The Murder Show Mass Killings are an Act of Theater. By Kevin D. Williamson

Mass murders on the Elliot Rodger model are not a modern thing; we all know the story of Columbine, but the worst school slaughter in American history happened in 1927 in Michigan. Nor are they a gun thing; that Michigan massacre required no firearms, and neither did the crimes of Timothy McVeigh. They are not a “white privilege” thing, soiled as I feel for being obliged to write the words “white privilege”; the worst such massacre in recent U.S. history was carried out by a Korean-born American. They are not a male thing; Brenda Spencer’s explanation of her shooting spree in San Diego inspired the song “I Don’t Like Mondays.” They are not an American thing; Anders Breivik of Norway carried out the largest mass murder in modern history, though it is possible that Beijing’s Tian Mingjian killed more; Europe, the Americas, and Asia have experienced roughly comparable numbers of mass murders, with the Asian numbers slightly ahead of the rest. They are not an ideological thing; mass murders sometimes issue manifestos, but they are generally incoherent and shallow. The phenomenon of mass killings has little to do with race, sex, politics, economics, or the availability of legal firearms. Such episodes are primarily an act of theater.

Modern technology empowers individuals to an extent that is utterly radical from the long-term perspective of human history. One might think that sometimes that means mind-controlled exoskeletons and sometimes it means Elliot Rodger, but that is not quite right: The truth is that always and everywhere it means both mind-controlled exoskeletons and Elliot Rodger. There’s nothing for it. There is no law to be passed or policy fix to be implemented. If there is a lesson to be learned, it is a very old one, that man is a fallen and unpredictable creature. And if you have not learned that lesson by now, no headline, no matter how bloody, is going to help. You cannot reduce a mass murderer to a set of motives. South Korea’s Woo Bum-kon, who led the lone-gunman rankings until Breivik superseded him, flew into a homicidal rage after his girlfriend woke him up by swatting a fly off his chest. South Korea has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, but Woo was a police officer with access to the local armory. The data suggest that in the U.S. context police officers are more likely to commit homicide than are members of the general public. Pass all the laws you like, but remember who enforces them.


Barack Obama gave the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday, and piled absurdity upon absurdity.

“For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism,” he said, but steadfastly refrained throughout his speech from explaining the source of that terrorism threat, much less its ideological foundation or goal. This is, of course, the President who in October 2011 placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists, overseeing the scrubbing of all counter-terror training materials of all mention of Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared at that time that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” removed all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity.

At the same time, Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”

Holton said that he had spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI training materials that Holton claimed were “egregiously false,” and that Holder was “firmly committed to making sure that this is over….we’re going to fix it.” Holton said that this “fix” was particularly urgent because the rejected training materials posed “a significant threat to national security, because they play into the false narrative propagated by terrorists that the United States is at war with Islam.”

Cole declared: “We must never allow our sorrow and anger at the senseless attack of 9/11 to blind us to the great gift of our diversity.” And this, he said, must involve a rejection of the stereotyping of Muslims: “All of us must reject any suggestion that every Muslim is a terrorist or that every terrorist is a Muslim. As we have seen time and again – from the Oklahoma City bombing to the recent attacks in Oslo, Norway – no religion or ethnicity has a monopoly on terror.”

Of course, the controversial training materials did not really claim that all Muslims are terrorists or that all terrorists are Muslims, and it is noteworthy that Cole had to resort to dismissive caricatures to make his point. And the end result of this whitewashing effort, three years later, is that the President of the United States has to acknowledge that “the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism,” but cannot bring himself to explain where that terrorism is coming from.


Afghanistan is lost, Iraq and Libya are in the middle of civil wars, Russia is carving off pieces of Ukraine and China is escalating its conflict with the rest of Asia. There isn’t a single element of Obama’s foreign policy that has proven successful. Instead it’s been one international disaster after another.

Obama just smiles into the camera and announces that “America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world.” Anyone who disagrees is engaging in partisan politics. Or reading statistics.

Having signed off on Iran’s nuclear program while its Supreme Leader boasts that the holy war will only end with America’s destruction, he claims that the “odds of a direct threat against us by any nation are low.”

“From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations,” he proclaims. Meanwhile Russia and China humiliate our European and Asian allies for their worthless alliance hub.

