A ‘Narrative War’? | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A ‘Narrative War’?
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A pair of items seemingly unrelated to one another popped onto the radar contemporaneously Sunday. Don’t be fooled —  they’re very much related.

The first was a rather surprising result in a presidential poll of New Mexico, a state Democrats have carried in five of the last six presidential elections (George W. Bush won a 49.8-to-49.0 squeaker over John Kerry in 2004). The Land of Enchantment wasn’t supposed to be much of a battleground in this year’s campaign, but nevertheless the Reuters/Ipsos survey popped out a 43-38 lead there for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton on Sunday. And while that result could be dismissed due to a small sample size (Reuters/Ipsos polled New Mexico as part of a larger series of survey data and there were only 141 respondents), the findings in that poll echoed those of another similar survey done a week earlier by Morning Consult which had Trump ahead of Clinton 43-40 in a two-way race and in a virtual tie (35.9-34.7 for Clinton) in a four-way race which includes Gary Johnson, the former governor of that state.

Trump carrying New Mexico would be a major shock. The findings of those two polls are unusual. On the other hand, there are lots of other state polls over the past week which indicate the real estate magnate is pulling even or surpassing the former first lady and holder of high government offices with little positive result — ahead in Iowa, Nevada, Florida, Ohio, and Colorado; within striking distance in Michigan and Virginia.

And the second? You know about the second, which is that in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey a familiar pattern played out. That being an atrocity or attempt at same perpetrated by a Muslim immigrant from a hostile alien society following an ISIS or Al Qaeda playbook to attempt a mass killing of unarmed innocents, together with stupid politicians denying the obvious nature of the act and then insultingly admonishing against reprisals by unwashed Americans.

In New York and New Jersey, the suspect’s name is James Smith. Just kidding — it’s Ahmad Khan Rahami, and he comes, just as Orlando shooter Omar Mateen did, from Afghanistan. We don’t know much about Rahami yet, though we do know that he was a plaintiff in a failed lawsuit alleging that the fried-chicken joint his family owned in Elizabeth, New Jersey was persecuted by local officials because of Islamophobia and not because of the loud noise and sketchy activity happening there 24 hours a day. Having found no purchase for his grievances against the infidels through the American legal system, the 28-year old instead decided to leave a number of Boston Marathon-style pressure cooker bombs scattered across the tristate landscape. One in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea went off in a dumpster Saturday night, wounding two dozen people. The others, thankfully, did not.

And in Minnesota, a Somali by the name of Dahir Adan went on a crazed rampage through the Crossroads Mall in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Cloud, bellowing “Allahu Akbar” as he stabbed nine people before an off-duty cop and concealed-carry instructor named Jason Falconer turned Adan into a martyr for the jihadist cause with a few well-placed shots from his pistol.

Shortly after this NRA commercial played out in real life, Minnesota’s loony leftist governor Mark Dayton took to the local airwaves to proactively denounce any retribution against that state’s Muslims. “I ask everyone in the St. Cloud area and throughout Minnesota to rise above this atrocity and act to make religious and racial tolerance one of the ways in which Minnesotans again lead our country,” said the governor. Dayton’s statements essentially warning the citizens terrorized by an attacker ISIS lauded as a Soldier of Allah were echoed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which published an article — and then removed it — decrying the “anti-Muslim tensions” in St. Cloud, where there is a sizable unassimilated Somali population.

Back in the Big Apple, New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s reaction to the Chelsea bombing was marked by a definitive aversion to labeling it jihadist terrorism. Hot Air has a terrific chronicle of the bumbling Sandinista veteran’s attempts to wish away Rahami’s evil deeds, including this keeper of an initial quote…

“Here is what we know: It was intentional, it was a violent act, it was certainly a criminal act, it was a bombing — that’s what we know,” he said on Sunday, flanked by law enforcement officials at Police Headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “To understand there were any specific motivations, political motivations, any connection to an organization — that’s what we don’t know.”

