Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WHERE DOES THE BLAME BELONG FOR THE ABORTED GARLAND, TEXAS, TERROR ATTACK?

Although I sometimes lapse into the belief that just because I spent more than 44 years in the newspaper business I had pretty much seen it all, there are still occurrences almost daily in the news that befuddle and amaze me.

Such is the case with today's latest "revelation" regarding last weekend's shooting incident in Garland, Texas, in which two home-grown, wannabe, Islamic terrorists got themselves killed in a botched attempt to wreak Charlie Hebdo style mayhem.

So, let's see if I have this right.

According to CNN (and other media outlets), ISIS is claiming "credit" for the two assault-weapon-wielding nincompoops who -- after wounding a security guard at an ill-advised “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest in Garland put on by a group whose only purpose is to hate and inflame all Muslims -- got themselves killed by a sharp-shooting traffic cop armed with only a pistol?

Seems to me that ISIS should be running from the blame/credit for this one, especially since it's questionable whether anyone in the Islamic terrorist organization had ever even heard of the two fools before they got themselves dispatched to collect on their virgins.

In case you haven't already seen it, here is the link to CNN's report on the claim of "credit": www.cnn.com/2015/05/05/us/garland-texas-prophet-mohammed-contest-shooting/index.html

For what it's worth, I think that in this story, CNN does a reasonably good job of trying to not play into the "we're all gonna die at the hands of Islamic terrorists" hysteria. However, I shudder to think how this is being handled by Fox News, which specializes in ginning up fear of everything. Despite my better judgment, I guess that, out of morbid curiosity, I am going to have to check on how Fox is playing this latest "development" and how far back into their "news report" it pushes Mike Huckabee's announcement that he is launching yet another costly and futile bid for the GOP's 2016 presidential nomination in an already overcrowded field.

To me, the bigger question in all of the latest media buzz over the two Garland moron "Muslim martyrs" is how in the world did the FBI lose track of them, especially since it had been keeping tabs on at least one of the two, Elton Simpson of Phoenix, since apparently at least 2011 when he was arrested and convicted on federal charges of making a false statement involving international and domestic terrorism.

According to various news reports over the past few days, Simpson had recently been posting all sorts whacked out tweets on Twitter that one would expect just might seem suspicious to the FBI. I suspect, of course, that when it comes to tracking head cases like Simpson, the FBI has its hands more than full.

Getting back to the issue of who really deserves the "credit" for the Garland attack, it seems to me that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the far-right-wing, Islamic hate group the American Freedom Defense Initiative -- which organized the contest for artists to draw demeaning cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad -- are a pair of good candidates. It's hard to believe that Geller and Spencer didn't have a clue that such an "event" might be the equivalent of tossing a can of gasoline onto a burning fire.

Although to most American's Geller has, at least until now, been a fairly obscure figure outside of far-right-wing circles, the Garland attack has propelled her into some prominence. A May 4, CNN opinion piece by Haroon Mohgul turned an interesting spotlight on her and her hateful stand against all Muslims. Here is the link to that report: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/04/opinions/moghul-texas-shooting-gellar.

Although there seems to be lots of blame -- or "credit," if you want to call it that -- to be shared for the Garland attack, it's fortunate that the only people to die were the two men most deserving of being sent off to their just rewards.

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