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ISIS Assumes We’re Stupid — And Our Useful Idiots Keep Proving It

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ISIS Assumes We’re Stupid — And Our Useful Idiots Keep Proving It

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To the delight of ISIS propagandists, our homegrown useful idiots never stop being usefully idiotic. Today, the Center for American Progress posted a bracing column by Sally Steenland and Ken Gude that demonstrates politely but unmistakably how anti-Muslim and anti-refugee conduct by Western politicians fits into the strategic vision of the jihadist leadership.

The enemy has showed us quite clearly what not to do, expecting that we will continue to do it anyway because we’re bigoted and stupid. So far, they’ve been proved right.

Given the recent video threats by ISIS against New York City and Washington, the following is timely, especially concerning the foiled plot to detonate a car bomb in Times Square several years ago. But the entire column by Steenland and Gude is well worth reading — and sharing with your elected representatives:

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is pursuing a strategy explicitly designed to provoke hostility toward innocent Muslims in Western society in order to radicalize these communities and recruit them to their cause. Listening to the American political debate in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, that strategy may be working. Islamophobic rants are both morally offensive and factually inaccurate and play right into the hands of our terrorist enemies.

ISIS is not hiding its objectives. In its publications, it talks of forcing the world into two camps by “destroy[ing] the grayzone” between itself and the forces aligned against it. For ISIS, the grayzone is inhabited by those who have yet to commit to one side in its clash of civilizations. In the February edition of its official magazine Dabiq, an ISIS writer outlined a plan to compel “the crusaders [the West] to actively destroy the grayzone themselves” by generating anti-Muslim hysteria in the wake of terrorism. Attacks such as those in Paris are designed to get Western governments to alienate their Muslim populations and push them toward ISIS….

Here is the truth: Rather than being a threat to national security, Muslim American communities have helped prevent more than one-third of Al Qaeda terrorist plots in the United States since 9/11. The most famous case is that of the 2010 plot to bomb Times Square in which Alioune Niass identified the car bomb and alerted police. In 2003, tips from the local Muslim community led the FBI to arrest a group that was conducting military-style training in northern Virginia.

Photo: An undated photograph of a man described as Abdelhamid Abaaoud that was published in the Islamic State’s online magazine Dabiq and posted on a social media website. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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28 Comments

  1. JPHALL November 19, 2015

    But it will continue because it feeds the Republican base the red meat they love. Just like last summer, Ebola and Central American children, they love being afraid of any and everything.

    Reply
  2. Otto Greif November 19, 2015

    Moslems aren’t terrorists let them in also watch what you say it can cause them to become terrorists.

    Reply
    1. Insinnergy November 19, 2015

      Or we could feed them your assembled forum-inscribed wisdom and cause them to become brain-dead.

    2. Sand_Cat November 20, 2015

      Ah Otto… still pining for the “good old days” in Germany. Sad, really.

  3. Insinnergy November 19, 2015

    Explaining anything to the clown car by using facts, logic, figures, and even the Pope… has not worked yet. They are still prostituting themselves to the worst of the mentally deficient religious republican base by saying anything that gets votes, irrespective of the consequences.

    I have no idea how to fix this.

    They appear to have no intelligence, no rational thinking ability, no compassion, and no shame.

    Reply
  4. Daniel Max Ketter November 19, 2015

    Well, there is much stupidity on the republican side of the coin, along with prejudice and hatred toward minorities.

    Reply
  5. Amy Bee November 19, 2015

    Armed to the teeth and still petrified.

    Reply
  6. David November 20, 2015

    What simplistic wishful thinking on the part of the author. I get it! Don’t criticize Muslims as they shout “Allah akhbar!” while slaughtering civilians. After all, they are just misunderstood and need counseling. If we would just embrace them, things would be so much better.

    Reply
    1. Dan November 20, 2015

      Criticizes the author for simplistic thinking, lumps all Muslims in with terrorists. Way to prove his point by being an idiot.

      1. David November 20, 2015

        You libtards are very used to people pissing in your face and telling you that it’s raining aren’t you? Guess what? It’s not raining!

        1. Sand_Cat November 20, 2015

          Ah, so we’re “libtards” instead of “scum” now. Made any converts by putting your Christian love and charity on display?
          I thought not.

