The Corner

Obama’s a Fool For Randomness

In his interview with Vox, Barack Obama said that terrorism is overblown by the media:

“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” Obama said. “It is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that–the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.”

Here’s an extended clip of the comment in context:

Where to begin? Well, for starters, he’s again refusing to acknowledge the nature of the threat. No mention of what kind  of zealots we’re talking about. It’s just “zealots.” Second, and this too is an old trope of his, not only is he refusing to describe the true nature of the threat, his rush to euphemisms causes him to analyze and describe terrorism incorrectly – as if Jihadism is analogous to street crime. This is not only morally obtuse, it is strategically daft. Street crime is bad. Terrorism is bad. But street crime and terrorism are not the same thing. We all agree that street crime shouldn’t be treated like terrorism — no drone strikes for shoplifters! Why is it so hard to see the reverse is true? Terrorism shouldn’t be treated like robbery. 

But these are old criticisms we don’t need to rehash here again. 

The more novel problem is his disgusting description of the deliberate targeting of Jews as a random shooting. It’s as infuriating as his administration’s insistence that the Fort Hood shooting was just “workplace violence,” though more hypocritical. When a theologically inspired Jew-hating terrorist runs across Paris to hold a Kosher market hostage, and then executes Jews in accordance with his ideological and religious dogma, it is not random violence or street crime. Period.

There was nothing random about it, at all. There are about 310,000 Jews in the greater Paris area. Out of close to 12 million inhabitants. The odds of killing four Jews randomly are pretty daunting. But, thankfully,  you don’t have to do the math because Amedy Coulibaly said openly and proudly that he was targeting Jews. No one disputes this, except for Barack Obama. He would never describe the targeting of a black church by the Klan as simple random violence — nor should he. And we know he’s perfectly comfortable denouncing crimes committed in “in the name of Christ” no matter how ancient they may be. But crimes in the name of Allah must not be named as such — or at all. 

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