Why Not Put Truth on a Pedestal? Richmond’s mayor has a solution for Confederate monuments: Leave them up but provide context. By Dave Shiflett

I’m a descendant of a soldier who served under Gen. Robert E. Lee and a resident of the Richmond metro area, where one can take very few paces without bumping into a reminder of the Confederate past. Yet I can’t work up much enthusiasm about Civil War monuments.

My lackadaisical attitude has nothing to do with race or heritage and is quite widespread. Most people are far too busy worrying about losing their house, finding a job, making payroll and wondering why their dog’s tongue is turning blue to spend much time contemplating statues of guys who lost a war 152 years ago.

Carting away Baltimore’s Lee and Jackson statues in the wee hours, Aug. 16. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The violence in Charlottesville last weekend is deeply distressing. In this neck of the woods it’s commonly held that thugs who run down people with cars should go to the crocodile pit (after a fair trial, of course). But it’s hard not to cringe over the way a growing list of American locales are responding to the rise of the dead confederates.

In Baltimore, four monuments were purged Tuesday night in a scene reminiscent of the nocturnal vamoose of the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in 1984. (By contrast, three of the statues were parked at a wastewater treatment plant.) You didn’t have to be a soldier, or even a rebel, to get the hook: A statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the Marylander who wrote the Dred decision and served on the U.S. Supreme Court until his death in 1864, was hauled off, along with a statue dedicated to Confederate women. Lexington, Ky., plans its own official purge, while a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C., was toppled Monday and kicked by protesters after it bit the dust.

Where will it stop? President Trump was widely mocked for saying Tuesday: “I wonder is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” He didn’t have to wait that long. The next day, a Chicago pastor demanded the removal of a Washington statue from a city park. Last October activists gathered outside New York’s American Museum of Natural History to demand the removal of a statue of “racist” Teddy Roosevelt. The Rough Rider still stands, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Wednesday that “Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson will be removed from the [City University] hall of great Americans because New York stands against racism.” CONTINUE AT SITE

The ‘Resistance’ Goes Lower Green groups are attacking staffers merely for working in Trump’s government. By Kimberley A. Strassel

In a better world, Americans would never hear the name Samantha Dravis. She wouldn’t be pictured on the front page of the New York Times or added to environmentalist “watch lists.”

This is no knock on Ms. Dravis, who is a talented attorney. Rather, it’s an acknowledgment that in the grand scheme of the federal government, she’s one of hundreds upon hundreds of “staffers.” As associate administrator for policy at the Environmental Protection Agency, she didn’t need Senate confirmation. She’s no cabinet secretary and never chose a public role.

But in today’s anti- Trump “resistance,” that counts for nothing. The left lost the election, lost the argument, and is losing President Obama’s precious legacy. Its response is a scorched-earth campaign against not only EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, but anyone who works for him.

Most vicious has been the retribution against Mr. Pruitt for his work to undo Obama-era climate rules. Environmentalists and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse have ginned up an investigation at the Oklahoma Bar Association into whether Mr. Pruitt lied during his Senate confirmation. He testified that he didn’t use private email for work while serving as Oklahoma’s attorney general. Then out came a handful of emails, over years, sent to Mr. Pruitt’s private address. This is hardly Hillary Clinton behavior, yet Mr. Pruitt is having to pay for a personal attorney to fight the charges. The activists’ stated goal: disbarment.

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is suing the EPA for documents as part of a laughable claim that Oklahoma’s past lawsuits against the agency mean Mr. Pruitt has too many “conflicts of interest” to make policy. California has no authority whatever to arbitrate such things. The federal Hatch Act sets out the rules surrounding conflicts, and the EPA’s ethics officer (a career staffer) has said Mr. Pruitt is well within that law. The suit is simply Mr. Becerra’s excuse to delegitimize Mr. Pruitt.