          1. David November 20, 2015

            I never called libtards scum. That moniker is reserved for muslimes. By the way, how does it feel to be on your knees begging for protection from these “ophans and widows”?

          2. Sand_Cat November 21, 2015

            Of course you did, but now you’re going to lie about it.
            How does it feel to call yourself a Christian while despising three quarters of what your “god” said about human relations? How does it feel to “walk by on the other side”? You claim to have read the Bible; surely you recognize the reference.
            Your “Jesus” said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” Looking at “Christians” like you, I’m sure he’d regret saying that.

          3. David November 21, 2015

            Answer the question if you have the fortitude to do so.

          4. Sand_Cat November 21, 2015

            Your question has to make sense for me to answer it, “fortitude” or not. You’re the one demanding protection from “widows and orphans,” and you never answer my questions about your so-called “faith,” always changing the subject, and now lying about what you said in the past. Seems like you’re the one lacking “fortitude,” if by that we refer to the courage to stand up for what you claim to believe in.

          5. David November 21, 2015

            I think in your heart you are a caring person. Answering my question with a question is not fortitude. I believe in helping ALL less fortunate than I. That does not mean I willingly will sign my death warrant or that of my country. Assimilating terrorists and hoping they won’t follow the commands of their pedophile is not what our Lord commands us to do. When, not if, they attack us, will you be on your knees begging for their mercy like the people in Paris and Mali?

          6. Sand_Cat November 22, 2015

            So all refugees are terrorists?
            “They” – the ones YOU fear – are going to attack us sooner or later; nice to see you have no faith in our country’s ability to survive attacks such as these.

            If you’re not willing to take a tiny risk to help widows and orphans, just what is it your “faith” is about?

          7. David November 22, 2015

            My faith reminds me not to hate others because they sin differently than I do. I am commanded to spread the Word of God. I am also told if I am not believed, then shake the dust off my feet and leave. They are taught to kill the non-believer.

          8. Sand_Cat November 23, 2015

            Christians never were good at “shaking the dust off their feet and leaving”: they like killing and enslavement so much better, and it was so much more profitable.
            They still aren’t. So far, the killing has been controlled in (very) recent times, but it seems to me we’re regressing at an accelerating pace. Trying to pass one’s doctrine into law over those who don’t believe it is the first step.

          9. David November 23, 2015

            “Killing and enslavement”? Sorry, I see Christians helping the less fortunate all over the world. There is no Christian equivalent to ISIS. There are no world wide relief organizations or efforts run by Islamists (caveat: None that I am aware of) like the ones operated by Christians. Tell me who the Muslime equivalent of Mother Theresa is? Christians don’t publish a magazine like Dibaq calling for jihad and the killing of infidels. I don’t see where any killing done by Christians was done in furtherance of Christianity–unlike ISIS and Islam.

          10. Sand_Cat November 22, 2015

            Look, I’m sorry about the over-nasty tone, but really, if “faith” doesn’t allow you to take at6 least some risks to do the right thing, does it even exist?
            We got off on the wrong foot because I think one of the greatest dangers to the country is religious intolerance (and especially the attempt to control others’ lives or hurt them in the name of “religious freedom”). I firmly believe Sinclair Lewis’s statement that “when Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” YOUR rights shouldn’t give you the right to put your religious beliefs into laws that affect those with other religious beliefs, or none at all. The first post from you I remember is one calling the Democrats “scum” because they booed when someone suggested incorporating specific religious beliefs into a platform for governing ALL of the people. Since you did what I consider to be using your religion as a weapon to condemn and control others, I’ve been beating you over the head with it ever since. You talked of “context” as an excuse for your not obeying the rules in Leviticus, but made no such allowance for others whom you condemn under the same out-of-context rules, meaning to me that your religion is a carefully-crafted list of rules for your convenience, while still allowing you to use it against others.
            It would appear that this is an over-harsh judgment, but it seems to me that the issue of accepting refugees from an especially savage interpretation of one of my least-favorite religions would be right up the alley of the faithful.
            If I may quote from a simplistic but still insightful movie script, “I know how hard it is to have faith in these times, but if you had the faith, maybe the times would change.”