“When a typhoon hits the Philippines, or schoolgirls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine, it is America that the world looks to for help,” he boasts.

And yet the masked men go on occupying buildings and Boko Haram goes on killing Nigerians. America has never been stronger than under Obama. And yet it’s incapable of actually doing anything, except maybe joining New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, Israel and Chile in providing disaster aid to the Philippines.

And if that doesn’t work, he can always sanction the typhoon. It should do as much to stop the wall of water it as it did to stop Russia and Iran.

Obama’s speeches come from a world that exists only inside his own teleprompter. Another leader might have been reeling from a string of international failures, but he boldly triumphs over reality. The worse things are, the bigger the party he throws to celebrate his victories.

Obama’s speech focuses on Afghanistan, but never mentions the Taliban. Imagine an FDR speech that pretended that Japan didn’t exist. That’s the depth of denial it takes for Obama to claim victory.

Bridget Johnson: Obama Says Wider al-Qaeda Network ‘Lessens the Possibility’ of 9/11-Style Attacks (Huh???)

…..Increasing aid to Syrian opposition because “bottom line” is “America must always lead on the world stage.”
President Obama told West Point graduates today that America has “a real stake, abiding self-interest, in making sure our children and our grandchildren grow up in a world where schoolgirls are not kidnapped, and where individuals are not slaughtered because of tribe or faith or political belief.”

“I believe that a world of greater freedom and tolerance is not only a moral imperative, it also helps keep us safe. But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution,” he added while outlining a foreign policy vision that he said found a happy medium between interventionism and isolationism.

“Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures — without thinking through the consequences; without building international support and legitimacy for our action; without leveling with the American people about the sacrifice required,” he said. “…Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”

Still, Obama insisted that his “bottom line” is “America must always lead on the world stage.”

He said that the al-Qaeda threat is more diffuse than leaders centralized in the Af-Pak region, but drew the conclusion from this vast network of affiliates that the U.S. is under less of a threat.

“The need for a new strategy reflects the fact that today’s principal threat no longer comes from a centralized al-Qaeda leadership. Instead, it comes from decentralized al-Qaeda affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused in countries where they operate. And this lessens the possibility of large-scale 9/11-style attacks against the homeland, but it heightens the danger of U.S. personnel overseas being attacked, as we saw in Benghazi,” Obama said.

Iran’s Strategy to Develop Nuclear Weapons by Harold Rhode and Joseph Raskas

Western concessions have therefore only bolstered the determinations of the Iranians to maintain their nuclear program until they can run out the clock on negotiations and achieve their goal of acquiring nuclear capability. But it is we in the West who are eagerly allowing them to do so.

When the Iranians, then one of the most advanced and mightiest empires on earth, were conquered in 636 CE by what they deemed one of the most primitive peoples on earth – the Muslim Arabs – they felt deeply shamed. Ancient Persian descriptions reportedly refer to Arabs as “rodent eaters and lizard eaters.”[1]

At that time, Iranians, also known as Persians, who had ruled over countless ethnic and religious nationalities for more than 1,110 years, may have felt superior to the nomads inhabiting the border areas of their vast empire.

It was these desert nomads, however, the Muslim Arabs, who, within 100 years after the death of their prophet, Muhammad, in 632 CE, transformed the Middle East into today’s Arab World – except for Iran.

Although possibly devastated by the rapid spread of Arab culture and influence, the Iranians soon developed effective measures to bend this arc of Arab influence towards Iranian culture. The Iranians apparently indicated to the Arabs that it was all right to be ruled by them, but, as they, the Iranians, had more than a millennium of experience in ruling a vast empire, kept offering to show them how do it properly.[2]

Persian culture eventually defeated the culture that the victorious nomadic Arab Muslims had brought with them from Arabia. Although the rulers were Arab Muslims, pre-Islamic Persians would have had no trouble recognizing the cultural similarities between both empires.

But the indigenous Arabs may not have been willing recipients of this gift; the Iranians began smothering the Arab desert culture by deception – essentially superimposing Persian culture on the Abbasid Empire.[3] Even the name of the capital of the great Abbasid Empire, Baghdad,[4] is Persian (meaning, “God gave”).


