July 7, 2008

The flip-side of the story...

NY Daily News:

A young undercover city detective spent four years in the shadowy world of terrorist wanna-bes - taking part in jihadist discussions and training in parks in the dead of night - to get a handle on the homegrown threat.

At great personal risk, he participated in everything from prayers at a mosque to martial arts training under cover of darkness to watching jihadist videos, with many of the activities laced with talk of killing, according to a source familiar with the undercover's investigations.

His experiences paint a vivid portrait of the potential for local terror. While the picture is in no way indicative of the city's Muslim population as a whole, it provides insight into its most radical element.

The detective spent his time interacting with informal groups of youths and men who shared extremist views - and his experiences illustrate what police say is the potential for radicalization of some elements in the community.

He reported that after prayers at a neighborhood mosque, there were often private classes that included discussions about bombing different areas.

The men discussed violent jihad in bookstores, private houses and on buses en route to paintball and shooting-range events.
He was invited to join in "bonding" activities like working out at a gym and martial arts training in parks at night, during which the group discussed ideological justifications for killing Westerners....

It's good to be aware of things like this.

But, as always, what really interests me is the invisible flip-side to the story. If you think of radical Islam as a pressure, tending to expand and grow, there is also a partial vacuum that is encouraging that growth. Drawing it forth.

Let me ask you, why isn't this kind of story in the NYT or the WaPo? It would sell papers. It would be good for business. Why? It is because they and their readers don't want to know.

Leftists often complain about how Bush is destroying the Constitution to wage perpetual war, etc etc blah blah. But if you know anything about our history you know that what is conspicuously absent in this war is tough quasi-lawless action against domestic subversion. If Bush had been acting like Abraham Lincoln (scaled-up to our greater population) there would have been tens-of-thousands of suspicious characters imprisoned, beat-up, roughed-up, kicked-out, disappeared, or hanged at Gitmo. "Terrorist wanna-bes" wouldn't dare go from a mosque to "paintball and shooting-range events." And I say that it is the absence of that fear that is like a vacuum drawing-out violence and terrorism.

My point here is not about whether we should be doing such stuff (that's a different topic), my point is that there is that there is something missing in the souls of maybe 30 or 40 percent of Americans, such that they are repelled by the thought of taking decisive and tough action in defense of our country (and won't give it political support). Something that wasn't missing before. Wilson and FDR were liberals, but they never hesitated to take ruthless action in defense of our nation. Wilson for instance shut down hundreds of newspapers.

And my theory, which I've often mentioned, that it is really the absence of ALL belief that we see here. That most liberals today aren't liberals at all, they are nihilists. That belief in anything (except themselves, and perhaps family) has drained away, leaving them like HD Wells' Invisible Man, wrapping themselves in bandages to conceal their emptiness.

It's not only liberals who are running on empty, but "liberalism" is the most useful set of bandages right now. It allows one to puff up the all-important self without demanding any real commitment. Liberal or New-Age religios now performs the same function. To inflate the ego by being too "spiritually advanced" to believe in anything.

Posted by John Weidner at July 7, 2008 8:26 AM
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