A Tale of Two Groups


While it cannot be proven, there is little reason to doubt that many on the Left are disappointed that the Times Square bomber didn’t turn out to be the “white male” he was originally identified as.

This allegation may be wrong, but it is made on the basis of compelling evidence.

There is a perfectly clear pattern on the Left — the normative Left, not just the “far” Left — that denies the obvious when it comes to Islamic terrorism. Take, for example, Maj. Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 fellow soldiers and tried to murder the 32 others whom he wounded at Fort Hood, Texas.

For days after the murders, liberal-Left commentators and mainstream media reports attributed Hasan’s mass murders to everything but his Islamic beliefs — even though it was known that he yelled out “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the Greatest”) just as he began his shooting.

As “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews announced, “It’s unclear if religion was a factor in this shooting,” and then added, “He makes a phone call or whatever, according to Reuters right now. Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaida … That’s not a crime, to call up al-Qaida, is it?”

The New York Times “Week in Review” article on the shootings was titled “When Soldiers Snap.” As I wrote at the time, “The gist of the article was that Maj. Hasan had snapped — even though he had never been in combat. He snapped in advance. Just two sentences in the article were devoted to the possibility that his motives were in any way relatable to his Muslim faith.”

NPR’S Tom Gjelten offered the novel explanation that Hasan, who had never been in combat, may have suffered from “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” Again, psychology, not religion.

On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera said, “I don’t know what motivates him … He could have had a toothache and gone off because of that.”

And this time, the same thing happened, with one exception: For two days, it was assumed a “white male,” shorthand for non-Muslim, non-minority American, tried to blow up passersby near Times Square in Manhattan.

New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this to Katie Couric on CBS News on May 3: “If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that, somebody who’s homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something, it could be anything.”

It’s OK for liberals to speculate that a terrorist might be a Right-wing white American opposed to ObamaCare (aka a tea partier). It is the rather more likely scenario of an Islamic terrorist that liberals not consider, let alone publicly express.

Moreover, only an individual whose politics forces him to deny the obvious can deny that people like Bloomberg hoped that the culprit not be a Muslim, but rather a conservative white American.

Even after the terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, was apprehended, and after he confessed, the liberal-Left world almost never mentioned his religion, and many tried to blame it on factors unrelated to his religious beliefs. As with Nidal Hasan, the culprit in Shahzad’s case was the terrorist’s psychological state. This time, it was the stress he experienced over his house going into foreclosure.

Thus the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote on May 4:

“You of course don’t want to speculate on why someone ‘really’ did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex. But it’s a reminder that foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors …”

Widely ridiculed — in the comments section of the Washington Post itself — for what he wrote, the next day, Klein tried to do undo the damage to his credibility: “In case there’s actual confusion … I do not believe that foreclosure leads to terrorism.”

I think that most honest observers would argue that all the confusion was on Klein’s part, not the readers’. But, in any event, even in his explanatory column, he made no reference to Shahzad’s religious beliefs as the terrorist’s motivation.

Instead, he re-emphasized that it was impossible to even speculate what Shahzad’s motive might be: “Speculating about why a terrorist commits a terrorist act is a mug’s game … People who desire the murder of innocents qualify, I think, as pretty disturbed.”

Klein was not alone on the Left associating home foreclosure with Shahzad’s attempted mass murder. Annie Lowrey, an editor of Foreign Policy, wrote: “I think it’s a bit above my pay grade to speculate on the broader sociological meaning of this. But for what it is worth, the arrested subject of this past weekend’s Times Square bomb plot is a homeowner in the midst of foreclosure.”

And a long background piece on Shahzad by the Associated Press — the most widely reprinted news source in America — had the title, “Times Square bombing suspect’s life had unraveled.” Not one of the article’s 1,076 words mentioned Shahzad’s Islamist beliefs as even a contributory factor. It was all about his economic misfortune and his walking around depressed.

This is but one more example of how Leftism permeates the upper echelons of American (and Western) society and has people mouthing sentiments that those not on the Left regard as morally absurd.

The best chance America has in retaining its greatness, let alone its exceptionalism, is to understand the Left. And the Left’s explanations for what makes a Faisal Shahzad or a Maj. Hasan seek to slaughter Americans are key to understanding the Left.

A defining characteristic of the Left is its inability to identify — and therefore confront — evil: from Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich’s expressions of support to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, to decades of Leftists around the world praising Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to the mainstream media’s denial of moral culpability to the arsonists, murderers and rioters in Los Angeles over the Rodney King verdict (“Understanding the Rage” was the title of the daily Los Angeles Times special section devoted to the riots), to the universal liberal outrage at President Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” to the Left’s virtually unanimous hostility to Israel.

