Friday, March 25, 2016

Today in cognitive dissonance

Some days there's just nothing you can do about your timing, is there?
President Barack Obama recently contended that fighting ISIS is his “top priority” in a joint press conference with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri—but do the American people and the world believe him?
 ... Take for instance the stark difference between French President François Hollande’s response to the terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday and Obama’s.
And how did the cheese-eating surrender monkey outdo the feckless Kenyan usurper today, The Daily Signal?
It was widely reported that immediately after the attack, Hollande called for a meeting with high-level officials to deal with the situation. Also, five days prior, he held a joint news conference standing side-by-side in solidarity with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as he spoke in a serious and measured tone about the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the alleged mastermind behind the Paris attacks. The imagery showed strength and resolve.

Telepathy is good for that, yes.

But beyond optics, Obama’s rhetoric wrote a narrative that betrayed fighting ISIS as being his “top priority.”

If doing the wave with Raúl Castro wasn’t enough, his words signaled weakness by describing what we shouldn’t do instead of what we should do. He said, “What they can do is scare and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us, and as long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re going to be okay.”

You almost hate to say "cut to the Fair 'n' Balanced Network," but -- cut to the Fair 'n' Balanced Network!

We can't have anybody getting a swelled head here, so the update spreads the credit around a little further:

From the lede:
The West struck back hard against ISIS in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, with the U.S. announcing it took out the Islamist group’s paymaster in a raid in Syria even as authorities in Belgium and France continued to roll up the cell behind this week’s carnage as well as the deadly November attacks in Paris.
... you could almost be forgiven for thinking that the Kenyan had finished his baseball game before suggesting that the bad guys should have armed themselves before decorating their saloon. How's that, Cal Thomas?
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” More than a century later, President Obama speaks loudly (and incessantly) and carries a twig.
The American press remains largely a realism-free zone, and when the howlers get loose in the fields of political violence, the results will amaze you. Peggy Noonan, for example:
It is not an “existential threat,” he noted, as he does. But if you were at San Bernardino or Fort Hood, the Paris concert hall or the Brussels subway, it would feel pretty existential to you.
No doubt it would have -- just as it did at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. (And last week in Ankara, which at the Fox homepage was "carnage" rather than "terrorism," having been blamed on insufficiently Muslim terrorists.) But the claim of existential threat isn't about individuals and risk; that's why we have the bathtub analogy. It's about the survival of things that make the state into the state (political structures, armies, currencies) or the nation into the nation (language, culture, identity).

Terrorists do terrorism, in part, to create a sense of existential threat in the people who are watching on TV. If Peggy Noonan goes in for Ted Cruz's plan to throw an armed cordon around Dearborn (because SHARIA!!!!), and she tells her myriad followers to go along, and they do -- that's what people mean when they say "the terrorists have already won."

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