November 23rd, 2015

Monday morning

It's clear and chilly in Portland this morning - temperature has started dipping below freezing at night. On my calendar for today: studying for my General class radio license, getting ready for EMT training in January, and going to a class at Chabad tonight.

I finished reading 'My Year Inside Radical Islam' by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, and I'm hoping to write a post on it a little bit later. Daveed was born into a hippie family of liberal Jewish background in Ashland, Oregon. He became curious about Islam in college and became involved in the faith, first in the liberal Sufi and Nashqibandi sects, but later getting drawn into the fundamentalist Salafi world. Finally he left Islam, converted to Christianity, married his Christian girlfriend, and went on to become a counter-terrorism expert. I'll write more on my thoughts about the book later.

The Threat of Threats

You'll hear some people point out that statistically, your individual chance of being killed in a terrorist attack is very small - less than your chance of being struck by lightning, or sucked up in a twister, or trampled by a caribou, or whatever.

And that's factually true, but it misses the real threat of terrorism, which is to gradually intimidate society and its institutions into complying with the objectives of the jihadi islamist movement behind the attacks.

By incrementally applying pressure, first here, then there, they hope to erode the resistance of a free society over a period of time. These guys aren't stupid. They are smart, sophisticated, and very very patient. They know what they're doing, and they know that it works.

I'll have more to say on this later, but that's all for now.