Tag Archives: Islam

A second ‘Day of Infamy’ still burns

Sixteen years ago our world changed.

Americans started the day, Sept. 11, 2001, like any other day. Then the news came bursting forth from New York City and from Washington, D.C.

Jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. The images still burn seemingly as brightly as the flames that burst from the Twin Towers.

Then came news that the Pentagon had been hit by yet another jetliner. That image isn’t recorded. But the crash hit at the heart of our vast military complex.

We would learn later that morning of a fourth jetliner that crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Passengers sought to wrest control of the aircraft from more terrorists. A struggle forced the plane to plunge into the ground.

I was at work that morning at the Amarillo Globe-News. My colleague came in, stuck his head in the door and asked: “Did you hear about what happened in New York?” I responded, “What?” He said a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

My next response was another question: “What’s the weather like?” My colleague said it was gorgeous. I blurted out a profanity while wondering out loud, “What kind of bleeping idiot would crash an airplane into the World Trade Center?”

I turned on my TV. I watched the tower burn. Then I watched, right along with the rest of the nation, the second plane crash into the second tower.

That … was no accident.

And, thus, our world was shattered into a million pieces. Three thousand lives were lost. The families and other loved ones of those who died were shattered permanently. There never will be repair coming for them.

As for the nation, I am not sure we’ll recover fully, either. We would go to war in Afghanistan. Later we would take the fight into Iraq. We are now waging a war without a foreseeable end against terrorists who claim to be acting on behalf of fellow Muslims. They are murderers; they are not religious zealots, let alone leaders.

President Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii not quite 60 years earlier a “date which will live … in infamy.” It has done exactly as FDR predicted.

The other day of infamy that we’ve all shortened into “9/11” will share forever that frightening distinction.

The enemy is different than those who bombed our ships and planes. Today’s enemy does not represent a sovereign nation. It represents a profoundly perverted ideology. It is more cunning, more elusive than those we defeated so many decades ago.

This fight will require maximum perseverance.

Why the silence on mosque bombing?

The president of the United States is elected to represent all Americans.

He takes an oath to defend us, to fight for us against our enemies. The presidential oath makes no mention of certain Americans deserving more protection than others.

Some of our countrymen have been attacked. Their place of worship was bombed. It is a mosque near Minneapolis, where Muslims pray and worship.

And yet … the president hasn’t condemned the attack. His silence on this incident is, shall we say, deafening in the extreme.

We all know of Donald J. Trump’s feelings about Muslims. He once called for a complete ban of all Muslims entering our country; he softened it somewhat; the federal courts have challenged what’s now called a “travel ban.”

Meanwhile, some Americans who happen to be devout Muslims are dealing with damage being done to the place where they worship. They need a word of support and encouragement from their president.

It’s time for him to deliver it.

How about those anonymous sources, Mr. POTUS?

This item almost doesn’t deserve comment. Aww, but what the heck.

Donald J. Trump fired of a tweet that cited anonymous sources after, um, blasting anonymous sources.

It’s become normal, I guess, for the president to do this kind of thing. Do as I say, not as I do.

* He blasts Michelle Obama for not covering her head while touring a Muslim country, only to have his wife do the same thing during his recent journey to Saudi Arabia.

* He rips into Barack Obama for all that golf he played as president, then hits the links with reckless abandon when he takes office.

* Trump leads rally crowd chants of “lock her up!” for her use of private e-mail account while serving as secretary of state, then he blabs to Russians about classified security information.


The president retweeted a Fox News report that cites an anonymous source relating to his son-in-law’s current difficulty with “the Russia thing.” He did so just days after tweeting a rant equating anonymous sources to “fake news.”

Here’s a suggestion for the president: Take a breath and be sure about what you’ve put into the public domain before firing off another of those nonsensical tweets.

What? Is it now ‘Low Energy’ Donald?

I know I didn’t dream this, but didn’t Donald J. Trump once accuse Republican rival Jeb Bush of being “low energy Jeb” and didn’t he say that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton lacked the “stamina” be president of the United States?

So … what happened to the president in Saudi Arabia? He blurted out the term “Islamic extremism” when he meant to say “Islamist extremism.” Muslims understand the difference between “Islamic” and “Islamist.” The former term often is used to lump all Muslims in with the monsters who terrorize innocent people.

The president’s staff blamed the slip on “exhaustion.” Trump was pretty darn tired, they said. He didn’t mean what he said, supposedly.


