What the police officers did there as we watched was truly inspiring. They presented us with a force of authority and expertise that gave us a sense of safety largely unremembered since the World Trade Center attack. They brought their jobs and the dangerous nature of their work home to us all. The firefighters helped with evacuation, triage, trauma intervention, treating the wounded. And the news people did a great job too. They brought it all to us within minutes. So what do we owe these fine and brave individuals. Words are not enough. What we owe them is a level of safety in their lives that goes beyond their personal safety. We must keep their children safe, their parents, their wives. That is what we owe them, and we really cannot give it to them. There were thirty five good and hardworking people lying in blood on the ground there when the police arrived, and fourteen of them were dead. What of the broken promise of every politician in America to keep them safe? How did we fail? How did I fail?
In a matter of minutes we were all plugged into the scene, and we watched in horror the enfolding story of mass murder by brutal Islamist thugs, dirty murderers, man and wife. We were able to see real time the rapid response and discipline of the trained, and practiced police officers, out there on the streets, putting themselves into harm’s way, willing to take the bullets to keep others safe. And my admiration for them makes my own failure that much greater.
Here is my failure: I am stupefied that this horrible killing of 14 and maiming of 21 is occurring just a day or two after the President of the United States gave a thunderous speech about global warming just a mile or so from the sites where 130 people were murdered by violent radical and ignorant Islamist thugs and murderers. I am a writer. In his Paris speech the President lamented “the perma-frost thaws and tundra burns.” I grieve for the friends and loved ones of those French victims, and I would not have been able to cast their grief aside so soon, especially to talk about a problem that will take many decades to solve. I and every published writer in the world failed to send an alarm. We failed in our responsibility to write the truth, that the President of the United States is willing enough to kill, with unmanned drones, Muslims in Syria, but because of his political predisposition to safeguard Muslim from any criticism in America, he cannot be trusted to keep us safe. Every American writer knows this and they, we, should have written about it immediately, and we did not.
But the President took an oath to protect us. It is legitimate that we can demand, must demand, that our leadership keep us safe from the dirty murderers, and not to shift the actions of every murder committed by Islamists to more immediate political concerns the way Hillary Clinton did yesterday and President Obama did by inserting gun control as the reason for these things.
Hey, Mr. President, we really need to clue you in. It wasn’t gun control that killed those 141 people in in the Paris music hall, restaurants, and Charlie Hebdo office, or those 52 people on the subways and bus in London, or the 191 people on the train in Spain, or the nearly 3000 people killed on 9/11. You know what it was, that two-word-phrase that you have never uttered because you do not want to say it. It was Islamist terrorists.
Get real Mr. President. Your staff should lean you over to study the photographs of all those bodies on the ground in France, England, Spain, and America. I am not being disrespectful. I just feel that being older than you I have something to teach you. And that is, your way of seeing everything through your ideology prism has harmed the world astoundingly. No one could have predicted what you have done, to bring the world to such decline through your inaction, your refusal to be critical of anything Islamic, in a world where Islam is creating such turmoil, even as you found the inclination to criticize the Crusades.
In California yesterday we saw a high, commendable level of expertise of our Police. They know what it is to look at dead bodies. I know what it is to have seen many dead bodies and realize each time that those deaths could have been avoided. And there is the rub, Mr. President. I do not believe that you have done a thing in your tenure to add to a needed peace between Muslims and the rest of the world. Through your prism you do not see anything wrong within Islam. And yet all this time you could have successfully called for the reform of the language in the books of Islamic scripture, just like the President of Egypt has done, with great courage.
But you have more than a year left in office. You could do much in this year to change the world in the way the world will get better and the comity between Muslims and the rest of the world will be advanced. You have done much to divide us. The opportunity exists to bring us together, to stop these terrible, and murderous attacks. Call for the reformation of Islam. Make Islam thrive again. Islam is in its Dark Age. It is not congenial to the modern world. It is an enemy of the world as long as it inspires so many to violence. It is not misleading interpretations that bring murder to the doorsteps of civilized people. I have read the Qu’ran as many times as you have. You alone could bring an historic change, and an everlasting peace. Cry out Mr. President. Demand a Reformation of Islam. Save lives. Contribute something important to the history of your Presidency.
Due to excellent police surveillance the Islamist murderers were cornered, placed themselves in a shootout and were killed. The FBI was immediately at the scene. It was becoming a national tragedy, and an international tragedy. It was another attack by Islamists. I do not mean to take a shot across the White House bow in the wake of this tragedy. But this is all very much of a piece with the general sense that the fabric of the United States in not holding up. It is ripping all too often. Our police are strong, brave, and very well trained and educated. Our military too. They can handle the missions that are presented to them. Whatever we give them.
But, it is a different story with the politics. Some politicians, it is ever more obvious to all Americans, are much more committed to ideology than to truth or sworn service. The Police Chiefs, like our Attorney General, are hired by politicians, and their first allegiance is to that boss. But is it? They do take an oath of office and swear to uphold the law. An oath of office is obviously not working in Baltimore. Not working with Helen Lerner, nor the criminal officials of the IRS. It did not work in the web of lies that victimized a police officer in Ferguson who is now without a job and fighting to create a future. An oath is not forcing the Mayor of Chicago to resign for sitting on evidence in a murder case for more than a year. The President has taken his oath twice. To protect us.
Tragedy and management to me, and to most first responders, is all of a piece. And our President seems so much out of touch with how the culture in America has declined and is declining under his watch. How the world has gotten more dangerous. I believe the Nazis created the most dangerous social environment in history, but I remind you they did not come into our cafeterias to murder so many. The country’s conversation must turn to our general safety. The subject is more important to our near future than global warming and guns.
Does our President have a single person around him who might be a rational soul who would publicly fall on her (or his) sword rather than let him continue voicing his ideological banalities in the face of actual and immediate human suffering and tragedy – the kind of suffering which is now at this very moment creating so much pain to those families of the 31 victims in San Bernardino.
Change your mission, Mr. President, from gun control and global warming, to a call for the Reformation of Islam, and you will be known as the man who really changed the world.