Read President Obama’s Speech Criticizing the Muslim Ban — Time


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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110 Responses

  1. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    It’s unfortunate that such a sensible leader will be replaced by one with demonstrated incompetence and lack of any leadership skills or one that is the bastard lovechild of Ramsay Bolton and an oompa loompa.Report

    • Avatar j r says:

      There is a larger sense in which this is unfortunate. There is a lot to constructively criticize about the present administration’s handling of foreign policy in the Middle East. And that is a role that ought to be occupied by a sensible opposition. Unfortunately, we’ve got a bunch of ineffectual a**hats presently being led by the front page of the NY Post.

      Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about this sort of magical thinking, that if only Obama would say “radical Islam,” the situation would immediately begin to improve. It’s a powerful idea to a log of people. If only it weren’t absolute bunk.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor says:

        >> And that is a role that ought to be occupied by a sensible opposition.

        This has been the story of the last eight years. Take Benghazi, for example. In a sensible world this would have triggered a serious discussion about the role of our foreign services in hot zones that we create. Do we want to run the COIN playbook and have diplomats integrating into the local society? Going into the city without military guard. Working in consulates that are open to the public. Travelling around the country with minimal planning. All of which naturally comes with more risk, and more American deaths. Or do we want diplomats cooped up in massive fortresses, doing little more than what they would be doing in DC? This, then, has ramifications for our entire residual force strategy. How long we stay. How much it costs. What we tell the public to expect. What we tell our brave foreign services personnel, etc. Important decisions with serious consequences.

        And what did the opposition do? They spent thousands of hours and millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing their idiotic hypothesis that Obama coddles our enemies and any related conspiracy theories emerging from the dittohead fever dreams. All amounting to nothing.

        The main reason I’m looking forward to the self-immolation of the GOP is that we may finally get an opposition party that actually holds Democrats accountable.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      What indicates that Trump will win in November? His polls are horrible and most Americans see him as a human tire fire.Report

  2. Avatar notme says:

    Is this the same guy who called ISIS the JV and said he didn’t have a strategy to fight them? Now he acts tough? The same whose admin has been cooking the intel books to make ISIS look like less of a threat? The same one who made threats to syria then turned tail and let the Russians do what ever they wanted?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      What, then, should the President have said that he did not?

      What, then, should the President not have said that he did?

      What, then, should the President be doing that he is not?

      What, then, should the President not do that he is doing?Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Don’t call them the JV and say that he has no strategy on national TV, that’s too easy. Don’t cook the books to make ISIS look like it’s not threat, too easy. If you make a threat about a red line then carry it out or don’t make threats at all, too easy again. Was any of that difficult or beyond his capability?Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          So the problem is that he didn’t talk tough enough about ISIS in the past. He indicated that he did not take them seriously. Well, he did talk tough about them in this speech. This speech does take them seriously. It’s difficult on its face to say that 13,000 bombing runs isn’t taking the fight to them in a serious way. So I’d think that this speech would have made you happy, elicited a response of, “Finally!”Report

    • Daesh *is* the JV, if even that. Their wins came when the rest of the Near East and the West were too busy squabbling about other things, and now they’re being methodically shoved back into the ratholes they came out of. It must be sucky that your team isn’t the one in charge during all of this, but you should at least console yourself by remembering that your team made it possible for Daesh to exist in the first place.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Then they’ve been doing well for the JV squad, between this attack and San Bernadino.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          [Citation Needed]

          Both FBI investigations cleared him of ties.
          He’d never said anything about ISIS before the night of the shooting.
          Although he was getting ostensibly more religious, he was inobservant – drinking to excess, having premarital sex, and not fasting, all during Ramadan, the holiest month. Say what you will about Daesh, but they really ARE Holier Than Thou. Actual Daesh fighters would have beaten the crap out of him regularly.
          Even Daesh’s own “press release” was pretty tepid sauce considering their modus operandi in the past.Report

          • Avatar notme says:

            Citation for what? They got folks to pull off two attacks in our homeland. Are you living under a rock?Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              The Orlando shooter was “inspired” but not directed by Daesh.

              Similar facts with San Bernardino.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I see, if a terrorist wasn’t directed by ISIS it doesn’t really count as a ISIS attack in the Dem playbook?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I understand that Obama wants any way to not count attacks as terrorist attacks. Just look at the Fort Hood shooting, that was listed as work place violence.


