President Obama, the intelligence community, the US military, police chiefs across the nation, academics, some politicians— you know— people who are in a position to actually know what they’re talking about— have been warning for years that demonizing Muslims and their religion plays right into the hands of terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Daesh/Isil/Isis that are actively recruiting young men and women to join their ranks. Furthermore, it hurts intelligence collection collection efforts by alienating the very communities that have a working knowledge of individual terrorists and potential terrorists.
This latter handicap endangers civilians and military personnel alike. There is an excellent film called The Siege (1998) starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, and Bruce Willis, that brilliantly demonstrates what happens when the constitutional balance between freedom and security is violated by those who promulgate fear. The story follows a small group of Iraqi terrorists who bring New York city to a grinding halt. Seems they were a bit upset that George H.W Bush, who, while leading a coalition of forces that dislodged Saddam Hussein‘s troops from Kuwait, also decided to destroy the majority of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure;* and imposed a sanctions regime that resulted in the death of 500,000 Iraqi children.
Terrorists, especially those with origins in Iraq where the original Isil group was formed under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and was then known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, really don’t need help from US demagogues like Donald Drumpf and Ted Cruz to swell their ranks.
Cruz wants to make a real-life sequel to The Siege by putting entire Muslim communities and mosques in the US under surveillance: specifically, to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.” And he has tried to burnish his macho foreign policy image by carpet-bombing Isil where they live, no matter the collateral damage, or that it would likely constitute a war crime.
Drumpf, after hating on Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.;” hating on women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting;” also wants to ban the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the country; as well as kill the relatives of Isis members.
The tombstone below, found in Central Park over the weekend, says it all.
*The decision to destroy the Iraqi civilian infrastructure resulted in the following: electric power stations (92 percent of installed capacity destroyed), refineries (80 percent of production capacity), petrochemical complexes, telecommunications centers (including 135 telephone networks), bridges (more than 100), roads, highways, railroads, hundreds of locomotives and boxcars full of goods, radio and television broadcasting stations, cement plants, and factories producing aluminum, textiles, electric cables, and medical supplies.