Terrorists at the door
Far away, across an ocean, in a place dramatically different from America, there is genocide unfolding. We read about it. We see pictures and videos. We are shocked by the level of hate and barbarism.
But it is far away. Thank goodness.
Many feel sick, helpless, outraged about what is happening to those people over there: Yazidis, Christians, Jews, Kurds. The list goes on.
It is difficult to wrap one’s mind around institutionalized barbarism. The English language appears to lack words that sufficiently describe the horrors that are unfolding.
On occasion we hear elected officials hypothesize that some of these barbarians might already be here. Others assert they are already here.
Either way, it’s abstract. You look around your town. Things seem pretty much the same. Wherever terrorists might be, they don’t seem to be nearby.
Life goes on.
Then we learn some Americans have joined ISIS in their psychopathic Islamic jihadist fight. We are told this is risky because they could fly back here with their American passports and, wham, we now have ISIS on our soil.
But the idea is a bit vague. And we are confident the FBI is tracking them and will deal with them with accordingly.
So we go about our day. And read headlines filled with the letters I.S.I.S.
James Foley, an American journalist, is beheaded. To say what happened to him was horrible, deplorable, and barbaric is insufficient.
It was an act of war. Wasn’t it?
It’s too frightening to ponder. And anyway, it happened over there. In the Middle East. Thank goodness it’s so far away.
More headlines: ISIS poses an imminent threat to the United States.
General McInerney believes that we should be taking this ISIS threat far more seriously than we are, suggesting that we should be at DEFCON 1 and preparing for possible attacks on multiple cities. McInerney believes they have already come across our southern border and suggests we could be hit on 9/11 of this year.
But we’re “war weary.” And many are saying that ISIS is not an imminent threat.
Hmm. That’s cold comfort. Are we supposed to feel ok about the fact that ISIS is not here yet? How much time do we have to spare? How far along is the Caliphate supposed to expand before we decide it’s time to fight back?
Maybe I’m over-reacting. After all, the nice lady on Meet the Press said: “But we heard the Pentagon say that right now they [ISIS] are not in a position to launch an attack on the United States. Is there any credible intelligence that ISIS is either planning that or has the capability to do it?”
And Candy Crowley said it, too: “there are some saying that the threat of ISIS, also known as ISIL, is not immediate to the United States.”
This is good. ISIS is not in a position to attack us. At least not immediately. We’ve got time. These ladies said so on national television. And the Pentagon backed up their assertions.
Even though ISIS is expanding and has become a large, well-armed, well-funded army that is sweeping across the Middle East at break neck speed. Even though they have stated their intention to fly their flag over the White House.
Nagging thoughts. Put them out of your mind. It’s just a regional conflict. ISIS probably doesn’t have the capability to attack us.
But do we want to wager our lives on “probably?”
The Joint Chiefs Chair, General Martin Dempsey, just said “he will recommend the U.S. military move directly against the Islamic State in Syria if he determines the group has become a direct threat to the U.S. homeland or Europe.”
That sounds hopeful. It seems ISIS has not yet been deemed a credible threat to us.
And when Greg Gutfield recently interviewed Bret Stephens, Foreign Affairs journalist with the Wall Street Journal, Stephens said even although Obama’s foreign policy is a “total failure” and “America is in retreat” we are “not in decline.”
More good news! We’re not in decline. We’re doing ok. No one can touch us.
Stephens said that in America we can have terrible presidents, and yet “Here we are!” (smiley face)
Right. This is good. We can survive Obama. Everything will be ok.
Stephens recently penned a piece in Commentary Magazine, where he wrote:
Still, we should not lose hope. We may be foolish, but our enemies, however aggressive and ill-intended, are objectively weak. We may be a nation in deliberate retreat, but at least we are not—at least not yet—in inexorable decline….
More encouraging news. Even though our enemies are evil and aggressive, they are “objectively weak.” I’m not 100% sure what “objectively weak” means. It sounds academic. But I like the idea that they are weak. I’m going to stick with that because it makes me feel more secure.
Even though terror seems to be gaining ground. In the Middle East. In Asia. In Europe.
But never mind. I must be confused. Because I read these words in print: the enemy is weak.
And Stephens said “we are not – at least not yet – in inexorable decline.”
“Yet.” “If.” “Probably.”
Those repeated words and reports like this make it hard to stay in denial:
Prior ISIS’s recent public successes, the former chairman of the 9/11 Commission, which just released a tenth anniversary report on the threat of terrorism currently facing the homeland, said he was shocked at how little seems to be known inside the U.S. intelligence community about the Islamist army brutalizing Iraq as it has Syria.
“I was appalled at the ignorance,” former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who led the 9/11 Commission, told ABC News last week.
Kean, a Republican, who with vice chairman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, recently met with about 20 top intelligence officials in preparation of the commission’s latest threat report, said many officials seemed both blind-sided and alarmed by the group's rise, growth and competency.
“One official told me ‘I am more scared than at any time since 9/11,’” Kean recounted in a recent interview.
Uh-oh. Our government does not seem to know what’s going on.
Nah. I don’t believe that. I think Obama knows exactly what’s going on. And it’s all just fine with him. And if it’s good enough for the president, it must be good enough for us.