              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                So… Daesh told Hassan to do that? No, no it did not. Hassan was self-directed.

                See, “if a terrorist wasn’t directed by ISIS it doesn’t really count as a ISIS attack.” Why? Because it wasn’t directed by ISIS.

                Fort Hood, Orlando, and San Bernardino were no more “ISIS attacks” than were Isla Vista, Umpqua Community College or Aurora. ISIS, or ISIL, or Daesh, or the JV al-Qaeda, or whatever other name you want to call them, did not make them happen.

                The only thing that San Bernardino and Orlando have in common with things ISIS does is that they make you scared. Yes, they are all scary. But that’s not the same thing as directing the exercise of violence against non-combatants towards a political end.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I get it. You and other folks won’t ever say Isis is responsible till you find an Isis membership card on a dead terrorist. Its awfully convenient and sad.

                Seriously, fort hood was just workplace violence?Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                You know I’m willing to engage with you, but throw me a fricken bone. Show some indication that Daesh has managed to – successfully – project any significant force into the United States beyond “inspiring” wannabes. I’m willing to listen.

                The kind of loser who murders will find a rationalization for it. San Bernadino and Orlando both fit that profile. So do Colorado Springs, Santa Barbara, and both the high school and college in the PNW.

                But for right now, as far as I’m concerned, Daesh is no more (although possibly no less) an existential threat than the religious fanatics who “inspired” Colorado Springs.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                So inspiring folks to act in your name thousands of miles away isn’t force? How about we call it “power?”Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                Or, we could look at that loser like the drunkard with the lamp-post. He’s using it for support, rather than illumination.

                At this moment, I believe that he would have done exactly what he did if there was no Daesh. Invoking their name was a boast that he (correctly) believed would be posthumous.

                In another reality, he actually did find a vocation and emigrate to be a Daesh fighter. In that reality, even now the real terrorists are shoving his face into the latrine. Again.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor says:

                Likko all for goofy definition to coddle terrorist losers. Sad!Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

                If an assault was modeled on a Vin Diesel movie, did Vin Diesel direct the attack?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I like turtles.Report

          • Avatar notme says:

            Yes, the FBI cleared him but I’m sure they are wondering what they missed right now.Report

        • Just because some self-loathing gay guy says that he’s team Daesh (and team Hamas, and …?) doesn’t make him a member of that team. And even if he was a member of team Daesh it’s a pretty pathetic showing that they can’t even hold onto their caliphate but are instead reduced to Home Shopping Network-style infomercials to coax J. Random Terrorist into giving them a shout-out before riding that bomb vest to glory.Report

          • Avatar trizzlor says:

            Well, it would be pathetic if one of the major party nominees wasn’t basing his entire foreign policy on what J. Random Terrorist decided to like on Facebook beforehand.Report

  3. Avatar El Muneco says:

    It blows my mind how differently this whole dialogue would be playing out if the authorities had caught the Orlando jackhole and missed the jamoche in L.A. …Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      What would be different?Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        It just strikes me how similar they are. Assuming that the guy in L.A. had actually gone off in the same way as the guy in Orlando – and I admit that’s a big assumption, although circumstantial evidence points towards their situations being directly analogous – the spin would be completely different. It wouldn’t be a multinational Islamic terrorist conspiracy, just a lone wolf who went off the deep end for reasons we’ll never fully understand.

        And that’s the thing – why can’t a Muslim commit something that’s just a hate crime? Why does it have to be terrorism?

        I’m not insisting on my interpretation, but that’s how it looks to me with what I’ve seen right now.

        The way I see it: the dude in Orlando was a loner and something of a loser. His family (who were unambigously observant Muslims) had basically written him off. He had a history of racism, sexism, and violence against women. No one who was seriously on the dodgy side of the law wanted anything to do with him. And when he was going about his crime, he specifically targeted a subset of the available targets, even explicitly letting some people go. And he put together a manifesto for after-the-fact letting people know how badass he really was and how they were wrong about him all along.

        That’s not an ISIS terrorist fighter. That’s Eliot Rodger.

        If his family had had a different religion, the same tragedy might have happened, but the conversation would be much more like Santa Barbara. Or if the guy in L.A. really had snapped in the same way that the Orlando dude did.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          While I am 100% down with the whole “Muslims can commit non-Islam-related hate crimes too!”, the pledging allegiance to ISIS complicates that narrative.

          I mean, sure, maybe he didn’t really mean it.
          I get that.