High-ranking appointees have always been demonized, but what makes this environmentalist campaign different is its purposeful extension of intimidation tactics to anyone willing to serve in the Trump administration. Political staffers have been put on notice that they may be watched, smeared and harassed, putting future job prospects at risk.The Natural Resources Defense Council has a “Trump Watch” that noted Ms. Dravis’s hiring under the heading: “Pruitt picks a fellow enemy of the EPA.” ThinkProgress.org tracks Trump staffers, lists their ties to “fossil fuel lobbying groups” and “climate-denying lawmakers’ offices,” and invites members of the public to submit their own smears. Clearly aware of how obnoxious this is, ThinkProgress justifies the tracking by lamely noting that “these staffers are tasked with making decisions.” CONTINUE AT SITE

Wolf Blitzer asks if Barcelona attack was copy-cat of Charlottesville incident Martin Barillas


Veteran CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer wondered out-loud on Thursday whether the terrorist attack Barcelona was somehow related to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a man drove a car into a crowd and killed a protester and injured several. Spanish police have arrested a Muslim man of North African origin in the hours after the attack, which claimed the lives of at least 13 persons and injured 50. In that case, the terrorist drove a truck at high speed down the famous Las Ramblas pedestrian mall in the Spanish city.

Blitzer said, “Yeah, there will be questions about copycats,” as part of his coverage of the attack in Spain. “There will be questions if what happened in Barcelona was at all — at all — a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Va., even though there may be different characters, different political ambitions. They used the same killing device: A vehicle going at high speed into a group, a large group of pedestrians.”

Europe has seen at least six similar attacks this year, including the deadly attack on London Bridge. Thursday’s attack recalled the deadly violence of Bastille Day 2016 in which a Tunisian Muslim man mowed down tourists and locals celebrating the holiday in Nice.

In Charlottesville, a 20-year-old man is accused of driving a car into a group of people counter-protesting a so-called white supremacy rally. So far, there has been no evidence to support any linkage between the incident in Virginia and the terrorist attacks in Europe. So far this year, there have been six major terrorist attacks in Europe. ISIS has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in which pedestrians have been mowed down in vehicular attacks. Israel has seen similar attacks.

Umbrellas in the Rain by Mark Steyn America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It August 17, 2017

The latest European terrorist attack – by Barcelone wolves – hit a country that made a conscious choice thirteen years ago to opt for a quiet life. So much for that. One of the psychological changes that has happened since the Madrid bombings of 2004 is that Spaniards and other Europeans now accept, albeit mostly implicitly, that this is less to do with foreign policy, or foreign soldiering, than with domestic matters, such as immigration and multiculturalism.

I’ll have more to say on this subject with Tucker Carlson live on Fox News on Friday evening at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Meanwhile, here is what I had to say about the Madrid attacks in my bestseller America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. I think most of it holds up. The mourners in the streets marched under placards bearing the single word “Basta” – “Enough”. They didn’t mean “enough” terrorism, but “enough” with Bush’s wars and being a fully participating member of the “coalition of the willing”. So the Spaniards caved, folded, walked away – and, as they learned today, for the Islamic supremacists it still wasn’t “enough”:

If the critical date for Americans in the new century is September 11th 2001, for Continentals it’s a day two-and-a-half years later, in March 2004. On the 11th of the month, just before Spain’s general election, a series of train bombings in Madrid killed over 200 people. That day, I received a ton of e-mails from American acquaintances along the lines of: “3/11 is Europe’s 9/11. Even the French will be in.” Friends told me: “The Europeans get it now.” Doughty warriors of the blogosphere posted the Spanish flag on their home pages in solidarity with America’s loyal allies in the war against terrorism. John Ellis, a Bush cousin and a savvy guy with a smart website, declared: “Every member-state of the EU understands that Madrid is Rome is Berlin is Amsterdam is Paris is London is New York.”

All wrong.

On Friday March 12th, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards filled Madrid’s streets and stood somberly in a bleak drizzle to mourn their dead. On Sunday, election day, the voters tossed out José María Aznar’s sadly misnamed Popular Party, and handed the government to the Socialist Workers’ Party. Aznar’s party were America’s principal Continental allies in Iraq; the Socialist Workers campaigned on a pledge to withdraw Spain’s troops from Iraq. Throughout the campaign, polls showed the Popular Party cruising to victory. Then came the bomb.

