Tag Archives: terrorism

After Vegas Shooting, It’s Time to Take Private Security Seriously, by Ryan McMaken

What is the responsbility of venues where terrorist acts could potentially take place for security? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In the wake of the Aurora Theater shooting, I suggested that private sector establishments ought to be expected to be more concerned about the safety of their customers. In the case of the Aurora Theater, this was magnified by the fact that the theater was a “gun free zone” and did not allow patrons to carry their own firearms as self defense. At the same time, the theater owners themselves couldn’t be bothered with taking even the most rudimentary steps against allowing a gunman to casually carry multiple weapons from his car into one of the theater’s back doors.

The issue came up again with the Orlando shooting in 2016, when the perpetrator simply walked into a private establishment with a rifle and started shooting. Again, we find ourselves with a situation in which the owners of a private establishment refused to take simple steps such as checking entrances for people with rifles, or employing reasonably well-trained security personnel to be present inside the club.

I wasn’t the only one to suggest that maybe, just maybe, private establishments such as the Orlando nightclub and the Aurora Theater may share some responsibility in preventing violence on their own premises. 

In response to this position, numerous commentators — mostly conservative and libertarian — took the position that it is outrageous to expect private owners to take steps to prevent events like these. At the time, I noted Reason magazine’s response as representative of this type of thinking:

Reason magazine has … hopped on the bandwagon of pre-emptively and unconditionally absolving the theater owners of any possible responsibility. Reason writer Lenore Skenazy claims that a focus on worst-case scenarios is “worst-first thinking” and that such thinking “promotes constant panic. The word for that isn’t prudence. It’s paranoia.”

In other words, Skenazy’s position is that private owners should simply assume terrible things won’t happen and proceed accordingly. If bad things do happen, then let’s all just throw our hands in the air and declare “who woulda thunk?”

To continue reading: After Vegas Shooting, It’s Time to Take Private Security Seriously

 

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Five Lessons from 9/11, by Laurence M. Vance

The first lesson is never trust the government, and it only gets better. From Laurence M. Vance at lewrockwell.com:

The sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has brought forth the expected conservative “never forget” nonsense in defense of a perpetual war on terror.

Typical is Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire and host of the Ben Shapiro Show. On September 11, he wrote an article, “NEVER FORGET: The 5 Lessons We Should Have Learned From 9/11,” and spoke in a videoabout the five lessons America should have learned from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He insists that the lessons of 9/11 “have been largely forgotten.” Here are his five “lessons we should have learned,” each with quotes from his article and video.

1. Global Retreat Is Not A Strategy.

“The Clinton Administration foreign policy of quasi-isolationism, combined with occasional human rights-driven interventionism, was a formula for failure.”

“Unless we are willing to consider measures to stamp out terrorist groups across the planet, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.”

2. Money Doesn’t Buy Off Islamists. Neither Does Friendliness.

“Friendliness toward the Muslim world does not matter to Islamists, who seek only the domination of a religious caliphate.”

“There’s this weird idea from both the Ron Paul right and from the Barack Obama left that if we just give enough money, if we just show the Muslim world that we are caring and wonderful and we’ll be left alone by terrorists.”

3. Immigration Matters.

“The government ought to be deeply concerned about those who enter the country from Islamist-rich regions.”

“We also should be careful about people who are already here. We should be checking up on them.”

4. Major Terrorist Attacks Require Sponsor States.

“Major attacks require planning, coordination and resources that demand a home base.”

“Major terrorist attacks were forestalled because we were fighting terrorists over there [Iraq] and we weren’t fighting them over here.”

5. America Has Real Enemies.

“When it comes to threats to American citizens, the first duty of the government is to prevent those threats and stop those who would perpetrate them.”

“It’s not just the government’s job to protect you from existential threats, it is also the government’s job to protect you from being murdered in your bed.”

That’s it? This is what we are supposed to learn from 9/11?

