Belmont Club

An Explosion in China

Explosive-laden vans smashed through barriers to detonate in an outdoor market in Xinjiang, China. Dozens were killed. Many more were maimed.  “This comes just weeks after a bomb and knife attack at the city’s rail station was blamed on extremists from the region’s mostly Muslim Uighur community.”

Despite claims of its defeat by Obama, the center of gravity of militant Islam apparently remains intact. Its sources of legitimacy, money and recruitment seem stronger than ever.  They’ve taken on Russia, Europe, India, America and are now hammering China. That’s not the behavior of a group on the run.

Eli Lake reports:  “The Obama administration concluded in 2012 that al Qaeda posed no direct threat to the U.S.—and has sought to scale back the fight ever since, over intel officials’ rising objections.”  Yet despite that happy talk ABC News says “with the security situation in Libya deteriorating daily, the Pentagon has placed 250 Marines and aircraft in Sicily as a precautionary move should the State Department request the evacuation of American staff from the embassy in Tripoli, Libya, military officials said today.”  America is getting to bug out of a country whose former ruler it overthrew. Meanwhile in Afghanistan,  Gus Taylor of the Washington Times says that al-Qaeda and the Taliban are getting ready to take over once Obama marches victoriously out.

Al Qaeda is operating a “shadow army” inside Afghanistan to conceal its numbers and the scope of its operations, while the Taliban is on the verge of major resurgence as U.S. military forces prepare to depart, former senior Pentagon officials and leading counterterrorism analysts told Congress on Tuesday.

Afghanistan is at risk of becoming once again a haven for al Qaeda to train, plan and launch attacks, according to testimony that challenges the Obama administration’s claims that secretive drone strikes have hamstrung the group’s original core and its ability to launch international missions in recent years.

If this is Obama winning, what’s losing like? Perhaps the administration has been less than truthful about al-Qaeda’s demise because the narrative keeps getting in the way. Who are the Boko? ‘Just generic bad guys,’ we are told with an insistence so strong it makes your teeth hurt. The State Department is apparently determined to hold the line that Boko Haram has nothing to do with militant Islam with an intensity that would put the 57th Middlesex at Albuera to shame.

A State Department official struggled to discuss the religious import of Boko Haram’s ideology, despite the group’s repeated attacks on Christians, a rhetorical hesitancy that created tension during a rather bipartisan House hearing on the threat from the terrorist group. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., asked whether Boko Haram specifically targets Christians.

“I wish there was such discrimination in Boko Haram attacks,” State Department undersecretary Sarah Sewall replied during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “Boko Haram attacks everyone who is Nigerian. Boko Haram is an equal-opportunity threat for all Nigerian citizens.” …

Smith pointed out that in 2012 and 2013, Boko Haram attacked 100 Christian churches, compared to just four mosques over the same time period, before citing the experience of Habila Adamu, a Nigerian man who survived being shot by Boko Haram because he refused to renounce his Christian beliefs.

“He said ‘no, I am ready to see my Lord, I am a Christian,’ and they blew his face away,” Smith recalled. “That is the underlying, fundamental, raison d’être of Boko Haram.” (The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway wrote about Adamu’s experience at length when he visited Washington in November).

“The question that I was asked was whether there was an official State Department position on the motivations of Boko Haram, which I simply don’t have with me,” Sewall replied. “If the question is, ‘Does the leadership of Boko Haram and do the actions of Boko Haram target Christianity?’ [the answer is] absolutely, unequivocally. More fundamentally, they target other things too and they are a threat to the government and the region.

One gets the sense that the really important thing is not to stop Boko Haram but to ensure its name is never connected with radical Islam. It’s like the Western elites simply can’t handle the truth, not in the religious or even ideological sense, but in the literal factual meaning of the term. They have carried their inability to see ideology to the level of fanaticism.

The important thing to grasp about al-Qaeda is not that it is a religious conspiracy, though it is, but that it is a conspiracy: a cabal with leaders, sources of funding, wellsprings of legitimacy — the works. The accidents of the conspiracy are less important than its essence. But the Obama administration insists on treating it like a species of copycat crime, a random collection of individual misdeeds unrelated in any meaningful sense.  Boko is just a bunch of people filled with “hate”, no different from you average intolerant Christian.  Exit warfare. Enter lawfare.

The difference is there are no serious Christian conspiracies to speak of, nor is there any credible organized body of international Buddhists a-fixin’ to blow up a building.

In that our current elites are like J. Edgar Hoover who never seemed to acknowledge that organized crime existed until the mid-1950s.  Hoover’s “Public Enemies” were individual criminals. Organized crime was self-filtered from his ken.  Hoover of course was not blind because he was stupid. He was blind to the Mafia because it was convenient for his purposes.

While Hoover had fought bank-robbing gangsters in the 1930s, anti-communism was a bigger focus for him after World War II, as the cold war developed. During the 1940s through mid-1950s, he seemed to ignore organized crime of the type that ran vice rackets such as drugs, prostitution, and extortion. He denied that any mafia operated in the U.S. In the 1950s evidence of Hoover’s unwillingness to focus FBI resources on the Mafia became grist for the media and his many detractors. The Apalachin Meeting of late 1957 changed this; it embarrassed the FBI by proving on newspaper front pages that a nationwide mafia syndicate thrived unimpeded by the nation’s “top cops”.

Islamic fundamentalist conspiracy, like the Mafia in Hoover’s time, is invisible to the authorities.  And for the same reason. To acknowledge that as a conspiracy would be to accept the existence of the Godfathers which would be embarrassing. Worse, the public might clamor that the Godfathers be arrested and even punished. That can never be, because the Godfathers are influential, indeed friendly with our elites and in cases are even part of their social inner circle.

What we are afraid to admit is that our delicacy at refusing to identify Boko Harma’s backers does not arise from some high minded religious tolerance. It comes straight out of the power of money. It comes from the crassest and most base of reasons. Our elites are blinded, not by the light, but by the glitter of lucre and the absence of sight leaves us exposed to the worst.

Mao Tse Tung once said: “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. It also climbs out of a barrel of oil.

 


Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

The Frackers
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The New Physics for the Twenty-First Century
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History
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