Losing Our Sons

Why We’re Putting On The Losing Our Sons Screening, And Why You Should Attend

(This article originally appeared on the Hayride’s website on September 19, 2012)

As many of our readers are undoubtedly aware by now, on Friday at the LSU Union Theater in Baton Rouge we’re hosting (along with the LSU College Republicans) a screening of Losing Our Sons, which is a powerful documentary film about a jihadist attack which occurred in Little Rock in 2009.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at the theater for a reception and meet-and-greet, and at 7:30 p.m. we’ll show the film, followed by a discussion with two of the principals involved in its production – Daris Long and Melvin Bledsoe.

Daris and Melvin are bound by a rather unusual, unpalatable circumstance; namely, the fact that Melvin’s son Carlos murdered Daris’ son Andy. How that happened, and what has developed since, is the subject of the film.

And as it turns out, one of the things you’ll recognize on Friday night if you join us at the screening is something you’ll recognize from the events overseas in the last week.

Specifically, that our government won’t tell us the truth about the threats we face as a nation and in fact will go to breathtaking lengths to obscure our understanding of those threats.

Melvin, who I’ve met, is a very nice guy who owns a tour bus company in Memphis. He’s a small businessman and a respected member of the community there. And he sent Carlos off to Tennessee State University expecting that he’d soon have a well-adjusted college graduate son ready to take on the world in four or five years. Instead, to his horror a gang of monsters who had insinuated themselves into the ecumenical religious community in Nashville pretending to be friendly folks next door set their hooks into Carlos and turned him into a time bomb. Carlos transformed almost before his parents’ eyes into one of those monsters, and before anyone could stop it he was off to Yemen to be an “English teacher” for a year.

By the time he returned, he’d long since rejected his given name – and his country. He attempted to kill a pair of rabbis first, then he set off for Little Rock, assault weapon in hand and murder in mind. Once there he laid in wait for a couple of Army privates who were manning the recruiting station there and unloaded on them, killing Andy Long.

Statements made after the attack indicate without a doubt that Carlos did what he did for Allah, and that he was engaged in jihad. It was no less a terrorist attack than 9-11 was; that it was on a smaller scale doesn’t minimize that fact.

But no terror charges were filed against Carlos. No federal charges at all, in fact. He was tried and convicted of murder under Arkansas state law and he’ll spend the rest of his life in an Arkansas state penitentiary.

Andy Long has not been awarded a Purple Heart, either, despite the fact that he died serving his country and he was killed by hostile enemy action.

Why hasn’t the federal government shown interest in the case? Well, it’s an interesting question, and it goes with another question – why hasn’t the federal government pressed terror charges against Maj. Nidal Hassan, the perpetrator of the Ft. Hood massacre? Hassan is being tried in a court-martial under military law.

The answer that most prominently comes to mind to these questions is that the federal government finds it inconvenient to admit that we’ve been hit by jihadists on our own soil. That’s why the Little Rock attack was treated as just another murder, and that’s why Ft. Hood was “workplace violence,” even though it was prefaced by “Allahu Akbar!” shouted from atop a table as Hassan’s guns were drawn.

Better to lie and ignore the fact that the enemy resides among us than to take the steps to remove the threat.

That applies to last week’s outburst of jihadism in Egypt and Libya, among other places, does it not?

After all, we have a dead ambassador in Libya as of a week ago, as well as three members of his staff. The circumstances of those murders are clouded in lies and discrepancies, with a clear in-your-face showing by our State Department that it has zero intention of providing us with the truth of what happened.

Here was a shameful performance by State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland last week…

I’m going to frustrate all of you [reporters], infinitely, by telling you that now that we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this this happened — not who they were, not how it happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it — until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that’s its got.

Nuland has also told provable lies about security in the Benghazi embassy, and who was providing it…

The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.

Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.

Add to this obfuscation the incredible statements made by UN Ambassador Susan Rice that the Benghazi massacre was somehow sparked by an anti-Islam YouTube video hardly anyone had seen and that somehow the violence amounted to a protest which got out of control, as though protestors bring rocket-propelled grenades and mortars – or even assault weapons – to a demonstration. Libya certainly resembles the cantina scene from Star Wars these days, but even so the presence of that kind of heavy weaponry means a military operation and not a protest.

Which was obvious to anyone – even before Fox News reported that there was no “protest” at all in advance of the attack on our consulate.

