Patterico's Pontifications

11/10/2009

Greenwald: Yelling “Allahu Akbar” During a Shooting Rampage Is Not Suggestive of Terrorism, and It’s Repellent of You to Claim Otherwise

Filed under: General,Morons — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

I couldn’t make up something this stupid if I tried. Glenn Greenwald:

Isn’t it fairly clear that the term “terrorism” is being applied to what Hasan did due to his religion rather than the acts themselves?

It’s about as clear as your prose, Greenwald.

Put another way, as ThinkProgress’ Matt Duss put it: “the definition of terrorism is not ‘any violence by any Muslim anywhere at any time for any reason’.” But that — along with the repellent claim that saying “Allahu Akbar” is “suggestive of terrorism,” rather than suggestive of someone who is Muslim (obviously the same thing in the minds of the people claiming that) — is exactly what seems to be driving discussions of this attack.

Hold up. Hold it just one second there.

It’s a “repellent claim” to note that yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is “suggestive of terrorism”? Yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is merely suggestive of someone being Muslim — and not terrorism?

I’m at a loss for words to express how stupid Greenwald’s claim is — and indeed, I needn’t mock it, because it mocks itself. May I remind you: on September 11, 2001, Muslim hijackers aboard Flight 93 yelled that phrase as they piloted the plane into the ground. Coincidence, I’m sure.

If common sense isn’t enough for you — if you really need to rely a lawyerly-sounding definition of “terrorism” — how about the one used by the U.S. Department of Defense: “The calculated use of violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or try to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”

At the risk of explaining the painfully obvious: when you yell “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage, that’s evidence that the shooter had Allah’s greatness on the brain during the time of the murder. That suggests a religious motivation, which suggests terrorism.

When Greenwald characterizes as “repellent” the claim that shouting “Allahu Akbar” suggests terrorism, he is engaging in the same sort of political correctness that caused military brass to turn a blind eye to Hasan’s extremist support of Muslim terrorism.

Which is to say, it’s attitudes like Greenwald’s that helped Nidal Hasan kill 13 people at Fort Hood.

But at least it gives him a little frisson of self-righteousness to accuse others of religious bigotry. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

UPDATE: As Andy Levy notes in comments, Hasan killed 14 people, not 13. Explanation here.

Greenwald: My Point Is Simple and Straightforward and Can Be Expressed in This Pithy 105-Word Sentence . . . Containing One Parenthetical, Three Semi-Colons, and Four Phrases Set Off By Dashes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:15 pm

Glenn Greenwald today argues that David Brooks has no business condemning murders by radical Islamic terrorists, or likening the Ft. Hood murders to such Islamic terrorism . . . because Brock has supported wars in which innocent civilians have unintentionally been killed.

As Ramesh Ponnuru notes, Greenwald’s argument is essentially this: “If you didn’t oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you have no standing to object to the Ft. Hood murders.” (In an update, Greenwald denies making that argument — which is how you know that he is making that argument.)

So what point is Greenwald trying to make? Why, it’s really quite simple and straightforward!

If one needs to reduce my point to a single sentence, one can try this: “if you constantly cheer on one war after the next that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings and the extreme suffering of millions more (as Brooks has done — beyond Iraq and Afghanistan — and continues to do), then you can’t coherently claim that the targets of your wars have a unique disregard for human life; that they — but not you — “don’t see others as fully human”; that they — but not you — “cause incredible amounts of suffering”; and that they — but not you — “come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.”

That’s a single sentence? I’ll be damned! Anyone want to take a stab at diagramming that bad boy?

Let me just say right now: if I ever start writing like that, I want you to shoot me.

P.S. But make sure you dress me up in a soldier’s uniform first, so that Greenwald won’t call you a terrorist!

Holder: CAIR’s Links to Hamas Don’t Bother Me!

Filed under: General,Obama,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:09 pm

CAIR: too radical — and too connected to terrorists — for the FBI:

The FBI claims it cut “formal contacts” with CAIR after federal prosecutors in the 2007 criminal trial of officers of a Texas-based Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, introduced documents the government said showed links between CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood, which gave rise to Hamas.

“Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” FBI Congressional liaison Richard Powers wrote in an April letter to Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

But not for Eric Holder:

Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to give a keynote speech next week to a Michigan group which includes the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations even though the FBI has formally severed contacts with the controversial Muslim civil rights organization.

