David Harsanyi asks, referring to the technical word for free societies, “Why is it that so many of the same people who are skeptical about exporting liberalism (count me as one) are perfectly content with the idea of importing illiberalism?”
Liberal commentators on the Orlando shootings are downplaying Islamic terrorism as a factor to concentrate instead on the need for gun control laws. Some are even blaming Christians! The reasoning is that no evidence has of yet turned up that ISIS planned and ordered the attacks from Syria. Therefore, this is a “lone wolf” act of domestic terrorism by an American who hated gays and could easily procure firearms.
But modern terrorism employs the technique of “leaderless resistance“; that is, decentralized terrorism. ISIS has sent out a call to attack the United States, specifically the state of Florida and killing gays. So an American Muslim took up the task. (And this is not the first time.) There is no need for central planning when you can summon terrorists scattered all over the world. What makes a person “ISIS” is pledging allegiance to the caliphate and operating in its name. That is exactly what Omar Mateen did. So this was, in fact, an ISIS attack.
UPDATE: Some of you commenters have chastized me that my “thoughts about the Orlando shootings” don’t say anything about sympathy for the victims. Of course I have sympathy for the victims! What happened to them is horrible and must never be tolerated. I thought I conveyed that in my original post about the shooting. My revulsion for this killing of gay people is why I am trying to think through how we might stop this sort of thing from happening again, which is the subject of this particular post.
Omar Matteen called 911 at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, pledged allegiance to ISIS, then opened fire in a crowded gay bar, killing at least 50 and wounding 53 more. After a three hour hostage standoff, he was killed by police. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. On Thursday, ISIS threatened to attack Florida. [Read more…]
Yes, American foreign policy is a laughing-stock abroad, but that means at least some of the reaction is funny. British commentator Douglas Murray discusses the new American counter-terrorism strategy, which, in its written form, never mentions “Islam.” Terrorist-inspiring religious extremism is a problem, says Secretary of State John Kerry, for all religions. Which has Mr. Murray worried about what’s going on with those Anglicans. [Read more…]
There is reportedly evidence–censored pages of the official 9/11 report–that some of the 9/11 terrorists received funding from Saudi Arabia, possibly including Saudi officials. A bill in Congress would allow Saudi Arabia to be held liable in any court proceedings. Now Saudi Arabia is saying that if that bill passes, it will sell off its $750 billion in American treasury notes and other assets. This could dramatically lower their value and harm the U.S. economy.
Beyond this specific issue (more details on that after the jump), the Saudi threat shows a big vulnerability in national security. Countries that own lots of American property or that America owes lots of money to have leverage over us. What if China cashed out its holdings in the United States? Or simply stopped buying American debt? Our national debt is being funded, in large part, by selling our bonds overseas. Which not only makes us dependent, but makes us vulnerable to foreign coercion, as the Saudis are trying to do. [Read more…]