Tag Archives: terrorism

American Taliban is out … oh, how I wish he wasn’t

John Walker Lindh became known as the American Taliban. He decided in 2000 to convert to a form of Islam, then joined the terrorists in Afghanistan.

Then came the 9/11 terror attack and the start of our war against terrorism. Lindh got captured early in that fight, was charged with crimes relating to his involvement with the Taliban and al-Qaeda, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison.

He walked out of that lockup in Terre Haute, Ind., today. He will live in northern Virginia.

Has this lunatic disavowed his radical views? Apparently not!

That is what makes his release so troublesome, at least to me.

He got out of prison a bit early because he behaved himself while behind bars. Lindh was known to read the Quran daily. He prayed per Islamic tradition. Lindh was 22 years of age when he was captured.

He reportedly also has made pro-Islamic State statements while in prison. Still, the feds decided to turn this guy loose three years before the end of his term?

He was accused initially of a host of crimes related to the uprising in Afghanistan in which he participated, but worked out some sort of a deal in exchange for the 20-year prison term he received.

The feds have put some constraints on Lindh, trying to ensure they keep an eye on him. I’m going to presume he will be unable to leave the country and rejoin his Taliban pals. He also will be disallowed from having any non-English-language telecommunications equipment and his Internet use will be monitored carefully.

There’s just something about this story that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I hope the federal authorities keep all eyes wide open on this guy and watch his every move.

Iconic cathedral destroyed . . . oh, the tragedy!

Fire has swept through the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the iconic Paris church and an overarching symbol for the Catholic Church.

The bell towers reportedly are safe. The spire has collapsed. Reports seem conflicted. Is the cathedral a total loss?

I know what we all are thinking now as French firefighters battle this blaze: Is this the act of a terrorist? No such organization has claimed responsibility as I write this brief post. I pray none will surface. If it’s a bogus claim from some faker, I trust French intelligence officials will know.

I’ve not been to Paris. I have not seen this iconic structure. Those I know who have seen have come away enriched beyond measure just being in the presence of this holy site.

Thus, the world should mourn what is unfolding in Paris at this moment.

My heart is broken.

Why not call white supremacists ‘terrorists,’ Mr. President?

Hey, Mr. President . . . didn’t you lambaste your predecessor in the White House for declining to use the term “Islamic terrorist” while talking about the nation’s war against international terrorism?

You made a decent point back then, Mr. President. I actually backed you on that one.

Why, though, are you so reluctant to (a) recognize that white supremacist acts of terrorism are on the rise and (b) call it what it is, an act of terrorism?

You offered that tepid, timid and frankly cowardly response the other day to the reporter’s question about the slaughter in New Zealand and whether it represents an increase in white nationalism/supremacy around the world.

Mr. President, acts such as what was perpetrated at those two mosques in Christchurch weren’t simply a result of a “small group” of people with “serious problems.” They seem to symbolize a much broader epidemic that is spreading around the world.

Haven’t you read the papers, Mr. President? These incidents are increasing in Europe, in Australia, oh, and in the United States!

Yet you maintain your virtual silence on this crisis, Mr. President.

You wouldn’t tolerate Barack Obama’s reluctance to use the term “Islamic terrorist” in referencing the fight against the monsters who seek to do us harm. Why should we tolerate your own refusal to refer to white nationalists and white supremacists as terrorists when they seek to do the very same thing?

Count me as an American who wants to call you out for your reluctance to “tell it like it is.” These a**holes are committing acts of terror and you need to call them what they are: terrorists.

That’s why they’re called ‘terrorists’

To be terrorized means that acts of blind hatred can strike anyone, anywhere and in any context.

Such horror has erupted again in what I consider to be a most terribly ironic location.

Gunmen believed to be white supremacists opened fire in two mosques, killing 49 Muslims, in — get ready for it! — Christchurch, New Zealand.

Forty-nine people are dead. Why? Because the people who killed them hate immigrants. They despise non-Christians. They took their vengeance out on people in their houses of worship. Three suspects — two men and a woman — are in custody.

What in the world does one make of this latest spasm of utterly senseless violence? I am shaking my head in mourning and grief this morning as I seek to make sense of something that makes no sense at all.

Expressions of sorrow are pouring into the country from around the world. Donald Trump extended his sympathy and support for New Zealand as it seeks answers to what its leaders call the worst such event in the nation’s history.

The president spoke for his country. Indeed, it is impossible to grasp fully the mayhem that has exploded in a country long believed to among the most peaceful places on Earth.

Terrorists and the acts they commit against unsuspecting victims are, by definition, cowards of the first order.

The world’s heart is broken today.

POTUS seeks to rally the base, ‘er, nation?

Donald Trump wants to go on national TV to rally Americans to his side as he pitches the idea of building The Wall along our southern border.

I believe the networks ought to carry the president’s televised speech Tuesday night. Let the man have his say and let the public debate and decide on the veracity of what he is contending.

Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency to obtain money for The Wall. Why? Because he contends that terrorists are crossing an “open border.” He is trying to gin up fear, in my view, among Americans.

Oh, but wait. We are now getting reports from other sources that say that a grand total of six suspected terrorists were apprehended along the border in 2018, not the reported 4,000 of them alleged by the Trump administration.

Indeed, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, interviewing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Sunday, challenged her 4,000-terrorist assertion by declaring that those suspects are being apprehended at our nation’s airports.

So now we’re going to hear from the commander in chief about what looks like a fabricated crisis along our border.

Please . . .

Another terror leader gets ‘justice’

There goes the need for another costly trial.

U.S. military officials have confirmed the death in an air strike of one of the terrorists who planned the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, killing several sailors.

Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a precision strike, according to the Central Command. Al-Badawi was an al-Qaida leader who coordinated the attack on the Cole. The strike that killed him occurred on New Year’s Day in Yemen.