Boko Haram’s members justify their acts in the name of Islam, and Muslim leaders are intimidated into silence. Add to this a hatred for the West and its values, and you have an explosive combination of violence and faith being pushed upon innocent civilians.

Inaction on the part of both Nigeria’s government and global powers has led to this latest horrific act of abduction.

Muslims globally cannot remain under the illusion that because they put out press releases or say that Boko Haram is “not Muslim,” they can distance themselves from these crimes. If they do not openly condemn Boko Haram and similar groups such as the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood, they are by default supporting those causes.

Recently, on a radio panel about Islamic sharia law featuring two academics from American universities — a Muslim Professor of Islamic Studies and a Christian professor of Religious Studies — it was frustrating trying to keep the conversation on track.

Both professors were preoccupied with “The Golden Age of Islam” and “How Christianity went through a similar crises” and other similarly irrelevant information. The real focus should have been: “What is happening in the name of Islam today and what do we do about the atrocities being perpetrated in the name of sharia as we speak?”

Unfortunately, that question was consistently being buried. For many Muslims and especially Muslim organizations, a discussion about Islam and Muslims usually ends up in defense and deflection. Rarely does the conversation focus on half the population: women. That is the crux of the problem. If women are considered only half-human, why dwell on their human rights?

It is our moral and ethical responsibility, as Muslims, to discuss and debate these issues – even though they may be considered “our dirty laundry.”

Obama at West Point

The President skipped a few world events in his big foreign policy speech.

The speech President Obama delivered Wednesday at West Point was intended to be a robust defense of his foreign policy, about which even our liberal friends are starting to entertain doubts. But as we listened to the President chart his course between the false-choice alternatives of “American isolationism” and “invading every country that harbors terrorist networks,” we got to thinking of everything that wasn’t in his speech.

No mention of the Reset. “The reset button has worked,” Mr. Obama avowed in a 2009 meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s figurehead president. That was the same year Mr. Obama announced in Moscow that, “The days when empires could treat sovereign states as pieces on a chessboard are over.”

No mention of the Pivot or “rebalance” to Asia. This was billed by Hillary Clinton in 2011 as “among the most important diplomatic efforts of our time” and meant as proof that America’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t simply a retreat from the world. But as assistant secretary of defense Katrina McFarland admitted in March, following the latest round of Pentagon cuts, “Right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen.”

No mention of Mr. Obama’s Red Line in Syria against the use of chemical weapons. No mention, either, of the ostensible success of using diplomacy to disarm Bashar Assad. The President was fond of boasting of this achievement until recently, when it emerged that Assad continues to use chlorine bombs to kill his enemies. Somehow that also didn’t make it into the speech.

No mention of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which occupied the bulk of John Kerry’s first year as Secretary of State and which has now collapsed as Mahmoud Abbas patches up his differences with the terrorists of Hamas.

A 1914 Novel’s Prescient Vision of Londonistan Daniel Pipes The Washington Times

Exactly one century ago, the renowned British writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), called by his admirers the greatest writer and thinker of the twentieth century, published a curious novel titled The Flying Inn. On the cusp of World War I, he imagined the Ottoman Empire conquering Great Britain and imposing Shari’a law.

Chesterton rides this implausible scenario as a vehicle to ridicule progressivism – that same arrogant, “scientific,” top-down, and leftist approach to government that characterizes the age of Obama. “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes” Chesterton rightly explained, and The Flying Inn mordantly exposes their failings. Along the way, his vision of an Islamized sceptered isle has arresting features deserving celebration on its centenary.

Chesterton tells of a war in which “the greatest of the Turkish warriors, the terrifying Oman Pasha, equally famous for his courage in war and his cruelty in peace” wins a famous victory over British forces, leading to the occupation of England, to Turks taking over the constabulary, and the growing influence of an “eminent Turkish mystic,” one Misysra Ammon, who argues for such Islamic customs as not eating pork, prohibiting representative images, taking one’s shoes off at the front door, and practicing polygyny.