Having invited people to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, even Osama bin Laden might have been surprised to see the Spanish opt to make their general election an exercise in mass self-gelding. Within 72 hours of the carnage, voters sent a tough message to the terrorists: “We apologize for catching your eye.” Whether or not Madrid is Rome and Berlin and Amsterdam and Paris, it certainly isn’t New York.

To be sure, there were all kinds of Kerryesque footnoted nuances to that stark election result. One sympathized with those voters reported to be angry at the government’s pathetic insistence, in the face of the emerging evidence, that the bomb attack was the work of Eta, the Basque nationalist terrorists, when it was so obviously the jihad boys. One’s sympathy, however, disappeared with their decision to vote for a party committed to disengaging from the war. And no one will remember the footnotes, the qualifications – just the final score: terrorists toppled a European government.

Provocateur Journalism CNN uncritically publishes a list of “hate groups” compiled by the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center. Mark Pulliam

When a news organization reports an impending weather event based on forecasts from the National Weather Service, or warns of potential seismic activity anticipated by the U.S. Geological Survey, or alerts the public concerning an infectious-disease outbreak being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one questions the news organization’s motives, because the underlying information is factual and derived from a reliable, nonpartisan, and authoritative source.

CNN presents itself as a news organization, yet today it posted a dubious story titled “Here are all the active hate groups where you live,” based entirely on data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is not the equivalent of the National Weather Service, the USGS, or CDC, to put it mildly. It is risible for CNN to recite SPLC data uncritically, with no additional validation, as a credible list of “domestic hate groups,” let alone to describe SPLC’s data as “widely accepted.” As I recently chronicled in City Journal, the SPLC is far from a reliable, nonpartisan, and authoritative source.

The SPLC has been criticized from all points of the political spectrum for its incessant fundraising (resulting in the accumulation of a “surplus” exceeding $300 million, some of which is invested offshore in Cayman Island accounts), lavish executive salaries (some topping $400,000 annually), and a litigation program calculated to generate sensational headlines rather than tangible results alleviating “Southern poverty.” Morris Dees, one of SPLC’s co-founders, has used the SPLC to promote his political agenda—and enrich himself.

As for chronicling “hate groups,” the SPLC is principally focused on maintaining lists of individuals and groups with opposing politics, and subjectively labeling them “hate groups” or “extremists,” often without justification. SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok, who is in charge of maintaining the lists, has declared that “our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” Even Politico has called SPLC’s agenda into question, asking “Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?” The writer of that story, Ben Schreckinger, noted the frequent charge that “the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog.” Politico’s skeptical look at SPLC joined a torrent of criticism appearing in other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, The Weekly Standard, Reason, The Federalist, and even The Progressive.

What exactly is a “hate group”? The FBI doesn’t keep track of such groups, but the SPLC purports to do so, using subjective criteria that do not include the use or threatened use of violence. Instead, SPLC labels groups based on their political views, designating as “hate groups” such diverse entities as magazines, websites, record labels, and even religious sects. In the popular perception, “hate group” is a label that appropriately describes the KKK, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, and similar groups—and the SPLC does in fact label them as such—but the SPLC misleadingly lumps these odious groups together with mainstream organizations with which it disagrees, solely because of their views regarding, among other issues, LGBT rights, immigration policy, and opposition to Sharia Law.

Who’s Next, George Washington? What Trump got right in the press conference Harry Stein

My first job, in 1972, was with a small weekly in Richmond, Virginia. Like my fellow writer/editors, I was a proud veteran of the sixties campus wars, and our left-of-center politics were strongly represented throughout the paper; which is to say, we were far from a neat ideological fit with the deeply conservative town Richmond still was back then. I joked with my friends up north that, the morning after Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in November, I could actually see my McGovern vote in the paper. The politics weren’t all that I disliked about Richmond. It was sleepy, ghastly hot in the summer, and in general far from what I then thought of as “the action.”

But there was one thing that I loved about the place: it was steeped in history. On Clay Street, just a few blocks from our office on Broad, was the Confederate White House. Not far off loomed the magnificent, Jefferson-designed state capitol. Over on Franklin, the Jefferson Hotel boasted the staircase said to be the model for the one in Gone With the Wind. But above all there was Monument Avenue, with its imposing statues of the generals whose prowess had sustained hope in this capital of a doomed nation a century earlier: Stonewall Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee.

