Putin Wins, Obama Loses in Boston Jihad, “Or Cui bono”?–(Who Benefits?)

Putin Wins, Obama Loses in Boston Jihad

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 Pundits tut-tutted when a left-wing publication hoped out loud that white, anti-tax, domestic terrorists perpetrated the Boston marathon massacre. They had reason to hope: Wouldn’t backwoods, pick-up-truck radicals pick tax day for their strike?  What a disappointment to learn that the terrorists were young Muslim devotees of jihadist web sites. Such liberal Wuenschtraueme [Dreams--ed.] were indeed in bad taste, but terror incidents do have political consequences, sometimes vast; so why shy away from discussing them? The Oklahoma City bombing by white anti-government terrorists resuscitated a faltering Clinton presidency. George Bush’s performance at the ruins of the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was the high point of his presidency. Boston jihad should plague Barack Obama throughout his second term as it raises legitimate question about his handling of the war on terror. It will help Vladimir Putin remove the last vestiges of democracy and free press from his totalitarian Russia without a peep from the U.S. The Boston Marathon attack undermines Obama’s claimed foreign-policy achievement (“I killed Osama and Al Qaeda is on the run.”) on which he based his campaign. A newsman as respected as Tom Brokaw refuted Obama in clear words that could not be misunderstood: “With the death of Osama Bin Laden, Islamic rage did not go away. In fact, it is in some way more dangerous.” Imagine the effect of a Brokaw making such a statement on the eve of the election, but Obama no longer has to face the electorate. He is home safe. At a more fundamental level, Boston jihad calls into question Obama’s treatment of Islamic fundamentalism with excessive sensitivity, sympathy, and understanding. If we can understand the root causes of Islamic terror and recognize our own fault in the matter, we can them win over. Obama appears to believe. We must be slow to blame and not offend Muslim sensitivities. A Muslim-American army psychiatrist who shoots fellow soldiers with the cry “Allah is great” must have been mistreated or suffer from mental problems. His ties with a radical Muslim preacher are just coincidence. The fatal attack on our Benghazi consulate was by an unorganized mob enraged by an anti-Islam film. We must not mistreat suspected Islamic terrorists once in custody as did his insensitive predecessor (but we can kill them with drone strikes from the air). Boston jihad raises entirely legitimate questions about the Obama administration’s handling of the war on terror.  Over the past four years, tales of plots and conspiracies thwarted up by an almost infallible security team lulled us into a sense of security. Boston suggests this was either exaggeration or simply good luck. If we required a major investigation to pin blame for the unforeseeable World Trade Center attack, surely we now must ask: Why did the FBI fail to see the danger of the elder Tsarnaev brother after receiving tips from Russia, interviewing him, and learning of his growing radicalism? If the Tsarnaev brothers prove to be part of a sleeper cell, how did our homeland security miss this fact? Will the Obama justice department allow the younger Tsarnaev Miranda rights, when accomplices may be fleeing? Will he be tried in civilian courts? Will there be a full Congressional investigation of Boston jihad just as there was for 9/11? If so, who will the scapegoats be? Vladimir Putin is an entirely different story. He gets a windfall from Boston jihad. When President Obama telephoned Putin to thank him for his cooperation, it should have been Putin thanking Obama for boosting him both at home and abroad. The Chechen Boston jihadists suggest to America and the rest of the world glued to events in Boston that

it is Putin who vigilantly guards the front line against Islamic terrorism.

The Chechen brothers’ killing of innocent people shows what he is up against in Russia and why his troops and proxies have, at times, gone over the line of torture, murder, and bombing of civilians. (Estimates place Chechen civilian casualties between 50,000 and 200,000 in a population of 1.2 million). The Chechen origin of the Boston bombers gives Putin a freer hand to deal brutally and consequently with opponents/terrorists in Chechnya and move against the few human rights advocates left in Russia willing to take up the civilian Chechen cause. The timing of the Boston marathon slaughter also could not have been more propitious for Putin. Over Obama’s objections, Congress’s had just released its “Magnitsky List” of Russian human-rights abusers denied U.S. visas. Three officials on the list were charged with atrocities in Chechnya. Putin may have had some choice words for Obama during their phone conversation, such as “Take my people off your stupid Magnitsky List! Don’t you coddled Americans see what I am against? And, by the way, world journalists stop complaining about the unsolved murder of investigative reporter Anna Politovskaya. She had no business sticking her nose into Chechen business anyway.” Most of all, Putin wants the world to view Chechnya as part of the war against Islamic terror, not as  the suppression of an independence movement with legitimate grievances. He does not want outsiders to know that Chechen nationalists fight for national independence,  not against Christian crusaders or for a new caliphate. Chechens used their mountainous terrain and fierce warriors to remain free of the Tartar Yoke from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries and was the last independent region incorporated into the Russian Empire. Chechens paid a stiff price for their nationalism in the Soviet period. From the late 1930s through World War II, Stalin deported Chechens as traitors to Soviet power. As in Syria, the Chechen picture is a mixed one. The invasion of a Muslim republic by “Christian” Russian forces naturally attracted jihadists to Chechnya (and has provided international jihad with warriors, now including the Tsarnaev brothers). While Putin has fought an independence movement, which he interprets as a war against Islamic terrorism, the United States battles the fundamentalist Islam of Al Qaeda, and its numerous branches, offshoots, and copycats.  Putin is uninterested in joining the general fight against Islamic extremism. His only worry is Chechnya. Putin is the anti-Obama with respect to his brutal treatment of Chechen Muslims: In his first days in power, Putin publicly blamed Chechen terrorists for bombing civilian apartment houses even though evidence pointed to his own security forces. Putin’s scorched earth attack  left a Chechnya of ghost cities and tens of thousands of Chechen civilians dead. Journalists investigating horrible atrocities against Chechens were taken out by professional killers, who remain unpunished. Putin did not restrain his skin-head Nashi hooligans, when they targeted dark skinned people on the streets. Putin has made the cooperative Russian Orthodox Church the state religion, leaving little room for Russia’s massive Muslim population. Boston jihad cannot not be swept under the rug like Benghazi. The tragic Benghazi attack took place largely out of camera range. An incurious press played it as a security breach, not as evidence of organized Al Qaeda retaliation. The mayhem and carnage of Boston played out in full view of the world. The human images of pain, suffering, heroism and perseverance played 24/7. Boston and Benghazi form a potent combination that shows how vulnerable to terrorism both at home and abroad.

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