This is not that big of a deal. It does, however, point out the danger of the kind of rhetoric that poured out of a presidential candidate’s mouth and it brings into sharp relief his performance while holding the office he fought so hard to obtain.

I won’t stoop to calling the president any of the names he hung on so many of his political rivals.

I just thought I would remind everyone of what he said about others and how they might feel now that he’s sitting squarely in the hot seat.

Just think, too: He did this at the beginning of his first overseas venture as president. I mean, c’mon! He had all the time in the world to rest up and get ready for it.

Good vs. evil ‘has nothing to do with religion’

Great day in the morning! Could it be that the Trump administration finally is awakening to the reality of what this “global war on terrorism” is all about?

Donald J. Trump stood before a large room full of Muslim heads of state, potentates, kings and crown princes and spoke for 35 minutes without uttering the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Instead, he framed the fight against international terror in much the same language used by his two immediate predecessors — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack H. Obama — as a war of “good vs. evil.”

Then up stepped Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to say that the conflict between our side and the other side “has nothing to do with religion.”

Really! He said that. He echoed the long-awaited and much-belated message the president delivered.

I hope hell hasn’t frozen over. I hope Earth will continue to spin on its axis. I trust the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning — and beyond.


“And I think the context of all of this where the President begins his journey here at the home of the Muslim faith under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque – this great faith, the Muslims – then to travel to the home of Judaism and then to the great leader of Christianity, that the President is clearly indicating that this fight of good against evil has nothing to do with religion,” Tillerson said in a press conference after the president’s speech.

Trump and his team have sounded alarmingly bellicose ever since the billionaire business mogul entered politics by running for the presidency. He once pledged to ban “all Muslims” from entering the United States. While running for office, Trump said “Islam hates America.” Once elected, he sought to impose a travel ban on refugees fleeing certain Muslim countries; that effort is tied up in the federal court system that has ruled it unconstitutional.

Today, the president sounded quite different as it regards this war against terror.

The religious perversion that has overcome the monsters who purport to be Muslim too often gets lost in the United States. Too many Americans have taken the bait that “Islam” is the enemy. It is no such thing. The enemy are those who commit these heinous acts around the world — mostly against Muslims — in the name of a great religion.

President Bush made that point immediately after 9/11. President Obama continued to recite that mantra, often to criticism that he was a “Muslim terrorist sympathizer.”

I doubt we’ll hear any such fecal matter coming from those who continue to support Donald John Trump. Nor should we ever have heard it.

Well stated, Mr. President

I am a man of my word who once declared I would speak well of Donald J. Trump when the moment presented itself.

Today is that day.

I just listened to the president’s speech to a gathering of Muslim heads of state and was impressed with what he did not say during his remarks: “radical Islamic terrorism.”

The president today delivered — by far! — his most nuanced, sophisticated foreign-policy speech as it regards our nation’s fight against international terrorism. For that I applaud him.

He spoke to an Arab summit meeting in Saudi Arabia, the country that is home to Islam’s two holiest shrines. He spoke of Islam as a “great faith.” He also repeated a mantra first delivered by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 and repeated by President Barack Obama during his two terms in office: It was that we are not at war with a faith, but we are at war with “criminals” who have perverted it.

“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values,” Trump said.


The speech signals a remarkable about-face for a president who as a candidate and also earlier in his still-brief tenure in office would sail off into unscripted riffs about our war against terror. None of that occurred today. He spoke like the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

Now … does this wipe away his problems at home? No. He still has the “Russia thing” with which to contend and a special prosecutor is going to look deeply into whether crimes were committed during Trump’s campaign for the presidency.

Today, though, marked a serious change in tone from someone who is leading our nation in its on-going fight against international terror.

Well stated, Mr. President.

Melania goes scarf-less? Heaven forbid!

Melania Trump has arrived with her husband, the president of the United States, in Saudi Arabia.

She and her husband, Donald Trump, strode down the stairway from Air Force One and greeted the Saudi king.

Oh, but wait! Her head was uncovered. She wasn’t wearing a scarf, per Muslim custom. Where’s the outrage? The recrimination? The howls of disrespect?

There wasn’t any. Nor should there be.

Hey, let’s hold on! Michelle Obama did the same thing when she and her husband, also the president of the United States, went to the Middle East a couple of years ago. Her head was uncovered, too. Oh, but the conservative media went semi-nuts.

