What Candidates Got Wrong on Orlando

In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, we have seen many explanations of why, and many of them wrong. The Democrats’, from Obama and Clinton to congressional Democrats, rally cry is “Let’s ban guns, in particular AR-15s.”  The problems with the Democrats’ argument is that first they ignore the shooter motivation; first, he was an Islamic jihadist and, second, their own proposal would have done nothing to stop the tragedy. The Democrats mantra is to be rid of automatic weapons and to have more stringent background checks. However, the FBI investigated Omar Mateen stricter than any Democrat proposal and still he passed the FBI’s own exhaustive search. The terror watch list is a constitutional horror show without due process, and the Democrats are saying the Government has a right to draw unilaterally secret lists of Americans and deny them their civil rights. Oh yeah, automatic weapons are already banned!

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg noted, “Of course, Democrats insist they’re just being pragmatic, which is why Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) thinks the constitutional requirement for due process is “killing us.” What he didn’t mention is that the Democrats’ proposal is opposed by the head of the FBI because it would make tracking terrorists more difficult. Apparently, “common sense” requires trampling the Constitution to make the FBI’s job harder.”  There you have it from a key Democratic Senator; favoring trampling on due process and taking the rights of law abiding citizens to own a gun as a necessity to save America. Democrats have made it clear that they are prepared to destroy the constitutional right of Americans and use any pretense to do it.  Never let a crisis go to waste.

Trump’s view of stopping Muslim immigration also would have done nothing to stop this particular tragedy but he has several arguments that he could beginning with that temporary ban of Muslims from those nations in either war zones or those dominated by Jihadist ideology. The first argument is that while this tragedy would not have been prevented by Trump’s immigration plan, could it prevent future tragedy? This is a debatable point and certainly there is argument where the answer is no but it is a debate worth having. Trump’s argument is strengthened since the FBI’s vetting process did not work with Mateen, but Trump has gone beyond that with an argument that he is not yet prepared to make.

John Brennan has admitted that ISIS pose the same threat after two years of Obama’s war on ISIS and he admitted, “The group would have to suffer even heavier losses of territory, manpower and money for its terrorist capacity to decline significantly.”

Mr. Brennan added that ISIS will depend on guerilla tactics and direct more attacks to the West, and that ISIS “possesses a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West”, and also added “who could infiltrate refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate means of travel,” which could strengthen Trump’s argument for a temporary ban.  ISIS is now coordinating with foreign affiliates, including Libya’s branch, and ISIS is developing reaches beyond the Middle East.

Which brings the main argument against Obama/Clinton policies in the Middle East. When Obama became President, the ground war in Iraq was won. Obama inherited a stable Iraq and the Middle East was as quiet as the region could be. Trump’s big argument should be that the Obama/Clinton policies to withdraw all troops and Obama’s negotiation with Iran has led to the present chaos, but it would mean that Trump will have to shallow his own position that Bush’s policies led to this and not Obama’s. The problem is that we have three candidates who are not willing to make the argument against the failure of Obama’s policies and still lay the blame on Bush. If we don’t get the history right, we won’t have the right solutions.

The final aspect is that Bush’s policies were what defeated the Jihadist abroad and that you can protect the homeland. Trump’s foreign policy appears incoherent but he supports further American withdrawal from the world, putting him in the non-interventionist Johnson camp. As for Hillary Clinton, she is claiming to keep America’s role in the world but also indicates that she will continue the Obama policies of retreating from the world and her own party is becoming a non-interventionist party. So who knows what a Hillary Clinton foreign policy will be? The question for voters, who have the right reading of the past and can design a foreign policy that truly protects America. There is a case to be made that none of the above truly have the answers.


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