We’ve had some time now to learn more about those who planned and perpetrated the murder of 14 in San Bernardino on December 2nd. And what’s been demonstrated along the way about our own state of denial regarding such things has only reinforced my existing state of gloomy concern.
The pattern of public behavior is frustratingly predictable by now, to those of us who’ve been paying attention. Immediately as news of the shooting broke, the usual suspects went into narrative-reinforcement mode without hesitation. We were admonished not to jump to conclusions, not to assume this was Jihadist violence or in any way connected to Islamic beliefs. CAIR, going into preemptive damage-control mode and ever-committed to dissembling and disarming us with our own tolerance, immediately trotted out Syed Farook’s brother-in-law, who claimed he had “absolutely no idea” why Farook, a very religious Muslim, would do such a thing. None whatsoever. The mainstream press, likewise, seemed willfully and obligingly clueless for some time — alternately seeking to place blame on everyone and everything except for the actual perpetrators, and professing no clue what the shooters’ motives could possibly be. In the spirit of “never let a crisis go to waste”, the New York Times seized on the heat of the moment to publish a prominent editorial blaming the availability of guns, instead of blaming the character of the people who wield them to inflict such grievous harm.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that her greatest fear in the wake of the attack was not, amazingly enough, the occurrence of additional attacks, but the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric”, which she vowed to prosecute before outrage over her statement forced her to back down. (Hey, Loretta: Want to tamp down suspicion about Muslims? Put a decisive stop to those who produce well-warranted suspicion by repeatedly murdering in the name of Islam.)
As uncovered facts percolated slowly through the haze of PC denial, we learned that the attack had indeed been carefully planned and provisioned, that Farook Saeed and Tafsheen Malik had assembled a collection of arms and IEDs, and that they were indeed motivated by loyalty to ISIS and Jihadism. Farook’s in-law and arms supplier Enrique Martinez had spoken of terrorist sleeper cells, telling others, “When it happens, it’s going to be big.”
More troubling, we learned that at least one person had noticed suspicious activity around the home where Saeed & Malik’s IED factory was hidden, but refrained from reporting it for fear he would be accused of profiling. As Mark Steyn wrote before the San Bernardino and Paris attacks, “‘If You See Something, Say Something’ – unless it’s something that might get you accused of Islamophobia, in which case keep it to yourself.” Tragically, it seems that’s exactly what we’ve been browbeaten into doing against our own best interests.
And probably most troubling of all, we learned that the U.S. agencies entrusted with screening new arrivals and visa applicants are operating under specific orders not to look at applicants’ social media postings — postings that, in Tafsheen Malik’s case, would have clearly indicated her allegiance. The San Bernardino attack could have been prevented, if those in charge of “homeland security” weren’t actively restrained from using common sense.
Meanwhile, we were told that employees at the San Bernardino facility had been through “active shooter” drills, that strove to prepare them for such an event. Twitter user @Cristotokos aptly noted: “Active shooter training consists of advice on how to hide. We’re a nation of mice.” I’d have to agree that this is a better strategy: “The active shooter drill should be – EVERYBODY-Turn-aim-FIRE!! These massacres would be shorter with minimum losses.”
Tragically, we seem to live in a time whose chief preoccupation is disarming ourselves — mentally, culturally, and physically — against a menace that won’t go away on its own. I’ve pleaded about this stuff before. Unfortunately, it seems we’re determined to look away from what too many don’t dare see.
Forget Paris? It seems we already have.