So did at least one notable Republican politician. His name? Donald John Trump! That, truth be told, is what makes this an issue worthy of a brief blog post.

Being of a more tolerant strain as it regards religion, I am not bothered in the least that non-Muslim female dignitaries don’t cover their heads when they travel to Muslim-majority nations. They aren’t “dishonoring” their hosts.

Let’s stay focused on the aim of these visits, which has nothing to do with making fashion statements.

Get ready for Trump speech on (gulp!) — Islam!

Donald J. Trump is getting ready to climb headfirst into the belly of the beast.

He is planning a speech on Islam. The venue? Saudi Arabia, where two of Islam’s holiest cites are located.

Politico offers a list of do’s and don’ts for the president to follow.

Here it is: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/18/donald-trump-islam-speech-215150

As we know, the president isn’t known for his nuanced approach to foreign policy. He doesn’t seem to have a foreign policy. He doesn’t think strategically. He doesn’t look at the big picture. He speaks in the moment and seems to react to the last person who has his undivided attention.

I feel compelled, though, to remind everyone that he will be speaking to an audience full of people with lengthy memories. I’m quite certain they’re going to remember what candidates Donald Trump said about Muslims way back when, how he intended to impose a blanket ban on “all Muslims” entering the United States “until we figure out what the hell we’re doing.”

He’s backed off of that. He’s tried to impose executive orders banning Muslims from certain countries, only to have the federal judiciary strike them down. Why? They discriminate against people of certain religions, which the U.S. Constitution forbids.

As Politico reports: According to the president’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, “The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.”

Be very careful, Mr. President.

No, ISIS … POTUS is no ‘idiot’

It’s one thing for Americans to disparage their own president, even to call him unflattering names.

When a foreign power does it — let alone a mortal enemy of the United States and the rest of the civilized world — well, that’s quite another matter.

The Islamic State has issued some kind of scathing statement in which it refers to Donald John Trump as an “idiot.” The ISIS statement says, in part: “… There is no more evidence than the fact that you are being run by an idiot who does not know what Syria or Iraq or Islam is,”

ISIS has it wrong

An “idiot” does not parlay a stake in a business handed down to him by his father into a multibillion-dollar real estate enterprise. An “idiot” doesn’t produce a successful reality TV show, nor does an “idiot” run a successful beauty pageant.

There. That’s about as close as I’m going to come to saying something positive about the current president of the United States.

He is naïve, ignorant about the complexities of the government he runs; he is morally unfit to hold the office he occupies; he speaks clumsily; he bereft of core governing principles.

An idiot?

No. Far from it.

What is troubling to this American is to hear such a description coming from a terrorist organization that beheads prisoners, kills innocent victims, hides behind children, sends suicide bombers to terrorize others — all in the name of Islam. These are religious perverts who have no right to speak for true-blue adherents to a great religion.

Perverting that religion sounds, if you’ll pardon the use of the term, like the action of a group of idiots.

Put another way, Trump well might be an SOB, but he’s our SOB.

Now, Mr. President, what did you know … and when?

This just in: Michael Flynn has quit as national security adviser for Donald J. Trump.

Flynn resigned over questions relating to alleged conversations he had with Russian government officials prior to Trump becoming president of the United States. Reports have swirled that Flynn had talked about possible loosening of sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed to punish the Russians for their alleged role in interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

The Logan Act, anyone? It bars unauthorized personnel from negotiating with a foreign government. Flynn well might have broken federal law.

Now comes the question, to borrow an inquiry made famous in another serious matter: What did the president know and when did he know it?

Did the president know about Flynn’s conversations as they were occurring? Did he sanction them? Did the president hush it up?

The former acting U.S. attorney general, Sally Yates, wrote a report that suggested Flynn might have been “compromised” by his meetings with Russian officials. Yates then was fired over her refusal to enforce Trump’s ban on refugees from certain countries. Did the president know about these meetings in real time?

Trump now must find a new national security adviser. He has a long list of qualified, competent, knowledgeable individuals who can give him proper counsel regarding national security concerns.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, is known to be a brilliant military tactician and strategist. He also possesses intense feelings about Islam and has called that great religion a “cancer” on the world. I’ve heard two previous presidents — Barack Obama and George W. Bush — say we aren’t “at war with Islam.”

Gen. Flynn, though, got into trouble because of his relationships with Russian government higher-ups. There’s likely to be more to come in this regard.

I’m among those who want to know about what the big man in the Oval Office knew about these discussions — and when he knew it.