November 19, 2015

Trump catches up to Althouse, objects to calling Abdelhamid Abaaoud a "mastermind."

Trump said it today:
“This so-called leader of ISIS – he’s not a mastermind, he’s a punk.... They ought to call him what he is... He’s garbage. The press should not be referring to these guys as masterminds... Then they wonder how all these kids are going and joining ISIS. They’re building these people up so much [and] we have to tear them down. These are not masterminds. These people are animals."
I said it 3 days ago:
It troubles me to see press reports that inflate the ingeniousness of terrorist attacks.... Today, I'm seeing a NYT banner headline: "FRANCE SEEKS BELGIAN MILITANT AS MASTERMIND OF PARIS ATTACKS." Whoever participated in the attacks is despicable. Why glorify him as a "mastermind"? A "mastermind" is — I'm quoting the OED — "An outstanding or commanding mind or intellect; a person with such a mind" or — and this is most relevant here — "A person who plans and directs a complex and ingenious enterprise."

I don't see complexity and ingeniousness. The attackers didn't invent the communications systems or the modes of encryption that must have made it possible to say today's the day. They didn't assemble the crowds in the restaurants or concert hall or stadium. And they didn't figure out how to get anywhere near President François Hollande.

Why inflate the reputation of these people? Even if you respect the value of propaganda, how does it serve our interests more than theirs?

47 comments:

The Bergall said...

Agree to an extent. Who were their enablers? Certainly more to it than meets the eye, especially with the suicide belts.

Hagar said...

Althouse is right about this. The only difficulty would be finding half a dozen, or a dozen likeminded losers willing to actually blow themselves up on a suicide mission. That is, this would be difficult among normal people, but apparently not among the Moslem underclass.

EDH said...

I noticed Megyn Kelly and some others use the term I thought appropriate: ringleader.

madAsHell said...

Well....can we conclude that someone in Trump's campaign reads Althouse. What a delight if he commented here as well!!

Maybe this blog has a greater reach, or influence than our hostess could have ever hoped!?!?!?

Rob said...

All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, jihadists, hipsters, social justice warriors, enablers, New Yorker editors. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

Char Char Binks said...

Maybe he invented a clock.

Curious George said...

"The attackers didn't invent the communications systems or the modes of encryption that must have made it possible to say today's the day."

Neither did Ike.

Coupe said...

In the French press they don't use the term "suicide bomber" either, they call them kamikaze's.

Which I find appropriate, as they aren't committing suicide, so much as they are bombing a target. The human is just a vehicle for transportation of the weapon.

Hagar said...

I see the weapons reported as pump shotguns (? Amderican style, but may be popular with police elsewhere now?) and semi-automatic (civilian use) AK-47's, and they cooked the explosives for the vests themselves.
Not hard to get or make, not much money, and not much time.

Bay Area Guy said...

This is called, "resisting the narrative." Who benefits from creating the narrative of a "mastermind bomber," rather than the radical Muslim scum that he is/was?

Easy to answer, really.

Regardless, well done Althouse and well done, Trump!

Curious George said...

The only commonalities between you and trump are:

1) Belief that they shouldn't be called master minds


Trump called them animals. You called them inept.

Hagar said...

"If it bleeds, it reads!"

AReasonableMan said...

Trump can probably ride this all the way to the nomination. No one can be more bombastic than Trump, and the more bombastic the better for many voters.

Carol said...

Obviously, they're trying to inflate the importance of the "mastermind" they just brought down. That makes our leaders look better, like they have it under control.

It's all under control, folks, move along...we got the mastermind!

Pete said...

Althouse = Trump. Got it.

Big Mike said...

Well, as I pointed out at the time, "mastermind" conveys the notion that the individual planned and led a nefarious activity, so in that sense the term has some validity. As I also pointed out at the time, anyone working in technological fields in general and IT in particular does not conflate "complex" with "ingenious." The most ingenious plans tend to be the simplest. Put another way:

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I can also point out that the fact that attackers didn't invent the communications systems they used (they appear not to have used encryption at all) is immaterial and an utter non sequitor. Vint Cerf didn't invent digital communications either, or even packet networking, but his ingenious contributions, along with the contributions of Bob Kahn and Don Davies, resulted in the Internet.

Getting back to Trump, he's an idiot. Abdelhamid may have been a "punk" and an "animal," but if treated to a board, a towel, and a bucket of water we the French might have learned how the attack was coordinated, how the AK47s were smuggled into France, where the safe houses were, and a lot of other actionable intelligence. So call him a "mastermind" or call him a dunce, he needed to be taken alive.

Big Mike said...

Well....can we conclude that someone in Trump's campaign reads Althouse. What a delight if he commented here as well!!

He does. His pseudonym is "garage mahal."

Big Mike said...

we and the French ...

Sorry 'bout that typo.

SMGalbraith said...

Trump/Althouse in 2016. They can practice for the debates by debating one another.

I had thought that Trump's ceiling was 25%, maybe 30%. He's up to 40% in some states?

How much of that is protest votes? Not pro-Trump but anti-everyone else?

I used to think it was mostly the latter but I'm not so sure anymore.



eric said...

Trump is saying all the right things and he is doing so without fear.

Where the media likes to make us all feel guilty if we say Islam is the problem, Trump just doubles down and refuses to even rule out closing mosques and such. He emboldens others and makes most of us realize how full of crap the media is.

