Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Climate of Fear? How Leftists Minimize Jihadist Terrorism

A great esssay from David Solway at Pajamas Media, "Terrorism? What Terrorism?":
Leftist poster boy and university folk hero Al Gore, having misled filmgoers on climate change, also practices his wiles on the reading public. In his most recent book, The Assault on Reason, Gore claims that “terrorism relies on the stimulation of fear for political ends. Indeed its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger that the terrorists are capable of posing.” Given his appeasing rhetoric in the face of Islamic terror, I sometimes think the former vice president’s name should be changed to al-Gore.

This is essentially the same argument developed in Ian Lustick’s Trapped in the War on Terror. Lustick, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that the threat has been grossly exaggerated, that the fear factor has been exploited by business and government for profitable ends, that terrorism is mainly a European problem, and that 9/11 was a one-off attack, forgetting that it was owing to sheer dumb luck that 40,000-50,000 people did not perish in the inferno — and, indeed, only by grace of a miscue that the Madrid attack did not claim thousands of victims. Conveniently, he pays no heed to the many subsequent terrorist attempts, not only in the UK and Germany, but in Canada and the U.S. that have been foiled by alert surveillance. Canadian author Howard Rotberg has aptly countered Gore’s and Lustick’s trendy prattle in Second Generation Radical, where he writes that “the situation is not that the fear of terrorism is disproportionate to its danger, but that the danger is disproportionate to the fear. … ‘Fear’ is not the problem; the problem is delusional responses to that fear.”

A more recent example of the spurious argument involves former CIA case officer Marc Sageman, who, according to his bio, holds various positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland. In a review of his Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century, Daniel Pipes has pointed out how easily numbers and statistics can be manipulated to support a partisan thesis. Sageman contends that America’s presumably softer, assimilationist approach to its Islamic community gives it an advantage over Europe’s alienating tendencies, thus reducing the threat of internal jihad. “The rate of arrests on terror charges per capita among Muslims is six times higher in Europe than in the United States,” Sageman claims, explaining that the difference lies “in the extent to which these respective Muslim communities are radicalized” ....

As we can see, there is plainly no shortage of academics and faculty lounge debaters peddling chimeras, striving to minimize the very real danger we are in, and working to narcotize us into a state of political and cultural somnolence. Academic John Mueller, author of the rather fatuous Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats and Why We Believe Them, has recently jumped into the game, appearing on a panel at Ohio State University discussing Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, in which, along with fellow professor John Quigley, he sought to further diminish the reality of the terrorist threat. Osama bin Laden, it turns out, is really a 21st-century anti-colonialist and the attack on the WTC was carried out by the American government. Interestingly, the panel was co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Read the whole thing at the link.


Dave said...

It will be most interesting to see what the enemy-supporting lefties will have to say once we have eaten a major population center or two.

My guess is they will be too busy dancing in the streets in orgasmic celebration to bother commenting.