What does this individual’s death mean in the overall war against international terror? Probably not as much as one would hope in the grand scheme. However, the hunt for these monsters goes on and on and on. As it must!

The federal government had indicted al-Badawi on murder charges. Our counter-intelligence officials had been searching for him ever since the attack that occurred in the final weeks of the Clinton administration.

Donald Trump issued a Twitter message saluting the “great military” operation that “delivered justice” to another radical Islamic murderer.

Let us applaud the efforts that have eliminated another terrorist monster from planet Earth. Let’s not relax in our effort to find the cowards.

As the great heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis used to say: “They can run but they can’t hide.”

Just pick up the phone, Mr. POTUS, and call ’em

It must be true, that Donald Trump refuses to join the Presidents Club, the exclusive organization reserved only for commanders in chief and their predecessors.

Two of his immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have been targeted by someone who wants to terrorize them by sending them pipe bombs in the mail. There’s also a former vice president, Joe Biden, who’s been targeted with two of those devices. Oh, yes, and how about Hillary Clinton, wife of the 42nd president and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign opponent?

The president hasn’t called them. He hasn’t offered them comfort. Nor has he told them how sorry he is about the acts that have been perpetrated against them — and against other Democratic political figures and CNN, the cable news outfit.

Hey, Trump doesn’t even have to do any of this for public consumption. He could just pick up a phone at the White House — preferably a “secure phone” — to call the men who preceded him as head of state. He could talk to them privately.

He won’t do that. He appears incapable of doing the right thing where they are involved.

Trump has taken the criticism leveled against intensely personally. It has come from the former presidents, the ex-vice president, his former 2016 campaign foe, two intelligence leaders, a campaign donor, a U.S. senator and a member of the U.S. House, a New York governor.

Then there’s CNN, the outlet he calls “fake news,” the embodiment in Trump’s view that the media are the “enemy of the people.” He can’t call CNN’s execs to offer a word of comfort to them, either.

The Presidents Club traditionally has been a chummy group. Former foes become good friends. They team up to work on humanitarian causes. The spend time recalling their time in the hot seat in front of crowds. They joke with each other.

What’s more, and this is critical, they make themselves available to the current president who might wonder: What would any of them do when faced with a particular problem?

Donald Trump is having none of that.

Two former presidents and a former vice president have been identified as victims of what appears to be a terrorist. A phone call from their successor would provide some level — maybe only a tiny level — of comfort during this highly stressful time.

Is this the result of the toxic political climate?

Dear reader, we have a profoundly frightening development unfolding at this very moment.

Secret Service officials have intercepted explosive devices that were sent to the homes of former President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, former President and Mrs. Barack Obama, liberal political megadonor George Soros, CNN headquarters in New York and — this likely confuses the casual observer — the White House.

None of the individuals targeted by the bomber was in danger.

It would be easy to label whoever did this as someone — or several people — associated with a right-wing group, given that Donald Trump has targeted CNN as a purveyor of “fake news” and, of course, has pilloried the Clintons, former President Obama and Soros.

But the White House also was by someone intent on doing damage to the president’s home and those who live and work inside it.

Good grief! Is this what we’ve come to?

Thank goodness the authorities were able to intercept the packages, which reportedly have been ID’d as containing explosives.

Let us all hope and pray the FBI, the Secret Service and local police authorities are able to arrest whoever is responsible.

I am now frightened.

‘You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard’

Of all the words written in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attack, which struck us 17 years ago, one essay stands out.

I want to share it here. It came from Leonard Pitts Jr., a columnist for the Miami Herald.

I was proud to publish it in real time on the pages of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News, where I was working on that day in 2001.

I feel the need to show it to you once again. Pitts captured fully our sense of rage, fear, pain once it became known that terrorists had plunged the weapon deeply in our national heart.

Read the essay here.

The war against international terrorism continues. Yes, we were able to “bring justice” to the mastermind, Osama bin Laden, thanks to the bravery and immense skill and precision of the SEALs and the CIA commandos who carried out the dangerous mission in May 2011. More evil men have stepped up.

I hope you get as much from Pitts’s essay as I did then … and as I continue to do to this day.

Will we stand alone at the next big attack?

A commonly held notion in the wake of the 9/11 attack was that we shouldn’t concern ourselves over if another attack would occur, but we need to focus on when it would take place.

It’s good to remember at this point that when we collected ourselves after the horror of that event and went after the terrorists who did the deed, we had much of the world rally with us. Our friends in Europe and the Middle East were there. So were our allies in the Far East and in South Asia.

The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization both rallied behind us in our retaliatory strikes against the terrorists. Their fighting men and women died alongside ours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

OK, so let’s fast-forward to the present day.

Two previous presidents — George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama — have come and gone. We have a new one at the helm, Donald J. Trump.

Whereas Presidents Bush and Obama courted our allies and sought to ensure they would be there when the chips were down, we now have a president who has decided to call the EU a “foe,” he has denigrated NATO’s value in today’s world, while excoriating its members for failing to pay more for their shared defense.

All the while, Donald Trump has thrown himself at the feet of Vladimir Putin, the Russian strongman, and Kim Jong Un, the North Korean despot. He calls them “strong leaders,” “intelligent,” and people he “trusts.”

This leads me to the question that is lurking in the back of many observers’ minds. When the next terror attack occurs — and while none of us wants it to happen, we must be mindful that it very well could — are we going to be able to call on the very allies the president has insulted time and again?

My fear is that we’ll fight the next war alone.

You can take this to the bank: Never mind that Trump says that

“I, alone” can repair the nation’s ills, not even the greatest nation on Earth can fight wage this international fight all by itself.

Thus, we might be forced to reap what Donald Trump has sown.