The Left’s inability to identify the religious beliefs of Islamic terrorists and instead ascribe their murders of Americans to the terrorists’ psychological tensions and economic problems — while at the same time utterly certain that conservative white Americans have only the most vile motives — is an expression of the Left’s failure to recognize and confront real evil.

Just remember this: If Shahzad had not been identified as the would-be bomber, the mainstream (i.e., liberal) news media and leading Democrats would have told us repeatedly that a white male — surely a conservative white male — was the Times Square terrorist, and that we should therefore be looking suspiciously at our fellow Americans on the Right, especially those attending tea parties. For while liberals claim not to know the motives of Muslim terrorists, they are always certain of conservatives’ motives: racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.

When, one day, the Left exits from history’s stage, its epitaph will read: “Those who do not understand evil will not understand good.”

  • tarleton

    I listen to Dennis Prager on a regular basis and agree with many of his comments , but he regularly states that Judaism is both a religion and a race…..I know very little about Judaism …..is this true ?

    • http://karmafishies.blogspot.com/ Karmafish

      Jews are a people with a religion, Judaism.

      Jews are not a "race," because race does not exist as a biological category. The Jews are, however, a people and have self-identified as a people for well over 3,000 years. Many of them practice their traditional faith, the faith of the Jewish people, Judaism.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/hopetotellyou hopetotellyou

    While I am not an expert, I quote a Jewish friend of mine.
    "NO, being a Jew is not a matter of race. It is a matter of belief."

    • Lyone

      I am a professor of World Religions. I also happen to be Jewish. When this question comes up in my classes, I answer that Judaism is a *family*. This family is related genetically to one another–like any other ethnic group–yet one can join a family via marriage or adoption, as well. In addition to this, this family has a core set of values that were established by our parents, Abraham and Sarah, and these values are what we call the religion of Judaism.

      So it is not an either/or issue. Judaism is BOTH a question of genetic relatedness –with options for joining in — and a matter of beliefs and practices that express a basic world view.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/hopetotellyou hopetotellyou

        Nice comment. I appreciated the explanation.

        — On Wed, 5/12/10, IntenseDebate Notifications <notifications@intensedebatemail.com> wrote:

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

      It most definitely is a matter of birth – that is, "race". A Jew, to be recognized as a Jew by Israel, must have a Jewish mother – if he only has a Jewish Father, that is not enough, because, you can't trust a gentile woman 100% all of the time for everyone of them. Therefore, to be a complete Jew, you need a real Jewish mother, sorry.., but the pure race of Abraham cannot afford to take chances with the holy blood line!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/hopetotellyou hopetotellyou

        Thank you.

        — On Wed, 5/12/10, IntenseDebate Notifications <notifications@intensedebatemail.com> wrote:

  • lenna darlling

    Who cares? They are the chosen people.

  • Louann

    I know you can convert to Judaism, but you can't convert to a new race.

  • Mary

    It's easy to see why Bloomberg, Napolitano, and the entire Left would want a crazed white male conservative to be responsible, it would solve many of their problems. It's also easier to push conservatives around in public, and in the media, no one openly objects. If they do, the ready-made response: 'violent, conservative, domestic terrorist' rhetoric comes out and forces any opposition to the Left's shove into silent indignation. Many of the Left are naive, uneducated and uniformed. Others on the Left are far more sinister. To ignore the fact that Shazad was an Islamic terrorist committed to jihad is like walking away from a fire hoping it will burn itself out.

  • jamieos

    You cannot opt out of being a Jew – if your mother was a Jew. My great grandfather was a Jew but his wife, my great grandmother was a Catholic non-Jew. Therefore it is my understanding that I am not a Jew, no matter how much I feel as a Jew. For the record I am a Catholic convert, and I know several Jews who are Catholics and several who are no specific religion, but all are Jews. The Nazis did not make distinctions – they went back generations to sweep up Jews for extermination.

  • Ray in Seattle

    People's beliefs determine how they interpret the world. Strong beliefs easily overpower reason – regardless of intelligence. To an ideological liberal the idea that Islamic beliefs can motivate toward violence violates some of their core progressive beliefs. This prevents them from seeing the objective truth. But the same is true for some conservatives who believe, for example, that the unregulated free market will obviate the need for government regulation of our financial and banking systems. There are plenty of intelligent progressives and conservatives who can not see the most obvious reality because of their beliefs. This is a good article – but Dennis should not imply that it shows liberals to be inherently stupid. Strong ideology can make anyone stupid – and usually does..

