The Corner

National Security & Defense

Stop Making the Absurd Argument that ‘Far-Right’ Extremists Are More Dangerous than Jihadists

Ever since the alt-right terror attack in Charlottesville, I keep seeing the same tired (and utterly absurd) argument online. Far-right terrorists, some say, are more dangerous than jihadists. To support this nonsense, they tend to cite garbage studies that, among other things, 1) omit the casualty count from 9/11; 2) omit American casualty counts from overseas terrorist acts; 3) omit American military deaths in anti-terror combat operations; and 4) omit jihadist terrorist attacks against friends and allies. A study that does any of those things is willfully and indefensibly understating the magnitude of the jihadist threat. Consider the following facts:

-On September 11, jihadists hit the mainland United States harder than any foreign enemy since the British Army burned Washington D.C. in the War of 1812.

-In the War on Terror, jihadists have inflicted more civilian casualties in the United States than any great power in any of the great wars of the Twentieth Century.

-They have killed thousands – and seriously wounded tens of thousands – of Americans in combat operations abroad.

-In the absence of American military efforts, they have proven that they can take entire cities, control territories the size of nation-states, commit genocide, and trigger an international refugee crisis that even now destabilizes European politics.

-They strike our NATO allies – nations we’ve promised to help defend – time and again, using bombs, guns, and vehicles to kill and wound civilians by the hundreds.

-Finally, in spite of massive military, intelligence, and domestic security efforts (and in spite of the fact that Muslims make up a tiny percentage of the American population), jihadists still kill more Americans here at home than any other brand of extremist.

(To illustrate the absurdity of studies that purport to measure threats only after the war starts and without consideration of military efforts overseas, consider that by these measures “far-right” domestic extremists would be more dangerous than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. After all, the Axis powers were only able to inflict a tiny few casualties here at home.)

None of this means that far-right (and far-left) domestic extremists aren’t evil and dangerous. None of this means that law enforcement shouldn’t remain vigilant, especially as extreme political polarization spikes political passions here at home. But domestic divisions cannot and must not distract us from the threat of the foreign enemy. When it comes to terror, there is one and only one apex predator, and it kills in the name of Allah.

Most Popular

Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More
Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More