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Obama on San Bernardino: It’s not about them, it’s about us

Obama on San Bernardino: It’s not about them, it’s about us

Terrorism “possible”

President Obama used his regular weekly radio address on Saturday to discuss the San Bernardino shootings, which now have been categorized—although not by Obama—as the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. He will give a televised speech from the Oval Office Sunday night.

In the radio address, Obama offered very tepid stuff in terms of the terrorist connection, as one might expect from Obama.

The speech began with praise for the police and rescuers and sympathy for the victims and families (and prayers; notify the Daily News that the president has gone off the reservation). But when Obama starts discussing the causes of the attack, he defers to the investigators—although those very investigators have now said they are investigating it as a terrorist attack. All he has to say about that is the following:

It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror. And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years—the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies. We know that ISIL and other terrorist groups are actively encouraging people—around the world and in our country—to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors. And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us—government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders—need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.

Let’s take that sentence by sentence.

“It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror.”

“Possible” is a word with very little meaning, that sounds as though it means more than it does. “Possible” merely means that something has not been absolutely ruled out and that it’s therefore not impossible. The possibility can be .0001% or 99.9999% or anything in-between. “Entirely” possible is another one of those phrases that gives the impression of being stronger than it is. It doesn’t really tell you whether it’s likely or not (if the speaker meant “likely” he’d have said it). It just means it is really really really possible.

In addition, note the phrase “were radicalized,” which suggests a lack of agency on the perpetrators’ parts.

“And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years—the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.”

Nothing to do with Islam so far; just the generalized “extremist ideologies” such as white supremacy, which no doubt Obama had fervently wished this attack had been motivated by the minute he heard about the shooting. Another “violent extremist ideology” among so many.

Once again we have a passive verb, “succumbing,” that suggests lack of agency.

“We know that ISIL and other terrorist groups are actively encouraging people—around the world and in our country—to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors.”

The first—and only—mention of the fact that ISIS (which he continues to call ISIL) has sophisticated propaganda with a wide reach, urging its supporters to violence and mayhem worldwide in the name of (shhh, don’t mention it except hidden in that first “I” of the acronym “ISIL”) Islam.

“And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us—government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders—need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

Generic boilerplate—how, pray tell? How? By being the weak horse?

And note the third phrase that suggests lack of agency on the part of the terrorists, “falling victim.” So, the perpetrators are “victims” too.

Then Obama segues to gun control, his favorite topic these days. Even though this crime occurred in California, land of strict gun control, and even though he can’t quite figure out a single suggestion that would have made a particle of difference here, he still harps on gun control as some general way to prevent these things.

Obama ends with:

“We are strong. And we are resilient. And we will not be terrorized.”

He thinks by saying it, he can make it so. That’s the way his life has worked. Words got him where he is. But his actions (and/or lack thereof) have made us much less safe, less strong, less resilient, and more vulnerable to the terrorists here and abroad. And the terrorists are well aware of it.

Whats in store for tonight?

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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I already have plans for that time slot tonight and I’m not interested in hearing the POTUS apologize for the USA again. Obama has not displayed any skill at altering his ideology when faced with reality; this time will be no different.

Excellent analysis. Thank you.

Phrases he will parrot that I am sick of hearing.
” this is not who we are”
“common sense (anything)”
“comprehensive (whatever)”
“religion of peace”
Looks like it’s DVD night around here tonight.

    gasper in reply to saywhut. | December 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

    add anything about “guns” and “control”

    clintack in reply to saywhut. | December 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Nah. No need for DVDs. Just flip off the TV between the end of the 4:00 games and the start of Sunday Night Football.

    The gap should be just about the right length of time for dinner.


“We are strong. And we are resilient. And we will not be terrorized.”

Well, no. Not really.

We’re NOT strong, mostly because we are without leadership grounded in reality. We have the tools, certainly. We have the culture. But we don’t have any leadership in the Executive.

We’re not particularly resilient, either. Just now, were fractured by the Collectivist wedge issues, and deeply divided on the fault lines of liberty versus tyranny.

I’m not sure what the hell “be terrorized” was intended to mean. Because we WILL be increasingly the targets of terrorism as a tool. As noted the other day, it’s just too cheap and too effective a tool NOT to be used, and this is a…in some respects THE…place to use that tool to greatest effect.

