David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Santa Barbara Retreat
[Excerpt of Victor Davis Hanson's speech transcript]
[...] In 2009, as you know, there were more terrorist attempts, plots uncovered, in any year since 9/11. So we do know that all of the Al Arabiya interview, the myth making in Cairo in June where an Islamic pedigree was adduced for everything from the Enlightenment to the Renaissance, a General Casey saying that his big fear was that diversity would be a casualty of the Major Hasan assault–all of that stuff, the report from the former Secretary of the Army that Islamic terrorism was equivalent to other sorts of extremism. All of that proved of no utility because we still had a plot uncovered to blow up a subway, the so-called panty bomber Christmas Day, the Ft. Hood killing, and more still to come.
Raymond Ibrahim was here yesterday, and if you look at his Al Qaeda Reader, what’s fascinating about Bin Laden and Dr. Zawahiri is that they list all the reasons that caused 9/11. I counted them. There were 19. Yet they include things like the lack of campaign finance reform and the failure to sign Kyoto Treaty. (Laughter)
So what I’m saying is that these people really do monitor what they think our response will be. And whether it’s fair or not, a lot of them think that Obama is more than usual sympathetic to front-line states against Israel, that he bought into the argument that Israel weakens American security elsewhere. That he bought into the idea that Islam was a catalyst for western achievement. He bought into the idea that he wants to close Guantanamo. All that is very dangerous because it suggests to the unhinged that if you do something, you may not face the same kind of consequences that you otherwise would. The fact that you probably will, doesn’t matter; it’s the perception. That’s what scares me.