With Friends Like These …

In a speech delivered on Monday, February 6, to personnel at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the U.S. President stated that U.S. media has been consciously suppressing reports about terrorist attacks in recent years.

“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” The U.S. President concluded, “They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

The claim that the press “does not want to report” on terrorism, when combined with the baleful, “They have their reasons,” is a plain assertion that the media is complicit with terrorists or is at least pro-terrorism.

Autocrats in our current era will not march into newspaper offices and destroy printing presses, as they did once upon a time; they will simply shame and harass them into silence. They will cajole their credulous supporters into not believing credible evidence and into a resistance of critical independent thinking.
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More Ideas, Please

“What we feared, has happened.”—Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minister

Two explosions in Zaventem international airport and a third one in the Maelbeek metro station killed at least 31 people earlier today in Brussels, Belgium. At least 100 people were injured in the blasts.
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In Memory of Ruqia Hassan Mohammed

ISIS found a way to make the story of Ruqia Hassan Mohammed even sadder and more infuriating than it already was. She was executed by the Islamic State last summer or fall, but ISIS’ communications experts kept this secret and used her social media accounts for months to pose as her and thus draw out her friends and allies to betray their locations.

Ruqia Hassan Mohammed was a Syrian Kurd who was born in 1985, studied philosophy, and in recent years became a reliable source of information about what life is like in a war zone, specifically, what life is like in Raqqa, Syria. In 2013 control of that city, which once had a population approaching a quarter-million people, changed hands several times. Chaos reigned. It was governed by the Assad regime, then government loyalists, then the Al Nusra Front, and then Daesh—the Islamic State.
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