To continue reading: Five Lessons from 9/11

FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As “Domestic Terrorist Violence”, by Tyler Durden

This move delights Trump’s base, but sets a dangerous precedent. Antifa members sometime engage in criminal activities, including violence. They should be labeled as criminals and treated accordingly. Labeling their activities as “terrorist violence” opens the door to treating them as terrorists, which could in turn lead to the suspension or curtailment of civil liberties that has become a standard part of the law concerning foreign terrorists (whether this should be the case is a discussion for another day). Good, bad, or horrible, Antifa members are still US citizens entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Labeling them as terrorists accomplishes nothing and may open the door to labeling other groups as terrorists (including right-wing groups) and curtailing their civil liberties. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

President Trump was crucified by the mainstream media a few weeks back after hosting an improvised press conference and saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester.  The comments resulted in most of Trump’s advisory councils being disbanded, as CEO’s around the country pounced on the opportunity to distance themselves from the administration, and heightened calls from CNN for impeachment proceedings.

The problem is that while Trump’s delivery probably could have been a bit more artful, the underlying message seems to be proving more accurate with each passing day and each new outbreak of Antifa violence.

As Politico points out today, previously unreported FBI and Department of Homeland Security studies found that “anarchist extremist” group like Antifa have been the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies” going back to at least April 2016when the reports were first published.

 Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.

Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.

Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.

 Not surprisingly, law enforcement officials noted that the rise in Antifa violence overlapped perfectly with Trump’s campaign as they made appearances at rally after rally to incite chaos…all the while making it seem as if violent, racist Trump supporters were to blame.

 

You stand a higher chance of being crushed by a vending machine. by Simon Black

Most animals know danger when they sense it. Humans often sense and fear remote dangers but are oblivious to more immediate threats. From Simon Black at internationalman.com:

There’s something I’ve always found mesmerizing about watching animals in the wild.

They have the most incredible instincts, honed from countless generations of survival against constant threats.

Animals have a keen sense of danger. They know immediately when something doesn’t feel right, and they act on it without hesitation.

I saw an incredible example of this last year when I was visiting a remote wildlife reservation in Zimbabwe.

It was late in the afternoon on a hot summer day, and my friends and I were ensconced in a hidden observation bunker situated on the edge of a water hole.

The animals all began to arrive, one species at a time, to cool off before nightfall. First the elephants. Then Rhinos. Zebras. Giraffes. Baboons.

It was a playful mood; all the animals seemed to be enjoying the water, when without warning, there was a stillness. The gazelles froze. The zebras’ ears perked.

Something wasn’t right. A smell. A sound. Something.

So they got the hell out of there.

We found out later that a ravenous pack of hyenas was on the prowl nearby, so the animals’ instincts were spot-on.

Deep, deeeep down, human beings have the same highly refined instincts.

Our long-lost ancestors struggled against every imaginable danger. And those lessons are hard-coded in our DNA.

We sense threats. We can feel it when something’s wrong.

The difference between our species and animals in the wild, though, is that we humans have way too many external influences that muck it all up.

Case in point: last week was obviously a tough one for anyone with any sense of humanity.

Acts of terrorism are scary.

And hearing about completely innocent people on a popular pedestrian promenade getting mowed down like bowling pins by some madman is definitely going to cause some discomfort.

But down here in Latin America at least, there was ensuring wall-to-wall news coverage for the next several days in a way I hadn’t seen since 9/11.

It’s all we saw. Terrorism. Terrorism. Terrorism.

To continue reading: You stand a higher chance of being crushed by a vending machine.

Is a Tolerant Culture Being Replaced by an Intolerant One? by Saher Fares

Islamic extremist violence takes aid and comfort from the Koran and many Islamic texts. From Saher Fares at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • One need not go back centuries to the Muslim conquest of the Christian late classical world — the medieval Barbary corsair raids, the Ottoman yoke in Central and Eastern Europe or the slave markets of Kaffa in Tatar Muslim Crimea — to understand that this violence clearly predates the European colonial era, the creation of the modern state of Israel, or the issue of climate change.
  • Countries such as China, Nigeria or Kenya that are not Western, not“imperialist”, not whatever the excuses that Islamists make, are still spectacularly attacked by similar stabbings. Month on month, there seems almost nowhere that Islamic terror did not strike.
  • Volumes of revered Islamic texts establish in great detail the grounds of violence and oppression of non-believers and those deemed heretical. These supposed grounds — made alive daily in madrassas and mosques across the world before being acted upon by religiously-trained terrorists — are childishly dismissed by Western liberals as immaterial.
  • The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror.

