Two critical conclusions from Orlando terror attack
Amb. John Bolton | June 12, 2016
Sunday brought the latest terrorist attack in America, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, with all its attendant tragedy. Words cannot adequately describe the horror that engulfed the scene of this massacre, caused by one Omar Mir Seddique Mateen.
Beyond the human cost, however, also lies the tragedy that Barack Obama, speaking even as it became clear that the murderer was a radical Islamic terrorist, is still unable or unwilling to draw the appropriate conclusions. […]
We will, in the coming days, doubtless hear that the terrorist was a lone wolf, that he did not belong to any known terrorist organization, that there are no wider threats. In particular, those who are blind to the terrorist threat will downplay even the incontrovertible fact that Mateen pledged loyalty to ISIS as he committed his murders.
Two critical conclusions follow immediately from Sunday’s tragic reality, one with immediate implications for our domestic safety, and one for conducting the broader international war against terrorism.
First, the number of true “lone wolf” terrorists is infinitesimal. The implications of that phrase, namely that terrorism is not a widespread and still-growing phenomenon, are profoundly impairing our ability to protect innocent civilians. Terrorists like Mateen are not “one offs” who emerge randomly, unexpectedly and inexplicably, perhaps victims of mental disorders. The evidence is now indisputable that we are confronting a far larger threat, albeit not one organized conveniently for our understanding.
Second, the United States must urgently discard the fiction that we pay no price for not pursuing international terrorists vigorously and relentlessly. President Obama’s strategy against terrorist bases of operation, when it is evident at all, has been lackadaisical and offhanded. (Read More)