          It’s a fairly nuanced and, yes, complicated position to argue and I’m not certain that it’s more persuasive than “we can take his pledging allegiance to ISIS at face value”.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco says:

            I don’t deny it. I’d just believe it more if he hadn’t done it at almost literally the 11th hour. As it is, it just strikes me as almost a post-hoc rationalization – “I want them to believe I was a moral crusader, not a piece of shit murderer.” Or if one of the FBI investigations had turned up anything real. Or any actual connection besides what he himself said.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko says:

            It’s an argument about causation. If Daesh can push disgruntled young men in the US into carrying out Orlando-style attacks, then that’s a way that they can project power against the US that poses some level of threat.* If, instead, Daesh is simply famous enough that disgruntled young men who would have carried out Orlando-style attacks even if Daesh didn’t exist choose to give them credit, then Daesh isn’t projecting power into the US at all.

            *How we should think about the magnitude of this threat and the best response to it is, of course, a whole other question.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              The latter is a comforting thought (more comforting than the former, anyway).Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Comforting is a relative term when we’re talking about how to understand a mass murder.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I disagree. If the latter is true, we could protect ourselves from this happening again by destroying ISIS.

                Of course, the long history of disgruntled American assholes deciding to go out and kill a bunch of people without needing ISIS to provide inspiration suggests that this is a false hope.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I think part of the problem is that ISIS is more difficult to define than we had hoped.

                It’d be nice to think that we could destroy ISIS by killing the right 3 (or 5 or 12 or 28 people).Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                A major part of the problem with defining ISIS is people insisting that ISIS is one thing instead of many.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                This, most factions have varying degrees of spectrum. It’s like a large bandwidth.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I think part of the problem is that ISIS is more difficult to define than we had hoped.

                This only appears to be the case if you enter this conversation with the assumption that combatting ISIS effectively would have prevented the Orlando attack, which, based on what we do know about Omar Mateen–like that he’d previously been a big fan of Hizbollah–seems pretty damned unlikely.

                On the other hand, individual hate-filled wretches picking up guns and murdering the objects of their hate in an attempt to alleviate their wretchedness is a thing that happens pretty frequently in the US, without any mention of ISIS. I’m not sure why Mateen’s pledge to ISIS is tremendously more important than John Hinckley’s desire to impress Jodie Foster.Report

  4. Avatar dexter says:

    @jaybird, Since the Oklahoma City bomber was an ex-gi I think America should not let anybody who has fought in Iraq or Afghanistan back into the country. The Virginia Tech shooter was born in Korea so we need to exile all of them damn Koreans. Most mass shooters can trace their ancestors back to Europe so I am sure all of the first peoples would be ecstatic if no more Europeans were allowed into America.
    I have not spent a lot of time listening to the news lately, but I am starting to get the impression that the Florida shooter was a violent, self hating jerk who happened to be a muslim.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Sure he was.

      But he’s also a violent, self hating jerk who happened to publicly pledge allegiance to ISIS right smack dab in the middle of his violence.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Much to ISIS’s surprise.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          Maybe so but ISIS has called on Muslims to perform lone wolf attacks in their name. Or did you miss that?Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko says:

            It’s a bit hard to see this angle right now, but I think this may be perversely comforting. An orlando-style lone wolf attack is very hard to stop and requires very few resources relative to most al-qaeda style attacks, and yet we have suffered through relatively few of them. Perhaps there are fewer people willing to die for this sick ideology in living in the US than we feared.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Remember ALF/ELF back in the 80’s? They said something like “if you want to put nails into trees to eff up lumberjack chainsaws or free lab animals from their cages and do it in our name, we will be proud to consider you a member”.

          Membership was decentralized.

          For ISIS as well. The other day, NPR pointed out that ISIS put out an announcement. If you want to go out with a bang and do something in our name, go for it! All you have to do is publicly pledge to ISIS beforehand. Here’s the kicker: they pointed out that no incident would be considered “too small”.

          So are they *REALLY* fully-fledged members of ISIS? I can see the argument for how they’re not. They’re not on a list, they’re not on a payroll.

          But as much members as the kids spiking trees were members of ELF?

          I don’t know how to argue that they wouldn’t be.

          They already officially announced that membership was, officially, decentralized.Report

          • I am calling on OT commenters to derail as many threads as possible with Fox News anti-Obama talking points.

            notme is now working for me!Report

              • CORNISH: So is ISIS claiming direct contact with the shooter in some way or direct operational support?