But the most prominent Islamic custom, and the one around which The Flying Inn revolves, is Oman Pasha’s decree for the destruction of vineyards and the banishment of alcohol. Lord Philip Ivywood, an eager, progressive dhimmi adept of Ammon, passed in 1909 a prohibition of alcohol which allowed only minor exceptions: buildings with inn signs outside them (pending their universal disappearance) and two famous watering holes for (of course) members of parliament, Claridge’s Hotel and the Criterion Bar. Otherwise, pubs served lemonade, tea and other of what Chesterton dubs “Saracen drinks.”Taking advantage of the former loophole, a valiant Irish sailor and an English publican roll through the countryside carrying with them the sign of “The Old Ship” pub, a giant keg of rum, and a great drum of cheddar cheese. Their bacchanalian exploits, and Lord Ivywood’s growing fury, make up the bulk of this fantasy novel, culminating in an English revolt against Ivywood, against Londonistan, against the fez-wearing Turkish police force, and their teetotaler ways. Hating “the fact of being crushed by the weapons of men brown and yellow … had made the English what they had not been for centuries.” Their heroic insurgency leaves Oman Pasha dead “with his face toward Mecca” and pubs reopening.


Terrorists terrorize because they take an authentically great delight in meting out executions to “others.”
Investigators recreate the Hezbollah Bulgaria bus bombing last July which targeted Israeli tourists
Photo by: REUTERS

“I learn a science from the soul’s aggressions.”- Saint-John Perse

In an age that correctly celebrates science as the very best method of reaching conclusions – and such a method is plainly what science represents – deeper human meanings are sometimes lost. Our most acclaimed academic studies of terrorism, for example, appropriately scientific, are refined and dispassionate. Increasingly, such scientific studies subordinate all immeasurable and intangible issues to more handily verifiable “data.”

Generally, this subordination is as it should be. Still, there are corollary costs. Above all, they include the lamentable disappearance of more palpably personal kinds of understanding. Left unexcluded, these kinds of understanding could have had very pertinent government policy implications.

Sigmund Freud, who often wrote about the “soul” (Seele, in German) urged that psychological analysis never neglect private feelings. To be sure, nowhere in his writings does he offer any actual definition of “soul.” But this absence was not merely an omission by oversight. Rather, Freud saw in his core term’s imprecision a certain referential richness, an illuminating mirror image of the “soul’s” own inexactitude. Ironically, to have granted the term any more of a precise definition would have been to rob it of its most significant value.

More than anything else, Freud had wanted the architecture of psychoanalysis to be constructed upon the “odor of humanity.” This expressly humanistic or “unscientific” view can now be applied productively to present-day investigations of terror-violence.


Having outdone the major opposition party—UMP—and trounced the governing Socialists in last week’s European elections, Marine Le Pen went off to Brussels today, looking for allies. If she can form a block of at least 25 deputies representing seven different countries, she will drastically improve her chances to influence EU policy while sharing in the perks: funding, chauffeur-driven cars, offices, legislative privileges, etc. The Front National itself has 24 Eurodeputies; the problem is finding the 7 nations. More or less assured of her alliance with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, the Austrian FPO, Belgium’s Vlams Blang, she is hard put to find the missing allies. Both UKIP and the Danish People’s Party have ruled out any alliance with the FN. On the other hand, Marine Le Pen can’t risk alliances with blatantly anti-Semitic antidemocratic parties like Golden Dawn, Jobbik, and other minor parties of similar persuasion.

What do committed and potential allies know about the Front National? Apparently not much. Marine Le Pen has pursued a forceful normalization strategy to rid the Front National of the sleazy image shaped by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen and upheld by party leaders and rank & file over the past 40 years since its founding. For some mysterious reason this window dressing has been respected by French media and gone unnoticed, with rare exceptions, in international media.

One of these exceptions, Gatestone Institute, links to Marine Le Pen’s foreign January 22nd foreign policy press conference, where she presents a superficially reasonable foreign policy and a seemingly brilliant advisor, Aymeric Chauprade, political scientist, author, professor, advisor, world traveler, and more. You don’t have to understand French to see how professional it looks. But you have to listen very carefully to Mme. Le Pen’s presentation to recognize the underlying values, affinities, logic, passion, and motives. (summarized in the Gatestone article

Does it have anything to do with the anti-jihad hopes pinned on the Front Natinal by well-informed thinkers with no hateful undertones? Does it have anything remotely concerned with the hopes of Europeans for relief from Eurabian oppression?