Did Barracula mean we won’t submit to terror? Why not? What’s the plan to fight it effectively when you can’t even bring yourself to face it realistically? Things that terrify us most are things that we cannot understand. And isn’t every refusal to simply deal with reality a “submission to terror”?

The American people will “not be terrorized” because we are, mostly, rational people and we won’t stand for it. But that will largely mean either wiring around “leaders” wherever they are who refuse to face reality, or sweeping them aside.

This “asymmetrical warfare”, and the response needs to fit the threat. You have terrorist pirates who can spring up from any quarter, you need sheep dogs who are ready to do the same. Additionally, we need to announce clearly that, while we are not willing to be a police state, we ARE more than willing to read the threats in our environment, and act sensibly to render them harmless. Good and hard.

    DINORightMarie in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I think he means we won’t admit it is terrorism, won’t call it terrorism – and denial means in his warped mind “not be[ing] terrorized.”

    Dangerous lack of leadership.

“And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us—government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders—need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

This seems like the telling statement. Notice the presumption of obligation for us not to fight but to “prevent” — prevent attacks and, more confoundingly, prevent people from becoming radical Islamics (though he never can say the word). How, exactly? This in turn implies on one hand that it is OUR problem, and on the other that these people don’t consciously try to kill us (which would justify our righteous and violent response) but can’t help themselves and are only victims. His language makes our position untenable.

The Germans are starting to get it:
Saudi must stop financing fundamentalist mosques abroad: Merkel’s deputy

As are the Indonesians:
World’s Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS To Get Lost
Yes, it is HuffPo, but it has lots of back-up links

And Muslim Clerics have updated their Letter to Al-Baghdadi, saying “You are still wrong and ignorant.”

But not the US President, who actually is charged with the responsibility to protect us. How is it that the US President, who has, when it is convenient, portrayed himself as both Christian and Muslim, cannot articulate the difference between jihad and hirabah, or educated Islam and the Islamist Perversion based on the teaching of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has spawned so many terrorist organizations?

    Radegunda in reply to Valerie. | December 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Whoa — the line used to be that Islam was just dandy until the Hamas Covenant (1988) misled Muslims about their religion. Now we’re back to the Muslim Brotherhood (1928). Well, that’s progress. (But how did the Shias of Iran get so confused about their peaceful, tolerant religion?)

    Go back a bit further and we’ll find Churchill’s assessment of the “dreadful curses” of “Mohammedanism,” including his observation that “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith,” and one that might still destroy the West, he suggested.

    Then we can nudge a little more, back to 1785, when U.S. merchant vessels were being terrorized by the Barbary pirates, and the ambassador from Tripoli in London explained to Jefferson and Adams that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners.”

    Then we might notice that Islamic attacks of this kind had been going on for 1,100 years already, and that the belligerence and cruelty started with “the prophet of Islam,” not with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    And then we might admit that Hassan al-Banna’s purpose in founding the Muslim Brother was to save Islam from the corrupting influences of the modern West and restore it to a more authentic form.

Something he could say:

“This woman was a radical islamic terrorist who slipped through our very thorough vetting process and received a fiance visa. As a nation we cannot let that happen. So, effective immediately, I am canceling all efforts to resettle Syrian refugees here in America until we are sure of the people we allow into this country. Your safety is my utmost concern. I urge all Americans to be alert and report any suspicious Muslim activity to the FBI. Now is the time for gun owners to protect themselves and their families.”

Then again, maybe not.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to PhillyGuy. | December 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I am canceling all efforts to resettle Syrian refugees here in America until we are sure of the people we allow into this country.

    You know,


    Radical Islamists have been active in Syria for only about 4 years, but they’ve been active in Pakistan for about 35 years and longer maybe in Saudi Arabia. This woman passed the vetting process because:

    1) She lied about where she was living – claiming she was living in Pakistan, and not Saudi Arabia, so no databases concerning Saudi Arabia were checked, nor the governmenbt there consulted. The side trip by Sed Rizwan Farook to Pakistan in July, 2014 to apply for (or maybe pick up) a fiance visa was even hidden from Farook’s family, apparently.

    2) In Pakistan, the fix was in.

