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June 5 2017

Is an Ariana Grande Concert Really the Best Way to Combat Terrorism?

by Charlotte Hays

It is a decadent society that thinks that the way to fight Islamic terror is with an Ariana Grande concert.  Here is a tweet regarding Ms. Grande's One Love concert, which was for the casualties of the Manchester attack, but which was overshadowed by yet another horrific attack, Saturday's murder and mutilation near London's iconic London Bridge (these attacks are coming fast and furious, aren't they?):

Ariana Grande's mum is strolling through the crowd telling fans: "do not be afraid" #onelovemanchester

I am sorry but it is time to be afraid. When murderous people, who are willing to die to make you die, declare war on you, it is time to--you know--be afraid.

I feel churlish saying this because Ms. Grande's concert  is a benefit for the Manchester casualties, and of course that is generous on the entertainer's part, and the funds raised will be certainly welcome and useful. But the concert helps to perpetuate the notion that  symbolic gestures are what's needed to combat terror.

As the Wall Street Journal this morning notes ("Jihadi Returns to Britain: the U.K. is Waking up to the Ideological Nature of the Islamist Threat"), British Prime Minister Theresa May has gone further that most other European leaders in recognizing the nature of the threat confronting the West:

Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday’s attack wasn’t directly linked to the suicide bombing committed by Salman Abedi at a pop concert in Manchester last month. But the three attacks in succession show why governments must target the threat at its roots, in self-isolating Muslim communities that reject mainstream values and create homegrown or Islamic State-inspired radicals like Abedi.

On this front, Mrs. May is well ahead of many of her European counterparts. The Prime Minister in a speech Sunday morning outlined a new counterterror strategy that puts ideology and Muslim integration at the forefront. The trio of recent attacks in Britain, she said, were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism.”

. . . 

 Mrs. May suggested [fighting terrorism] would involve “difficult and often embarrassing conversations” with the Muslim community, and she is right. This has to include an end to political coddling of so-called soft Islamist groups and imams who treat candor about the Islamist threat as anti-Muslim or refuse to identify radicals in their midst.

The one misstep in an otherwise clear-eyed speech is Mrs. May’s suggestion to outsource surveillance of jihadist online speech to social-media platforms. This line is popular among Western leaders because it provides an excuse for their failure to defend the need for Big Data surveillance and threat analysis following Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency thefts.

Mrs. May veers close to suggesting that what we are mainly engaged in is a non-lethal "battle of ideas."

President Trump has been hammered for his tweeting after the London Bridge attack. He correctly linked the attack, which appears to have originated in one of those U.K. enclaves that plays host to adherents to  Islamist ideology, to his temporary ban on receiving people from parts of the world too disorganized to even issue passports for futher vetting. Tthe Washington Post was scandalized ("World Leaders Call for Unity after London Attack. Trump Tweets Complete Opposite"):

 

Before London police or anyone else had announced that the attack was linked to terrorism — the president of the United States retweeted an unsourced blurb from Drudge.com: “Fears of new terror attack after van 'mows down 20 people' on London Bridge.”

London authorities at that point had confirmed only a few details. Shortly after the Drudge tweet, British police again warned against spreading unconfirmed information.

Fifteen minutes later, Trump issued his second tweet since the attack — promoting his administration's legally embattled “travel ban,” which hinders people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

As Philip Bump noted for The Washington Post, Trump tends to rush to weigh in on attacks connected to Islamist terrorism but is “remarkably late” in responding to others that are not.

Maybe that is because President Trump realizes that the Islamist threat is like no other confronting the West today, Mr. Bump.

It is heavy-handed and offends genteel sensibilities that the president of the United States has picked a fight with the mayor of London in recent days. But the president, in his vulgar way (see: "Trump . . . Our Claudius"), realizes what is at stake: survival.

That is why deplorables, unattached to the cliches of the elite, elected him.

Anne Applebaum, a foreign affairs writer whom I generally like to read, tweeted:

now clear that @ArianaGrande is better at coping with the aftermath of terrorism than the US president

Give me a break.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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