Argue about the limits of free speech, the definition of “true” Islam, whether terrorists are lunatics or rational, or the social and political repercussions of terrorism as much as you’d like. The truth is that such debates are irrelevant to the core security problem: There is a growing and energetic movement of radical Muslims dedicated to killing as many people as they can and imposing their will on the rest.
Twelve killed in Paris. Islamic terrorists executed them in a military-style attack. Why? Because they worked for Charlie Hebdo—sort of the French Mad—which had published cartoons “insulting” to Islam. The murders demonstrated the threat, the reach, and the malignity of Islamism. So it was heartening, at the end of this demoralizing day, to see a consensus on the importance of free speech.
Everyone has a favorite John Milius story. This is mine:
It is the mid-1980s. There is a party at the house of screenwriter Paul Schrader. Milius, who wrote Dirty Harry and Apocalypse Now and directed Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn, is there when Pauline Kael arrives. Kael is the liberal New Yorker film critic. To her, a Milius film is only slightly better than a slime mold.
Milius has had some wine. He has an intermediary tell Kael that he would like a “conference” with her. A message comes back: Kael wants to know if Milius, who in meetings with executives was fond of displaying pistols, is armed.
“It’s a sad day for freedom,” Marco Rubio told Bret Baier after President Obama announced he would normalize relations with Cuba. Not a sad day, senator: a sad year.
If there was a theme to 2014, it was Obama’s persistence in bailing out dictators and theocrats from political scrapes and economic hardships, his tenacity in pursuit of engagement with America’s adversaries no matter the cost to our strength, principles, credibility, or alliances.
Talk about a dramatic entrance. When the St. Louis Rams took the field last Sunday, several teammates raised their hands, palms out. It was an act of solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed last August in a struggle with a white police officer. Moments before his demise, it is said, Brown raised his hands and pleaded: “Don’t shoot.”
There is just one problem: It is not clear that Brown put his hands up.
Bill de Blasio, the New York mayor, says he knows why Democrats lost the 2014 election. Income inequality defines our times, he said during a visit to Washington this week, and his party did not talk about the issue enough. De Blasio needs a hearing aid. Democrats speak of little else.
Last summer the southern border disappeared. Unaccompanied minors from Central and South America surged across the Rio Grande. Desperate parents had sent their children thousands of miles north. The impoverished girls and boys were housed in ramshackle facilities before being sent elsewhere. The images were heartbreaking. They seemed drawn from a post-apocalyptic future. And they were entirely preventable.
The 2014 election was a disaster for Hillary Clinton. Why? Let us count the ways.
She will have to run against an energetic and motivated Republican Party. If the GOP had failed to capture the Senate, the loss would have been more than demoralizing. It would have led to serious discussion of a third party. Donors would have reconsidered whether their spending was worth the reputational cost. Candidate recruitment efforts would have stalled. Republican voters would have asked why they bother to show up. The Republican circular firing squad, always a problem, wouldn’t use conventional weapons. They’d use ICBMs.