Tag Archives | ISIS

The Phantom Menace (of Global Warming)

Top Stories of the Year: #5 It’s time to count down the top stories of the year, looking back at the big events of 2015 and reviewing my own coverage of them. We’ll start the countdown with #5, which is the least important of the big stories because it’s not about something that’s actually happening. […]

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No True Muslim

A British man shouted, “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv,” at a terrorist. What happened next won’t exactly blow your mind. In my recent list of tropes for the political use and misuse of terrorism, I included a form of argument called No True Muslim. It’s a play on an old form of circular reasoning known […]

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Know Your Tropes for the Political Exploitation of Terrorism

On Sunday, President Obama gave us another dull, rote speech on terrorism in which he promised to stay the course on whatever it is he thinks he’s doing about ISIS. And then lectured us about our intolerance. It was notable for only one thing: the presidential adoption of the Exactly What ISIS Wants trope. You […]

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It’s a National Security Election Now

This is a national security election now. That’s the upshot for domestic American politics of the massive terrorist attack in Paris. Is it too early to “politicize” this, to assess its impact on the presidential contest? Sorry, but this is what politics is for, particularly presidential politics. We’re picking the next commander-in-chief, someone who will […]

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All the Good Syria Options Are Over

President Obama has been criticized for his performance in his latest interview on “60 minutes.” The president certainly seemed wrong-footed and was non-responsive to Steve Kroft’s questions. But it wasn’t just because the president seems tired, impatient, and disengaged. (At one point, Kroft observes, “I know you don’t want to talk about this.”) It’s the […]

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Be Kind to Bigots

President Obama’s speech Monday on the fight against terrorism was notable for a number of things, including the fact that the candidate who once railed against “endless war” is now the president promising a “generational” struggle. Even more remarkable is the thing that will ensure the struggle goes on forever: the president’s insistence that, “Ideologies […]

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Obama’s Odd Memorial Day Message

President Obama’s Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery contained an odd and disturbing message. The president proclaimed this year’s ceremony to be “especially meaningful” because “Today is the first Memorial Day in 14 years that the United States is not engaged in a major ground war.” How so? “It is the first since our […]

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Everything Before the ‘But’ Is BS

Last night, the jihadists found out that you really don’t mess with Texas. In Paris, if you set out to gun down cartoonists for a drawing pictures of Mohammed, you’re faced with unarmed or unprepared gendarmes who can’t stop you before you wipe out the whole staff of a magazine. Try it in Garland, Texas, […]

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The Middle Finger to History

The years between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, became known as the “Holiday from History,” a period in which America thought it could withdraw from the burdens of engagement with the world and focus on the pursuit of domestic prosperity and other really important issues like […]

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Why Islam Is More Violent Than Christianity

The Charlie Hebdo massacre once again has politicians and the media dancing around the question of whether there might be something a little bit special about this one particular religion, Islam, that causes its adherents to go around killing people. It is not considered acceptable in polite company to entertain this possibility. Instead, it is […]

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