CHARLOTTE, N.C., December 28, 2015 — Just before leaving Washington for another multi-million dollar family junket to Hawaii, President Obama did his best to allay American fears concerning terrorist attacks in the United States. Those fears have mounted since the slaughter in San Bernardino, California.
He was hardly persuasive, but he did not need to be. After all, he is surrounded by Secret Service and security everywhere he goes.
More than 15 months ago, ISIS issued a directive to its followers to “strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies.”
At the end of the edict, ISIS quoted from the Quran (you know, the Islamic book that deserves a Nobel Peace Prize): “O you who have believed, take your precaution and go forth in companies or go forth all together” (4:71).
Since that time, the world has endured two massive terrorist attacks in Paris and, depending upon how you look at it, either a lone wolf or a planned massacre in San Bernardino.
Several days after the California incident, Obama was forced to make a rare, half-hearted television appearance from the Oval Office to calm the American people about terrorism and the possibility of such in the homeland.
Said Obama, “There is no specific and credible information about an attack on our homeland.”
That’s good to know. So now all we have to worry about are the non-specific threats that loom. Feel better now?
“I want every American to know as you go about the holidays, we’ve got dedicated patriots working around the clock all across the country to protect us all.”
Yes, and we have also been relentless in tracking down those murderous instigators who were so angry at a YouTube video that they killed four Americans in Benghazi.
Obama interrupted his vacation to stop in California to visit with the families of the victims of the San Bernardino attack. As one news source reported, the president and first lady were so emotionally involved that they stayed more than an hour-and-a-half longer than they were scheduled to be there—another example of the deep, sincere compassion our president has for his subjects.
Republican presidential candidates criticized Obama for his remarks and his televised speech, but that’s standard operating procedure in the run-up to any presidential campaign.
The concept of “lone wolves” and the term “radicalization” are often used to mislead. They are useful for simplifying discussions of terrorism, but they are inaccurate as they are used to describe jihadist attacks.
“Radicalization” is an on-going process in which true followers of Islam refine their understanding of Muhammad’s teachings. Budding Islamists are already “radicalized” before they even begin to consider their individual method of terror.
A terrorist may be a so-called “independent operation” or “lone wolf,” or he may be part of a cell that is plotting a much grander act of terror. However, even the “lone wolves” do not operate in a vacuum.
For every 10 attacks that are discovered and foiled, another is ready for launch. And it only takes one to strike fear into the hearts of innocent people. Therefore, “credible information” is hardly a deterrent.
Islamists think like Westerners. They understand us better than we understand ourselves. We are easy targets because we telegraph everything we do, and we are always politically correct in the follow-up to guarantee that we do not offend anyone.
Groups that operate in the darkness and the shadows have free rein until somebody shines a spotlight on their activities. Then they scatter like cockroaches back into anonymity.
Obama long ago used up all the words in his dictionary. His rhetoric is no longer comforting or elegant. He is beginning to sound like a tired old college professor with his weary academic analysis of the world in which we live.
You would think that after seven years the president would have developed some level of reality.
The fact that he has not is all we need to know about his presidency.
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 (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod