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Some People Did Something – This Time in Sri Lanka

Some People Did Something – This Time in Sri Lanka

While terrorists seek weak spots in the developing world, the West faces a threat of more sophisticated extremism. Here's one of its faces.

Some People Did Something – This Time in Sri Lanka

2000 1468 Michael Petraeus

O

ver 200 people dead (as of this moment), another few hundred injured in eight blasts targeting churches and hotels this Easter morning in Sri Lanka. This adds to the toll of thousands of deaths around the world perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists. Or, using the politically correct newspeak of US Representative, Ilhan Omar – “some people did something”.

Again.

She used this expression talking about 9/11 attacks and their alleged consequences to Muslims in America – as if somehow they ended up being targeted and “were starting to lose access to (our) civil liberties”.

Her search for victimhood was so desperate, that she turned the most catastrophic Islamic terror attack in modern history, which claimed over 3,000 lives and left a gaping hole in Manhattan, into an event that somehow hurt Muslims in the end.

So serious was this supposed degradation of their freedoms that the Somali immigrant is now a prominent congresswoman of the world’s reigning superpower – not a post she could ever dream of in her home country of Somalia, or anywhere in the Gulf, Iran and vast majority of other Middle Eastern and North African states, where women’s liberties are severely restricted by religion, tradition and politics.

And yet, she is so dismissive of her current home that she happily went on air in 2013 to suggest that organizations like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah are somehow singled-out and greater weight is assigned to them in public, while nobody dismisses “America” or “England”, or “the army” with the same gravity.

Weak Spots in the East

Barbaric attacks in Sri Lanka may mark a change of strategy in global Islamic terrorism. It is increasingly harder to conduct impressive attacks in the West, where activity in the past few years was limited to lone wolves with knives or rented trucks, who attacked random pedestrians.

Bombings in the South Asian nation were not expected – although there have been suggestions that foreign intelligence services may have uncovered the plot several days in advance. But it was not an obvious target – Christians are a small minority in this predominantly Buddhist country. Only 6% out of its 22 million strong population celebrate Easter today. While popular, it also isn’t one of the world’s top tourist hot spots – unlike Bali, targeted 17 years ago in attacks that claimed over 200 lives.

People have gotten used to large outbursts of violence in Africa and Middle East, to a point that few really care about them anymore. But some countries – especially in Asia – are not seen as gravely threatened by Islamic terror and may now come into focus as much easier targets.

High-Level Threats in the West

In Europe or America probability of violence is generally much lower, due to far more advanced security services and a heightened state of alert.

The gravest threat moved higher – to the realm of politics and social activism, where supposed “victimhood” and identity – rather than competences – have become a valuable currency that you can buy popularity with – and influence nation’s politics as a result. That’s how Ilhan Omar was elected.

She campaigned on a typically populist “everything for everyone” platform, that is so common on the political left – with the added benefit of being a female Muslim Somali-American, surely scoring maximum points for identity among the virtue signalling voters in her staunchly Democratic district.

But as she secured her seat, her unsavory nature began to show – most notably in her antisemitism that she no longer felt she had to hide.

Before the elections she dismissed BDS – a movement to boycott and sanction Israel – as harmful or unproductive only to embrace it as she won her mandate. Mere months ago she liberally alleged that Jews or Jewish organizations corrupt congressmen with money or that congressmen supporting Israel hold “allegiance to a foreign country”. Backlash followed, with understandable attacks from the right and damage control from the left.

“I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning,” / Nancy Pelosi

That is a rather polite way of saying that her colleague had no idea what the hell she was talking about.

The problem is – she did. And she meant every word of it.

All of the above could, perhaps, be dismissed as ramblings of an overzealous Congress freshman but they should not be taken lightly coming from a member of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for legislation in the domain of US foreign policy.

Especially as Ilhan Omar has some rather questionable friends…

Victimhood of the Wolves

She has not only attracted backlash for her comments about Israel but also for her rally calls to American Muslims:

I say raise hell, make people uncomfortable, because here’s the truth. For far too long, we have lived with the discomfort of living as second class citizens and I’m tired of it.” / Ilhan Omar

First of all – it takes a special kind of insensitivity to tell Muslims to “raise hell”, while Islamic fundamentalists decimate and rape tens of thousands of people around the world every year. If anything, Muslims in the West should disassociate themselves from violence – and that also means violent language.

I’m also not quite sure what “second class citizen” does Ilhan Omar consider herself to be, being – after all – a representative in American congress (and a one, that even the laws regarding head covers in the US Capitol have been specially amended for so she could wear her hijab).

You can label it as many different things but certainly not discrimination.

To add to controversy her speech was delivered at a fundraiser for CAIR – Council for American-Islamic Relations – which in 2014 was designated as a terrorist organization by the UAE for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

She also appeared at an event hosted by Islamic Relief USA – an associate organization of Islamic Relief Worldwide, accused of financing Hamas, and also banned by the UAE as well as Bangladesh under allegations that their “funds were used to preach Islam, construct mosques, encourage radicalism, and fund militants” among the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

Interestingly, fact-checking site Snopes went to great lengths to whitewash her presence there, suggesting that IRUSA has little to do with IRW and is only licensing the name from the organization. The reality is that it is a member of the IRW group and happily employs people like Yousef Abdallah, the East Coast Operations Manager of the organization, a virulent antisemite who praises Palestinian attacks on Jews – and who was supposed to speak at the same event with Omar, until his name mysteriously disappeared from the posters after inquiries by the press.

Of course, few people will really care about these dubious connections, since speaking critically of a religious and ethnic minority female is an absolute no-no – unless you sit deep on the political right (what still doesn’t protect you from the smears and accusations of racism or sexism, which have become so fashionable).

There’s political capital to be earned leveraging feel-good virtue signalling rather than cold evaluation of reality.

This is a weakness that allows duplicitous characters and organizations to penetrate the political scene and influence the public opinion on the wave of mass naivety of the hippie, politically correct generation.

In a way, then, it is a far greater threat to the country than bombs, which the West has become rather well equipped to protect itself from. But long term erosion of the quality of governance, abandonment of its critical foreign interests or its cultural norms simply to pander to virtue signalling ignorants or cunning identity politicians, are going to cost future generations their prosperity – and security.

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Michael Petraeus

Economist, marketer, designer and business strategist publishing about the past, present and the future.

All stories by:Michael Petraeus
mm

Michael Petraeus

Economist, marketer, designer and business strategist publishing about the past, present and the future.

All stories by:Michael Petraeus
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