I never thought Eric Holder would be pro-terrorist!

Other than the deal where he violated normal procedures to approve the pardons for the terrorists, that is . . . But come on! Who ever really saw that as a warning sign?

Breaking: Muhammad Executed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

The news comes via Drudge:

The mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks that killed 10 in the Washington, D.C., region has been executed.

A prison spokesman says John Allen Muhammad died by injection at 9:11 p.m. Tuesday at Greensville Correctional Center.

Good riddance.

P.S. His execution comes despite his argument that he didn’t have enough time to prepare an appeal. If he had a lot of time, they would argue that he had been kept on death row for too long. Is there a Goldilocks-style “just right” amount of time to be on death row?

P.P.S. DRJ reported this in an update to a post below, but I figured it merited its own post.

Iowahawk: Media Response to Fort Hood Shooting

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 5:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iowahawk has the complete list of media “headlines” for the Fort Hood shooting. Don’t miss the New York Times‘ headline at the bottom of the link.

— DRJ

Obama at Fort Hood

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 4:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I watched today’s Fort Hood memorial. It was a moving ceremony and a fitting tribute to the victims and their families. There were many prayers and references to God.

I admit I waited with trepidation for President Obama’s speech. I was gratified he talked about sacrifice and commitment, honored the dead, offered words of solace, and did not sully the memorial by naming the shooter:

“One by one, President Barack Obama spoke the names and told the stories Tuesday of the 13 people slain in the Fort Hood shooting rampage, honoring their memories as he denounced the “twisted logic” that led to their deaths.

“No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor,” Obama told the crowd on a steamy Texas afternoon. “And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice — in this world and the next.”

He did not name Maj. Nidal Hasan, the military psychiatrist accused of the killings.”

Well done, I thought, until I saw this Jake Tapper interview of the President aired on Good Morning America that touched on Fort Hood:

Tapper: You’re about to go to Fort Hood. Philosophically, what separates an act of violence from an act of terrorism?

Obama: In a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have, there are going to be instances, uh, in which an individual, uh, cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now, and we don’t have yet complete answers to it, is that ‘Is this an individual who is acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors?’ You know, what are the motivations?”

Clearly, Obama learned his lesson from the Cambridge incident and he won’t speculate or give a firm opinion until the facts are clear. However, he nevertheless appears to be tailoring his statements to each audience — the crazy loner theory to his Good Morning America audience, and the ‘no God condones this’ to his Fort Hood audience. It’s fine to tailor the message to the audience but not to tailor the facts, and IMO Obama came close to doing that here.

Further, are the only options that the shooter “cracked” or that there were a conspiracy of actors similar to 9/11? America also faces threats from domestic terrorists who are inspired by jihad but act alone. Is that on this Administration’s radar?

— DRJ

Virginia Governor Denies Clemency (Updated x2: Muhammad Executed)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 3:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has denied John Allen Muhammad’s request for clemency, which means Muhammad’s execution will take place as scheduled tonight.

Muhammad is being executed in connection with the murder of Dean Meyers. Meyer’s brother Bob and Bob’s wife will attend the execution, as will the husband and father of Lori Lewis Rivera. Relatives of other Muhammad-Malvo victims plan to attend, too:

“Cheryll Witz is one of several victims’ relatives who were going to watch the execution. Malvo confessed that, at Muhammad’s direction, he shot her father, Jerry Taylor, on a Tucson, Ariz., golf course in March 2002.

“He basically watched my dad breathe his last breath,” she said. “Why shouldn’t I watch his last breath?””

Muhammad will be executed by lethal injection at 9 p.m. EST tonight at Greensville Correctional Center, near Jarratt, Va., south of Richmond.

— DRJ

UPDATE: Muhammad’s attorney and family describe him as innocent, fearless as he faces death with dignity, and a veteran who returned from the Gulf War a “changed man.”

UPDATE 2: The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Muhammad was executed at 9:11 PM EST. He did not make a final statement.

It Wasn’t a “Tragedy”

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 1:06 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

If a bus had hit a patch of ice and skidded off a highway, resulting in the death of 13 people and injuries to dozens more, that would have been a “tragedy” as the term was once commonly understood.

But when a member of the enemy, even after revealing unmistakably his sympathies with those forces with which our nation is now at war, is allowed to infiltrate the Army and then use his position of trust as a means to murder unarmed soldiers, that is most emphatically not a tragedy.

