On Friday at least 129 people were killed in separate terrorist attacks in Paris. ISIS took credit for the bloodshed in what they called “the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe…”
While the rest of the world condemned the terrorists, rightbloggers took the opportunity the settle scores with their usual enemies. Obama of course took his share of abuse, and some of the brethren suggested a return to war in the Gulf. Other picked on refugees, whom they portrayed as international welfare bums with a criminal propensity.
In a way it must have been a relief for rightbloggers. Of late, their desperation over their weak presidential field had reduced them to trying to gin up an existential threat from some college protests, which they portrayed as the second coming of the Hitler Youth. But now they had a hope that jihadist violence in headlines, even from half a world away, would excite the old “9/11-neverforget” and drive a terrorized electorate to elect even one of these obvious dopes to the presidency.
There have been a few good roundups of the more horrific early Twitter reactions to the chaotic situation, and the rightbloggers one can typically count on to be terrible ran true to form. Ace of Spades, for example, went on about “the ‘multiethnic’ tapestry which we should all celebrate,” etc. But even a day or two of reflection did not bring much meaningful perspective.
“The American-led experiment meant to determine whether the Western world could live with the existence of the virulent Islamic State ended in failure last night,” said Noah Rothman at Commentary. Though “The West is war-weary,” said Rothman, “displays of faltering resolution and its commitment to conduct a war with the smallest possible footprint” have not worked, so “only an overwhelming force can accomplish the necessary task of destroying the Islamic State.”
Others echoed the sentiment less smoothly. National Review’s editors declared we should go back to Iraq with “a more robust campaign from the air that is free from current overly restrictive rules of engagement and that hits every possible ISIS target.” In other words, bomb them back into the stone age — or whatever was before the stone age, since we already bombed them back there years ago.
Acknowledging, perhaps, that readers would find this unattractive, the NR editors admitted, “Americans are understandably weary of war,” before demanding that, “we either defeat [ISIS] now or watch our own streets run red with blood.” Bet you’re not weary now, huh?
Former talk-show host Greg Gutfield cried, “What part of ‘never forget,’ did we forget?” Joining him in Routine 9/11 was nothing-to-lose presidential candidate Lindsay Graham, who told America “there is a 9/11 coming.” Glenn Beck’s The Blaze trumpeted a “Chilling Similarity Between Photos of French President Hollande and George W. Bush on 9/11 Hearing About Attacks,” then showed a picture of each with somebody whispering in his ear. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln, and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and all that.
But by and large rightbloggers were cautious, not to say shady, about initiating a call to war in so many words — perhaps because, for some reason, citizens are still sore about our last adventure in the Gulf.
Michael Goodwin of the New York Post, for example, demanded Obama resign unless he can “rise to the challenge of leadership in this historic crisis…” Why, what’s he doing wrong? Well, for one thing, said Goodwin, showing the traditional conservative obsession with terror-war taxonomy, “he refuses to say ‘Islamic terrorism’”; for another, “he rejects the word ‘war’…” It appeared what Goodwin actually wanted from the President was that he be Ted Cruz.
Fortunately they had an alternative. Xenophobia being one of the core principles of modern conservatism, rightbloggers were more comfortable demanding that both Europe and America close their borders to Arab refugees, because of the hundreds of thousands of these unfortunates, a few may have been among the Paris assailants.
Though some brave souls tried to explain that the Syrian refugees in Europe were actually escaping jihad, not promoting it, rightbloggers insisted the Paris attacks meant they shouldn’t be rescued by the West.
“If European leaders (and the Obama administration) retain a shred of sanity, they’ll rethink their approach to the migrant crisis and start to close their borders, quickly,” said David French at National Review.
PJ Media’s Michael Walsh clapped for National Front legacy pledge Marie Le Pen to take over France. “Soon enough, in the present climate, yesterday’s marginalized ‘far-right’ politician will be tomorrow’s statesman,” he salivated.
“Europe is safe. Europe is generous. Europe is welcoming,” said The Liberty Zone. “And Europe is paying for it.” That’ll teach you, Europe! As for those liberals who “screeched” in favor of compassion for the refugees’ plight, TLZ rejoined, “How callous do you have to be to push a political agenda while accusing terrorized and traumatized people of such things, you arrogant asshole?” We’re not callous, you’re callous! Later, TLZ generously allowed that “yes, it sucks for the refugees.”
At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson didn’t just want to keep refugees out of the U.S. — he wanted to pitch out some that already got in. “The United States should apply an extraordinary level of scrutiny to visitors from countries whose main exports are jihad — before, during, and possibly even after their stays,” he wrote. “The good and the guilty will suffer together, in no small part because the good unwittingly provide the fertile soil in which the guilty cultivate jihad.” So, see, in a way it’s their own fault. Sucks to be you! Citing Turkish strongman Recep Erdogan, Williamson added, “Islam is Islam and that’s that. Where there is Islam, there will be Islamic extremism, Islamic supremacism, and murder.” Just sayin’, hint hint.
Williamson was not an outlier at National Review. Describing the refugees as “young, fighting-fit men,” Andrew McCarthy sniffed that “hard experience has taught us that when jihadists have safe haven, they attack the United States and our Western allies.” “Hundreds of thousands flock to Europe not in gratitude at its hospitality but largely contemptuous of those who would be so naive to extend their hospitality to those who hate them,” Victor Davis Hanson dropped into the middle of one of his cliche casseroles.
On Saturday the Democratic Presidential candidates had a debate. When the terrorism Name Game came up, they brushed it off. Rightbloggers reacted predictably. “HILLARY: ‘WE ARE AT WAR WITH VIOLENT EXTREMISM,’ REFUSES TO SAY ‘RADICAL ISLAM,’” howled Breitbart.com. “Clinton Refuses to Say the U.S. Is at War with Radical Islam,” headlined Brendan Bordelon of National Review. Why won’t they say the Magic Words!
“At least [Clinton] accepted the Paris attack as a serious topic of discussion,” said National Review’s Rich Lowry, “whereas Bernie Sanders, when he got the opening question about it, addressed it in ten seconds before turning to how awful it is that we have a rigged economy.” Yeah, like people are gonna care about the economy after a great European city they’ll never be able to afford to visit was attacked!
Meanwhile the 2016 GOP candidates greeted the occasion with their usual aplomb. Carson gibbered. Bush, bumbling as ever, called for the U.S. to “declare war.” Rubio played the Name Game; so did Trump — but, as usual, the reality show star had an ace up his sleeve, and called for a deuxième amendement solution: “if [Parisians] had guns, if our people had guns, it would have been a much, much different situation.” “ANALYSIS: TRUE,” said Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.
PJ Media kingpin Roger L. Simon gave Trump encouragement and advice: “If you want to prove you are the right commander-in-chief, here’s an idea for you, Donald,” he said. “Get on one of your private jets and fly to Paris. Act presidential, even if the actual president doesn’t. Try to figure out what to do about this growing terror threat that is going to be the major problem of the next administration…”
The prospect of Donald Trump jetting to France to face down international jihad is, I guess, the modern equivalent of Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna bringing some much-needed laughter to a world at war. Too bad clowning is all these guys have got.