Istanbul massacre, Benghazi redux: Another week of discouraging news

More Istanbul, terrorism, Benghazi spin cycles. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh? In the Age of Obama, it's impossible to believe the government or the media anymore.

Turkish flag flying at half-mast July 1 in mourning for victims of Itanbul Airport Islamic terrorist attack. (Image via Wikipedia, CC 4.0 license)

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, July 1, 2016 – There was much to be discouraged about in the news this week. Item number one was the terror attack at the airport in Istanbul. Are we becoming so desensitized to these events that we don’t even increase security at domestic airports following an attack, while newspapers relegate such a story to the middle of the first section?

In the past, an attack the size and scope of the one in Turkey would have put the world on high alert and sent the media into a feeding frenzy. Now, it’s “ho-hum, they just wiped out 50 or 60 more innocent people, tune in at ten to find out when and where the next jihadi violence will occur. And now in sports today…”

Not that the media ever did a great job when it did cover terrorist events or that increasing security was any great deterrent after the fact. But at least there was, back in the day at the very least, some element of concern when it came to this subject.

One theory that could explain this most recent example of media dereliction of duty is that Barack Obama and his willing allies in the media couldn’t figure out how to “spin” the Istanbul story into a political plus for gun control, so there was no need to cover it. Given the administration’s shameless “gun control” spinning of the Orlando tragedy, the Istanbul jihad response theory is certainly plausible.

Ramadan is still in full swing and will be for another week. We have already had numerous attacks during this “time of reflection” for our “peaceful” friends in the Middle East who probably would have called off their attack in Istanbul if someone had just shown them some “compassion and love” while they were mowing down people in cold blood and blowing themselves up.

How is that we either go overboard to the point of making a terrorist attack a caricature of itself or we totally ignore it? There has to be a better way.

On the heels of the Istanbul attack, John Kerry, who has practically rewritten the book on how not to be diplomatic, came out with the outlandish observation that the attack in Turkey was a sign of jihadist desperation and indicated that ISIS was on the run.

“It has been more than one year since Daesh has actually launched a full scale military offensive, and that’s because our coalition is moving relentlessly on every front,” said Kerry to a group in Colorado on Tuesday. “…if you’re desperate and if you know you are losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously you can do some harm.”

Note that Kerry employed the alternative term “Daesh” to distinguish himself from Barack Obama who prefers to use the acronym “ISIL” when referring to the so-called Islamic State. For Obama there is a distinct reason for his usage in that “ISIL.” It’s an underhanded slap at Israel, as the term stands for “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” the latter of which includes pre-Israel Palestine. “ISIS,” however, stands only for “Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.” (On the other hand, Kerry likely uses “Daesh” because it makes him sound more educated than he really is.)

Despite the word games, does anyone honestly believe that terrorism groups like ISIS are really on the run after 14 unbroken centuries of creating global turmoil through perpetual jihad? In the past few weeks alone, we witnessed brutal attacks in Florida and Turkey, not to mention several more smaller but no less significant incidents elsewhere in the world since Ramadan began.

Oh they’re on the run all right, Mr. Kerry. They’re running to the next place where they can stock up on more weapons for whatever is the next stop on their extremist agenda.

If Barack Obama is the genius he thinks he is, why is it that lately every time he or other members of his administration open their mouths, they are out of sync with what is actually happening in the world? In May the president told us ISIS was contained and kaboom! The next day there was an attack on American soil. Can anyone in the administration connect cause and effect?

In the midst of all this mayhem and turmoil came the submission of Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi Committee findings, which most of the media reported had no new information that was damaging to Hillary Clinton. Gowdy implored reporters to read it and make their evaluations after that, but American journalists prefer the “ready, fire, aim” approach to covering the news these days. That telling report is already in the process of going down the memory hole.

The current batch of political stories, all rolled into a single week, was both exhausting and discouraging. The disheartening thing for Americans in all of this is that there is not one single U.S. journalistic organization you can rely upon today to give you straight, unbiased information on any given subject at any given time.

However, tune in to CNN for a breaking news story today and then click over to Fox News and you will discover the same breaking story but with completely different information provided.

Most viewers watch the channel that most closely matches their personal points of view. But for someone trying to get the straight scoop in order make an informed evaluation of what is happening, that is no longer possible. Perhaps it never was, but at least in the “Good Old Days” there was some sense at least that somebody was telling the truth. Today, that’s no longer the case.


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

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