How many more Americans have to die before we can have a "national conversation" about radical Islam & jihadism?https://t.co/JDZP9Ja0nB— John Schindler (@20committee) June 12, 2016
Tonight we burn illusions. A terrorist attack on a popular gay club in Orlando, Florida in the middle of the night ended before the dawn with the violent deaths of at least 50 innocents and the maiming of 53 more. This was the bloodiest terrorist attack on America since 9/11. The Pulse nightclub, something of an icon in Florida LGBT circles, was transformed into a charnel house.Still more.
The United States had been lucky, having avoided truly mass casualty terrorist incidents since that awful day 15 years ago, through a combination of luck, inept enemies, and excellent intelligence work. But the Orlando horror demonstrates that attacks on soft targets in public places can cause huge numbers of casualties, here as well as in Europe, like last November’s assaults on Paris that killed 130 people, 89 of them at the Bataclan theater, where a hostage situation resulted in a bloodbath. Something similar has just happened in Florida.
While the Paris attacks were the work of nine terrorists, plus several others providing logistical support, so far only one killer has been identified in the Orlando atrocity. While there are reports of other shooters, these remain unconfirmed, and the sole terrorist definitely involved was Omar Mateen, born in this country in 1986 to immigrant parents from Afghanistan. He was killed by police at the end of the nightmare he inflicted on Orlando.
So far, his story is shaping up as the now-customary list of jihadist clichés. The 29-year-old went from a relatively normal American life towards extremism, winding up on the radar of the FBI more than once for his aggressive beliefs. A brief marriage failed, in part because he frequently beat his wife, she claims, asserting that Mateen “was not a stable person.” A trauma like divorce leading to an embrace of jihadism is as common as can be in extremist circles.
The killer’s family has claimed that their son’s terrible act had “nothing to do with religion” – again, following the script we have come to expect whenever a young person, usually male, brutally murders strangers in the name of Islam. While Omar Mateen’s father claims to be utterly mystified by his son’s actions, that assertion should be examined closely, since Seddique Mateen has publicly praised the Taliban in his home country – the very people the American military has been fighting since late 2001. In a truly bizarre twist, Mateen Senior claims to be the real president of Afghanistan. His statement that his son was triggered by seeing two men kissing in public seems unlikely to endear the family to the American public....
Within hours of the massacre, progressives and jihad apologists were insisting that the Orlando attack was “really” about guns – and certainly not about Islamism or jihadism. The Pulse massacre was about guns the way that the 9/11 attacks were “really” about box cutters and the 2013 Boston bombing was “really” about pressure cookers. There are millions of guns in Florida (the state has issued 1.3 million concealed carry permits alone) plus plenty of people who are not overly fond of gays. Why, then, was Omar Mateen the one who assaulted a gay club and shot dozens of innocent people?
Based on his statement on the atrocity, President Obama won’t be asking that question anytime soon. Although Mr. Obama demurred from some of his customary evasions, actually calling the attack an “act of terrorism,” he quickly defaulted to his usual talking points whenever radical Muslims butcher Americans: “hate” and “guns” were cited frequently by the president, while words such as “Islamism” and “jihad” were notable by their absence. Mr. Obama’s denial of the obvious, perfected during his two terms in the White House, appears unshakeable.
These evasions are met with derision by counterterrorism professionals, who deduced Mr. Obama’s agenda back in 2009 when he dismissed the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” Spies and cops have gotten used to this president’s persistent inability to call the enemy what he actually is, even though that enemy constantly calls himself such things. “What was he gonna call Orlando,” asked an old FBI friend just hours after the Pulse attack: “gayplace violence?”
It’s not difficult to determine what’s really going on here. Just two months before this attack, an Orlando mosque hosted an Islamic theologian known for pronouncing homosexuals as deserving of death. “Death is the sentence” they merit as an act of “compassion,” the imam stated. While his invitation got some coverage in Orlando media, one wonders what the mainstream media would have to say if a white preacher in Charleston had pronounced blacks as deserving the death sentence only two months before Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in a church...