But the government is attempting to sell this business of the anti-Islam YouTube as the reason for the attacks on American embassies and business interests throughout the Muslim world – and most specifically in Egypt.

Again, Fox News spoils the party. It turns out that Leland Vittert, Fox’s correspondent in Cairo, managed to get an interview with Muhammed al-Zawahiri, the organizer of the “protest” which led to our embassy being stormed and our flag being desecrated last week, and Zawahiri – the brother of Al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and an Al Qaeda figure himself – says he didn’t see the film in question and wasn’t all that interested in it.

In fact, these “protests” are a demonstration of jihadist strength and a reminder that despite the claims by this administration to have degraded Al Qaeda into irrelevance through drone strikes and diplomacy, it hasn’t lost its will and ability to fight.

And that’s inconvenient for our government. Because our government – and particularly the Obama administration, but they’re only the worst manifestation of a problem that has been around for preceding administrations as well – doesn’t want to admit that we’re locked in a civilizational struggle with an alien, hostile and imperialistic culture which has been attempting to bring down and subjugate Western civilization for 1,400 years.

That kind of talk doesn’t win too many votes, and it certainly doesn’t fit into the enlightened post-modern mindset manufactured at the fine academic institutions our leaders earned sheepskins from. It’s hard to sell an Apology Tour or a Muslim outreach at NASA when there’s a large and burgeoning percentage of the Islamic World which is perfectly willing to spend the next milennium reducing your society to smoking ruins if that’s what it takes to rule the world, isn’t it?

Do the jihadists represent the majority of the Muslims in the world? Probably not. But does that matter?

Unfortunately, no. It doesn’t. This showed up in our e-mail box a couple of days ago; we’d seen it before, but it seems particularly relevant given the subject matter at hand…

As many of our readers are undoubtedly aware by now, on Friday at the LSU Union Theater in Baton Rouge we’re hosting (along with the LSU College Republicans) a screening of Losing Our Sons, which is a powerful documentary film about a jihadist attack which occurred in Little Rock in 2009.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at the theater for a reception and meet-and-greet, and at 7:30 p.m. we’ll show the film, followed by a discussion with two of the principals involved in its production – Daris Long and Melvin Bledsoe.

Daris and Melvin are bound by a rather unusual, unpalatable circumstance; namely, the fact that Melvin’s son Carlos murdered Daris’ son Andy. How that happened, and what has developed since, is the subject of the film.

And as it turns out, one of the things you’ll recognize on Friday night if you join us at the screening is something you’ll recognize from the events overseas in the last week.

Specifically, that our government won’t tell us the truth about the threats we face as a nation and in fact will go to breathtaking lengths to obscure our understanding of those threats.

Melvin, who I’ve met, is a very nice guy who owns a tour bus company in Memphis. He’s a small businessman and a respected member of the community there. And he sent Carlos off to Tennessee State University expecting that he’d soon have a well-adjusted college graduate son ready to take on the world in four or five years. Instead, to his horror a gang of monsters who had insinuated themselves into the ecumenical religious community in Nashville pretending to be friendly folks next door set their hooks into Carlos and turned him into a time bomb. Carlos transformed almost before his parents’ eyes into one of those monsters, and before anyone could stop it he was off to Yemen to be an “English teacher” for a year.

By the time he returned, he’d long since rejected his given name – and his country. He attempted to kill a pair of rabbis first, then he set off for Little Rock, assault weapon in hand and murder in mind. Once there he laid in wait for a couple of Army privates who were manning the recruiting station there and unloaded on them, killing Andy Long.

Statements made after the attack indicate without a doubt that Carlos did what he did for Allah, and that he was engaged in jihad. It was no less a terrorist attack than 9-11 was; that it was on a smaller scale doesn’t minimize that fact.

But no terror charges were filed against Carlos. No federal charges at all, in fact. He was tried and convicted of murder under Arkansas state law and he’ll spend the rest of his life in an Arkansas state penitentiary.

Andy Long has not been awarded a Purple Heart, either, despite the fact that he died serving his country and he was killed by hostile enemy action.

Why hasn’t the federal government shown interest in the case? Well, it’s an interesting question, and it goes with another question – why hasn’t the federal government pressed terror charges against Maj. Nidal Hassan, the perpetrator of the Ft. Hood massacre? Hassan is being tried in a court-martial under military law.

The answer that most prominently comes to mind to these questions is that the federal government finds it inconvenient to admit that we’ve been hit by jihadists on our own soil. That’s why the Little Rock attack was treated as just another murder, and that’s why Ft. Hood was “workplace violence,” even though it was prefaced by “Allahu Akbar!” shouted from atop a table as Hassan’s guns were drawn.

