Evasion Enables Terrorism

Monday, December 07, 2015

Michael Goodwin of the New York Post asks of our President what it would take for him to call the recent atrocities in San Bernardino "Islamic terrorism":

Obama's attempts to obscure the connection to Islam in Wednesday's massacre is leaving a leadership vacuum and fanning America's fears.

Soon after the California shootings, but before the facts were known about casualties, the president saddled up his favorite hobby horse.

Admitting that "we don't know that much yet," he still knew the solution -- gun control. "The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern of mass shootings that have no parallel anywhere in the world," he told CBS Wednesday afternoon.


Soon, the identification of the killers as Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, led some of Obama's fellow travelers to abandon him. A California chapter of CAIR, the hard-line Council on American-Islamic Relations, held a news conference where officials condemned the murders and expressed sympathy for victims' families.

Their quick action was a tacit confirmation that terrorism was a reasonable explanation for the slaughter of unarmed innocents by Muslims. Otherwise, why speak out so early or at all? No other religious group felt the need to come forward. [links omitted]
Such a question could, frankly, be asked of many other politicians (including an opposition party too timid to impeach him long ago), as well as many figures in media and academia. More importantly, Goodwin and others like him would do well to consider why so many deny what even CAIR tacitly admits (and many terrorists openly admit): That so many people find in Islam motivation to commit such atrocities.

Most such individuals are plainly not stupid, so the alternatives are that they do not really believe their denials or that they have some reason (ideological or psychological) to evade the facts of reality. Given what our "leadership vacuum" makes possible to such a small enemy, it is worth considering what Ayn Rand had to say about evasion:
Thinking is man's only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one's consciousness, the refusal to think -- not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment -- on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict "It is." Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say "It is," you are refusing to say "I am." By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: "Who am I to know?" he is declaring: "Who am I to live?"
Goodwin begins a fruitful line of questioning. Why would someone evade such an obvious connection? is but one good place to start. And this line of questioning should not stop with Obama. As guilty as he is, he alone has not made us come to this pass.

-- CAV


Today: Changed first parenthetical comment.

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