How thin can excuses wear every time an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam?

When 13 people were killed and scores more injured this week in a vehicle-ramming attack in Barcelona, Spain, and stabbing men shouting “This is for Allah!” on London Bridge and in Borough Market in June, what the victims least cared about was the Western elite pontificating that the latest atrocity “had nothing to do with Islam”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “It is time to say enough is enough” and promised a review of her country’s counter-terrorism strategy.

In the absence, however, of an honest and tempered look at the root causes of this terrorism, sacred or not, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims themselves of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be “enough”.

To continue reading: Is a Tolerant Culture Being Replaced by an Intolerant One?

5 Reasons America Should Not Fight Iran, Russia and Assad in Syria, by Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky

This is a hard-headed and strategic analysis of political, military, and economic reasons why the US should not wade further into the Syrian morass, and in fact should start pulling away from it. From David Miller and Richard Sokolsky at strategic-culture.org:

The idea du jour circulating inside the Trump administration and among terrorism experts and Syria watchers alike is that ISIS cannot be destroyed in Syria unless Bashar al-Assad is removed from power and Iran’s presence and influence are drastically curtailed. And in a perfect world, this indeed would be the best possible outcome to prevent ISIS and other jihadi groups, including Al Qaeda, from ensconcing themselves there. But needless to say, the Middle East isn’t a perfect world. U.S. retaliation against another chemical-weapons attacks, as the White House threatened late Monday, would be both necessary and justified. (Assad and his military would “pay a heavy price,” the statementread.) But pursuing an ambitious mission against Iran, Assad and the Russians in Syria is dangerous, imprudent and unnecessary to protect vital American security interests. Here are five compelling reasons why.

The United States Can’t Eradicate ISIS in Syria

In his inaugural address, President Trump spoke about eradicating radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. It cannot be done. Syria alone will remain an incubator for jihadists and Salafists of all stripes due to a toxic brew of poor governance, bleak economic opportunities, sectarian hatreds and beleaguered Sunni communities. And its ideology and propaganda will still be able to feed on the resentments and sense of victimhood and grievance among the Sunni population. Those who argue for a more assertive policy in Syria are right that, unless these problems are addressed, ISIS and other jihadi groups will continue to thrive even without the caliphal proto-state. But even the most risk inclined in the Trump administration cannot envision that kind of U.S. commitment in Syria, which would entail the United States and its allies committing thousands of troops and billions of dollars to militarily defeat all of their adversaries in Syria and to occupy, stabilize and reconstruct the country. Indeed, the president himself has strongly argued against nation building. Containing jihadists is realistic; ridding them from Syria is a pipe dream.

How America Armed Terrorists in Syria, by Gareth Porter

The real US goal in Syria has never been to fight Islamic extremists, it has been to depose Bashar al-Assad. In furtherance of that goal, rather than fight the extremists, the US has armed them. From Gareth Porter at americanconservative.com:

Three-term Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, has proposed legislation that would prohibit any U.S. assistance to terrorist organizations in Syria as well as to any organization working directly with them. Equally important, it would prohibit U.S. military sales and other forms of military cooperation with other countries that provide arms or financing to those terrorists and their collaborators.

Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be “relatively moderate” anti-Assad groups—meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism.

That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad.

The supporters of this arms-supply policy believe it is necessary as pushback against Iranian influence in Syria. But that argument skirts the real issue raised by the policy’s history.  The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the “Global War on Terrorism”—the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.  

The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies—Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama Administration official involved in Middle East issues.

To continue reading: How America Armed Terrorists in Syria