As a Northerner and a lefty, I’d grown up thinking of the South as the bad guys. Nonetheless, there was an undeniable grandeur to these stone figures, and I felt it every day driving past them on my way home. They were men of surpassing courage and nobility, rightly enshrined in national myth: “There stands Jackson like a Stone Wall.” And the image of Lee, wearily arriving at Appomattox aboard Traveller, having resisted calls from diehards that he continue the fight, saving the nation from yet more bloodshed. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. One of my colleagues, Richmond-born and recently graduated from Harvard (and now a left-wing commentator of some note), would tear up every time he heard “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

As a Red Diaper baby, I came from a different tradition. My parents never saw Gone With the Wind—they were outside the theater, picketing. But I, too, felt the pull of that history, in all its messiness and grandeur. It was our history, as Americans.

Maybe that’s all over now. Maybe, as my colleague Kay Hymowitz once observed, for kids today American history runs from the oppression of the Indians to the oppression of blacks to the oppression of women, with nothing ennobling in between. Not long ago, talking with several people in their twenties, I was startled to learn that, until the movie came out, none of them had heard of Dunkirk. How, then, could we expect them to know about figures like Richard Kirkland, “the Angel of Marye’s Heights,” the Confederate soldier who, during the abattoir that was Fredericksburg, emerged from the safety of the commanding Southern lines to tend to dying Union soldiers on the killing field below?

Our history is rife with moral complexity. My wife and children exist only as a result of two near-misses. One ancestor, on her mother’s side, whose descendants would include several prominent abolitionists, nearly drowned after falling overboard on The Mayflower, while her great-grandfather on her father’s side, at 12, was nearly shot down from a rooftop in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by an occupying Union soldier after shouting “Long live Jeff Davis!”

All of which is a preamble to saying that, in his exchange with the churlish and ignorant press corps in the aftermath of Charlottesville, Donald Trump got it right when he said: “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” He may not have been the ideal messenger—with his combative style, manic egotism, and casual relationship with facts, he never is—but he laid out a case that for months has cried out to be made, and he did it so clearly that the refusal of the media and the elites of both parties, not just to credit it, but even to acknowledge it, speaks volumes. Though Trump has never quite defined what his notion of making America great again actually means, preserving that which needs no fixing—including the history that is our common legacy—is a key part of it.

No Place Truly Safe The Barcelona attack reminds us that jihadists declared war on the West long ago—and that the war goes on. Bruce Bawer

We hadn’t traveled together outside the country—the country, in our case, being Norway—all summer, so a few weeks ago we decided to plan a brief, cheap trip to somewhere else in Europe. We put together a list of our favorite cities, plus a few we haven’t yet gotten to. We checked out airfares and hotel prices. And we consulted a color-coded map of Europe that I’d run across online. The darker the color of the country, the greater the likelihood, according to experts, that it will be a terrorist target in the near future. We love Berlin and Munich, but Angela Merkel’s madness has made those cities unappealing destinations, so we crossed them off immediately. We also love Paris, but the recent terrorist attacks there, not to mention the ever-worsening immigrant crime situation and the pictures we’d seen of refugees camped out on the streets, led us to cross it off our list.

Mind you, it’s not just a matter of not wanting to be blown up. It’s about the fact that places like Paris and Berlin just don’t feel the same. It’s also about not wanting to make even a piddling contribution to the economy of a country that has pursued irresponsible immigration and integration policies. London? No. I don’t want to spend my vacation money in a country that lets in jihad-preaching imams while banning Robert Spencer.

I’d go to any of these places for work reasons, but not for a vacation. Even a war correspondent doesn’t vacation in a war zone.

A sensible choice would have been Prague or Budapest: on the color-coded map, the nations of Eastern Europe, owing to their sensible border policies, are white or pale yellow, meaning very safe. But we just didn’t feel like Eastern Europe this time around.

So we decided on Barcelona. We’d been to Spain multiple times, but never its second most-populous city. It seemed a sensible choice: it didn’t come up often in discussions of possible terrorist targets.