          11. David November 22, 2015

            I think the Demorats were booing Jesus. Listen…this is a tough problem. We have an extremist portion of the Islamic faith committing these horrendous acts of violence. Obviously, not all Muslims are our enemy. But, what can we do to thoroughly vet these “refuges” to insure

          12. Sand_Cat November 23, 2015

            Think what you like. I tend to think Republicans try to trash environmental laws as much to exact revenge on environmentalists as to serve their corporate masters, but that doesn’t make either of us right.
            I stole this from John Oliver: people are far, far more likely to be murdered by someone named “Mike” than by a refugee. He was referring to Huckabee, but I’m sure David or most other names common in this country would do as well. France is taking 10,000, even after their recent experience, and Canada 15,000.
            I realize that your god has a record that goes way, way beyond shameful – approaching obscene, if not beyond that – when it comes to protecting or aiding those who have faith in him, but you claim to have a strong faith in him. Can’t you find it in your heart to take that tiny risk to help thousands escape torture and oppression?
            Sorry, but I believe it is good policy, never mind Jesus or Mohammad.
            The vetting process is pretty strict, far more so than getting a tourist visa or visa waiver. Why would a jihadi bother?

  7. rednekokie November 20, 2015

    It is simplistic to just consider Americans to be stupid. Stupidity implies not being able to learn from evidence.
    They are simply ignorant. Ignorance implies not being willing to learn from evidence.
    Supposedly Americans are educated. In many cases, this is simply not true — not because of the lack of opportunities, but simply from being unwilling to learn.
    Sad is our lot.

    Reply
    1. Theodora30 November 21, 2015

      Actually ignorance means just not being aware of the evidence. Willful ignorance is not being willing to learn which, sadly, describes my right wing relatives.
      But a lot of people are ignorant of facts because neither the “liberal” media nor spineless Democrats bother to inform them of the facts. For example since Reagan Republicans have been claiming that tax cuts, especially on the rich (AKA the “makers”) generate so much economic activity that they pay for themselves. This has never, ever been true and the data is crystal clear that no tax cuts have ever come close to paying for themselves – and top Republican economists admit it but most people I know (ones who are not willfully ignorant) have never heard this so Republicans can still get away with budget busting tax cuts yet maintain their image fiscally responsible, economic masterminds. Here is a rare example of a media outlet telling the truth about this scam but note that they make no mention of the fact that this claim was made by Saint Ronnie Reagan.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/30/AR2007113002190.html

  8. latebloomingrandma November 20, 2015

    Terrorists don’t need to do any more huge attacks on our soil. They are killing us with a thousand tiny cuts. Bleeding us dry economically and by pitting Americans against each other and against our President. Instilling in us fear of everything; the very definition of terrorism.

    Reply
  9. Theodora30 November 21, 2015

    The report also makes it clear that there have been more than twice as many domestic, non Muslim plots that have been disrupted. A recent survey of law enforcement officials nationally shows that they are much more concerned, rightfully, with the threat from right wing domestic terrorism (much of which is “Christian” based. )
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/opinion/the-other-terror-threat.html?_r=0

    Apparently domestic right wing extremism is the Voldemort of terrorism – that which must not be named. When DHS issued a report about this growing threat Republicans freaked out, particularly because the report that some returning vets who feel displaced may be sucked in (like that forgotten domestic terrorist Tim McVeigh). They also have managed to decimate the DHS unit responsible for monitoring this growing threat. The report cited in this article says that there have been no known cases of Muslims in the U.S. trying to acquire radiological or biological weapons but there have been attempts by right wing domestic terrorists to get their hands on them. Chilling.

    Why is our media freaking out about terrorist attacks in France but ignoring the growing threat from right wing terrorists here at home? They are afraid of offending Republican bullies. When an attack does occur they shrug it off as an unstable lone wolf inspired by extremist propaganda but at the same time they obsess about the possibility of a an attack by a lone wolf inspired extremist Islamic propaganda.

    If the public is kept in the dark about this very real, growing threat the odds that the public can help thwart the next Tim McVeigh are greatly diminished. Too bad we can’t sue for journalistic malpractice.

    Reply
    1. JPHALL November 21, 2015

      It i s more than “journalistic malpractice”, it is outright lying to protect their master’s plans. People still think that newspapers, TV channels and other media are independent defenders of the Constitution (The Fourth Estate). Instead they are merely the tools of the oligarchs.

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