“In war the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of the offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it.” George S. Patton
How is it that Democrats have succeeded, following a series of terror attacks here and in Europe, in focusing the discussion on the inanimate objects used by the Islamic terrorists instead of the Islamic terrorists themselves? How could they get away with such absurdity, especially given the fact that Europe has an even worse terrorist problem, despite having even stricter gun laws than what Democrats are promoting?
The answer, of course, is the same as with every policy and media narrative: Republicans not only let them get away with it, they help validate, legitimize, and consummate their narratives and premises. This week Republicans in the Senate plan to focus solely on gun policy, thereby solidifying the veracity of the Democratic narrative that the problem and solution of terrorism revolves around gun policy. Meanwhile, Republicans are squandering the opportunity to go on offense and cut to the source of our security problems. They have agreed to conduct votes today on two Democratic gun control measures and will respond with two gun amendments of their own. With the federal government preventing law enforcement from identifying Islamic terrorists in our communities, are Republicans not capable of ensuring that the legislative agenda reflects a truthful narrative?
Here are the top eight initiatives Republicans can push that either speak directly to the specific terror attacks that have occurred in recent years or address the long-term systemic security concerns:
- Defund CVE: The responsibility for not catching the Orlando terrorist, as well as several of the most recent high profile Islamic terrorists, is rooted in the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Agenda. Just before the terror attack, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), which is run by Muslim Brotherhood officials, posted a CVE memo directing agents to overlook any terrorist ties to Islam. It went so far as to direct law enforcement to “reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English.” Preventing Islamic terror attacks begins with identifying the enemy. That cannot be done as long as there is a fifth column within our own government committed to erasing all connections to the trail of terror. It is this agenda that is ensuring that local law enforcement is not only kept in the dark concerning homegrown Islamic terror threats, they are strong-armed into ignoring those threats with their own resources.
- Ban the Muslim Brotherhood: Following up on number one, banning the Muslim Brotherhood would change the entire discussion and redirect the national focus from the weapons to the actual terrorists. By designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group, Congress would be able to audit every member of these counterterrorism councils at DHS, DOJ, and State and root out anyone with ties to their umbrella organizations. In addition to parsing out the firefighters from the arsonists within our government, banishing the Muslim Brotherhood would help stem the tide of Islamic violent extremism in our communities. ISIS has only been around for three years, yet thousands of Muslims have been radicalized in our communities for several decades. The Muslim Brotherhood is the source for much of that radicalization. They control the mosques, write the textbooks for Muslim schools, and serve as chaplains in the prisons. A complete ban of this group would go a long way towards empowering those Muslims who want to assimilate without fear of intimidation.
- Pause Refugee Resettlement: With Obama stepping on the gas pedal of refugee resettlement, Republicans could easily change the narrative from gun control to protecting our sovereignty and security. Americans do not want more Islamic refugees from the most volatile parts of the world when there is no way to engage in short-term or long-term vetting of these families. In addition, with record numbers of migrants from the Middle East, the only way to properly assimilate those already here into patriotic assimilation is to pause, or at least reduce, immigration from those countries for at least several years.
- Allow States to Block Refugees: As we’ve noted, Obama has not followed the legal requirement to consult with states before resettling refugees within their respective jurisdictions. Nonetheless, the broken court system has allowed Obama to get away with this violation of federal law. Imagine if Republicans would submit an amendment empowering states to veto refugee resettlement within their borders? A number of Democrats would be placed on defense, as the people always like to decide questions that pertain to the character of their localities on a local level.
- Strip ISIS Fighters of Citizenship: Isn’t it amazing how Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), decry due process for Americans when it comes to gun rights, yet every one of them have opposed Ted Cruz’s effort to strip citizenship from ISIS fighters AFTER being convicted through full due process? There are roughly 250 known Americans who have attempted to join up with foreign terror groups. The fact that they have not been tried for treason is unconscionable. Why Mitch McConnell won’t bring Cruz’s bill (S. 247) to the floor is beyond comprehension.
- Build the Border Fence: The southern border is not only open to Central Americans seeking jobs and welfare, it is potentially open to those fleeing the Middle East and obtaining asylum. As I’ve noted before, the asylum loophole is perhaps a bigger problem than our refugee policy. There are signs of Middle Easterners making the trip to South America for the purpose of declaring asylum at our southern border. Just last week, Judicial Watch reported that one such asylum-seeker was caught at the border carrying documents detailing the region’s gas pipelines. Isn’t it time we finally complete the 800-mile double-layered fence? Democrats would be hard pressed to oppose such an amendment at a time like this.
- Enact Visa-Tracking: Even Democrats say they support the implementation of an Exit-Entry visa tracking system at our ports, yet they have dragged their feet on implementation since 1996. In 2015 alone, 527,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas. A number of them are from Middle Eastern countries. We know this because in 2014, ABC News reported that DHS lost track of 58,000 foreign students (just one of the many visa categories) who have overstayed their visas, of which 6,000 presented a “heightened concern.” America admits a tremendous amount of foreign students from the Middle East. This has remained one of the most glaring holes in our security apparatus. Why won’t Republicans make Democrats go back on their word and oppose a consensus amendment to implement the first half of a visa tracking system by October?
- Concealed Carry: Finally, if Republicans are committed to playing follow-the-leader with Democrats and focusing on guns, why not go on offense and propose concealed carry reciprocity? As witnessed by surging gun sales, Americans are embracing guns now more than ever. We need to show the American people that we are not going to disarm them in the face of global jihad. We are going to protect and promote their right to defend themselves by passing legislation that will allow them to carry their legally-owned firearms not just in their states of residence, but in whatever state or territory they may travel to. And while they are debating gun policy, what better way to embarrass Democrats than by blocking Obama’s continuous release of gun felons from prison?
It is unfathomable for Republicans to allow Democrats to bring in record numbers of dangerous terrorists, ignore their activity domestically, allow their leaders to craft our counter-terrorism policies… and then focus on the weapons used by those individuals? They should be conducting vote after vote on this week’s spending bill highlighting the pro-terrorist agenda of this administration.
For goodness sakes, this is the Justice Department spending bill we are dealing with this week. Republicans should have one hundred amendments prepared dealing with the malfeasances of Obama’s [In]Justice Department, over and beyond terrorism related amendments. They should be shutting down Obama’s war on cops, his assault on North Carolina, the racially motivated lawsuits, and much more. But all they want to focus on is playing defense on gun control?
Republicans will also have an epic opportunity to provide Americans with a bold contrast during this week’s House markup of the annual funding bill for Homeland Security. Republicans can shut down Obama’s amnesty agenda, implement requisite security reforms, and ban CVE and the Muslim Brotherhood from the department. But will they?
Bunkers are the final redoubt of the defeated. They stink like fear, death, and cowardice. Real men leave the relative security of fortified walls, march through the gates and engage the enemy on the plains in decisive battle. Unfortunately, the Senate GOP is led by cowards.
Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.