- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS

Rhetoric matters.

The American people aren’t stupid – after the attack in Brussels they feel like their country is vulnerable, that the U.S. isn’t winning the war on terrorism, and that Belgium – through its weak information sharing and lose immigration policies – could’ve done more to prevent ISIS from claiming victory there last week.

But that’s not how the Obama administration sees it.

In an interview with ABC News late last week, Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t want to condemn Belgium for their handling of the attack.

Since the terror event, Turkish officials said they warned the Belgium government about one of last week’s suicide bombers, and Belgian prosecutors admitted they missed a chance to question SalahAbdeslam, the only alleged perpetrator of November’s Paris attacks still alive, about future terrorists’ plots.

Moreover, Mr. Abdeslam was only a few days prior to the attacks, discovered in his family neighborhood of Molenbeek, Brussels, roaming around the immigrant-heavy neighborhood in plain sight, despite the international manhunt for him.

Yet, Mr. Kerry didn’t want to cast blame on Brussels.

“I wouldn’t come to the conclusion that they screwed up,” Mr. Kerry said in an interview to ABC News, regarding Belgium’s security and intelligence failures before the attack last week. “They were the ones who captured Salah Abdeslam and that may have triggered this event. So I just think it’s unfair to keep leaping to the conclusion here.”

Mr. Kerry also wanted to reassure the American people the U.S. is winning the war with ISIS, despite the terror attack. When questioned by CBS News after the attack, Mr. Kerry stood firm.

“We are winning,” he said. “The fact that you can strike by sending a couple of would-be suicidal people into an airport to blow up a bomb does not indicate that they’re winning. It means they’ve just struck a horrible blow and been willing to take lives with them.”

Compare Mr. Kerry’s rhetoric with Republican Donald Trump, who openly questioned America’s effectiveness in the war on terrorism, and has called out Brussels for its weak immigration policies and security network.

“The terrorists are totally winning,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Breitbart News after the Brussels attacks. “The terrorists are making us look like fools.”

And there’s more to come, he warned.

“I think this whole thing will get worse as time goes by,” Mr. Trump said in an interview last week on Fox News, predicting more attacks. “It’s being, you know, perpetrated all over the place now. Brussels is in very bad shape, but many cities will be this way with what’s taking place, and it’s really the policies of people who don’t know what they’re doing.”

This is the reason why Mr. Trump is so popular: Because he says in plain words what the American population is seeing and reading with their own eyes. There’s no spin, there’s no magic tricks or parlor games to try to get Americans to believe one thing, when reality is another.

Mr. Trump isn’t fear mongering - he’s just telling it how it is from his world perspective. He doesn’t care if it’s ugly, or if it offends diplomats on the world stage.

The Obama administration would be better off if they acknowledged simple truths. Belgium officials screwed up. ISIS isn’t a JV team. And open borders without cultural assimilation has consequences.

For we can only solve a problem, once we admit one exists.


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