Gary Bauer / Aug. 16, 2016

A Tragic Weekend

Sadly, there were many deaths over the weekend, but five really stand out. Sylville K. Smith, a 23-year-old black man, was shot and killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday afternoon. His death set off riots in which half a dozen businesses were burned, several police cars were destroyed, officers were attacked and innocent bystanders were assaulted. Here's what we know as of now. The shooting, by all accounts, appears justified. According to body camera video, Smith had a gun and refused to drop it. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has seen a still photo taken from the video, said, "That still photo demonstrates without question that [Smith] had a gun in his hand, and I want our community to know that."

Sadly, there were many deaths over the weekend, but five really stand out.

Sylville K. Smith, a 23-year-old black man, was shot and killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday afternoon. His death set off riots in which half a dozen businesses were burned, several police cars were destroyed, officers were attacked and innocent bystanders were assaulted.

Here’s what we know as of now.

  • The shooting, by all accounts, appears justified. According to body camera video, Smith had a gun and refused to drop it. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has seen a still photo taken from the video, said, “That still photo demonstrates without question that [Smith] had a gun in his hand, and I want our community to know that.”

  • Smith had a criminal history and reports indicate that the gun he had was stolen in a March burglary.

  • The officer involved in the shooting is also black. So this is not an issue of alleged police bigotry or racism.

  • The police were aggressively patrolling parts of Milwaukee when Smith was shot because hours prior five people had been killed. The situation in the city was already extremely tense and police were stepping up patrols to prevent more citizens from being killed.


Like so many of America’s major cities, Milwaukee has been governed by the left for decades. It has not elected a Republican mayor in more than 100 years. From the breakdown of the family and the purging of right and wrong in the schools to policies that have demonstrably failed our poor communities, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Chicago are the product of liberal policies when the left has total control. The problems confronting these cities have nothing to do with conservatives.

There was plenty of racism on display in Milwaukee over the weekend. When the rioting started, white people were targeted for attacks simply because of the color of their skin.

This should be a major issue in the campaign, but the same leftists who run the schools, the unions and the culture refuse to have any discussion beyond accusing conservatives of racism and demanding more of the same failed liberal policies.

When conservatives suggest that the most important thing people in minority communities need is law and order, they are accused of racism. But the law and order they are calling for will protect the minority citizens who live in these crime-infested neighborhoods. The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t appear to care what happens to the victims of black on black crime.



Officers Killed


Meanwhile, as the media obsessed over Milwaukee, few noticed the deaths of Officers Jose Chavez and Tim Smith.


Chavez, of Hatch Police Department in New Mexico, was shot and killed Friday when he pulled over Jesse Hanes, who was wanted for last month’s murder of a 62-year-old man in Chillicothe, Ohio.


Officer Tim Smith, of the Eastman Police Department in Georgia, was shot and killed Saturday evening responding to a call about a suspicious person. CNN reports that Officer Smith would have celebrated his 31st birthday [yesterday]. Instead, he became the 36th police officer shot and killed in the line of duty this year.

New York Imam Killed


In addition to these deaths, a New York imam, Maulama Akonjee, and an associate, Thara Uddin, were gunned down in broad daylight Saturday afternoon as they left afternoon prayers. The breathless media immediately began pushing a narrative that their deaths were evidence of a tidal wave of violence against Muslims (which there is not) and immediately elevated this local story to a national event.


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “While we do not yet know the motivation for the murders, we do know that our Muslim communities are in the perpetual crosshairs of bigotry.”


Many in the Bangladeshi neighborhood where the mosque is located not only immediately declared the killings to be hate crimes, but they singled out Donald Trump — because obviously the only reason that someone would be hostile to Muslims is because of Trump.



One member of Akonjee’s moque, Khairul Islam, said, “We blame Donald Trump for this … Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia."



I guess it didn’t cross their minds that the knifings, shooting and bombings of infidels all over the world might cause anti-Muslim sentiment. Muslims on Arab social media were quick to label the attack "Christian terrorism,” as if the shooter yelled, “John 3:16!” as he pulled the trigger.


The New York Daily News reports that “witnesses described the shooter as tall and Hispanic.” News broke this morning that an individual has been taken into custody and is being questioned about the shootings. Police sources told the Daily News, that the shooter “may have been settling a score in a feud between Muslims and Hispanics."



And regardless of the truth, I fully expect the left will continue to blame Christians, conservatives, America, Donald Trump, etc., etc.



Meanwhile In California…


Parishioners at St. Andrews Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, recently called police after men in a Honda Civic reportedly took pictures of the church and yelled, "Allahu Akbar!” as they drove by.



Father Josiah Trenham said his church now has security guards at all regular services, adding, “It is a deep sorrow to live this way in the new America.”

Trump Demands Foreign Policy Realism


Donald Trump delivered a speech [Monday] afternoon in Youngstown, Ohio, where he outlined his plans to combat ISIS and protect America from radical Islamic terrorism.


Trump reiterated his call to stop the insanity of issuing visas to people coming from nations where they can’t be fully vetted and where support for terrorism and radical ideologies runs rampant.


He called for an immigration system that would screen out applicants who do not adhere to traditional American values. For example, if a prospective immigrant does not believe in religious tolerance and thinks Israel should be destroyed, why should we be required to import that kind of hatred into America?


By the way, since France began cracking down on foreign-funded mosques nine months ago, the Washington Post reports that at least “20 [radical] Salafist mosques were shut down.”


Trump also called for an end to nation building in favor of a foreign policy based on realism. He’s right. There are good people I work with who believe in nation building in the Middle East, but it hasn’t worked.


It is a myth that all cultures want the same thing. They don’t.


Nation building in the Middle East underestimated the power of religious fervor, in which large numbers of people believe that loyalty to their god demands that religious liberty be suppressed and that women be treated as second class citizens. Such societies are not going to be democratic societies.

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