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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘boston bombings’

The Dzhokar is Not Wild, It was Jihad

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

It seems that my suspicions about the motives of the Boston terrorist bombers were correct. This was not some crazy person going wild. This was a deliberate act based on Islamist/Jihadist fervor. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his younger other, Dzhokar carefully planned and executed it. Fortunately the death of one and capture of the other has to be one of the quickest end to a manhunt (of criminals of this magnitude) in U.S. history. It also seems to be clear that Tamerlan, a once assimilated Chechniyan who married an American woman, became a radicalized Islamist during a lengthy visit to his homeland.

It is still early in the investigation. But is unlikely that any new information will change the basic assumptions now being made. Radical Islam is behind the attack. I assume Dzhokar was somehow persuaded to join him in this effort by his older brother – who was somehow also able to convince him about about the justice of killing innocent people for “the cause.”

Everything that has been revealed about Dzhokar so far says “normal.” He was a popular out-going 19-year old; a completely naturalized citizen. He was enrolled in college, well adjusted and well liked. He was kind and considerate. There seemed to be no anger issues with this young Muslim. So far all those interviewed who knew him only had superlatives to say about him. They are shocked that he had anything to do with this. That a normal and seemingly well adjusted American kid can be so easily convinced to help commit a terrorist act of this magnitude is in and of itself is terrifying.

In this era of the ubiquitous surveillance camera, they were quickly identified as having placed the bombs. A manhunt ensued. Tamerlan was shot and killed in a confrontational major shootout with law enforcement officials. His younger brother Dzhokar was later captured alive although seriously wounded. Hopefully he will survive and will be interrogated.

There are a lot of unanswered questions. Are there any additional co-conspirators? What was their motivation? What precipitated their act? How could Dzhokar join his older brother so easily? Could this have been prevented with better security measures? How much liberty are we willing to give up for better security? …All good questions. But for me the one question that keeps coming up that I am not sure has an answer is how do we fight an idea?

As of now it seems that these two brothers were not a part of any organized terrorist group. They decided to act on their own motivated by the ideals of radical Islam.

These are the ideals that are behind every suicide bomber who blew themselves up in Israel. This is the ideology behind Hamas, Hizballah, and every other jihadist group in the world. This is what caused our problems Iraq after we eliminated Saddam Hussein and still causes our problems with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Just about every American soldier who was ever killed in the Middle East was killed because of Islamist radicalism. And let’s not forget 9/11. I don’t think there can be any doubt about that.

Yes, there are other non-Islamist radicals that can carry out terrorist bombings. That was made very clear by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma in April of 1995. But I don’t think it is disputable that Islamism is the biggest international threat to security in our day.

More than ever the focus needs to be on the idea rather than it does on any given group carrying out terror. Whether it is al Qaeda or any other group. This should be painfully obvious after the events in Boston last week. You don’t need more than one person to carry out a major act of terror. Not that al Qaida should be ignored. But it is the idea that motivates them that ought to be the main focus of counter terrorism.

This is something that anyone with half a brain should have known for the longest time. But in our politically correct world, connecting terror to a specific religion is counter to one of America’s most sacred values, religious tolerance. Government officials are therefore loathe to mention Islam and terror in the same sentence. While I agree that we ought not castigate an entire religion for the acts of a few, it makes no sense to overlook the obvious.

I am the first to say that the vast majority of Muslims living in America are not terrorists. Most of them love this country and want to live peaceful lives while practicing their religion freely. This does not mean that they aren’t anti-Israel. I’m sure that most of them are. They buy into the narrative of Israeli occupation being the source of all evil. But most of them would never support terror in pursuit of what they perceive to be justice for the Palestinians. But the root of worldwide terror is in Islam’s radical religious element. Ignoring this simple fact because of political correctness may be our biggest folly.

That said Muslims in this country ought not be persecuted. On the contrary. They have the same right as anyone else to pursue happiness and practice their religion in this country. But even they must realize the extent of Islamist extremism. Extra vigilance about Muslims living in this country must be part of our security considerations. Muslims themselves can be just as easily victimized by terrorist bombers as anyone else. A truly patriotic Muslim should therefore be the first to condemn it and understand why their community gets more scrutiny. They should welcome that. I’ll bet that some of them actually do welcome it.

