07/20/15

Forum: What Was Your Reaction To The Chattanooga Attack?

The Watcher’s Council

Chattanooga Shooting Victims

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Was Your Reaction To The Chattanooga Attack?

Don Surber: C-in-C should order every officer (commissioned and non-com) to carry a sidearm when on duty stateside. Exemptions for chaplains and working physicians. Maybe a few other MOS. National Guard and reservists would be up to the discretion of commanders as a matter of protocol, while preserving the authority to order so. Any civilian who feels uncomfortable can kindly resign/retire from DoD.

Puma By Design: Courtesy of the dysfunction in the present administration, America’s enemies are at war with us on U.S. soil empowered by our so-called leaders who are in denial, stupid and in the pockets of our enemies while at the same time, refusing to call this evil by its name.

America’s enemies are targeting our service members and their families because it is a known fact that they are not armed.

ARM THEM. They have the right to defend themselves…and us ON American soil.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Gun free zones get people killed.

In Chattanooga, the dark one liner is “From DUI and weed to J!had in 90 days.” Busted in April, it appears he made a fast conversion to violence.

We often prided ourselves here about our easy going laissez-faire attitude. Not anymore. Was this cat self radicalized? Inspired by the mosque? Both? Doesn’t really matter now as armed vigilance is replacing the Coexist stickers and memes.

We really need all the prayers and good vibes y’all may send.

JoshuaPundit: Unfortunately, the minute I heard about this atrocity, I knew exactly what was coming. The theme by the media, assorted political figures and the Obama Regime, as always, was to repeat the mantra of ‘senseless violence.’ Hillary Clinton said it, as did the president, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Florida senators Bill Nelson (Democrat) and Marco Rubio (Republican).

And of course, no one can imagine why this happened. Nothing to do with Islam, surely! The Pentagon will investigate this for months to let everybody forget about it, and our president will determine what they’ll say. They can’t call it workplace violence like Fort Hood this time, but maybe they can work the mental health angle. Never mind that every attack involving Muslims resulting in mass casualties or attacks on military facilities like this has been jihadist in nature.

These attacks are not senseless violence. They are directed attacks, whether carried out by so-called lone wolves or otherwise.  The orders are in the Qu’ran, and there’s enough evidence on Mohammed AbdulAzeez’s computer thus far to show the usual pattern – jihadist social media,  and as I’m sure we’ll eventually find out, a jihad preaching mosques with a radical, Islamist imam somewhere in the picture.

Since 9/11. we, or at least the people we’ve chosen to lead us have made the point time and time again that we’re ‘not at war with Islam.’ Maybe, but anyone observing the world as it is would have to be in a coma not realize that a significant part of Islam’s adherents consider themselves at war with us. That, or willfully deceptive.

A normal country faced by these kind of facts would secure its borders, limit visas to countries where jihadists and Islamists tend to thrive, and vet very carefully those visas that were approved. It would place Islamist front groups as well as mosques and madrassahs under close scrutiny and eliminate those preaching jihad, radicalizing young Muslims and/or thought to be a security risk. Most important, government facilities like military recruiting offices or bases that are obvious targets would be hardened and guarded with armed security.

We are doing none of these things. In fact, since Barack Hussein Obama became president, we’re doing exactly the opposite.  There have been numerous attacks, planned and executed against U.S. military facilities on his watch, and yet, the mantra coming out of the White House is always the same..’senseless violence.’

Here’s a thought as uncomfortable for me to write as it may be for you to read. The four Marines and the Navy Petty officer whom were murdered in Chattanooga may be mourned by us, but in a very real sense, we have their blood on our hands for not calling our elected officials to account…especially this president.

The one covenant a leader has with those he or she rules is to protect a country’s sovereignty, its people and its borders.  America does not have that.

If we had any national self respect we would be thronging by thousands in the Capital, and flooding the congressional switch boards demanding this president’s impeachment. We would be  insisting on immediate action to remedy this situation rather than sitting back placidly waiting for  the next attack.

We would be screaming bloody murder.

The Right Planet: My initial reaction was one of outrage, followed by profound sadness for the families and friends of those murdered in cold blood in Chattanooga. You know, it’s not like ISIS and its ilk haven’t expressed their desire and intent to kill members of our military right here at home. Furthermore, there have been some 34 service personnel killed at military facilities within the United States on Obama’s watch—specifically, one soldier killed at a Little Rock recruiting station in 2009, 13 murdered at Fort Hood in the same year, three more killed at Fort Hood in 2014, 12 killed at the Washington Navy Yard two years ago, and now four Marines and one Navy petty officer are dead in Chattanooga. Several state governors, including my own, have ordered their National Guardsmen to start carrying weapons. But, to my knowledge, no such orders have been given at the federal level to allow U.S. troops the ability to defend themselves.

Via the LA Times:

Despite being active-duty servicemen with military weapons training, few of the victims in these attacks had an opportunity to defend themselves, thanks to Department of Defense Directive 5210.56, enacted in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush.