Better to lie and ignore the fact that the enemy resides among us than to take the steps to remove the threat.

That applies to last week’s outburst of jihadism in Egypt and Libya, among other places, does it not?

After all, we have a dead ambassador in Libya as of a week ago, as well as three members of his staff. The circumstances of those murders are clouded in lies and discrepancies, with a clear in-your-face showing by our State Department that it has zero intention of providing us with the truth of what happened.

Here was a shameful performance by State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland last week…

I’m going to frustrate all of you [reporters], infinitely, by telling you that now that we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this this happened — not who they were, not how it happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it — until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that’s its got.

Nuland has also told provable lies about security in the Benghazi embassy, and who was providing it…

The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.

Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.

Add to this obfuscation the incredible statements made by UN Ambassador Susan Rice that the Benghazi massacre was somehow sparked by an anti-Islam YouTube video hardly anyone had seen and that somehow the violence amounted to a protest which got out of control, as though protestors bring rocket-propelled grenades and mortars – or even assault weapons – to a demonstration. Libya certainly resembles the cantina scene from Star Wars these days, but even so the presence of that kind of heavy weaponry means a military operation and not a protest.

Which was obvious to anyone – even before Fox News reported that there was no “protest” at all in advance of the attack on our consulate.

But the government is attempting to sell this business of the anti-Islam YouTube as the reason for the attacks on American embassies and business interests throughout the Muslim world – and most specifically in Egypt.

Again, Fox News spoils the party. It turns out that Leland Vittert, Fox’s correspondent in Cairo, managed to get an interview with Muhammed al-Zawahiri, the organizer of the “protest” which led to our embassy being stormed and our flag being desecrated last week, and Zawahiri – the brother of Al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and an Al Qaeda figure himself – says he didn’t see the film in question and wasn’t all that interested in it.

In fact, these “protests” are a demonstration of jihadist strength and a reminder that despite the claims by this administration to have degraded Al Qaeda into irrelevance through drone strikes and diplomacy, it hasn’t lost its will and ability to fight.

And that’s inconvenient for our government. Because our government – and particularly the Obama administration, but they’re only the worst manifestation of a problem that has been around for preceding administrations as well – doesn’t want to admit that we’re locked in a civilizational struggle with an alien, hostile and imperialistic culture which has been attempting to bring down and subjugate Western civilization for 1,400 years.

That kind of talk doesn’t win too many votes, and it certainly doesn’t fit into the enlightened post-modern mindset manufactured at the fine academic institutions our leaders earned sheepskins from. It’s hard to sell an Apology Tour or a Muslim outreach at NASA when there’s a large and burgeoning percentage of the Islamic World which is perfectly willing to spend the next milennium reducing your society to smoking ruins if that’s what it takes to rule the world, isn’t it?

Do the jihadists represent the majority of the Muslims in the world? Probably not. But does that matter?

Unfortunately, no. It doesn’t. This showed up in our e-mail box a couple of days ago; we’d seen it before, but it seems particularly relevant given the subject matter at hand…

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.. China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts–the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

We don’t want to admit we’re against an implacable enemy, and so we continue trying to placate him. The Obama administration isn’t the first to attempt this; they’re just the worst offender. They’re the ones attempting to limit our First Amendment rights in an attempt to stop Muslim violence against Americans, while at the same time bringing Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers and even members into our mainstream political process and government. Treating foreign-funded salafist or jihadist mosques as potential enemy intelligence operations doesn’t even figure into the Obama administration’s calculus; after all, they won’t even agree to enhanced interrogations of Al Qaeda combatants. Instead, we hit them with drone strikes and forego the intelligence-gathering we could gain by capturing them.

None of which will end this war. There will be more Carlos Bledsoes and Andy Longs.

And Chris Stevenses.

And that’s why we’re putting on the Losing Our Sons screening on Friday. Our government refuses to recognize the threat we face, at least for now. Our government can’t even name the enemy.

Because the government won’t, we have to. We have to keep our eyes open and see the world for what it is. We have to recognize the threat and be aware of it. Only by doing so can we avoid the sad fate of the fathers and sons featured in the film.

Previous post

Losing Our Sons Is A Must-See Documentary

Next post

President Obama has a History of Refusing to Acknowledge Terrorism

ilya

ilya