If there is any silver lining here, it is that the media will hopefully finally realize what I have from the very beginning. That it is Islamism that is the enemy and not al Qaeda. Al Qaida is but one tool of many dedicated to the cause. There must be hundreds more like them. Who knows how many sleeper cells there are! Some Jihadist groups might only have two members as was most likely the case with the Tsarnaev brothers. There are a number of Jihadist websites that are dedicated to recruiting innocent Muslims into their cause and provide simple instructions on how to build devastating bombs with easily obtainable household items.

How stupid must the media have been not to have seen all of this till now? These websites did not happen yesterday. Well at least now it is being noticed. Much of the commentary I’ve seen since the bombing seems to finally be getting it. And that is a good thing.

I just hope that this new realization does not wear off so that we end up going back to a political correctness that ignores the real danger. If it does, then we will have learned nothing from what happened in Boston last week.

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The Motive Cover Up of the Boston Bombings Begins

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Now that the two (main at least) terrorists from the Boston Marathon attack have been killed or captured we enter a new phase, the phase in which the dominant politically correct (but factually incorrect) forces try to explain away the attack.

Can this be done? Will they really try? Well, yes. True, as one of my correspondents remarked it is much easier to obfuscate far distant Benghazi than the total shutdown and horror in the middle of a major American city. Yet the spin-masters are already at work.

The first step must be, in part, a stalling technique but it sets the pattern for what is to come. As, in the words of a Reuters story, the “Boston Marathon bombing investigation turns to motive,” the motive must be obfuscated.

The Reuters piece is a good start. The article spends seven paragraphs discussing the parents claim that the two brothers were framed. This suggests that the mass media and politicians will not shrink from suggesting—perhaps I should say, gives fair hearing—to bizarre conspiracy theories and doubts. People shouldn’t believe these completely, is the theme, but you just can’t be too sure that two young Muslims would have any reason to harm Americans.

Indeed, there are now witnesses who heard the two terrorists’ mother claiming that September 11 was a U.S. plot to make people hate Muslims. That’s where playing with that kind of fire leads.

In the article, the word “Islam” is not mentioned, except to say that they once lived in one predominantly Muslim country and another place they lived, Dagestan, is “a southern Russian province that lies at the heart of a violent Islamist insurgency.” Here, we have another technique, minimize Islam as a factor and turn it into background noise.

Obviously, this will not apply completely both because the elephant in the room is too big and there is still some journalistic integrity in places. Both the Washington Post and Mother Jones took a lead in exposing the You-Tube likes of one of the terrorists which showed a propensity for al-Qaeda views to say the least.

There are a lot of other quivers, however, in the arsenal of denial.

On “Face the Nation” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that he had no idea why the Tsarnaev brothers would target “innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did.” The answer, of course, is that these people were not regarded as innocent at all but as soldiers in the alleged Christian-Jewish war on Islam, precisely the same thinking that has been produced by Islamists for decades. Might September 11, 2001, be a clue here?

Of course, for Patrick to say that at this point in the investigation is understandable on one level, a refusal by a government official to remark on an ongoing investigation and a relief from “the police are stupid” or “Trayvon looks like the son I didn’t have” remarks by someone else. Yet what if this claim is sustained week after week until the heat is off?

NBC News has just reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited an Islamist radical six times in a mosque in Dagestan. The Caucasian/Chechen angle, however, does offer some hope. A lot of media time can be spent talking about that conflict. Of course, if the young men were acting as Chechens they would have attacked a Russian and not an American target. The United States has not, even by the usual stretch of radical Islamist imagination, had anything to do with the conflict in Chechnya.

The more compelling the conflict there is as a source of pain and passion, the less compelling the argument that that was a motive. The Russians have indeed been brutal in suppressing the rebellion, far more than the West or Israel has acted toward anyone. So what cause overrides that one? Yet Chechen grievances will be a good source of obfuscation.

Then there will a frantic search for the “blame ourselves” theme. If the issue wasn’t such a tragic one, this would be humorous. Could America have acted more kindly toward these two brothers? Don’t underestimate how well this theme will play with those citizens who drink other flavors of Kool-Aid.

And Hate the Sinner Too

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Let me surprise you for a moment. The reason that tragedies, like the outrageous terrorist bombing in Boston this week, continue to take place is not because the world lacks love but rather because it doesn’t have enough hate. Living in a Christian world that teaches us to “love the sinner,” we find excuses for evil and refuse to dedicated ourselves fully to its destruction.

North Korea is a case in point. As the young, brutal, dictator Kim Jong Un threatens the world with nuclear Armageddon, we continue to make him the butt of late-night jokes. As the world stood by and watched, North Korea launched a satellite into space in December of last year and conducted another nuclear test this past February. It has vocalized its plans to attack the United States with nuclear weapons and is building missiles to achieve that end.

