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Question of the Day
Erick Erickson remembers.
At his popular Red State site, Mr. Erickson quoted extensively from a Sept. 19, 2001, column by Barack Obama, in which the future president blamed the previous week’s terrorist attacks on “a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.”
Muslim jihadists “see poverty all around them and they are angry by that poverty. They may be suffering under oppressive and corrupt regimes and that kind of environment is a breeding ground for fanaticism and hatred,” Mr. Obama wrote in the Hyde Park Herald.
“In his Cairo speech, Barack Obama did not directly mention ‘poverty,’ but instead went with the white man’s burden — an indirect way of saying the same thing — pontificating that ‘tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims,’” Mr. Erickson wrote, before going in for the kill.
“Contra Obama, it turns out that yet again, the Al Qaeda terrorist who tried to blow up a Delta jet on Christmas Day was another rich kid,” Mr. Erickson wrote, linking to a report in the British newspaper, the Independent.
“With his wealth, privilege and education at one of Britains leading universities, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab had the world at his feet — able to choose from a range of futures in which to make his mark on the world,” Independent reporters Andrew Johnson and Emily Dugan wrote.
The moral, according to Mr. Erickson: “Some people want to kill us. They need to be rooted out and killed first. And we should perhaps consider that the ‘War on Terror’ we are no longer allowed to refer to continues even if we choose not to participate.”
The new security guidelines implemented by the Transportation Security Administration after the Christmas Day attempted terror attack — metaphors involving horses and barn doors come to mind — drew witheringly sarcastic responses across the political spectrum.
“Sometimes the stupidity is too much to bear. From the new guidelines for international air travel: ‘U.S.-bound passengers aboard international flights must undergo a “thorough pat-down” at boarding gates, focused on the upper legs and torso,’” wrote Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic.
“Thanks for letting us know, TSA, that the search should be focused on the upper legs and torso. … We recently saw in Saudi Arabia the detonation of a rectal bomb, so it really doesn’t take much creativity to imagine that terrorists will be taping explosives to their scrotums. Of course, TSA is not going to be feeling-up people’s scrotums anytime soon, so the question remains: Why does our government continue to make believe that it can stop terrorists from boarding civilian planes when anyone with half-a-brain and a spare two minutes can think up a dozen ways to bypass the symbolic security measures at our airports?”
He notes that new rules are in effect through Wednesday.
“In January, you see, the jihad is over. That, or the TSA needs until December 30th to properly promulgate a formal set of inane new rules, to add to the inane rules currently in place. Here’s an alternative suggestion for the Obama administration: Focus on capturing and killing Islamist terrorists overseas. By the time they get to the airport, it is, generally speaking, too late.”
Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft noted another irony in the new rules.
“It’s an Obama World … Up is down, big is small, losing jobs is creating or saving jobs, and heroes are asked to be seated. Yesterday, Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam, told CNN how he helped the cabin crew to subdue Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old who reportedly ignited a small explosive device on board the plane Friday as it prepared to land in Detroit. … In response to this courageous act of heroism, the Obama Administration enacted new policies today. The new rules will force heroic passengers to stay in their seats for the final hour of their flight before landing.”
Or as conservative blogger Sister Toldjah put it: “Heckuva job, Janet.”
Several conservative bloggers were up in arms Monday about the case of Mohamed Ibrahim, a Memphis, Tenn., Muslim accused of making threats against businesses and saying he’d start a jihad. According to police reports, Mr. Ibrahim was arrested with a butcher knife hidden in one of his jacket sleeves.
“The FBI found three Islamic cassette tapes and miscellaneous papers in the suspect’s car, which were removed for additional study, according to the affidavit. Police charged Ibrahim with commission of an act of terrorism, filing false reports and disorderly conduct. He posted $100 bond and was released,” reported the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Catch that last detail? A hundred bucks bail on a terrorism charge.
“Let me get this straight. He had a knife hidden on him, yet they released him on as little as $100? This is very serious, because what if he were to go on a rampage for real this time? … Either the police or the judge who released him have a lot of explaining to do. Residents of Memphis who care about their safety are going to have to demand answers from the local legal system,” wrote Avi Green at the Astute Blogger.
Pam Geller at Atlas Shruggs suggested that “perhaps Mohamed will kick off his jihad at the judge’s house. The judge is either blind, deaf and dumb, an Islamist, a Democrat or a Muslim.”
Added Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch about the $100 bail: “Clearly this far-seeing and right-thinking judge understands that Islam is a Religion of Peace, and that therefore this man only intended to butcher his sinful inclinations, as part of his inner spiritual struggle to conform his life to the will of Allah.”
Conservative blogger Jammie-Wearing Fool (JWF) announced sarcastically the “Great News: Waves of Suicide Bombers Training in Yemen.”
JWF linked to a report in the British tabloid the Sun that said, citing a Scotland Yard source, that “failed plane bomber Umar Abdulmutallab has bragged to FBI agents that there are more young men plotting to launch attacks on the West.
“The British extremists in Yemen are in their early 20s and from Bradford, Luton and Leytonstone, East London. They are due to return to the UK early in 2010 and will then await internet instructions from al-Qaeda on when to strike. ‘We know there are four or five radicalised British Muslim cells in the Yemen,’ [the Scotland Yard source said].”
But JWF is unworried.
“Don’t sweat any of this. The Muslim world loves us again. Plus the geniuses at DHS tell us this isn’t part of any larger plot, so go back to sleep. It would be terrible if we offended anyone by labeling them as suspects,” he wrote.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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