Yesterday a 24 year-old American whose family is from Kuwait shot dead four Marines at two recruiting stations in Chatanooga Tennessee. The first reaction of almost everyone is sadness, anger, and sympathy for the bereaved families.
Almost immediately following is: Who did this? Why? These are natural human responses to tragedy all over the world. In America we almost immediately fit the tragedy into what we already believe-regardless of evidence to the contrary. You may recall that early reports about the Oklahoma City bombing and the Norway carnage said “Muslim terrorist.” Ooops-the blondes who actually did these atrocious deeds were perhaps a big disappointment to many.
The fact that the shooter was named Mohammed is enough to launch the Islamaphobes. He was a terrorist, he belonged to ISIL, he was known to go to the mosque (not very faithfully-but hey-it’s a mosque!) Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit very well. He was recently arrested for a DWI, lived in the suburbs, had friends, even played baseball. Not the “loner” who “hates sports,” then.
They sniff around for more. They ask SITE and quote them, a private organization founded by a former Israeli soldier. In fact, SITE has contracts with several news media outlets as “terror analysts.” SITE says the shooter blogged about Islam now and then and picked out a few sentences to hint that he was radical “life is short and bitter” (as if young people don’t say that about once a week) That they can only hint is significant. If there was anything blatant, it would be all over Fox News.
Could SITE be biased? Does a bear go potty in the woods? Does “Muslim terrorist” help their anti-Iran nuclear deal agenda, on which Israel is spending millions of dollars? The Iran Deal was signed just the day before. The fact is, it is Day One following a tragedy and we do not have the answer. But the Twittersphere is blazing with the usual. I asked a guy for a source for his hysterical assertion that the shooter was in ISIL. He said I obviously didn’t have a clue.
No, I do not. That’s why I asked for his source, which he apparently pulled out of his arse. I do not have a clue. I like to get my clues from verifiable evidence. From where, sir, do you get your clues?
Maybe the shooter was a terrorist. Maybe he was a Mossad agent. Maybe he was crazy. I don’t have a clue. No one does at this point. It is wisdom to not speculate, but how rare is wisdom in America in our day?