We were planning to go sometime around now. We’d picked out a hotel and found a decent airfare. But at the last minute, we decided that we didn’t feel sufficiently adventurous. It would have involved long days of walking and visits to several must-see places, from the Sagrada Familia to the Picasso Museum. So we opted for Copenhagen, a more familiar, closer destination, where we could drop in to our favorite bars, wander around Tivoli, and have some nice dinners.

Al-Qaeda to U.S. Muslims: ‘No Escape from Coming Confrontation’ to Avoid ‘Concentration Camps’ By Bridget Johnson

An al-Qaeda leader warned American Muslims that they’re headed for “concentration camps” unless they pick up arms and fight, quoting late American al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki stating that “surely your situation is becoming similar to that of the embattled Muslim community of Spain after the fall of Grenada.”

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, aka Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel, made the comments in this week’s new issue of the English-language Inspire magazine from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which included a lengthy how-to on attacking the train system with a homemade derailment tool placed on the tracks.

“How many lone jihad operations have had the impact of changing policies, bringing about the fall of political parties or even governments in some of the strongest and most influential countries of the world! This is why the martyrdomseeker

and Inghimasi (storm trooper) instills more fear in the hearts of the enemy than other fighters,” Wadoud said in a Q&A. “It is due to the positive results of lone jihad operations that we invite the sons of our Ummah [Muslim community] to adopt this new method of jihad and hold on to it firmly.”

He said that though the United States “is impossible to invade for a power outside the American Continent since it is surrounded by 6000 kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean,” lone jihad operations are “uncostly in terms of lives and expenses for Muslims, its impact on the enemy is significant and almost disproportional.”

“There is little doubt that this type of jihad enrages the disbelievers even more when a revert from their own race or nationality carries out such an operation… someone who had once been part of their community before Allah guided him to Islam and jihad,” Wadoud continued. “This is enraging for the enemies of Islam because it proves that Islam transcends their narrow nationalism and a Muslim’s loyalty is to his religion and not to his homeland. This aspect is harder for them to digest than the operation itself, so let us reflect on it. This is one of the weak spots in which there is enragement of the disbelievers.”

“Due to the edge that a Muslim living in the West enjoys, many scholars and leaders of jihad have encouraged carrying out martyrdom operations in the West. The reward and station of such an individual is no less than the reward of those who migrate to the theaters of jihad.”

Wadoud discussed how “crime rates in America are much higher than other nations, and it comes as no surprise that most crimes are of a racist nature.”

“And this is something that Obama on the eve of his departure from the White House himself admitted frankly,” he added. “The inescapable result of Trump’s victory and the coming to power of his likes in Western countries means that the room for co-existence in the West is being eroded with every passing day. And this does not affect Muslims alone, but all races other than the ‘white race’ (as they love to portray themselves). With the permission of Allah, this trend will prove to be in the interest of Muslims, since it will awaken the conscience of the Ummah and make it cognizant of the reality of Western Crusader savagery.” CONTINUE AT SITE

If the Monuments Must Go, Don’t Forget These By Tyler O’Neil

After the clashes in Charlottesville, a mania against Confederate monuments has swept the country. Local leaders in various states have decided to remove statues and monuments, while at least one black pastor in Chicago has called for excising even George Washington’s name from public parks, and Anonymous has planned to remove 11 statues on Friday.

One plausible response is to defend the statues. Another would be to encourage the movement to go further.

Activists who cry for the removal of Confederate statues do so on the grounds that these leaders were racist, that they hurt people based on the color of their skin or their national origin. If those are the criteria, however, why stop with the Confederacy?

Racism has a long and varied history, and certainly these social justice warriors wouldn’t want to defend racists, even if they were important inventors, politicians, or scientists, right?

Here are 10 people whose statues should be removed, if the Left insists on that sort of thing.
1. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924).
Woodrow Wilson statue in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo courtesy of Presidents USA. http://www.presidentsusa.net/wilsonrapidcity.html

Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th president, wasn’t just a racist. As president of Princeton University, he discouraged blacks from applying for admission. His book series History of the American People defended Ku Klux Klan lynchings in the late 1860s.