    She was coomected to the Red Mosque, one of the few places that violent female jihadists have been connected to, and they also have some official support or connections.

    Sources with knowledge of the meeting told Daily Mail Online that the US had handed over ‘some proofs’ of links to the Red Mosque, known in Urdu as Lal Masjid.

    Fr proof of connections see:

    After the Soviet war in Afghanistan ended in 1989, the mosque continued to function as a center for radical Islamic learning and housed several thousand male and female students in adjacent seminaries.[15]…

    Pakistani authorities attempted to raid the mosque in connection with their investigation into the July 7, 2005 London bombings, but the police were blocked by baton-wielding female students. [15] After the raid, authorities apologized for the behavior of the police.[17] …

Obama feeding the not-so-subtle “perps were victims” narrative. The concepts of free will and self-determination do not exist in the liberal mind.

And as long as I’m here, I wonder how long this will go on before people awaken to the reality of his actions and behavior as opposed to his rhetoric. Golf is an acceptable recreation, as long as there is no betting involved. (YSWIDT?)

” … all of us—government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders—need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

Oh good, now we can close down the mosques and ban the Koran, with its many expressions of hatred toward “unbelievers” and its graphic descriptions of the torments they ought to suffer for their “unbelief.”

We can launch a full-scale campaign against Islamic law, which teaches that apostates and blasphemers must be killed, and that killing one’s own children isn’t murder, and that killing non-Muslims isn’t bad in the same way as killing Muslims.

We can have the schools teach the true evil of Mohammed, who commanded his followers to “terrorize” the “unbelievers” until they submitted, and who personally beheaded Jews and launched scores of campaigns of plunder and conquest. We must shame anyone who regards such a monster as a prophet and perfect exemplar.

Everyone must know that Islam spread rapidly across the globe by force and brutality; that Muslims kept terrorizing the West for a millennium before their siege of Vienna was broken (but still kept terrorizing ships on the high seas); that the historical phase when Muslims were the colonized rather than the conquerors was relatively brief; and that what many people imagine to be a new “radicalism” or a “perversion” is actually a renewal of the original pattern and orthodox teachings of Islam.

We cannot prevent people from “falling victim” (!) to hateful teachings if we close our eyes to the hatred that lies at the heart of Islam.

And we cannot do much as long as we have a president who regards the hateful people as “victims.”

    DINORightMarie in reply to Radegunda. | December 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    They would never try that – they’d close churches and Jewish temples first!

    After all, Prof. Jacobson’s alum, current Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she will prosecute “anti-Muslim speech.”

    She told Congress she wouldn’t uphold the Constitution. And this is what we get………

      The Breitbart editor who wrote that headline is lying through his/her teeth, something that’s become a constant problem since the current management team took the site over. Lynch did not say anything of the kind.

        Milhouse, you’re not watching news or listening to the radio. She said it.

        Loretta Lynch Vows to Prosecute Those Who Use ‘Anti-Muslim’ Speech That ‘Edges Toward Violence’

        Did you watch the video? Hard to interpret exactly what she is saying, but it sounded like she said she would “take action” against “anti-Muslim rhetoric”. Maybe not such a bad headline. An AG “taking action” against “anti-Muslim rhetoric” sounds a lot like a “prosecuting “anti-Muslim speech””.

        Not what I want my AG discussing two days after the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11.

          Milhouse in reply to BKC. | December 6, 2015 at 3:51 pm

          I don’t care what it “sounded like” to you. Her words speak for themselves, and what she said was that she would take action against violent actions. She warned that actions are not protected by the first amendment, even if they are motivated by protected speech.

          Radegunda in reply to BKC. | December 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm

          Millhouse: if her point had been simply that she’ll prosecute “actions,” she would not have mentioned rhetoric in the same breath and the same formula.

          She was coy about it, but obviously she’s got her sights set on speech that’s unflattering to Islam. After all, she was put in that position by someone who has declared that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

          Maybe you don’t find it disturbing that the president of the United States declares it unacceptable to make historically supported but unflattering statements about a psychopathic caravan raider who was made into a “prophet” by some violent and illiterate Arab tribes. And it probably doesn’t bother you either that our own State Department has been working with Islamic tyrannies in their project to impose Islamic speech restrictions globally. But it’s either blind or disingenuous to deny that this government wants to control what we may say about Islam — just as European governments have prosecuted people for saying unfavorable (but factually supportable) things about Islam.