Still, we refuse to hate the man, depicting him rather as a moron who watches movies with Dennis Rodman. Visiting North Korea in February, the NBA space alien called Un “a friend for life” and announced plans to “have some fun” with Un again in August, saying he “just wants to be loved.” Through all this one of the world’s deadliest dictators inspires laughter rather than loathing, engendering entertainment rather than contempt. Forget the fact that his father starved 3 million people to death in order to feed his million-man army, a policy that the young monster continues or that he terrorizes South Korea and the rest of the region. It’s an amazing thing. To be part of a regime that has slaughtered millions of people and to remain a fun curiosity to the rest of the world rather than an object of the deepest revulsion.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also regularly portrayed as, at worst, a clown and is given podiums at America’s leading universities. Iran adds to this comedy with its foreign ministry recently scolding both America and North Korea to use restraint and not promote “provocative behavior.” As foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “We think that the event that is intensifying between North Korea, South Korea and the United states should be controlled as soon as possible. Both parties should not move toward a corner in which there is a threatening climate.” Our reaction to such absurdity is to look upon the evil and lethal regime of Iran as a collection of buffoons. But make no mistake. They are deadly serious.

Sadly, the refusal to hate evil has become de regeur in world diplomacy. Speaking of the arch-murderer Hafez Al Assad at the time of his death, President Clinton said, “I have met him many times and gotten to know him very well. We had our differences, but I always respected him.” Respected the man who mowed down thousands of his own people with tanks in Hama? And was your refusal to abhor the man  perhaps responsible for why his son thinks he can get away with the same thing?

Forgetting how to hate can be just as damaging as forgetting how to love. Immersed as we are in a Christian culture that exhorts us to “turn the other cheek,” this can sound quite absurd. Yet exhortations to hate all manner of evil abound in our Bible. God Himself hates every form of wickedness as harmful to mankind.  Thus the book of Proverbs declares, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” Likewise, King David declares regarding the cruel: “I have hated them with a deep loathing. They are as enemies to me.”

Hatred is a valid emotion, an appropriate response, when directed at the truly evil. Contrary to Christianity, which advocates turning the other cheek to belligerence and loving the wicked, Judaism obligates us to despise and resist evil at every turn. In my book “Kosher Jesus” I explain that Jesus said to “love your enemies,” not God’s enemies. The former are those who steal your parking space. The latter are those engaged in genocide. Likewise, when Jesus said “turn the other cheek,” he meant to petty slights and insults, not to mass murder.

When I served as Rabbi at Oxford the BBC had me discussing the tragic bombing of a gay pub that killed three people. I referred to the bomber as a wicked abomination. On the line was President Clinton’s spiritual advisor at the time, Pastor Tony Campolo, who cautioned that we had to love the bomber in the spirit of compassion and forgiveness. In England I remember so vividly as victims of IRA terrorist attacks, who lost fathers or husbands, often immediately announced their forgiveness and love for the murderers.

For Shame: Kerry Compares Boston Bombing Victims to Turkish Jihadis

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
John Kerry has redefined the concept of stupid. Really…

According to a recent news item:

Speaking at Istanbul, Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a jarring comparison between the victims of the Boston Marathon terror bombs and terror activists from the IHH group who were killed when they attacked IDF forces aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010.

Kerry told his hosts in Turkey that he understands the pain of the families whose loved ones were killed aboard the Marmara – and added that he can understand their pain well, having just dealt with the families whose loved ones were slain in Boston.

Kerry said in his speech that he hopes the Israeli apology will lead to a thawing of Israel-Turkey relations. (Arutz Sheva).

Through the anger I feel – I find it hard to formulate a response to this incredibly ignorant concept. Did the Boston runners know they were heading into enemy territory, as the thugs aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla know?