That policy strictly limits the military and civilian personnel who can carry firearms at military facilities to those in law enforcement or security roles. U.S. bases and recruiting centers have been “gun-free zones” ever since.

There have been recent reports of civilians with legal-carry permits standing guard at a few recruitment centers. How messed up are things in this country when civilians must provide security for own troops? Enough, already … ARM OUR TROOPS!

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: What is my reaction to this terrorist attack? I am at once saddened at the tragic loss of life of four Marines and one sailor, yet angered that this has happened again on America soil.

The shooter’s name was Muhammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24 year old Kuwaiti born naturalized American citizen whom friends described as a “devout Muslim.” It is reported he traveled to Jordan in 2014 and to Kuwait and Jordan in 2010. Friends said he changed after his last trip to the Middle East.

In a media/theater of the absurd, we are being told not to jump to any conclusions about his motivation for these attacks. Isn’t it time we got past wanting to know the shooter’s motivation in these all too familiar scenarios? No one questioned Dylan Roof’s motivation for his slaughter of nine Black church members in Charleston, South Carolina. It was racism – end of story.

Reports are coming out that Adbulazeez suffered from depression. Perhaps a religion that teaches hatred of all non-believers and rewards martyred jihadis with seventy-three virgins might lead to depression… and violence.

I am mad that the rules on military bases and these recruitment centers prohibit our service members from being armed. At the very least, this policy should be changed immediately. They must be able to carry firearms, especially knowing they have been specifically targeted by ISIS for attacks. To have served heroically overseas and then to return home only to be attacked in a store front recruiting center should send chills down everyone’s spines, and maybe wake up some. President Obama says we are not at war with Islam, but we should be past the point of acknowledging radical Islamists are at war with us.

The Glittering Eye: It’s early days in the investigation yet and I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. I say at this point let the investigation takes its course.

I’m willing to let the Pentagon decide whether soldiers in recruitment centers or on military bases carry sidearms or whether they should be ordered to do so.

As of this writing whether there are ties to Al Qaeda or DAESH, whether the perpetrator of the murders was mentally ill or not, and just what lead him to kill people are all unknown. Policy considerations need to be conditioned on actual circumstances rather than imagined ones. Maybe he was radicalized on the Internet or self-radicalized or had some conversion experience on a visit to family in Jordan. We just don’t know.

Ask Marion: ARM THEM! ARM THEM! ARM THEM! Arm all military personnel on American soil!!

The wolf is no longer at the door, America’s enemies are at war with us on U. S. soil!! America’s enemies are targeting our service members and their families and they know they are not armed. Let them carry a sidearm when on duty stateside.

ARM THEM… They have the right to defend themselves…and us ON home soil. As Judge Jeanine Pirro said in her opening statement this past weekend: They Want To Kill Us, They Determine To kill Us… And They’re Here.

Some of the governors have already stepped up in wake of the Chattanooga attacks. Governor Fallin of Oklahoma, has authorized their adjutant general to arm full-time military personnel. Arkansas, Texas and several other state governors have also already stepped up or in the process. Some other groups like Oathkeepers are also meeting.

For anyone who thinks this is extreme, just look at Switzerland, a neutral and one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Every adult is a trained member of the Swiss militia and they keep their weapons at home on the ready. In 2011 the Swiss law and tradition was tested and put to a vote. Let us remember our own history and minutemen who were armed and ready to defend themselves and freedom at a minutes notice and step back to using common sense!!

Well, there you have it.

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02/18/15

Congress Fiddles While the World Burns

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The Obama administration may be on the same side as the Muslim Brotherhood, but at least we know where they stand. Congress, by contrast, sounds tough and does nothing.

Consider the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who has issued a “seven-point plan” to defeat Islamist terrorism that includes countering Islamist ideology. He gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute called, “An American Strategy for Victory in the War Against Islamist Terror.” Unfortunately, he had the opportunity to go on the offensive more than two years ago when he rebuffed requests to hold hearings into Al Jazeera’s expansion into the United States.

Once known as the mouthpiece for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Al Jazeera has earned the label “Jihad TV.”

There used to be a time when the U.S. was on-guard against foreign influence and propaganda. During World War II, we had a congressional panel known as the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), which exposed the Communists, the Nazis and their agents operating on American soil. A particular focus of HUAC was foreign propaganda activities.

Just two years ago, when the Chinese bought AMC movie theaters, they went for approval to a federal panel known as CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. The Chinese Dalian Wanda Group Co., known as Wanda, announced after the review that it had received all necessary regulatory approvals in the U.S. and China for the planned acquisition of AMC.

Wanda is described as China’s largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities. AMC operated 346 theaters with 5,034 screens, primarily in the United States and Canada.

One can argue that AMC should have been barred from such a purchase. The legitimate fear is that China is using its entertainment operations in the U.S. to propagandize the American people. Selwyn Duke, in an article on China’s increasing power and influence in Hollywood, has a list of films in which characters or plot lines have been changed to accommodate the Chinese regime and its censors.

