Donald Trump in Manchester, New Hampshire (Reuters)
We’ve gotten so used to politically correct obfuscation about Islam being a religion of peace that preaches tolerance and non-violence that Donald Trump’s words in his address Monday were startling: “Many of the principles of radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions. Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American. I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, Jewish people are targets of persecution and intimation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.”
Trump continued: “This is not just a national security issue. It’s a quality of life issue. If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans — women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians and all people then we need to tell the truth about radical Islam and we need to do it now.”
One may quibble about whether jihad violence and Sharia oppression in Islam are really “radical,” but the fact is that Donald Trump has become the first nominee of either party since 9/11 to reject the usual nonsense about how jihadis believe in and preach a twisted, hijacked version of the religion of peace. Even more importantly, Trump is now the first presidential candidate since maybe John Quincy Adams to recognize that the problem posed by Islam is not just restricted to the specter of violent jihad attacks, but is, given Sharia oppression of women, gays, and non-Muslims, very much, as Trump put it, a “quality of life issue.”
Trump declared his determination to prevent more jihad attacks such as the one in Orlando Saturday night above all by reiterating his proposal temporarily to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats.” CNN huffed: “Critics of Trump's policies, however, have pointed out that the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre was born in the U.S.”
Those critics are not being honest. What Trump actually said was that the Orlando jihad mass murderer was born “of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States.” He noted, quite correctly, that “the bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place, was because we allowed his family to come here,” and pointed out, quite rightly, that “we have a dysfunctional immigration system, which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens properly….We’re importing radical Islamic terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system and through an intelligence community held back by our president. Even our own FBI director has admitted that we cannot effectively check the backgrounds of people we’re letting into America. ”
Can any truthful person seriously dispute that? Tashfeen Malik, who, along with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook murdered fourteen people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino last December 2, had passed five separate background checks from five different U.S. government agencies. If the U.S. did not have a “dysfunctional immigration system,” she would never have been in the country in the first place. And neither would her husband, about whom Trump noted that he was “the child of immigrants from Pakistan and he brought his wife, the other terrorist from Saudi Arabia through another one of our easily exploited visa programs.”
Trump skewered Hillary Clinton for having “repeatedly refused to even say the words radical Islam until I challenged her yesterday.” He quoted her fatuous words: “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism” and opined “she’s in total denial, and her continuing reluctance to ever name the enemy broadcasts weakness across the entire world — true weakness.” Clinton wants, he said, “to take away American’s guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country, we don’t have guns. Let them come in, let them have all the fun they want….The bottom line is that Hillary supports policies that bring the threat of radical Islam into American and allow it to grow overseas, and it is growing.”
Trump’s point was sound. In what way was it not? Combining unrestricted immigration and a massive influx of Muslim migrants, among whom the Islamic State has promised to embed jihadis, with a disarmed American population is simply an invitation to jihad massacres on a frequency never hitherto imagined. Could there be an Orlando-style attack every day? Why not, in the America of the near future that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are busy preparing for us?
Trump declared: “The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why she believes immigration from these dangerous countries should be increased without any effective system to really to screen.” Again, his point his sound: all those, including Hillary, who are busy excoriating Trump for the “racism” and “bigotry” of his immigration proposal have not bothered to suggest any alternative plan for preventing jihadis from entering the country. The bottom line, to borrow one of Trump’s pet phrases, is that Hillary and the rest of the political and media elites would rather see Americans subjected to jihad mass murder on a huge scale than do anything that is politically incorrect.
Another foray into political incorrectness in Trump’s speech was his insistence that the Muslim community in the U.S. has “to work with us. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad. They know it. And they have to do it, and they have to do it forthwith….The Muslims have to work with us. They have to work with us. They know what’s going on. They know that he was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what? They didn’t turn them in. And you know what? We had death, and destruction.”
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was furious. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooperclaimed that “law enforcement authorities have repeatedly stated that they have tremendous cooperation from the Muslim community.” CAIR’s hypocrisy is astounding, as it has more than once advised Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. In January 2011, its San Francisco chapter featured on its website a poster that read, “Build A Wall of Resistance / Don’t Talk to the FBI.” In November 2014, CAIR-Florida’s “14th Annual Banquet Rooted in Faith” in Tampa distributed pamphlets entitled “What to do if the FBI comes for you” and featuring a graphic of a person holding a finger to his lips in the “shhh” signal.
Another CAIR pamphlet, entitled “Know Your Rights: Defending Rights, Defeating Intolerance” featured a graphic of the Statue of Liberty likewise making the “shhh” symbol. Cyrus McGoldrick, a former official of Hamas-linked CAIR’s New York chapter, even threatened informants, tweeting with brutal succinctness: “Snitches get stitches.” Zahra Billoo of CAIR-San Francisco regularly tweets that Muslims have no obligation to talk to the FBI, and should contact Hamas-linked CAIR if the FBI asks to talk to them.
This is the group criticizing Trump for noting that Muslim communities have not been any significant help in rooting out jihadis from among them?
Trump’s most revolutionary proposal was for an overhaul of our entire foreign policy establishment and the assumptions upon which it rests – assumptions that have led us into numerous blind alleys and failed initiatives. He said: “The decision to overthrow the regime in Libya, then pushing for the overthrow of the regime in Syria, among other things, without plans for the day after, have created space for ISIS to expand and grow like nobody has ever seen before. These actions, along with our disastrous Iran deal, have also reduced our ability to work in partnership with our Muslim allies in the region. That is why our new goal must be to defeat Islamic terrorism not nation building. No more nation building. It’s never going to work.”
Indeed. It didn’t work in Iraq. It hasn’t worked in Afghanistan. We have poured billions into Pakistan since 9/11 to help them fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and the Pakistani government has funneled a good deal of that money to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Trump said it: “And by the way we’ve spent almost $5 trillion over the years on trying to nation build in the Middle East and it has been complete and total disaster.” Yet despite the fact that its policies have failed again and again and again, the foreign policy establishment keeps reappointing and promoting those responsible for those failures, allowing them to make more mistakes in ever-larger arenas. But no candidate has ever challenged that establishment – until now.
Trump offered one more common sense that no establishment politician has thought to or dared to make: he suggested that there needs to be a reconfiguration of our alliances, which are still based on the Cold War. “NATO,” he said, “needs to change its focus and stop terrorism....America must unite the whole civilized world in the fight against Islamic terrorism.”
Indeed. The world is on fire courtesy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. If America votes in November for more of the same, we will soon be engulfed in those flames as well. On Monday, Donald Trump outlined an unprecedentedly realistic plan for putting out the fire.