Not to Worry, Lefty Journo Shrugs, Militant Islam a 'Minor Threat'

January 12th, 2015 8:50 PM

How much more carnage will it take for Jeremy Scahill to grasp the obvious?

Even as the jihad metastasizes and the pace of its atrocities accelerates, the left-wing journalist would have you believe there are worse threats out there. His comments on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show yesterday must have caused the several conservatives watching to turn away in disgust --

HARRIS-PERRY (alluding to the so-called "unity rally" in Paris, reportedly the largest in French history): I particularly want to think about the US context since Attorney General Eric Holder is there (Holder, in Paris for "security meetings," appeared on several Sunday talk shows that air in the US rather than attend the rally) and apparently the White House is planning a summit for next month and it's based on this 2011 strategy called "Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the (United States)." I haven't read the full report yet but when I hear that title I think, oh my goodness, is this now an excuse, a reason to re-militarize local police forces when we've just had a conversation in the wake of Ferguson about removing that militarization.

By all means, let's renew efforts to "demilitarize" our police after jihadists so selfishly elbowed those endeavors out of the news. Stripping cops of their guns and cruisers and arming them with billy clubs and bicycles instead have worked such wonders for the French. What's next, declaring their entire country a gun-free zone?

And what a shock it isn't that the White House statement on the upcoming "security summit" (take that, ISIS, we're calling a meeting!) makes no mention of, psst, Islamic extremism.

SCAHILL: Right. Let's remember that these types of incidents are actually few and far between (providing you look the other way every time they occur) and if you look at what's happened in the United States, the FBI has a Ph.D. in breaking up its own terror plots where they'll go into mosques (as if jihadists ever go there), they'll take advantage of mentally-challenged individuals (sample question -- "Wasn't Ed Schultz great last night?!") or people with very serious, you know, issues that actually need probably psychiatric help, and instead the FBI will sort of encourage them along and then say, hey, we've broken up, like in Newburgh, we've broken up this huge plot when in reality it seemed like the FBI kind of cooked up the plot to begin with to say, hey, we're cracking down on this.

Also, you know, in Minneapolis there's been very racist targeting of the Somali community. Yes, there are Somali-Americans who have gone to Somalia and acted as suicide bombers (... but does this warrant investigating them and trying to prevent further attacks? Please!). This is a very serious problem that these groups are calling on young Westerners to do this (You just know there's a "but" coming). But the response has been, quite frankly, racist and Islamophobic (both of which are clearly much worse than mass murder). We need to develop a better way to address what is actually a relatively minor threat in our society, given all the other threats that we're facing.

You know, like climate change, GOP control of Congress and genetically-modified food, to cite the most obvious examples. And how about the looming Comcast-Time Warner merger ... now that's scary.

Notice how Scahill couches his claim with the weaselly qualifier "relatively" -- just in case. Never let it be said that Islamists aren't persistent.

What came next from him surely set off alarm bells at the NSA --

HARRIS-PERRY: In fact, part of what we're seeing now, there's this video that appears to show the Paris gunman (who took hostages at a deli), pledging his support to ISIS. Now NBC hasn't verified where or when or any of that, but just from what you know about these networks, is it likely that there's an actual ISIS connection as opposed to, maybe, kind of an imagined one here?

SCAHILL: I mean, look, first of all, this guy, if this was legit, he has something taped up on a wall, he's doing pushups, I mean, he barely can speak Arabic and he's saying, you know, oh I pledge my allegiance to the caliphate. Look, I think that it's quite possible that the two brothers that were involved with the shooting at the magazine had connections to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I've been talking to sources within AQAP, they tell me that they, at least one of the brothers was there, that there was training involved. You know, AQAP has been very public in saying let's go kill these kinds of cartoonists, let's assassinate them. I would be very careful though in saying, you know, this is an ISIS event, this is an AQAP event. What I think is more likely is that there's a hybrid of having, you know, been around these characters, been around these groups, but then making your own plot and doing it.

"I've been talking to sources within AQAP, they tell me that ..." Is it just me or does this sound downright bizarre, even coming from a left-wing journalist doing his darndest to downplay the jihad?

Let's tweak this a bit for perspective -- I've been talking with my sources inside al Qaeda and they tell me that Mohamed Atta most definitely flew the plane that hit the first tower ...