A dozen years ago when I worked in Saudi Arabia, the government had a habit of referring to domestic terrorists as ‘deranged’ and calling them ‘mental deviants.’ We mocked the Saudis mercilessly for it.
The Royals were denying reality. They failed to acknowledge and confront the extremist forces at loose in the Kingdom, extremist views held by murderers with the will and the means to destroy human life in large-scale attacks. In other words: terrorism conducted by terrorists.
Of course, we understood where the denial stemmed from. Saudi governing legitimacy dated to a 19th-century deal with the adherents of an 18th Century vision of Islam. To call the terrorists what they were — terrorists — would have been to condemn and alienate the traditional Saudi power base.
So ‘deranged’ and ‘mental deviants’ it was.
In today’s America we are witnessing a similarly ludicrous pandering to extremist elements devoted to archaic notions. In just four weeks, we’ve seen two massive attacks against civilians using deadly firearms. Almost 60 killed by Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas. Over two dozen on Sunday in Texas.
Nobody really knows what set Paddock off, but he had a huge arsenal of weapons once he put his mind to it. And what drove Devin Kelley? The highest official in the land has declared cutting down worshippers in a church with a Ruger AR-556 automatic rifle, quote: ‘Not a guns situation.’
“I think that mental health is your problem here,” the President said. “Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual.’
Deranged—now there’s a word I’ve heard before being used to describe terrorists.
When will our elected officials get off their crazy asses and confront the extremist elements in America, the domestic terrorists here in our Homeland clinging to an 18th century writ misinterpreted during these contemporary times to allow the free range of weapons like the AR-series of assault rifle?
When? How many more get to die at the altar of a self-serving lobby while our officials twiddle their thumbs and look elsewhere for excuses?
The terrorists must be laughing their asses off.