Disrupting the Obama terrorism narrative

Mathew Continetti:
You have heard the words. You know the narrative. Let’s not rush to judgment. These were lone wolves. They were self-radicalized. The system worked. The dots were connected. Osama Bin Laden is dead; GM is alive. Al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self. It is time for nation building at home.

Add up all of those lone wolves, however, and pretty soon you have a pack. Which may be one reason the reaction of some liberals to last week’s terror attack has been so bizarre: The bombing of the Boston Marathon by two radical Muslim immigrants to the United States, in which three innocent bystanders were killed, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 260 other innocents were wounded, many of them maimed grievously, interrupted certain narratives that have dominated national security discourse since the election of President Barack Obama.

The underlying assumption of those narratives is that the counterterrorism strategy pursued by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, was self-destructive. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mobilized the Islamic world against America. The existence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, the scandal at Abu Ghraib, and the reports of harsh interrogation of detainees eroded our moral high ground. Bush betrayed our values. He exploited fear for political gain.

The appropriate response, it was said, was to do the opposite of Bush. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Narrow the war to drones and Special Forces targeted against al Qaeda leadership. Close Gitmo. Ban “torture.” Extend a hand to the Muslim Middle East. Diminish the threat by suggesting its commonality not with ideologies such as fascism or communism or anarchism, but with unlawful activities such as organized crime, narcotics trafficking, and psychopathic rampage killing.

This narrative could hold sway as long as terrorist plots were disrupted or failed or could be dismissed as something other than terrorism. Such was the case for four years. In May 2009 the New York Police Department disrupted a plot to bomb Jewish landmarks in the Bronx and attack a local airport. The next month Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, fired on an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., killing one and wounding another.
There is much more.

Obama does seem to be at a loss.  His aversion to even acknowledging terrorist attacks has become laughable.   "Work place violence" oh, come on.  He seems to lack a working definition of terrorism so I will give him one.  Terrorism involves the deliberate attacks on non combatants.  There.  That is not so hard and it is a definition that holds to explain all the attacks Continetti sets forth.  When it is done by an Islamic religious bigot it is Islamic terrorism.


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