De Blasio said on MSNBC Monday morning, after members of a suspected terror cell had been arrested at a New Jersey train station in connection with the bombings and Rahami’s name and photo were about to be released to the public (not long thereafter Rahami was found sleeping in a vestibule of a Linden, New Jersey watering hole, and local police apprehended him after a brief gun battle) that he was “leaning toward” terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ presidential candidate appeared over the weekend in front of cameras on her campaign plane to discuss what she called the bombings, in such a state giving one cause to wonder whether she herself was the one who got bombed. After describing them as such, Clinton then took a question asking whether it was appropriate for Donald Trump to have characterized them as bombings and proceeded to trash Trump as jumping to conclusions. Clinton’s stupid gaffe had repercussions, as her media pals at CNN and elsewhere were forced to edit out the beginning of her remarks — the effect of which was to make her look as clueless as de Blasio after it turned out Trump had been correct all along.

Which he was, because as it turned out Rahami had been back and forth to Afghanistan several times as he became radicalized into jihadist Islam. After one trip several years ago he returned wearing native Afghan clothing; not long after, he spent two months in jail on domestic violence and weapons charges.

And for the pièce de résistance, there was White House spokesman Josh Earnest who actually had the gall to call our fight with ISIS a “narrative war.”

“When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight, a narrative fight with them, a narrative battle, and what ISIL wants to do is they want to project that they are an organization that is representing Islam in a fight and a war against the West, and a war against the United States,” he said on CNN’s New Day. “That is a bankrupt, false narrative. It’s a mythology, and we have made progress in debunking that mythology.”

Progress how? That the Chelsea bomb was stupidly set in a metal dumpster and so didn’t cause multiple fatalities like the similar device left open on a crowded sidewalk during the Boston Marathon did?

Sean Davis gave this idiocy the proper treatment at the Federalist

Earnest’s comments come after a weekend of narrative violence across the U.S. A pipe narrative exploded in a garbage can near a Marine Corps race in New Jersey. In New York City, a separate narrative blast injured 29 people on Saturday. Law enforcement authorities believe the same wicked wordsmith was responsible for both narrative explosions. On Saturday evening, another vicious narrative stabbed nine people at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. That word terrorist was finally stopped by an NRA-certified concealed carry instructor’s sick burns and also multiple rounds from the instructor’s personal sentence pistol.

The weekend’s narrative violence is unfortunately nothing new for Americans. Last June, a lone narrator shot up a night club in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. In December of 2015, two radical Islamic poets killed 14 people and seriously injured 22 others in a war of narratives at a special needs health center in San Bernardino, California.

So how do those two events, or classes of events if you prefer, connect? You should have guessed by now. The public isn’t as stupid as the media thinks it is, and it’s getting very tired of the lectures and lies of the political class. Americans knew long before Chelsea and St. Cloud that Muslim terrorists are multiplying in our midst thanks to a nonexistent commitment by our leadership to stop the threat, and Americans are beyond tired of being told by politicians not to jump to obvious conclusions when Muslim terrorists surface and worse, to be lectured not to engage in reprisals which have never been at issue.

So when Hillary Clinton, after St. Cloud and Chelsea, doubles down on her accusation that Trump is ISIS’ best friend because somehow his tough talk about terrorism will stoke a war ISIS is already engaged in with us, don’t be surprised to see even more polls like the ones in New Mexico. Earnest might like his cute idea of a “narrative war”; the adults on both sides of this civilizational conflict recognize it for something a bit more kinetic and high-stakes than that.

Our betters in politics and media might not get it, but ordinary Americans do: there might be lots of Muslims who just want to come here and live as decent Americans and nobody begrudges their presence at all, but Islamists and jihadists aren’t acceptable. Further, it’s long past time we stopped letting them in. Or in the case of Rahami, perhaps considering running him off once it’s obvious he’s turned against his country — or, as in the case of Mateen, at least following him around a little when he spits out warning signs left and right.

Trump, for all his goofy statements and over-the-top bombast at times, at least sees the obvious. Clinton, for all her supposed sophistication, looks too medicated and compromised to have a clue. The public is beginning to act accordingly.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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