                CALLIMACHI: No, they’re not. I mean, it’s unclearReport

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I stand corrected. Totally not a member.

                Well quoted.Report

              • Do you see NPR saying “Yes, he’s a member.”? Because I don’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                You’re absolutely right. I do not see NPR saying “Yes, he’s a member.”

                That string does not appear in that article.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oooh, I did find this, though:

                RUKMINI CALLIMACHI: ISIS has made clear to their adherents outside of Iraq and Syria that if they want to do an attack in their name, really all they need to do is before carrying out the act of violence they need to pledge an oath of allegiance to the group. And it needs to be public. And here we’re seeing a 911 call that was placed in the midst of this bloody attack in which he claims allegiance to the group.

                CORNISH: So explain to us exactly how ISIS did take responsibility for this particular attack.

                CALLIMACHI: The first claim of responsibility came through the Amaq News Agency, which has become ISIS’ wire service, if you will. So the attack happened at around 2 a.m. on June 12. And around 2 p.m. of that day, they claimed responsibility on an encrypted chat called Telegram. And from there it was propagated on Twitter and other social media forums.

                Today, they then claimed credit again. And this time it was on their official radio station. This is the same sequence of events that we saw after San Bernardino, where Amaq was the first and then it followed up with the group’s official radio station.

                But, as you say, NPR did not argue that, yes, he’s a member.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                OK, assume you’ve convinced me. What do we do differently than if these idiots were all lone wolves with no connection whatsoever to Daesh – which, in fact, they don’t have – and are just potential mass murderers, of which we’re fully stocked already? How does this make any difference whatsoever?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I have no idea what we should do.

                I do think that the toolset for dealing with this, if it is an ISIS attack, is different than the toolset for dealing with this if it were a much larger scaled Matthew Shepard incident.

                Though, I admit, if it were a much larger scaled Matthew Shepard incident, I’d have a better idea of what to do. Or an idea at all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                In thinking about this some more, I realize that the answer was staring me in the face.

                If, it turns out, his pledge to ISIS was, in fact, meaningful, we have to do everything in our power to completely trivialize it and wave it away. He didn’t do what he did because of his religious faith. He did it because he was nuts. Because he was a self-loathing homophobe. He went to the club for years. He wasn’t casing it, he was trolling for homosexual sex.

                It wasn’t an act of terrorism that ISIS can point to and say “we did this!”

                It was yet another white guy shooting up a gay bar. We really should do something about these white guys with guns.

                And so imagine if you are an impressionable at-risk teen thinking about doing the pledge on behalf of ISIS. Look at Orlando and what do you see? Everybody talking about guns and repressed homosexuality… and it becomes just a little less attractive to do something.

                Instead of headlines that say “ISIS PUTS MORE POINTS ON THE SCOREBOARD”, we’ll have headlines that ask “another attack, was this attacker gay as well?”Report

              • “Meaningful” conflates several things.

                1. He was in contact with ISIS and they knew about it in advance.
                2. He did it because ISIS said to do things like that.
                3. He did it because he believed ISIS’s version of Islam.
                4. None of the above. He wanted to do it for personal reasons, and ISIS let him justify it in his mind, which pushed him over the edge.
                5. He did it for personal reasons, and saying “ISIS” made it seem more respectable.

                Which of those are you proposing? Which of those amounts to “ISIS won one”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                What do you mean? It obviously had nothing to do with ISIS.

                He was yet another closeted homosexual who hated himself and externalized that hate against people that he should have been willing to embrace (in more ways than one).

                I doubt he was even Muslim in any meaningful sense of the term.Report

              • I like snark a lot, but I was asking a real question.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                A few days back, I was proposing #2.

                Now I’m proposing #5.Report

              • So it happened, and 12 hours later they noticed and took credit for it. And when that made an impression, they said it louder.

                I’m convinced.Report

          • Avatar Autolukos says:

            Things are going better than I thought if the ELF is the best comparison.

            Is there reason to believe that getting shot by one of these ISIS types is worse than being shot by a Lanza or a Holmes?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              The comparison was to the decentralization of membership. But, by all means, focus on the spiking of trees.

              Hey! You can compare freeing lab animals to the nightclub shooting and ask if I was comparing homosexuals to monkeys and then go on to call me not only homophobic but racist.