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

      Good for you Ray – the truth is that a lot of so called conservatives are, at heart, just old fashioned anarchists – they worship something called the "invisible hand" and that is just a term for, "survival of the fittest to survive". They are only willing to apply Logic, reason and aforethought to government when there is a military necessity.

      • Ray in Seattle

        Yes Henry, I'd even say that, where strong ideological beliefs exist in one's mind . . humans are only willing to apply logic and reason( (I'd say only able to apply logic and reason) . . to justify and support their ideological beliefs . . not to examine them. I see this as a human condition, equally applicable to both left and right. I also believe that there are evolutionary reasons that brains are designed this way. The final result in terms of survival of dna is what evolution will weigh, not the quality of any logical "truths" along the way.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

          Unfortunately, Ray of Seattle, that is so true – evolution proceeds by death, not any other factor – the only thing that matters is how many surviving offspring an animal has. That is why it is so sad that the wonderful westerners became so effete that they refused to multiply – even murdering their own babies by an abortion procedure. Now the world will be inherited by Islamic savages! It must come as such a surprise to us westerners that we lose the evolutionary race towards the perfect reason civilization because of a lack of babies – they didn't learn the lessons of evolution – let us hope they get it soon enough to continue on with scientific progress – but, alas, it looks bad.

  • USMCSniper

    President Buraq Hussein Obama referred to the "Tea Partiers" as "Tea Baggers" ( a homosexual activity)deliberately the other day. He ought to know tha latter real well. Go To: http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%

  • concernedforusa

    I believe that the Left is able to identify evil. The question is what the evil is for the Left. The Left believes that the USA is evil. Leftists recognize that muslim terrorists represent a mortal danger for the USA, so does Left. Because of that muslim terrorists are friends and allies for the Left. Leftist journalists lie when they say that muslim terrorists are driven to acts of terror by home foreclosure, posttraumatic disorder, etc. Left's goal is to cover the true reason that causes muslim terrorists to kill Americans. This true reason is the teachings of Islam, namely, hatred for infidels and desire to spread Islam and Sharia law worldwide. If, God forbid, the Left and muslims are successful in destroying the USA, they will be on each other throats in a second, because Islam and Left's ideas are incompatible.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

    WHAT EVERYONE OF YOU ALWAYS IGNORES ! Why are you all always surprised when Muslims act like your friend and then try to cut your throats with a slow sawing Motion? Consider: They all have a Bible that tells them to murder any fellow Bible of Murder Worshiper if they should vary from the primary behavioral requirements writ down in this book by the will God Himself who also said that whoever changes this Bible called the Koran, or hurts it, must be murdered. I ask you, "What kind of crazy person would dare to deviate from what this Magic Mighty Bible demands of everyone who at sometime in his or her life bowed down to it and worshiped it as if it were not a dead thing, but a real living divine entity? Should not the answer be obvious? And, when you get right down to it, what does said bible require except that all non believers in said living Bible be killed or enslaved or made into an inferior third class? Give me a break! Time to buy a gun, and scrape that anti-Muslim bumper sticker off.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

    About Jews – are they a race or not? It most definitely is a matter of birth – that is, "race". A Jew, to be recognized as a Jew by Israel, must have a Jewish mother – if he only has a Jewish Father, that is not enough, because, you can't trust a gentile woman 100% all of the time for everyone of them. Therefore, to be a complete Jew, you need a real Jewish mother, sorry.., but the pure race of Abraham cannot afford to take chances with the holy blood line!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

    Ray is Seattle said, "But the same is true for some conservatives who believe, for example, that the unregulated free market will obviate the need for government regulation of our financial and banking systems." Good for you Ray – the truth is that a lot of so called conservatives are, at heart, just old fashioned anarchists – they worship something called the "invisible hand" and that is just a term for, "survival of the fittest to survive". They are only willing to apply Logic, reason and aforethought to government when there is a military necessity.Good for you Ray

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HenryCrux HenryCrux

    Ray from Seattle Unfortunately, Ray of Seattle, that is so true – evolution proceeds by death, not any other factor – the only thing that matters is how many surviving offspring an animal has. That is why it is so sad that the wonderful westerners became so effete that they refused to multiply – even murdering their own babies by an abortion procedure. Now the world will be inherited by Islamic savages! It must come as such a surprise to us westerners that we lose the evolutionary race towards the perfect reason civilization because of a lack of babies – they didn't learn the lessons of evolution – let us hope they get it soon enough to continue on with scientific progress – but, alas, it looks bad.