When Wilson was president, his war department drafted black soldiers, and while it paid them the same as whites, it kept them in all-black units with white officers. When black soldiers protested, Wilson told them “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.”

The pro-KKK film The Birth of a Nation became the first film screened in the White House under Wilson’s presidency. Under Wilson, racial segregation was implemented in the federal government, at the Post Office, and in the military.

In 2015, the University of Texas removed a statue of Wilson, along with one of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, from campus. Statues of Wilson remain, however. Many stand across Europe, a prominent one stands in Rapid City, S.D., and his presidential library and museum gives prominence to his birthplace in Staunton, Va.

2. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922).
Bell Statue in front of the Brantford Bell Telephone Building. Photo credit: the city of Brantford, Ontario.

Alexander Graham Bell deserves recognition for inventing the telephone, but he was also a horrible racist. Bell served as honorary president of the Second International Eugenics Conference in New York in 1921, and led the eugenics movement during that period.

Based on the naturalistic worldview of Charles Darwin, many scientists in the early 20th century adopted the idea that human beings needed to continue to evolve — that natural selection involved choosing the strong over the weak, and that therefore human society should promote the existence of strong people at the expense of the “less fit.”

Eugenics leaders saw evolutionary fitness in explicitly racial terms.

Bell made a hobby out of breeding livestock, and this gained him an appointment to biologist David Starr Jordan’s Committee on Eugenics, which extended the principles of breeding to humans. From 1912 to 1918, Bell was the chairman of the board of scientific advisers to the Eugenics Record Office. Such organizations advocated for laws to establish compulsory sterilization for people who, in Bell’s words, were a “defective variety of the human race.”

To make matters worse, California’s compulsory sterilization law (one of the results of Bell’s advocacy) was used as a model for that of Nazi Germany.

The most famous and impressive monuments to Bell are in Canada. A statue depicting Bell in the style of the Lincoln memorial stands by the Bell Telephone Building in Brantford, Ontario. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site rests in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Park has a monument to telecommunications.

In the U.S., the Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory stands in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Georgetown. The laboratory was created by Bell himself for the research and development of telecommunications technology.

Let’s Not Talk about Islam By Bruce Bawer

There’s an old Cole Porter tune called “Let’s Not Talk about Love.” It’s not one of his most delightful works, but it does fall into the ample category of Porter “list” songs. Here’s an excerpt:

Let’s talk about frogs, let’s talk about toads,

Let’s try to solve the riddle why chickens cross roads,

Let’s talk about games, let’s talk about sports,

Let’s have a big debate about ladies in shorts.

And so on. And on. And on. The point soon becomes clear: let’s discuss absolutely everything. Everything! With one single, solitary exception:

But let’s not talk about love.

I’ve been thinking about Porter’s song today while watching the TV coverage of the Barcelona terrorist attack. On the BBC, on Sky News, and on CNN (I live in Norway, and therefore was unable to watch the U.S. broadcast networks), reporters and newsreaders talked about the specifics of the carnage, caused by a truck whose jihadist driver deliberately steered it off the road and onto the pavement, killing at least thirteen pedestrians. The newsfolk displayed maps of Barcelona and explained in detail where La Rambla (also known as Las Ramblas), the location of the terrorist attack, is located in relation to other major spots in the city. They showed pictures of the body-strewn avenue itself, with the corpses themselves blurred out of respect for the dead.

They discussed the popularity of La Rambla as a tourist destination, and went into some detail about the nationalities of vacationers currently thronging the city. They noted that La Rambla is Barcelona’s chief tourist street, essentially its counterpart to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Kufürstendamm in Berlin, Fifth Avenue in New York – and, perhaps most significantly, La Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, where, in July of last year, eighty-six people were killed in a similar jihadist atrocity.

They pondered the apparent lack of sophistication of this particular crime, the biographical background of the truck driver, the timeline of the atrocity, the apparent speed and weight of the truck itself, and so on. They talked about the wounded, about the degree to which they had been wounded, about how many had been sent to hospitals.

But they didn’t talk about Islam. They didn’t talk about jihad. CONTINUE AT SITE