The Sooner Our Government Calls San Bernardino Terrorism, The Sooner Solutions Can Be Found

Know thy Enemy

Obama said something partially correct today:

Right now, it’s too easy, he said. We’re going to have to search ourselves as a society … to take basic steps that would make it harder — not impossible, but harder — to let individuals get access to weapons.

Yes Mr. President, we’re are going to have to search ourselves as a society to recognize terrorism when it happens and learn how to stop it on our soil. I’m not going to wait for the FBI to decide if this was officially terrorism or workplace violence because one of the shooters knew some of the people he and his wife killed. No, I call a spade a spade and this is without a doubt an act of terrorism.

It seems to me that our government and many in the media are too quick to state that something isn’t terrorism rather than say it is a distinct possibility given what we know now. I heard Chuck Todd on MSNBC today say that he fears the backlash of Islamophobia if we jump to the conclusion that this was jihadi terrorism. I found this wording in a NY Times article confounding (my emphasis):

Two other senior United States security officials said that F.B.I. counter-terrorism officials were overseeing the investigation because of the possibility that it might be terrorism, not because they had concluded that it was.

The officials called the case perplexing, saying that no clear evidence of terrorism had emerged and that there were some signs pointing away from it. But they said the shooting was clearly premeditated, and does not fit the mold for typical workplace violence incidents. The idea that this was a workplace argument that spiraled out of control seems far-fetched now, the officials said, given the explosives and the preparation. An overnight review of Mr. Farook’s electronic devices has not provided clear answers to these questions, but the officials noted that the investigation is in its early phases.

So if it’s not workplace violence, which Obama hasn’t ruled out and it doesn’t appear to be terrorism, what is it? Let me semi-quote Mrs. Clinton who like Obama, immediately called for more gun control measures.

With all due respect, the fact is, we have fourteen dead Americans! Was it because of a workplace grievance or was it because of a Muslim married couple out for a ride one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.

But we can’t prevent what happened if we don’t recognize it and call it what it clearly is: an act of terrorism!

So what is the definition of terrorism? You may be surprised that not all federal agencies use the same definition. This is the one U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism used in 2007:

Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ (National Institute of Justice) researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

If the FBI’s definition stresses methods over motivations, perhaps that’s the problem and why they don’t see things as cut and dry as I do. Understanding the motivations of radical Islam extremists is the key to stopping them. Turning a blind eye to the root cause of their actions, like saying ISIL isn’t Islamic (Obama) or radical jihadists have nothing to do with Muslims and Islam is a religion of peace (Clinton) is insane.

We can’t prevent what we won’t admit. Just after the Paris attack, in which there was no hesitation to label correctly as terrorism, our president said there are no credible threats of terrorist attacks in America and we should go about our business. He was wrong, again.

This was clearly a premeditated act of terror by what seems likely to be perpetrated by radicalized Muslims. Sadly, a neighbor saw warning signs but was afraid to say something for fear of profiling. That’s what happens when our government goes out of their way to disregard real acts of terrorism like Ft. Hood, the Boston Bombers and the beheading in Oklahoma City and won’t correctly identify the people who commit them; they are not white Christians or law abiding gun owners. See something say something gets watered down.

By all accounts from some dating sites from a few years back, the man seemed to live a normal life and balanced his East/West beliefs just fine. That is until he met his Pakistani born wife in Saudi Arabia, possibly either on-line or when he traveled there in the summer 2014. He married her at Mecca and then returned to the States with her that same summer in July 2014 when they got re-married in Riverside. My guess is she is the impetus for his radicalization. We don’t know how long she lived in the Kingdom but their D.C. embassy confirmed she isn’t a Saudi citizen.

Saudi Arabia is responsible for preaching and exporting Wahhabism, a literal version of Islam much like what ISIS practices, that demands enforcement of Shariah through jihad against non-believers. Jihad is an obligatory duty for the believer. Our government has turned a blind eye to this fact since we became the guardians of maintaining order in the Middle East after the UK retreated after WWII. More on this another day. But if she believed in the Wahhabi theology, that could tell us a lot about her influence on Farook. Time and facts will tell.

 It’s impossible to defeat an enemy if you don’t know the enemy. It’s dangerous for our president to play word games and deny what we all know to be true when we see an act of terrorism. The rise of terrorist groups and acts across the globe has risen under his watch because they are emboldened when they think they can get away with murder without consequence. At home, calling an event workplace violence instead of terrorism plays into that same thinking, not to mention the difference in how the law is applied if convicted.
To quote the great Sun Tzu:
If ignorant both or your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Mr. President and Attorney General Lynch, just say it: This was an act of terrorism committed by radical Islamist terrorists! Now go do your jobs.