              That’s totally pressing the “WIN THE ARGUMENT INSTANTLY” button.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                It’s less the spiking of trees than the collapse into obscurity that catches my eye. A certain amount of centralization has historically been a strength for terrorist groups; it’s hard to build a real campaign off of loners deciding to shoot up nightclubs.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              If it isn’t worse then why bother to bomb them overseas? Maybe we should start to regard Isis shooting deaths as a nusince, like traffic accident deaths. It would take the heat off Obama to do anything.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco says:

            Just to play DA to your DA, if membership is decentralized to the point where you provide no support, no comrades, no information, no logistics, no deniability, no actual contact or communication – is that really membership? Or is it just posturing… “We’re badasses, and if you want to be a badass, do something like the things we do, only in a completely different way, and by the way, you’re on your own!”Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Here’s the story I heard on the radio.

              Here’s the quote that I found most interesting:

              CALLIMACHI: The holy month of Ramadan, which began last week, has traditionally been a time of ramped-up activity for these terrorist groups, not just for ISIS but also for al-Qaida. The reason is that they believe that this month is holy, and therefore an act of jihad against the enemy is going to reap greater rewards for them.

              So the spokesman of ISIS issued a statement last month where he very clearly called on their adherents in the West – and he specifically names America and Europe – to take it upon themselves to carry out acts of violence against the infidel. And he has an interesting quote in there where he says no act will be considered too small.

              And I think what he’s doing is he’s trying to appeal to isolated people who may not have the means to carry out something very impressive. And in previous speeches, he’s essentially said that you can use a knife, you can use a rock to smash the head of an infidel, you can even use a car to try to ram into them, and that all of those acts would be considered part of the larger jihad.

              So let’s go back to your question:

              is that really membership?

              How are we defining membership? Is it not membership unless you sign a form, pay some dues, and show up to meetings?

              If we say, nope, it ain’t unless you do those things, then I guess that the guy wasn’t really a member.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                I think I see what you’re getting at. I just don’t believe that, in the absence of Daesh, that he wouldn’t have done something very similar, if not identical. The kind of person who will respond to “Murder the infidel. You’re on your own. Good luck.” would probably murder who they think is the infidel even without the inspiration. We’re talking about sick, possibly even rabid, puppies here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The kind of person who will respond to “Murder the infidel. You’re on your own. Good luck.” would probably murder who they think is the infidel even without the inspiration.

                I hope you’re right.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                I don’t think the word “hope” belongs in that sentence. Both options are fishing tragic.

                But we have a mass killing every day (not literally, just on average). How many of them are even rated as possible Daesh terror attacks by US citizens? Four.

                Criminals kill more policemen than Daesh could ever hope to. Police kill more civilians than Daesh could ever hope to.

                Daesh is not an existential threat unless they can materially aid terrorist cells. If they can’t do that, they’re assholes proselytizing at losers, some of whom will, since this is 2016 USA, kill people. Which makes them no different than, what, five or ten other groups?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Stolen (and misquoted) from Twitter:

                “If you can be a member of a group just by saying you like them, then I am a member of Led Zeppelin”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Cute and witty, but the obvious retort is that ISIS is more analogous to the Juggalos.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                (And in doing research for this, I found that it’s $50 to join the Kiss Army. So the Kiss Army membership process is more rigorous than ISIS’s.)Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                At least ISIS doesn’t paint their faces, drink faygo and listen to noise at a high volume.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Important question: does ISIS know how magnets work?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              “I have the world’s largest seashell collection, which I leave artfully displayed on beaches all over the world.”

              Steven WrightReport

          • Avatar trizzlor says:

            Let’s back up and ask what the reason is for these definitions.

            One reason is that if something is “global terrorism” then it is investigated in a different way than something that is a hate crime inspired by a decentralized terrorist organization. Do you think the Orlando case should be investigated more like Aurora or more like 9/11?

            Another reason is that we try to prevent such attacks differently. In the case of 9/11, the gov’t spends more money translating foreign media chatter; tracking how money and arms are moving internationally; identifying sleeper agents with training and experience. In the cause of Aurora, the gov’t spends more money on mental health services; training for people to identify at-risk loners in work and school; maybe programs to give such people a safe outlet for their anger. Do you think preparedness in the wake of Orlando should be more like Aurora or more like 9/11?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Do you think the Orlando case should be investigated more like Aurora or more like 9/11?

              If we’re backing up, I’d like to hammer out how both were investigated.

