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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thomas Friedman, "How ISIS Drives Muslims From Islam": Yet More Drivel About Shariah Law From Tom Terrific

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "How ISIS Drives Muslims From Islam," Thomas Friedman writes:

"THE Islamic State has visibly attracted young Muslims from all over the world to its violent movement to build a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. But here’s what’s less visible — the online backlash against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, by young Muslims declaring their opposition to rule by Islamic law, or Shariah, and even proudly avowing their atheism."

Fascinating! A backlash against ISIS and Shariah law. The fly in Friedman's ointment? That's simple. As reported by the Pew Research Center in April 2013, the "% of Muslims who favor making sharia the official law in their country" is as follows:

Indonesia: 72
Malaysia: 86
Afghanistan: 99
Pakistan: 84
Bangladesh: 82
Iraq: 91
Morocco: 83
Egypt: 74
Jordan: 71
Tunisia: 56
Palestinian Territories: 89

Of course, according to the Pew Research Center, there are also Muslim countries with lower percentages, e.g., Kazakhstan with 10 percent. However, the percentage in Indonesia, the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world, is not going to decline overnight.

Friedman's examples of opposition to Shariah Law are meant to warm our hearts? Remember how Friedman gushed over the Arab Spring from Tahrir Square . . .

Spare me. I no longer have the patience.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thomas Friedman, "The Gift That Keeps Giving": More Hot Air on Terrorism From Tom Terrific

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Gift That Keeps Giving," Thomas Friedman writes:

"I have sympathy for President Obama having to deal with this mess of a world, where the key threats come from crumbling states that can be managed only by rebuilding them at a huge cost, with uncertain outcomes and dodgy partners. Americans don’t want that job. Yet these disorderly states create openings for low-probability, high-impact terrorism, where the one-in-a-million lucky shot can really hurt us. No president wants to be on duty when that happens either. Yet many more Americans were killed in their cars by deer last year than by terrorists. I don’t think Obama has done that badly navigating all these contradictions. He has done a terrible job explaining what he is doing and connecting his restraint with any larger policy goals at home or abroad."

Chaos in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan only "create openings for low-probability, high-impact terrorism, where the one-in-a-million lucky shot can really hurt us"? Fascinating.

But now consider what Thomas S. Warrick, deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy at the Department of Homeland Security, told the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation, and Trade, yesterday:

"While this hearing focuses on the terrorist threat from Syria and Iraq, core al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and their affiliates and adherents in other parts of the world are a major concern for DHS. Despite senior leadership deaths, these groups maintain the intent and, in some cases, the capability to conduct attacks against U.S. citizens and our facilities. AQAP and other terrorist groups have shown they can adjust their tactics, techniques and procedures to target the West in a number of ways.

. . . .

At present, DHS is unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. Homeland from ISIL. However, violent extremists who support terrorist groups based in Syria have demonstrated the intent and capability to target American citizens overseas. ISIL constitutes an active and serious threat within the region and could attempt attacks on U.S. targets overseas with little-to-no warning.

. . . .

We are concerned about the threat of foreign fighters from the United States or elsewhere who might go to Syria, become even more radicalized, and then return to their home countries, including the United States, where they might try to conduct attacks either on their own or in concert with others."

Note that Warrick does not refer to "low-probability, high-impact terrorism, where the one-in-a-million lucky shot can really hurt us."

So whom do you believe, Friedman or Warrick? I know whom I would trust.