When the argument was made in The War of Ideas that the U.S. Middle East Studies elite had been causing failures in foreign policy and psychological distress on citizens for providing faulty expertise on the roots of Jihadi terror, some of the book’s projections had not yet been reached. They now have been. A Boston bombing victim Adrianne Haslet-Davis was frustrated by NBC’s repetitive use of the names of the bombers who caused her injury last year. She was participating in Meet the Press to discuss her experience. It turned out that the panel shifted the discussion to the personality of the bomber as if the terror act was a criminal aggression against her personally, causing her to leave the set. The media elite’s fascination with the personality of terrorists has been generated by U.S. academia’s assertion that the terror acts are expressions of individual frustrations by the Jihadi perpetrators, not products of their ideology.
Hence the discussion grows about the “private life of Dzohar” instead of the ideology that recruited him into the battlefield. This is a war, not a crime scene, and the Jihadists are members of a movement, not Hollywood stars. Ms. Haslet-Davis is right: she has no personal connection to a “frustrated Dzohar.” She is the victim of a Jihadi terrorist. NBC should thus discuss the terror ideology or the fate of victims of this ideology. Creating a link between criminal and victim in a global war serves to shift attention from the threat to national security to unnecessary mental torture of the victim.
NBC’s approach to the homegrown Jihadi menace needs to be corrected and so should the dominant Middle East Studies analysis of the roots of that threat. The victims of Ft. Hood had no connection to Major Hassan; the victims of the Boston bombing had no ties to the Tsarnaiev brothers; and civilians in Detroit had no relation to Abdelmuttalib, the so-called “Christmas Day Bomber.” The actions by terrorists against U.S. citizens, and citizens around the world for that matter, are generated by a conviction by indoctrinated groups and individuals that the Jihadi ideology is right and that killing in its name is legitimate. Unfortunately, the U.S. educational and opinion-generating elite is attempting to create a link between killers and victims rather than the global war waged by the Jihadists. In a sense, directly or indirectly, this trend aims at minimizing the real root cause of the threat. If anything, this might help the terrorists and dis-educate the public.
The visit came at the heels of severe crises in international relations—from Crimea to Kiev, Libya’s resurging violence, the unending war in Syria, an escalating security breakdown in Yemen, urban terror in Egypt, and car bombs in Lebanon and Iraq.
Bullying has been around as long as kids have existed. From ancient caves to Elizabethan towns to modern elementary schools, there has always been a layer of kids deriving sick pleasure from victimizing other kids.
Only one member of the orchestra is mimicked with any regularity. The average guy doesn’t tape empty soda cans together and pretend to play the bassoon, or sit on a chair and saw away at an imaginary cello. Nobody plays the air flute.
Belen Fernandez doesn’t exactly come right out and say it, but she comes as close as one can while hedging her bets. In this Aljazeera post (”The Fort Hood shooting should be analysed within the larger context of US militarism”), she supposedly takes the “larger view,” but in effect blames U.S. militarism for the shooting:
Americans are down on President Obama’s foreign policy. A Real Clear Politics average of polls over the last month reveals 51 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of international affairs, while only 40 percent approve.
We just marked four looooonnnnnggg years since Obamacare was signed into law. Seems like an eternity, no? Let’s review what we’ve gotten for all of this upheaval, chaos, and trillions of dollars in spending.
If you thought that the Board of Eduation in NYC was largely responsible for a malfunctioning school system, here’s an incident showing the improbable actions of our justice system in reversing a ruling that reflected rare common sense and discipline. Two female teachers in their thirties were found on the floor in a classroom at Madison High School in Brooklyn; they were topless and the room was dark on an evening when a student performance was taking place in the auditorium. Witnesses reported seeing the women undressed - one of them described seeing one of the teachers kneeling between the legs of the other one. The teachers were both fired.
Among the theoretical questions people sometimes pose to themselves — if my house were burning down, what would I grab? If I won millions in the lottery, what would I buy? — is the classic, “If I had one day to live, what would I do?”
An important libel lawsuit in Washington D.C Superior Court, which has received little public attention, is sure to heat up soon. At issue is a contentious clash involving global warming, scientific research, and freedom of speech.
When Moscow tells us that their massive military maneuvers in Western Russia have nothing to do with what’s happening in Kiev it’s like the old Marx Brothers’ routine: Who are you going to believe, me (Moscow) or your own eyes?
After learning that the attic space at Gracie Mansion had once been occupied by Mayor Koch’s chef, Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City responded to the question of how the de Blasio’s might use it: “I can tell you with confidence, there will not be a servant living there.”
The Obama administration, in its first and second terms, has committed strategic mistakes in the Middle East which will undermine U.S. national and security interests for many years, even under subsequent administrations after 2016.
If signs went up saying “Jews only,” or “Whites only,” or “Christians only” anyplace on the planet, but particularly in Israel, there would be a righteously indignant outcry around the world, as there should be.
The New York City Council will not be marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because gays can not wave the LGBT banner on this occasion. I’m curious about Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s decision to limit her outrage to the gay issue when she also might have insisted that marchers be allowed to wave banners about their support for abortion rights and universal insurance for birth control. As a New Yorker who is neither Irish nor Catholic, I wonder how the council which supposedly represents all New Yorkers became monolithically concerned about the feelings of the gay population, one which actually has its own designated parade. Of course, as Mayor de Blasio’s toady, Ms. Mark-Viverito made the ultimate obsequious choice, raising the ante one degree higher than her boss who declined to march himself but thought it was fine for city workers to march in uniform.
The Army stood at 570,000 men and women at the height of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Under President Obama, it has been preparing to reduce its numbers to 490,000 men and women. Hagel’s proposal would get that level down to between 440,000 and 450,000 active-duty personnel.
Based on a true story about an Indian soldier admitted to the Meninger Clinic after World War 11 for treatment of symptoms which we now call PTSD, ”Jimmy P” is an absorbing blend of psychotherapy and cultural anthropology. Jimmy’s malady has stumped the staff and an unusual man named George Devereux has been summoned from New York to treat him. The French actor Matthieu Amalric plays the expatriated European doctor with the same panache older viewers will associate with Paul Henreid; he is charming, innovative and though well versed in Freudian precepts, equally familiar with Indian tribal lore and customs. Through a relationship that borders as much on friendship as doctor/patient status, Devereux encourages Jimmy, persuasively embodied by Benicio del Toro, to strip away the layers of time and denial in order to confront his primal fears and learn to successfully manage them. Devereux is a brilliant and insightful man, reluctant to rely on pat categories and always ready to apply his knowledge of Indian culture to understand this specific patient and his background influences.
Just as Team Obama tries to make us feel all warm and fuzzy about relations with Iran due to perceived “progress” on the interim (but not nearly final) nuclear deal, Tehran goes and blows it with some, shall we say, “hateful” acts.