That is malevolence on the part of the murderer and incompetence on the part of those who allowed it to occur.

There are so many disturbing aspects to the Fort Hood massacre, but perhaps the most disturbing is that it may well be repeated elsewhere because those whose duty it is to prevent it seem so puzzlingly unwilling to do so.

–Jack Dunphy

Teary Scozzafava: Maybe I’ll Run on a Republican Ticket Again in the Future

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 7:02 am

The Washington Post has a story titled ‘Scozzafava’ turns into epithet with the offensive deck headline: “It’s a Grand Old Purging as moderate’s ouster spotlights Republican dysfunction.”

Actually, the Republican dysfunction was supporting this turncoat — someone who, the article makes it sound, endorsed the Democrat because she was emotionally very fragile and the Democrats were nicer to her.

At her desk, with a fuzzy elephant face down on a bookshelf behind her, she recalled the exhausting end days of her campaign. Violet semicircles hung below her teary eyes as she recounted how Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other conservative leaders excoriated her for less-than-orthodox positions on gay rights, abortion and organized labor.

. . . .

The conservative movement’s third-party candidate, Doug Hoffman, expected her support but, she said, the newcomer accountant “had no integrity.” Plus, the Democrats were so nice! They called. They sympathized. They made her feel good about tossing her support to Bill Owens, who — with her help — became the area’s first Democratic representative in more than a century.

. . . .

Around 6 p.m., she and her husband pulled over at a Stewart’s convenience store on the rainy drive home from her Watertown campaign office. An aide called with dismal poll numbers. For hours, they sat, with Scozzafava staring at the windshield wipers going back and forth. Her husband counted the people using the convenience store’s ATM to pass the time. Mostly, she just cried.

I “love” the “scare quotes” used here:

She heard through friends that Palin insinuated she had been “anointed” by a “political machine” because county chairs handpicked her as the nominee.

In other words, Palin insinuated she had been “anointed” by a “political machine” because she had been anointed by a political machine.

Guess what? She’s thinking of running as a Republican again:

Scozzafava, who was stripped of her Republican leadership position in the New York State Assembly on Monday, says she has no regrets and even leaves open the possibility of running for the seat again as a Republican. She sees herself as a champion of local expertise over ideological purity.

“How can Sarah Palin come out and endorse someone who can’t answer some basic questions,” Scozzafava asked. “Do these people even know who they are endorsing?”

Those conservative forces now descend on Florida [note the loaded language: “forces” and “descend” — P], where former House speaker Marco Rubio, who on Monday received the endorsement of the Club for Growth, might shove aside [again note the terminology used — P] centrist Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once on John McCain’s short list for running mate. And Scozzafava has a warning.

There is a lot of us who consider ourselves Republicans, of the Party of Lincoln,” she said, her face now flush. “If they don’t want us with them, we’re going to work against them.”

Hey, whiny teary person! Republicans gave you a lot of money. Then you endorsed the Democrat. In effect, Republicans gave money to the Democrat. You will never run and win as a Republican again. E-ver. No matter how many tears you shed or how flush your face becomes, your betrayal will not be forgotten — and the fact that you think it would be merely highlights how clueless you are.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 12:23 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Barack Obama made a surprise video appearance at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall:

“In the message beamed into celebrations at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, once on the border between East and West Berlin, Obama told cheering crowds: “Even in the face of tyranny. People insisted that the world could change.”

“Even as we celebrate these values, even as we mark this day, we know the work of freedom is never finished.”
***
“Few would have foreseen … that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it,” Obama said.”

Reason.com’s Matt Welch notes Obama was introduced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“While watching the BBC’s live coverage of 20th anniversary events in Berlin, I found myself in that rare position of totally digging a Hillary Clinton speech, in which she gave good props to many of the most deserving actors in the toppling of communism … until she uncorked an excruciating segue: And now, she said, I have the pleasure to introduce a man who tore down different kinds of walls. Including walls of racial intolerance, etc.

Really?

President Obama, whose absence from the celebration is (in my biased opinion) a national embarrassment, then delivered a video message, in which he included among a string of who’da-thoughts the fact that a U.S. president was of African descent.”

Apparently the Administration believes even this historical event should be seen through the prism of Obama, but the fall of the Berlin Wall is not about Obama or his jaundiced view of America’s value to the world. Too bad he couldn’t just stay away.

— DRJ


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