By Aramie Louisville Vas
We’ve been warned; we knew it was coming: Daesh has directly threatened the White House. In a six-minute video released Thursday, Daesh militants praised the Paris attacks and threatened the White House with promises of car and suicide bombs. One hardly knows what to do or say except to ask about security measures on the whole. We could ask whether or not the threats were “credible” but this seems silly. Of course they are. This group has proven they do mean what they say.
Revolution comes about when a people have nothing else to lose. There is no “maybe we’ll just hold off for now.” Nothing is going to “come up” and dissuade a truly determined and organized group hell-bent on violence, except for more intense and overwhelming violence. We can take measures to hold off such a group, but only until they get obliterated before they demolish others.
I wish it were different.
So what does Washington, D.C. have to say? “Everybody here in the United States government are taking these threats seriously,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby.
On Wednesday, a separate Daesh video made threats directed at Times Square. The FBI says they are not aware of any credible threat of “Paris-type attack” in the U.S. But what does this prove? Is anyone expecting the FBI to announce the where-when-and-how of the nation’s next terrorist attack so that we can all show up, or flee, depending on how vigilante we are feeling? Spare us the rhetoric. How much do you trust the FBI, anyway? Daesh wants to bomb us same as they did Paris, and worse, they will do it unless they are stopped. We’ve got two big holidays coming up, that’s the first thing coming to this reporter’s mind. But nothing about this is completely predictable.
Titled “Paris Before Rome” the video shows an Islamic State fighter threatening French monuments and vowing to strike at the White House and Rome.
“We will blow it up, the same as we blew up the idols in this good land,” said a Daesh militant in the video referencing the White House.
How did we arrive in the very real predicament of this sort of terror in our own backyard? It seems there are two distinct camps: those who believe Daesh is a result of a cruel and ferocious people directed to violence at the hands of their strange religion and social mores, and those who believe the U.S. and other Western foreign policies have wreaked such havoc that a ground-down people chose to organize and violently fight back. Speaking as someone from the U.S., we’d like to believe we are very different from Daesh militants. But does history support this assertion?
There is new evidence concerning the refugee passports found near bodies at the sites of the Paris attacks: they are fakes. There is strong suspicion that Daesh has planted these fake documents as part of a propaganda campaign to feed the public’s fears concerning refugees, or to create general confusion, or both. Overall, it is strange that these passports were lying about, intact, almost as if waiting to be found. So far, according to a top EU official, all terrorists named in the Paris attack were European Nationals, not refugees.
In February, the FBI announced they had evidence for Daesh terror cells in all of the 50 United States. Consider the source, but this seems likely to be true. Daesh is the wealthiest terror group in the world and pays its fighters nearly double what the Iraqi army gives its soldiers. Daesh has money (self-sufficient wealth), righteousness, intelligent propaganda, and combat training. Add “the word of god” and you have a force to be reckoned with.
Citizens are fast becoming faced with two possibilities: avoid public spaces (such as synagogues, churches, restaurants, theaters, etc.) which are possible targets or refuse to give in to a very real threat. Continue life as usual, and maybe nothing will happen. Or maybe something will happen and we’ll deal with it when it does?
“Been there, done that,” New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday on “CBS This Morning” of the Times Square video. “It appears to be a very hastily produced document that contains previously viewed video. So it didn’t really change our stance at all.”
This last sentiment is likely to be how reality plays out in the U.S.; we will continue with business as usual, until something happens. It’s just the way things tend to go. The average citizen often feels there is little they can do except remind themselves and others that Daesh does not represent Muslims or the Islamic Religion any more than other religious fundamentalists represent mainstream religion. Our job now is not to be caught up in fear.