” we . . . need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

How about we just stop importing millions of people who have already pledged their allegiance to this hateful ideology?

Wouldn’t that make more sense?

    Radegunda in reply to Observer. | December 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I knew that our country is mostly run by loons when the response to 9/11 from the State Department was: “We need to bring more Muslims into the country so we can better understand them!”

    They could have gotten an understanding by studying the actual history and doctrines of Islam. But that would have required more effort.

DINORightMarie | December 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Predictions for tonight’s speech:

–Obama will reference the CO shooting (the so-called PP shooting)
–Obama will reference this heinous terrorist attack
–Obama will both call for, and announce, executive orders to ban guns and/or make ammo purchasing illegal
–Obama will also include climate change (!!) and announce executive orders on THAT, too

I don’t have TV (thanks, ObamaNomics, aka 2nd Great Depression with U6 unemployment of 14+/-%) so I won’t be watching, but I will be checking online for updates – because he just can’t afford to let THIS “crisis” go to waste…….

    Obama will both call for, and announce, executive orders to ban guns and/or make ammo purchasing illegal

    There is no order he can give that could do that. You seem to have a vastly inflated idea of what executive orders are. They are not laws, they’re just instructions from the president to his employees on how to do their jobs. Guns and ammo aren’t sold by his employees, so he can’t just order them to stop.

        Every single one of those orders is an instruction to his employees on how to do their jobs. None of them creates any obligation on anyone who doesn’t work for the federal government, except in accordance with explict statutes.

      pesanteur in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      He’s going to call tonight for expanded watch lists and enemies lists — a way to circumvent the Constitution, deny due process and 2nd Amendment rights. Just wait.

      That “gun control” is a priority to him right now in the wake of another slaughter of UNARMED CIVILIANS and that he can’t mention Islam and the embarrassingly profligate evidence that these killers were Islamic radicals is obscene.

      That the attorney general would say this in the aftermath of the shooting…

      “The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,” she said.

      is obscene. Her “greatest fear”? Really? This would mean greater than that of Islamics slaughtering Americans? GREATER? How many incidences of anti-Muslim violence have been reported? If she’s so “sworn to the protection of all of the American people” why isn’t she condemning the hate rhetoric issued by mosques and Islamics EVERY DAY that has already OBJECTIVELY led to violence, not fantastical future violence?

      This administration is a grotesque affront and life-threatening danger to all Americans. WE should be sworn to removing THEM and flooding their Washington warrens with disinfectant and bleach.

Care to wager on my predictions for the “presidents “(small p on purpose) address to the nation.

#1: At least twice he will comment on the many Muslim residents that are peaceful and productive folks living in our country.

#2: He will mention how a very small percentage of Muslims in this country seek to cause us harm.

#3: He will mention how we must begin to control who has access to politically incorrect “Assault Weapons”.

#4: He will definitely not comment on the millions and millions of legal firearms owners who seek to live a peaceful and productive life in the USA!

Anybody who cares to add to my predictions should feel free to do so.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Rick2guns. | December 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    There is apossibility he will make a small amount of news.

    He will say there are indications – or maybe even flatly say – he has information that this is terrorism. He may even cite a new, or relatvely unpubliized fact or two.

    He will say he takes this very seriously – because there could be more plots in the works.

    And he will say we are thoroughly investigating it – and he has given very specific orders for that.

    All resoiurces of the federal government will be thrown into this investigation. (i.e., there will be no financial limitations.)

    And all agencies in the federal government are involved, and he’ll name some, FBI, CIA, ATF, whatever.

    And he’ll say that we have got the co-operation of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and any number of other countries in the investigation. (He will particularly note Moslem countries.)

    And the people involved will not go unpunished.

    We’ll decide what to do when we figure out who they are.

    He’s probably not ready to name a commission to make a report.

Sammy Finkelman | December 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

I’m just hoping that what Obama says gets closer to the truth.

There probably will be a good sign or two of proper action -and things that are distressing.

It would be really good news if somebody was fired – for not querying the NSA database, for instance. I don’t mean the poor person who was following instructions to do this as little as possible.

