So it’s Islamic terrorism.
Two days after Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., law-enforcement officials have revealed that Malik, a Pakistani native who grew up in Saudi Arabia, “pledged her allegiance” to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook just before the attack.
It was also not the work of NRA members, rabid anti-abortionists, Christian-militia members, or any of the other speculations trotted out by the mainstream media in the hours following the attack. It was the work of Islamic terrorists sympathetic to the mass movement of beheaders, crucifiers, and rapists rampaging across the Middle East and, increasingly, Europe — a group that, the morning before last month’s attack in Paris, the American president said was “contained.”
The president and his ilk have proven incapable of admitting the magnitude of the threat posed by Islamic terrorism.
The president and his ilk have proven incapable of admitting the magnitude of the threat posed by Islamic terrorism. They prefer to wax pious about “real” threats, such as climate change — a conference about which, going on now, was supposed to be a “rebuke” to persons like Mr. Farook and Ms. Malik. Such willful blindness has costs. The shooting in San Bernardino was deadlier than the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last January. It was, in fact, the deadliest act of Islamic terrorism in the United States since September 11, 2001. And yet on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s response was to demand that legislators close the “gun-show loophole,” which doesn’t exist.
Since they cannot vilify pro-life documentaries or Confederate flags, the Left has repaired to its usual target, supposedly overly permissive gun laws — though what legislation they might propose to curtail future episodes like this, short of repealing the Second Amendment, is a mystery, given that California already has arguably the strictest gun-control regime in the country. And we’re fairly certain there are no pipe-bomb-show loopholes.
Instead, the administration has signaled its intention to target not Islamic terrorism but the nonexistent specter of Islamophobia, which the attorney general of the United States declared on Thursday evening to be her “greatest fear.” And, in fact, Loretta Lynch has demonstrated her willingness to throw the full weight of the federal government behind such accusations by opening an investigation into the detention of Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohamed. Is it any surprise, then, that a neighbor who found the comings and goings at the Farook house suspicious refused to contact authorities for fear of being considered a bigot? The administration says, “If you see something, say something,” but it has made clear that seeing and saying something about those with certain religious beliefs or a particular color of skin might well be treated as a de facto hate crime.
Likewise with immigration policy, where skeptics of large-scale Muslim immigration are, in the president’s own words, “un-American.” Meanwhile, Tashfeen Malik passed a Department of Homeland Security background check, meaning that she managed to conceal her intentions, or that she was radicalized while living in the United States. Neither explanation is comforting — especially as the United States prepares to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, whose origins, given the state of affairs in Syria, are likely to be much more obscure than Malik’s.This war will ultimately be won only by taking the fight to the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, et al., where they are, rather than waiting to react when they manage to turn up, violently, here. A variety of tactics and resources are available to inflict serious damage on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and impede their global spread. Unfortunately, President Obama has indicated no interest in applying the necessary force, and the “cancer” he long ago swore to “eradicate” will metastasize further. The importance of electing a president who recognizes the scope and gravity of the threat, and who will move swiftly and forcefully against it, cannot be overstated.
But the rise of the Islamic State is only a new front in our decades-long war against Islamic terrorism. As before, what is required now is the vigilance to identify threats, the decisiveness to end them, and the patience to stay the course.