The Peach State prepares for a political frenzy as a pair of January runoffs determine the balance of the Senate—and the shape of the presidency
Here’s a little test of your analytical skills. What do the following items have in common: dog, lizard, comet, kite? Give up? The answer is that they all have a tail. Let’s try another one.
What do the following names have in common: Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin, Ahmed Ajaj, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Eyad Ismoil, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Alie Fadden, Abu Dahdah, Mounir el-Motassadeq, Mohamed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaj, Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Omar Mateen, Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, and Enrique Marquez Jr.?
Stumped? The Obama administration is too. If only they could figure out—if only they had some small clue!—what is the common denominator that connects this list, maybe they could make a start toward solving the mystery of random outbreaks of violence in this country’s far-flung regions of Boston, New York, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino. But alas, every investigation so far has led to a cul-de-sac.
What’s that you say? They all sound like Middle Eastern names? Aha! You are not so perceptive after all. Evidently the last name on the list escaped your notice: Enrique Marquez Jr. That would be more Hispanic, so crime solving is not your thing. Better leave it to the professionals.
They’re all men, right? Wrong again. Tashfeen Malik is a woman—so there’s another dead end; these are clearly not male-perpetrated crimes. At first I thought the key to the conundrum might be the presence of the letter “i” in all the names, but I checked and eight names don’t have it. That’s the best I can do with linguistics. Nothing to see there.
What more could Omar Mateen have done to make his motives clear?
Are they all Christians? No (Rats! Too bad). It’s unfortunate because a paper called “Law Enforcement Assessment of the Violent Extremism Threat,” published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security with survey data provided by President Obama’s Department of Justice, informs us that “Law Enforcement Agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face.” So if you find yourself near a band of Christians exiting a church that does not allow transsexuals as pastors, take cover. And if you see something, say something.
There is an episode of The Simpsons in which Krusty the Clown is momentarily disowned by his father Rabbi Krustofsky for not following in the family footsteps. With dramatic disdain he slams the door, exclaiming, “I. Have. No. Son!” (Then we see the door open a crack and he clarifies, “I didn’t mean that literally.”)
Everyone yearns to be understood, even Islamic terrorist organizations bent on a worldwide caliphate. Even they, Jannah-minded as they are, long for proper attribution of their work. But ISIS and al-Qaeda, like Rodney Dangerfield, get no respect. (Except from the Dalai Lama of Tibet, who says we must respect them in order to make the terror stop.)
What more could Osama bin Laden have done to take credit for the 1993 World Trade Center prequel than what he did, taking the time to pen a “Letter to America” with seven explicitly stated reasons for the attack? What more could Omar Mateen have done to make his motives clear, interrupting his beautiful carnage midway to dial 911 and give glory to Allah?
Still the government experts ponder possible motives and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her inimitable perspicacity, announces to the public regarding Mateen: “I cannot tell you definitely that we will ever narrow it down to one motivation.”
Call me a fool, but I think Islamic terrorist masterminds have been totally caught off guard by this. Such a dumbfounding national response, such unforeseen limitless capacity of bureaucracy for denial and obtuseness, has confounded the best minds in Al Bayda province. No wonder al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula, in its magazine Inspire, is instructing stateside drones to focus on white males and to lay off homosexuals and minorities henceforth. Why should credit go to hate crime penny ante? No more wasting of their perfectly good pressure cookers and rented SUVs.