But not even donald Trump has said that some people in the intelligence community need to get fired.

    Gonna be a good upcoming week for new TV sales.

    Gonna be a lot of them all across the country tonight with shoes, remotes, and bullet holes in the screens by about 8:15 EST.

    Myself, I think I need to count the grains of litter in my cats box about that time.

    I can’t even stand to READ what this asshat has to say, let alone watch him

Sammy Finkelman | December 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

This attack was not planned in Raqqa, as Lindsey Graham seems to think.

Everything about the background of these two says Original al Qaeda ® ™, yet at the end, she swears allegiance to ISIS, and the attack itself also resembles what ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/IS/Islamic State/”the” Islamic State/Whatchamacallit is doing right now.

But nothing else does links them to, or suggests, ISIS..

(al Qaeda has lately taken to distinguishing itself from ISIS by saying that they do not kill Moslems. Back in 2012 or so, Zawahiri tried to order Baghdadi to stop doing things that give al Qaeda very bad publicity, like videotaped executions or Moslems as victims, because it was counter-productive and causing very bad repercussions for al Qaeda, and that was part of the reason for the split. In hostage type attacks, which al Qaeda endorses, the hostages now are asked if they are Moslems, and if they say yes, asked to recite something in Arabic that all Moslems should know. The Shabab, which Farook was in contact with, does this. But in this attack in San Bernadino, one of the people shot was the wife of the program director of the mosque that Syed Rizwan Farook attended in Riverside from 2012 to 2014.

Shooting people at random cannot be guaranteed to hit only non-Moslems, of course, and she may not even have been shot at random, but deliberately targeted – according to someone from a sort of anti-terrorist theology/anti-Salafi Islamic group on NBC’s Meet the Press she was shot four times.

This kind of atack also is typical of what ISIS has started doing in the last year (prior to that they were not doing terrorist attacks outside their zone of control.)

What this means is that either the loyalty pledge to ISIS was made to throw off the trail, or (in the event this was not intended to be discovered, and was only for her) that neither al Qaeda nor ISIS did it, but some organization that supports both of them.

Their superiors, you might say.

It is typical for Islamic terrorist organizations to splinter. Sort of like spltting pairs in blackjack.

Different tactics can be tried, and if something fails, it doesn’t destroy everything.

Sammy Finkelman | December 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Donald Trump wasn’t totally raving mad when he said today on Face the NAtion that the terrorists of september 11, 2001 sent their wives home.But he didn’texplain it and maybe doesn’t know.

This is the not teh actual people on the airplane.

There were some people affiliated with Saudi Arabia who were allowed to leave very quickly – I think this was actually after the attacks, on Sept 13, 2001.

It is also true that the head of Saudi intelligence was abeurtly fied two days before September 11th.

This is consistent with them starting it, and later not being able to sotop it, and also not wanting the United states to know of their responsibility. Actually a few kinds of explanations would fit.

    The plane of Saudi nationals was allowed to leave only after the FBI said it had finished with them.

      Gee, I wonder why the FBI was ‘finished with them’ so quickly. This is the same group that has taken 3 days to figure out the attack in San Bernardino was ‘an act of terror.’


        How long do you imagine it should have taken for the FBI to interview them all and conclude that there was no reason to detain them? In any case the decision was up to the FBI, not to either Bush or Clarke (who was a Clinton holdover).

Damned straight, Zero: ‘ . . . and we will not be terrorized’ BECAUSE increasing numbers of us own guns to protect ourselves, families, homes, and communities.

What happens when the “faith leaders” are devote Muslims? The bottom line is the San Berdoo killers were following the teaching of the Koran and the actions of The Prophet (PBUH…or else). Highly embarrassing to devoutly follow Islam and out the real message of Islam.

Insufficiently Sensitive | December 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm

He uses ISIL because it refers to the Levant. Which includes Palestine. One might imagine his hopes for ISIL to gain control there.

Barack Hussein Obama, feck off. This has been the longest seven years of our lives. Before it ends, we will be forced to kill the invaders in our midst and decide who to shoot in the race war we are heading for.

May God have mercy on us as a nation because neither the Democrats, the Muslims, nor Obama (sorry to be redundant) will show us a smidgen.