              If we aren’t careful with our definitions, we might find ourselves talking about how it’s important for the FBI to infiltrate some Rastafarian churches to prevent the next attack.

              Do you think preparedness in the wake of Orlando should be more like Aurora or more like 9/11?

              More like Aurora, definitely.

              I’m not sure what my saying that demonstrates, though.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor says:

                If we aren’t careful with our definitions, we might find ourselves talking about how it’s important for the FBI to infiltrate some Rastafarian churches to prevent the next attack.

                Sorry, this doesn’t compute.

                I’m not sure what my saying that demonstrates, though.

                Well, if we can tie the definition to something *actionable* then at least I understand the reason for having this discussion. Otherwise, it seems like everyone involved understands that there can be (a) an attack by person X directly organized and with foreknowledge by group Y; (b) an attack by person X in-directly inspired by group Y which takes post hoc credit. I mean, it’s clear everybody here understands this difference, right? We’re all on the same page. Why go through the STOP CALLING IT (B) YOU MUST CALL IT (A) game?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Sorry, this doesn’t compute.

                It was a caustic joke referencing what we did following 9/11.

                Well, if we can tie the definition to something *actionable* then at least I understand the reason for having this discussion.

                I can appreciate that it’s best to look for your keys under the streetlight. For definitions of “best” that include “most well lit” above “where the keys are”.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

            Jaybird: Remember ALF…back in the 80’s?

            RIP 🙁Report

          • Avatar switters says:

            I am the evil overlord!

            My goal is to inspire fear and pants wetting the world around!

            Henceforth, if you want to commit violence, in my name, all you need to do is commit violence. No public declaration is even required from my group.

            If people don’t think too hard about this, then every act of violence will be attributable to me, and my notoriety will only grow. More fear. More bed wetting.

            Thanks for not thinking too hard about this!Report

      • Avatar dexter says:

        @jaybird, I just don’t think psycho muslims are an existential threat to the us. I do believe that our fear of psycho muslims might be a threat, but that is only because the powers that be spend so much time aggravating the masses and spreading fear. I really don’t think America needs to spend almost 700 billion a year on guns when are infrastructure is falling down.
        Where I live I am much more likely to get shot by a pissed off redneck than a psycho muslim.
        Since you have spent some time over there I have one final question. We are big buddies with Oman and hate Iran. Do you believe Oman is a wonderful place who we should be defending and is that much a better place than Iran.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I didn’t spend time in Oman but Qatar.

          I plan on writing (what I hope is) the last chapter in my Qatar Travelogue when I get back from going there on July 1st. (I leave for there on Sunday.)

          I’m mostly of the opinion that it would be in our own best interests to go hard isolationist/non-interventionist and leave the rest of the world to its own devices. I’ve been told that that’s cruel, though.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          There are close to 100,000 Persian-Americans in the L.A. area alone. At my last-but-one (yay, I’m going to be employed again) job, both my director and his counterpart at our prime customer (hmm, networking?) were Persian-American.

          I don’t give a fish about what our governments think of each other. The Iranian people might very well be the most pro-US modulo their situation of anyone in the world outside North America. I specifically include the UK (which IMO is in the opposite situation, the government “likes” us much more than the people do).Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    Can someone explain to me what the end-game of the whole He was a Muslim! No, he was a homophobe! fight? It’s not like any of this is objectively verifiable. There is no observable measurement that you can point to that reads, “45% Muslim, 36% homphobe, and 18% mentally ill. The ruling on the field is… Islam is to blame.”

    It’s vexing that people spend so much effort on these identity games. If you want to fight about identity, why hide behind all of these very transparent proxies? Why not just put on a t-shirt and come out openly in support of your team. Get these fights out into the open and quite pretending that they are about anything other than status games. On further reflection, maybe that is exactly what the process of radicalization is.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      It determines whether we bomb Afghanistan or Westboro Baptist Church.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Hmm. I had quite a post put together, but then I realized – no, considering your commenting history and my commenting history, I can’t explain it to you. We don’t have a common frame of reference and any attempt to try to bridge the gap would, given history, lead to recriminations and bad feeling.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      ” There is no observable measurement that you can point to that reads, “45% Muslim, 36% homphobe, and 18% mentally ill. The ruling on the field is… Islam is to blame.””

      Well, if we adopt the college system of replay review… maybe… just maybe…Report

  6. Avatar notme says:

    I guess Obama isn’t listening to the CIA about isis. Sad but not surprising.