Tag Archives | terrorism

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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Bill Nye the Propaganda Guy

You have no doubt come across the type of people who proclaim that they loooooove science. Why, they don’t just love science, they freaking love science. For the most part, they demonstrate this love not by actually making scientific discoveries or using science in their work, but by liking the right posts on Facebook. At […]

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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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What We Learned About the Democrats Last Week

We’ve had a few days from last week’s Democratic debate to digest the results and the reactions and to proceed from initial impressions to some firmer conclusions. I don’t just mean evaluations of the individual candidates but conclusions about the direction of the Democratic Party as a whole. What do the candidates and their messages […]

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Obama’s New War Czar

President Obama’s foreign policy is adrift, but there’s one good way to bring it back into focus. He needs to appoint a “czar,” someone decisive and results-oriented, someone who will take this whole Syria debacle and give it direction and control. But you know, if you’re going to choose someone for a position modeled on […]

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Blame America First

What is President Obama’s deal with Iran really, essentially about? I just realized that John Kerry has been trying to tell us all along, and it’s only yesterday that he finally said it clearly enough to make it register. In last week’s Senate testimony, he first established the theme, warning that if Congress doesn’t approve […]

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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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