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Columns : Editorial

What the Hell Are We Doing?

The American people and our political leaders are attacking law enforcement officers while the world burns and threats increase.

December 18, 2015  |  by - Also by this author

It's long been said that Nero fiddled as Rome burned. That story has persisted since Rome was nearly destroyed by a great fire in 64 A.D., and it leads modern people to believe that the extremely cruel emperor stood on the balcony of his palace and played a violin backlit by the flames of the city and accompanied by the screams of his citizenry. We now know it was all myth.

Yet, regardless of the historical truth, "fiddling while Rome burns," is part of the American lexicon that's come to mean being obsessed with other things while oblivious to the real problem. And boy, are we now "fiddling" and ignoring the real problem.

At a time when we face an existential threat from a terrorist movement with its roots in the faith of more than a billion people, we're acting like it will go away if we just ignore it. Since 9/11, counter-terrorism experts have warned that the one thing we couldn't let the jihadists do was establish a state where they could plot and plan and work on weapons of mass destruction. But that's exactly what we have allowed them to do. And now many of our leaders act like the threat from the extremely brutal and extremely dangerous "Islamic State" is nothing more than a fly to be absent-mindedly swatted.

The result of our failure to concentrate on the jihadist threat has led to the recent horrific massacre in Paris. And the free world is now looking to France and Russia to lead the fight against the terrorists, something that 10 years ago would have been laughable. Heck, the hacking, anarchist group Anonymous has done more damage to ISIS than the Obama administration, which claimed the very day of the Paris massacre that ISIS was contained.

So what has obsessed President Obama over the last year or so while ISIS has grown strong and extended its tendrils throughout Europe and into the United States and Canada? Well, among other things, police brutality. But not actual police brutality, perceived police brutality, controversial officer-involved shootings that have proven to be justified after extensive federal and local investigations.

And it's not just the president. Many of our political leaders who refuse to ascribe attacks to "Islamic" terrorism are quick to accuse officers of "murdering" unarmed suspects before investigations are complete. The result is a mob mentality of hang 'em first then investigate among groups like Black Lives Matter.

But I would remind Black Lives Matter that the very same officers you paint with a broad brush that says they are all "racist" brutes will be the ones fighting to save your lives when ISIS launches a Paris-style swarm attack in an American city. And when that time comes the attackers won't give a damn about your skin color or your politics. They will just see Americans.

The American people have been fortunate since 9/11. Military, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals managed to prevent al-Qaeda from launching another major terror attack on U.S. soil. But a lot of factors are coming together that will likely spell an end to that grace period. And the most important of these is that we have a new enemy. Al-Qaeda was all about the spectacular attack. That takes lots of planning and money, and in contrast to a smaller attack, it's easier for intelligence and law enforcement to uncover. Groups like ISIS see just as much value in smaller atrocities that can be executed by a small group of zealots. They would love to hit us with an atom bomb or smallpox, but they will settle for launching a smaller-scale attack. As long as they are killing us and spreading chaos, they are happy.

So the American people need to be unified and our public safety professionals need to be trained and equipped to respond to horrific attacks. But instead we are shattering along racial fault lines and political affiliations and doing our best to disarm our law enforcement officers.

The Obama administration is forcing law enforcement agencies to surrender armored vehicles that were acquired through the 1033 military loan program at a time when they are most likely to need them to fight heavily armed terrorists. Law enforcement officers are being treated as the enemy by Americans who believe those officers should not have guns. And college students are demanding officers stop wearing ballistic vests to avoid looking "militaristic."

This is madness. The American people and our leaders are fiddling away at a time when the enemy is at the gates and the flames are rising.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

John retired IA PD @ 12/21/2015 10:17 PM

Well said Mr. Griffith. People in this country need to wake up. Our leaders and the media are not serving the police, or anyone in this country, very well at all. Seems like every time I turn around the police are being blamed every time something bad happens. I have not once seen or head our leaders or media mention the fact that citizens have a responsibility to be law abiding and cooperate with law enforcement. I am not saying that citizens should give up their rights, and I know the need for appropriate training of law enforcement officers and transparency. But my guess is, that if these "good" citizens who have come in contact with law enforcement officers had been law abiding, and complied with the directions of the officer, the outcome would have been much better.

Chuck @ 12/24/2015 7:26 AM

These people need to start being treated as the TERRORISTS they are. I am sick and tired of the bleeding heart for the SCUM of the land and all the criminal activity they represent. It is time to stand for what it TRUE and what is RIGHT.....not the LIES of BLM.

ResAgentSWA @ 1/6/2016 12:26 PM

The header for this article in the email I received says, "ISIS won't give a damn about your skin color or your politics. They will just see Americans." I don't believe this is totally accurate. ISIS is trying to conquer infidels (those who are not Muslims), whether they be in France, Germany, or the US. They are less concerned about nationality but are more concerned about religion. Their war is a religious holy war. Radical Islamic terrorism is our foe and we better not ever forget that.

Mikhail @ 1/8/2016 4:38 PM

I don't guess the author or commenters here ever heard of "MOSSAD black ops", "Dancing Israelis", or the fact that the CIA started the jihadist movement by forming and funding Al Qaeda.
If we weren't supporting the half brother blood sacrificing side of that blood thirsty family living on stolen land and in those "failed" Jewish banks on Wall Street and their corporations that shipped American jobs & industry to China, the other side of that family wouldn't be near as upset with America. Neither would normal tax paying Americans seeing their roads and water-sewer systems degrade while we spend so much of our resources enriching Wall Street's "defense industry" (perpetual war for corporate/tribal profit machine).
I also suspect the same folks here are not aware that the same "tribe" now brings 1020s and 30s Germany style hyperinflation to America thru their ownership of t he Federal Reserve, where we as Americans have to borrow our own money, yet those same banks get them nearly free.

Mr. Christopher Crepon @ 2/17/2016 11:51 AM

I agree, a lot. I enjoyed reading this in the last issue I received (think billing got screwed up). I'm not an LEO of any kind, just a civilian but I think a lot of this comes from what's originally called "Critical Theory" Here's a sort of philosophy encyclopedia's rather objective look at critical theory. It came from mostly German socialists who were kicked out of Germany and came to the USA in the 40s or 50s and among other things laid the foundation to dismantling what they called "traditionalism" and blamed a lot of society's problems on ideology itself.

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