Our progress in the War on Terrorism

We felt good that we killed Osama bin Laden and seemed to have defeated al-Qaeda.  But they were nothing compared to the resurgent jihadist army of the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS, most recently calling themselves ISIL, for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”).  They are armed to the teeth with American weapons and other equipment that had been abandoned in Iraq.  And they have vast wealth from looting banks and taking over oil fields.  And their ambitions are to strike the United States and other Western countries.  That’s not much of a progress report in our War on Terrorism. [Read more...]

Terrorism by beheading and crucifixion

ISIS has reportedly slaughtered 1700 captives in Iraq, using beheadings and even crucifixions.  Experts say the goal is to ramp up the “shock value” of jihadist terrorism. [Read more...]

The legacy of 9/11?

On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’ve got to ask ourselves:  Did the terrorists win?  Or did America win?  And what did those attacks do to us?  Considerations after the jump. [Read more...]

News & updates

Somebody hacked into the Twitter account of the Associated Press, no less, and put out word that there were explosions in the White House that injured the president.  That sent the stock market into a tailspin, but it recovered when the story turned out to be a hoax.

Charges have been dropped for the Elvis impersonator who was accused of sending ricin-laced letters to the president, a senator, and a judge.  Investigators have another suspect, a rival of the first one.

The surviving Boston Marathon bomber was charged for the federal crime of using weapons of mass destruction.  He will not be treated as an enemy combatant.  He was read his rights.  The charge indicated that he may face the death penalty.  (Massachusetts does not have the death penalty–though state legislators unsuccessfully tried to re-instate it for the bomber–but the federal government can still execute people.)

CSI, Boston

Here is a fascinating account of the police work that led to the identification and apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombers:  Police, citizens and technology factor into Boston bombing probe – The Washington Post.

The legal issue now is whether “Jahar,” the surviving terrorist, should be considered an “enemy combatant” or whether he should be given all of the legal rights to which he is entitled  as an American citizen, including the right to remain silent.  What do you think?

Getting bin Laden: The Movie

I saw Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Earlier, the word was that it would be released just before the election, which had conservatives up in arms, fearing that a cinematic treatment of President Obama’s victory was Hollywood’s plot to get him re-elected. But there is nothing triumphalistic about this movie. Opponents of the war on terrorism will find lots of material in scenes of torture and brutality (as in killing terrorists in front of their children as they cry). And yet supporters of the war on terrorism will also find lots of material in the opening recording of phone calls from World Trade Center victims right before their deaths (talk about 911 calls), the continuing acts of terrorism throughout the movie, and in the heroism of both the troops and the CIA operatives who brought Osama bin Laden to justice. I think Zero Dark Thirty is what an objective treatment of a controversial issue by a work of art looks like. [Read more...]


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