If we just go shopping, the terrorists will lose

Barack was at it again after the Brussels bombings:

It is very important for us to not respond with fear. ... But we defeat them in part by saying you are not strong, you are weak. We send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say you are not going to change our values.

That’s it: words.  That will show ISIS who’s strong and who’s not. (I use the president's first name advisedly.  He it was who began talking down to senators and congressmen by using their first names; now all the presidential candidates do it to each other.  Must keep up with the times.)

"If we change our way of life, then they've won" has to be the stupidest cliché in the endless bloviating on the "war" on terror.

Wednesday morning, David Greene, NPR host, was interviewing Angus King, independent senator from Maine (oh, he caucuses with the Democrats, surprise).  Angus opined that "terrorism is all about making us modify our activities" and offered that our inconvenience at airports is "a minor victory for the terrorists."

Oh, but David was anguished.  "Sad for Americans and others to probably hear you talk about even giving a group like ISIS credit for even the smallest victories."

Angus immediately saw his mistake and walked it back – sort of.

"Well, I don't call it a victory. ... But clearly, we don't want to change who we are.  That would be a victory. ... We've got to go about our lives and travel and shop and work and all of those things without being intimidated."

Got that?  Our "values" are traveling and shopping.  The Islamofascists merely want us to "modify our activities."  But that would "change who we are."  Go to the mall, Angus!  Shop 'til you drop!  What a profound geopolitical strategy.

Could these two really be so stupid?  David graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, majoring in government, and Angus went to Dartmouth and the University of Virginia Law School.  They seem to assume that the Islamicists became murderous watching videos of Americans breezing through airports before 9/11.  Oh, how they hated our freedoms!  When bin Laden saw us queueing in long lines and taking off our shoes, he knew he’d won – that was what he was fighting for!

ISIS has proclaimed what it wants by word and deed: conquer territory, kill those who refuse to submit, convert those who will, and collect the jizya tax from the rest.  It has nothing – nothing, Angus, nothing, David, nothing, Barack – to do with shopping or tolerance for the Other or building a diverse society or providing universal health care or any of the other hobbyhorses you and your cronies ride.  Nothing.  You see, Angus and David and Barack, the aims of warfare have changed not at all over the millennia.  It's about controlling territory, resources, and people.  Simple.  Too simple for a laureate from Harvard or Dartmouth to grasp.

But soft, you!  The Department of Homeland Security has a solution, a travel alert for all of Europe:

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.

Now there's actionable intelligence.  "Exercise vigilance" – as in, alerting the gendarmes when you see Middle Eastern men wearing gloves and pushing baggage trolleys into an air terminal?  Sounds dangerously close to racial profiling, that most heinous of hate crimes.  "Avoid crowded places" – this is even better, a description of train stations, airports, and city streets.  How, pray tell, does one travel without visiting such places?  Does Jeh Johnson, secretary of DHS, want us to parachute into the countryside and walk through the hedgerows?

Such is the fruit of Jeh and Alejandro Mayorkas, his deputy, spending $55.1 billion per year and overseeing 240,000 employees to "keep us safe."  Great job, guys.  Hey, Jeh, here's an idea: how about you and Alejandro love-bomb ISIS with leaflets festooned with rainbows and unicorns and announcing, "You are not strong!  You are weak!" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"?  That will show them "our values."

Henry Percy is the nom de plume of a writer in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.

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