discussion of an actual attempted mass murder that seems to have been organized by a transnational terror group. You seem unable to discuss al Qaeda without trying to steer the conversation back to some group that fits more comfortably into liberal demonology. Even sadder is your attempt to exculpate yourself from the cheap, reflexive, and venomous partisanship of your first post by citing criticisms of the Obama administration's policies and statements that led up to and followed the attack.

And one more time: I don't think you used the attempted recent massacre as an excuse to attack your domestic political opponents. I think that you seem to be truly incapable of dealing with these kinds of events without first attacking your domestic political opponents and then trying to shift your attention to some group you are more comfortable fearing and despising. I don't think you are being cynical, I just think you have lost perspective.

And the Harper's story is, in light of Fort Hood, just grotesque (I know it was published before that attack). The idea that Christian soldiers are anywhere but near the bottom of the list of dangers facing this country is just sick. I seem to remember that some years ago, Harpers did a story on the threat posed to the country's institutions by the National Prayer Breakfast or something. Anything to keep the juices flowing and to redirect one's hate away from the people trying to kill you.

In today's world, a Christian fundamentalist like most of the Southern Baptists, would not kill you if you slight the Lord.

Try that in front of Muslim fundamentalist in Afghanistan or the UK.

That is why the camparison Craig puts forth is bogus.

Owl - Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs was still on NLT's blogroll in early December, at the time I made this post:

http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2009/12/makes-me-want-to-titter.php#comment-66129

Sometime very soon afterwards, it was gone.

"Craig, those were the examples of fundamentalism you mentioned..."

Wrong. I first mentioned simply fundamentalists/"Christian warriors" and if you look through the comment thread carefully, you'll see that you, in fact were the first to mention (comment 13, I think) "the ones who pray outside of abortion clinics." I never accepted that sub-group, nor did I insinuate them, as necessarily part of the fundamentalists at issue. I specified in my next comment that I was talking about the bombers and the shooters (at the abortion clinics), not simply those who were praying, and you just ignored that specification, and continued on in your next comment as though I'd been speaking of "peaceful protestors." Clearly I was not speaking of peaceful protestors.

I stand by the other comparisons (Christian warriors at the Air Force academy and John Schramm - WITHIN the parameters and restrictions I discussed).

I'm glad that the Jihadist failed in his bombing attempt, of course, but seeing that nobody was even injured (other than the bomber himself and some pretty minor injuries to the Dutch guy who jumped him), there's really no need to start saying 12/25 with a tone of (even greater) solemnity, insisting that "real Americans" "never forget", and setting up memorials on the tarmac at Detroit airport and such.

From what I've heard, even a bomb-sniffing dog could've kept this guy off the plane, without the use of the invasive whole-body imaging scanners.

Yes Craig, you took part in a discussion about an mass murder and declared how you "don't like fundamentalists of any stripe" without excluding say a peaceful, apolitical person who does what she can to help her neighbor, would not hurt anybody, would not help anyone else hurt anybody and believes in Sola Scriptura, ect.. So al Qaeda tries to bomb an airplane and you take it as an opportunity to air a general personal bigotry.

As for the abortion protestors. I noted that your original comment did not distinguish between "fundamentalists" who were engaged in terrorism and those who were engaged in praying outside abortion clinics. You responded that such was not a good example because one of them might be a gun wielding lunatic Way to keep up the guilt by association.

You are of course right that it would be in bad taste to make too much of this. The examples you cite would be very silly, though not as grotesque as responding to the attack by first of all going on the attack on your domestic political opponents, and various Christian "haters", fundamentalists generally, abortionist killers, the Air Force Academy, PWS's son.

To try one more time to reason: Imagine if there was a report of an attempted KKK mass murder, and you read someone respond by attacking the left, African American "haters", Black Liberation Theology, the SLA ect. You might think that this person was working through some issues that were getting in the way of clear thinking.

The example is not perfect. I wasn't able to think of any examples as petty as the Academy scandal and the stuff about PWS's son.

In my first comment I said that the attempted terrorist attack was "a perfect Christmas Day gift for the right-wing extremists." I still think that to be the case. Nobody was killed, or even seriously injured, but with the help of the liberally-biased mainstream media the botched blow-up will get an enormous, disproportionate amount of attention, and will help right-wing extremists to keep people scared (even if any one of us has a much better chance of winning the lottery [if you play] or perishing by a lightning strike than witnessing a murderous idiot scorch his crotch in such a fashion), to promote hatred of Muslims, and to find positive value in wars that accomplish little other than draining America of blood and treasure. If you're not a right-wing extremist, none of that applies to you. Perhaps, as John Moser seemed to do in his last comment, you're confusing principled "conservatives" with "right-wing extremists."

If you're not a right-wing extremist who wants people to stay scared, hate Muslims, and love perpetual war, then there's no need to be upset or defensive.

