Tuesday, December 22, 2015

TERROR IN AMERICA: what the candidates ignore.
By Gary K Clabaugh, Ed.D.

During the fifth GOP presidential debate each of the nine presidential hopefuls assured voters that they would be much tougher on Islamic terror than President Obama. They advocated potentially counter productive things such as creating a database on all Muslim Americans and banning any Muslim from coming into the United States.

Then they made vows to “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion.” Drop so many bombs it will “make the sand glow in the dark.” Shoot down Russian warplanes should they dare enter a U.S. imposed Syrian no fly zone. And kill Islamic terrorist’s families —toddlers included.

But a funny thing happened on the way to this forum. Every one of these warlike candidates, none of whom ever volunteered for military service, “forgot” that since 9/11, American far right fanatics have committed twice as many domestic terror attacks, as have jihadists.
Here are the facts. Since 9/11 there have been 27 acts of terrorism in the U.S., killing 93 Americans. Native-born radical rightists committed eighteen of these attacks that killed 48. Violent jihadist attacks numbered 9, killing 45.[1] Paraphrasing Pogo, we have met the enemy and usually he is us.

Moreover, the U. S. terror risk actually is low when measured on a global scale. The 2015 Global Terrorism Index lists 35 nations, including China, Russia, and the United Kingdom at greater risk. In fact, China and Russia’s risk factors are nearly double ours.[2]

All nine GOP candidates took the opposite tack, creating the impression that a decapitation mad jihadist lurks in every American closet. The tactic is obvious. Scare the crap out of everyone in “the land of the brave,” then pose as the hard-boiled leader that this threat requires. Irresponsible, but it just might work.

Oh, and there is a postscript. During the just completed Democratic presidential debate, just like the Republicans no one acknowledged the domestic terror threat. They too focused on the ISIS and militant Islam menace. Only they weren’t as eager to get further entangled in the Middle-Eastern tar baby.

Yours truly,

Gary K. Clabaugh, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus, La Salle University


1. Deadly attacks since 9/11, international security, http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html

2. Global Terrorism Index 2015, Statista, the statistics portal, http://www.statista.com/statistics/271514/global-terrorism-index/

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