By contrast, Al Jazeera completely bypassed the CFIUS process. McCaul’s committee should have held hearings into evidence that Al Jazeera is not a legitimate news operation but rather a conduit for propaganda from terrorist groups. McCaul had received a letter—signed by media critics, journalists, academics, and national security and Middle East experts—requesting hearings on Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV. In a display of arrogance, he didn’t even bother to respond.

The issue is not Al Jazeera’s small audience. It’s the nature of that audience and the ability of the channel to reach terrorist-minded Muslims with anti-American messages.

Foreign channels do not have the right to provoke terrorism on American soil. If they are legitimate news operations, they may have the right to broadcast in the U.S. But they are also required under the law to register as foreign agents and label their broadcasts as foreign propaganda. Al Jazeera has not been forced to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The law was originally passed to counter Nazi propaganda activities, but applies to all foreign entities that attempt to manipulate an American audience.

Now that awareness is growing about how terrorists are being inspired and recruited, McCaul is sounding concerned. He should be. He was AWOL in 2012 when Al Jazeera was dramatically expanding its operations in the U.S.

There are two dangers with Al Jazeera. One is the transmission of pro-terrorist propaganda. The other is that the channel could be serving as cover for agents of foreign terrorist groups to operate as “news” personnel while gathering intelligence and recruiting agents.

In his remarks explaining his new strategy, McCaul noted the case of “a would-be attacker who wanted to target the U.S. Capitol here in Washington D.C.” He added, “The barbarians, I believe, are at the gate…and it is time for this nation to confront them.”

We don’t know if the ISIS sympathizer, Christopher Cornell, was a fan of Al Jazeera. That’s something which should be examined. But it is interesting to look at Al Jazeera’s coverage of this case. The channel ran an “analysis” piece by Ehab Zahriyeh suggesting that the culprit wasn’t a jihadist, but instead had “social and emotional issues” and was a victim of entrapment by the FBI. By contrast, in the North Carolina case, where a truly deranged individual killed three Muslims over a parking space, Zahriyeh reported that the attack was evidence of “Islamophobia.”

Al Jazeera’s Zahriyeh had also reported that Houston’s Quba Islamic Institute “was set ablaze,” in another apparent “Islamophobic” act. It turned out the culprit was a homeless person with an extensive criminal history for charges like drug possession and prostitution. It appears that he started the fire to stay warm and it got out of control. Zahriyeh featured the comments of Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front. CAIR can always be counted on to find evidence of “Islamophobia,” even when none exists.

So this is how Al Jazeera “reports” the news. It is designed to inflame, provoke and mislead.

It turns out that Zahriyeh worked previously at Press TV, an English-language Iranian government propaganda channel. He was at Columbia University in New York City to cover the opening of the Center for Palestine Studies, an outfit characterized by “hostility toward Israel.”

McCaul had a chance to investigate Al Jazeera more than two years ago and he balked. As we documented at the time, Al Jazeera and its sponsor, the government of Qatar, hired several lobbying firms to stop any probe of Al Gore’s deal with the Muslim Brotherhood channel.

Hence, McCaul’s new proposal to take the fight to the enemy by countering “domestic radicalization” and undermining “the insidious ideology at the core of Islamist terrorism” has to be taken with a grain of salt. No plans have been announced to probe Al Jazeera.

We have consistently argued that allowing Al Jazeera to operate in the United States, during a global war against Islamic terrorism, is akin to fighting the Nazis while allowing their spokesperson, Axis Sally, to run a broadcasting operation in the U.S. In this war, by contrast, McCaul and others treat Al Jazeera as a legitimate news organization deserving of First Amendment protections. They refuse to investigate its links to the Muslim Brotherhood and various terrorist groups.

Yet McCaul wants people to think he’s going to get the bottom of the global jihad problem. In his headline-grabbing speech, McCaul said, “Overseas terrorist groups aren’t yesterday’s extremists, moving messages between couriers and caves. They are tailoring their hateful ideology toward Western audiences on social media, recruiting homegrown fanatics, and fueling a ‘jihadi cool’ subculture. Already, their propaganda is leading to an uptick in homegrown terrorism. For example, there have been more than 90 homegrown terror plots or attacks in the United States since 9/11—and nearly three-fourths of them have taken place in the past five years. Many of the suspects were radicalized at least in part by online Islamist propaganda, including the Boston Marathon bombers.”

McCaul doesn’t mention Al Jazeera. Yet, the channel is available on DIRECTV, Comcast / XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, DISH, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and Bright House Networks.

McCaul declares that “…we must defend the Homeland against domestic radicalization,” adding, “We are entering an era of ‘do-it-yourself’ jihad, and terrorists are finding it easier to encourage individual attacks rather than sneak operatives into our country. But we are alarmingly unprepared to address the threat of homegrown terrorism.”

On the latter point, he’s correct. But he’s been part of the problem. He’s talking about himself and his committee.