If you're not a right-wing extremist who wants people to stay scared, hate Muslims, and love perpetual war, then there's no need to be upset or defensive.

While I must confess that I do know some people who "hate Muslims," I have yet to meet anyone who "love[s] perpetual war," while the ones who want us to "stay scared" tend to be talking about "global warming," not terrorism.

But perhaps you might strengthen your argument by reminding us of the occasions when, on this blog, you have drawn a distinction between "principled conservatives" and "right-wing extremists." Offhand I'm having a hard time remembering any.

Well, Uncle John (your term, not mine), I suppose your offhand recollection of my comments here is little better than your authoritative assertion that "[i]n fact, Japan never declared war on the United States."

http://www.gilderlehrman.org/collection/doc.php?doc_id=179

In any case, I don't see how any past distinctions I may have drawn between principled conservatives and right-wing extremists here at NLT would have any bearing or relevance to the statements I've made in this particular thread, or make my argument stronger or weaker. Perhaps, though, the quantity and quality of such distinctions has been on the decline for years? Limbaugh at CPAC, Glenn Beck at Ashbrook, Ann Coulter (need I remind anyone of her comments after 9/11?) and Horowitz cited approvingly here on this blog.... I could go on, but hey, it's time to celebrate the New Year.

That's the same Imperial Rescript that you linked to earlier, and it isn't any more persuasive now. Gilder Lehrman has it wrong--it wasn't part of the 5,000-word document that was sent to the United States on December 7, but wasn't translated until after the attack had begun. That transmission, available at http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/paw/265.html, did nothing more than state the following:

"The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations."

The word "war" was never used in this context. My original point stands--Japan did not declare war on the United States, but rather launched an attack and then announced afterward that a state of war existed. Your point--that war against Japan was justified while the war on terror is not, because Japan issued a formal declaration of war on the United States and Al-Qaeda did not, has been refuted.

Happy New Year from your Uncle John!

Your ibiblio link doesn't work - it just goes to a 404 with a cartoon penguin picture. Oh, wait, I fixed it.

On that link, there is this note: "The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, took place on December 7, 1941, at 1:20 p.m., Washington time (7:50 a.m., Honolulu time), which was December 8, 3:20 a.m., Tokyo time. On December 8 at 6 a.m., Tokyo time (December 7, 4 p.m., Washington time), the Japanese imperial headquarters announced that war began as of "dawn" on that date."

Again, to highlight: "Japanese imperial headquarters announced that war began as of "dawn" on that date.""

I think you're simultaneously grasping at straws on some hyper-pedantic point about the protocol of war declarations and, more importantly, twisting my original point beyond recognition.

"Your point--that war against Japan was justified while the war on terror is not, because Japan issued a formal declaration of war on the United States and Al-Qaeda did not, has been refuted."

If that had been my point - or I had stated as much - in the first place, then your case would be slightly less wrong. You're engaging in the straw man fallacy. What I said was this:

"The leader of Japan declared war on the United States, and its military attacked an American military base, so it was obviously legitimate to go to war with Japan."

Note my use of the word "and". I didn't say that Japan declared war BEFORE the attack on Pearl Harbor, and I didn't say that the war declaration was the sole factor that justified our war against Japan. Clearly, the attack itself on our military base by their military was a factor too (duh?). Whereas the War on Terror (cue grandiose trumpet blare) is devolving to the point that if an Al Qaeda guy vacations in Scotland that will be used as justification to commence bombing and invasion of Scotland.

You said "Japan never declared war on the United States" - "never" - and the document I've cited, as well as the one you've cited, indicate otherwise. Had you stated that Japan never declared war on the U.S. BEFORE attacking, then you'd have a better point. Again, the document I've cited stated this:

"We hereby declare War on the United States of America and the British Empire."

and was published on Dec. 8th.

Good luck in your efforts to correct whatever it is that you think is such a glaring error at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, as well as at Paterson University.

One rather salient point Craig misses on this weird a jihadist and an abortion protester are the same thing meme ....

An abortion protestor, even a violent one, is attempting to protect innocent life. An argument can be made that an abortionist is killing human life and, thusly, stopping him should be a priority even if the laws don't support such acts.

A jihadist ... well ... what innocent life is he trying to protect?

Craig, your analogy is reprehensible and just plain stupid.

You know, if these jihadists weren't soo darn busy indicting themselves by their own words and actions, Craig might actually have a point, but, alas, Craig's point is ... well ... pointless ... when you take into account reality.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8437433.stm

Excerpts

"Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row."

...

"Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia."

...

"Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service Pet, said the attack was "terror related" and that the suspected assailant has close contacts to Somalia's al-Shabab group.

He had been under surveillance for activities unrelated to Mr Westergaard, Mr Scharf said."

...

"Islamic militants have placed a $1m price on Mr Westergaard's head.

Although he is one of 12 cartoonists whose drawings of the Prophet were published in Jyllands-Posten, he has the highest profile, our correspondent says. "

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/14698