Did the terrorists warn the people at the finish line and those who were approaching it after running so hard…as Israel repeatedly warned the so-very-violent “humanitarians” aboard the flotilla?
Does Kerry think that sweet little 8-year-old boy, the women who were killed, and the 170+ people injured were armed and did they start attacking the bombers…funny how the media forgot to show how the victims of the Boston marathon terror attack could have easily avoided being murdered or injured had they avoided breaking international law…oh wait, they didn’t break international law by running a legally declared naval blockade. They didn’t attack soldiers who had, for the better part of a few days, been warning them not to approach a war zone.
All those people did was to go out on a beautiful day, in their beautiful city, to enjoy a peaceful event.
John Kerry – you owe the nation of Israel and the army of Israel an apology. We owe the Turks NOTHING and the vast majority of Israelis care nothing about thawing Israel-Turkey relations until Turkey starts acting like a modern nation and not yet another aggressive, hate-filled dictatorship.
And worse, John Kerry, worse of all is that you owe the victims, their families, and all of the people of Boston an apology.
Shame on you!
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When Cameras See Everything

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Innocuous, hidden cameras are all around us.  I tell customers who are dressing/trying on clothes or undressing/dressing their kids in a corner of the store where I work that there are people watching and filming them.  It’s actually no secret that there are cameras all around.  There’s a screen alternating the various camera feeds for all to see at the קופה ראשית Cupah Roshit, “mini-office,” customer relations corner in between the entrance and exit of the Sha’ar Binyamin Rami Levy supermarket.  They’ve recently upgraded to color from blurry black and white, so I asked jokingly to the manager of the shift if I should now start worrying about wearing makeup to work.

Act of TreasonJust a couple of days ago when the American security authorities began asking the public who had been taking pictures of the Boston Marathon at the time of the bombing for all pictures, still and moving, so they could try to get a filmed record of what happened and who could have left the bombs, I thought of a book I had recently read, Act of Treason by .

In Flynn’s book, the fact that someone had placed himself behind a pole (or was it a tree?) at the time of the fatal explosion made one of investigators suspicious and ended up being the key to the successful investigation.  That summary of the book doesn’t do it justice.  I did enjoy reading it but had to throw it out, since my copy was old and falling apart.  Who would have thought that just a couple of months after I had read the book, it would be so timely?

Most of us are totally oblivious to the fact that in today’s world there are security cameras all over.  And even if there aren’t security cameras, there are other cameras filming us.  I remember reading that a philanderer was caught cheating when his wife saw him with another woman when they were watching the then popular Woody Allen movie Annie Hall.  Allen had filmed some real life street scenes, without asking each and every person’s permission and inadvertently included that man driving around with his lover.

Some more food for thought: Someone is watching us all of the time.  Why are we more afraid of being filmed and spied on by humans than the fact that God sees, hears and knows everything we do, all places and all times?  We can’t hide from God, even though men can’t always catch and punish the guilty…

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Preventing More Muslim Teenagers from Becoming Terrorists

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

The lesson from the Boston Marathon bombings could not possibly be clearer. Yet few people, due to various complications, will address that real issue.

Part of the problem is this. Most powerful institutions and people say that Islam is a religion of peace. There’s no problem, except for a few mysterious extremists who just seem to pop up either at random or due to American and Western sins.

The next largest segment says that Islam is an inherently violent and extremist religion so since the problem is Islam there’s nothing to do but to combat it directly in some form.

Both of the main Western responses, then, deny the importance of waging a real and serious battle within Islam.

Yet where do the terrorists come from? In the case of these two brothers, they were Muslims all of their lives and yet suddenly they became—without any major direct experience—radical terrorists.

The cause, of course, was revolutionary Islamist propaganda, especially but by no means exclusively, from al-Qaeda. There are literally hundreds of internet sites, videos, preachers, books and everything else you can think of that promote revolutionary Islamism. They tell Muslims that they should and must be revolutionaries and terrorists; they cite holy works to do so.

What the heck is there on the other side?

Let’s think for a moment about some of the things that don’t exist:

–A Radio Free Islam that systematically preaches (the last word is not chosen at random) an anti-extremist approach to Islam.

–Virtually no programs at mosques to explain why terrorist, Islamist and extremist Islamic positions are wrong and bad. Wrong because they don’t accord with what those who say so deem to be a “proper” Islam; bad because they are immoral, ruin the lives of those who embrace such ideology, and hold back the societies where enough such people have such a view.

–Remarkably little literature and remarkably few preachers—especially ones who are as well-financed as the radicals—that a young Muslim is going to read on internet or hear on videos or elsewhere which suggests an alternative path.

–Where are the videos? Where are the web sites? Where is the social disapproval among Muslims?

On this basis one could argue that there is no moderate—or at least no non-violent, non-revolutionary– Islam that can be developed. But that simply isn’t true. The works and the moderate individuals exist but they are not given support, even in Western countries, nor do they have the resources to wage the battle.

It is like the situation in the Cold War when the Soviets and their supporters were well-organized and well-financed but the social democrats, liberals, and conservatives opposing them were not. Not only the U.S. government–through covert and other means–stepped into the breach but so did lots of organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and others.

IN THE ERA of Islamism there are a lot of major problems in terms of its opponents’ responses. First, any Western, non-Muslim financing or help to those groups would be used to discredit them. Second, in a bizarre manner Western societies favor the radicals, giving them a good press and praise. Third, moderate Muslims are penalized and ignored.

Fourth, the ability to critique precisely what is radical in Islam and what is wrong with Islamism is handicapped by the successful effort to brand any attempts at making such distinctions as “Islamophobia” instead of a sensible fear of revolutionary Islamism. It is equivalent to branding any such attempt to critique Communism as anti-Sovietism. Communists tried such techniques but they only worked to a very limited extent.

Fifth, part of the last three problems is due to the far left’s (often pretending to be liberal) alignment with radical Islamism (the current world’s most powerful right-wing ideology), despite the latter’s repression of women’s rights, desire to murder gays, and opposition to just about everything else the left is supposed to believe.

Sixth, who cares that Islamist organizations that are mere covers for radical activities issue a statement decrying an Islamist terror attack simply because it was staged by some other group, wrong place, or at an inconvenient time? Let them campaign against radical, violent and intolerant interpretations of Islam or be exposed for who they really are.

The April 14 World

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The day before the Marathon Massacre, the New York Times had scored plaudits for running an op-ed by one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards complaining about his hard life in Guantanamo Bay.

On April 14th, the paper of broken record paid 150 bucks to an Al Qaeda member for the opportunity to complain about being force fed during his hunger strike. On April 15th the bombs went off.

The attacks of September 11 introduced a dividing line between awareness and disregard. There was the world of September 10 and the world of September 11. In one world the planes passing in the sky were a minor reminder of our technological prowess. In the other, we were at war.

There was no such clear dividing line when September 11 faded from memory and we returned to a September 10 world. Nor is there an exact date for when we will return to an April 14 world in which it is okay to pay a terrorist in exchange for his propaganda. But if the media has its way, that day can’t come soon enough.

A day after the bombings, the New York Times wrote that a decade without terror had come to an end. But the terror had never stopped or paused. The FBI and local law enforcement had gone on breaking up numerous terror plots to the skepticism and ridicule of the media which accused them of violating Muslim civil rights and manufacturing threats.

Some of those plots seemed laughable. A man setting up a car bomb near a Broadway theater where crowds waiting to see The Lion King musical, kids in tow, were lining up. A plot to detonate bombs in the Grand Central and the Times Square subway stations. Underwear bombers. Shoe bombers. It became fashionable to laugh at them. Silly crazies trying to kill people in ridiculous ways. Almost as silly as trying to hijack planes while armed only with box cutters and then ramming those planes into buildings.

Liberal urbanites stopped breathing sighs of relief every time a terror plot was broken up and turned on law enforcement. There were suspicions that these were just setups. Representatives of Muslim groups complained that law enforcement was taking confused kids and tricking them into terrorist plots that they never could have carried out on their own.

But there was only one way to find out.

Last year the Associated Press won a Pulitzer for its attack on the NYPD’s mosque surveillance program. But that was the April 14 mindset. Now after April 15, the police are once again heroes and any editorials from imprisoned terrorists complaining about the lack of new Harry Potter novels at Gitmo have temporarily been placed on hold. But the police know better than anyone that it will not take very long for them to go from the heroes to the villains. The period of consciousness after April 15 will be much shorter than after September 11.

The long spring in which Americans didn’t have to turn on the news and see bloody body parts everywhere was made possible by the dedicated work of the very people the media spent a decade undermining. The media was undermining them on April 14, but two days later it was acknowledging that the temporary peace brought about by the work of the very people they despised had made their temporary ignorance of terror possible.

We don’t know who perpetrated the Marathon Massacre, but many of the Muslim terrorist plots broken up by the authorities would have been as deadly. And there will be others like them in the future. The one thing we can be certain of is that terrorism as a tactic is here to stay.

While law enforcement pores over the wreckage, the media is examining the political fallout. It is waiting for the time when it will once again be safe to pay terrorists for their propaganda. If the bomber turns out to be anything other than a Muslim terrorist, then they can get into their limos and drive back to that Sunday, April 14, when it was safe to be pro-terrorist. If he turns out to be in any way associated with the right, then they can celebrate hitting propaganda pay dirt. But even if he’s only another Unabomber or even another Bill Ayers, the false spring of April 14 will still beckon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/daniel-greenfield/the-april-14-world/2013/04/21/

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