What I mean is, we seem to think if all the media is saying it, then most of America must believe it. But the media says one thing and Trump says another and he gets support. Maybe Trump is onto something.

n.n said...

The JournoLists and journalists have become the story.

Sebastian said...

All non-successful-terrorist-orchestrator-belittling masterminds think alike.

n.n said...

eric:

Exactly. We need to stop indulging the press as they spin their narratives.

Their defense of Obama's legacy at the expense of foreign and American natives is obnoxious and noxious to the people they claim to care about. The effort to reduce Obama et al's liability for the chaos in the Middle East, Africa, and Eurasia, while leaving people and a wasteland behind should trigger people's scrutiny.

It was not long ago that JournoLists mounted an attack on people in order to defend selective-child policy and cannibalism by the Planned Parenthood corporation. They are still attacking people in order to defend their support for selective exclusion under "=" or "#LoveWins".

It's not like they have any credibility anyway.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Your conflation problem may be with OED. Merriam-Webster online defines mastermind as "a person who plans and organizes something". Bank robberies and embezzlement schemes have masterminds.

Certainly his plan was diabolical, in the full sense of that word, and worth the cost of a drone strike, and possibly risking the lives of the special ops team. It's a defensible position to save the special ops for al-Baghdadi.

The Godfather said...

A new slogan for the Althouse blog: "Ann Althouse, 3 days smarter than Tromp."

traditionalguy said...

I expect psyops warrior Donald Trump is alert to reading Althouse for her analysis of events. I know Limbaugh does it.

Many 2016 candidates probably searched her archives to prepare for the early front runner Scott Walker and discovered her then. Maybe Trump originally wrote that copy as what he planned to say about Walker if nothing else worked.

traditionalguy said...

Someday the automatic Trump adjective Bombastic has to be defined.

What it is not is Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Dr Holyness, or what's her name.

Maybe Bombastic is a theatrical descriptor. I think of Chris Christie playing New Jersey arrogance under restraint, or a Rick Perry playing a hard nosed, no nonsense Texan, or John Kasich playing a tough Lake Erie asshole.

But Trump just raises his voice in the good parts. That connects better with the crowd by keeping them awake. Lawyers do that when arguing in front of old Judges, especially when they need to hear the good parts.

Coupe said...

cbsnews web site changed their headline to read "...suspected of planning" but the inside story still has "...suspected of masterminding". So, I guess the old ladies in the typing pool are a little slow.

M Jordan said...

Althouse is right and was ahead of the curve on this. How hard is it to drive up to a place where weaponless people and no security are and shoot them? It's the essence of not hard.

Another thing that bugs me is the way all our intelligence people are complaining about the lack of "chatter." Some are blaming Edward Snowden.

Really? The punks have learned the age-old lesson that when planning a crime, keep your mouth shut and that's Snowden's fault.

We are led by the blind, I'm afraid. Trump smells it and, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

exhelodrvr1 said...

M Jordan
Snowden gave out specifics, previously unknown to the terrorists, on how/what we were doing with monitoring of their communications.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The important thing is that Obama is taking responsibility for the errors in his policies that contributed to this.

narciso said...

he was a coordinator of the three cells, but possessed no engineering skill, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, probably had rudimentary explosives training, the parallel is to Abu Khattalah, the button man they pegged for Benghazi

Kirk Parker said...

madAs,

Of course Trump reads Althouse!

But based on the same kind of circumstantial-evidence analysis, he also reads Heartiste and Vox Day.

Professor Althouse is certainly in good company in the Trumpenhaus reading list...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

NPR used both "mastermind" and "man who coordinated" this morning. Coordinator is probably better, especially given the idea now that the actually planning probably happened elsewhere/was done by someone else, and this guy just got and executed the plan.

MaxedOutMama said...

The infernal Althouse-Trump electoral conspiracy is now revealed. I expect Wisconsin prosecutors to start investigating this blog any moment now. Clearly an illegal campaign contribution. FEC should pile in too.

More seriously, Trump's main selling point in this campaign, and in the general election to come, is that he's the champion of saying the politically incorrect completely obvious points that over 70% of the Main Street are thinking. He's just not intimidated or motivated by being seen as the "right type of person" by those who believe that they matter in the life of the nation.

Still, he keeps scoring, and it is because the huge weed forest of the politically incorrect is taking over this nation like kudzu.

I have been watching the outbursts of irritation at DU over microaggressions, Syrian refugees and college campus civil rights buffoonery with interest. When you drive the denizens of Democratic Underground crazy, you've lost. The only people who don't know that a Nixonian-type backlash is forming are the people who think they matter.

cubanbob said...

The Masterminds are way up the ladder. These guys were low level punks. As for the weapons, the same people that can figure out how to smuggle tons of drugs in are probably the ones who smuggled the weapons in. They are in the import business.

Soon enough there will yet another terrorist outrage and eventually the Old School French will come out of the woodwork. That will become apparent when here and there some Muzzie radical types start turning up dead and not from natural causes.

Ann Althouse said...

@Curious George. No. I said, in th comments, 3 days ago:

I wouldn't use the word "mastermind" even where the attack is complex and ingenious, like 9/11.

There are plenty of alternative and properly pejorative words, like "villain" and "malefactor."

Monster, savage, miscreant, fiend, evildoer, wretch, brute, devil, coward.

I'm not mentioning the obscenities that are available for writing beyond the fit-to-print level to which the NYT aspires.

mikee said...

Althouse, if you start giving credit to reddit.com for oh, so very, very many of your posts, the subjects of which appear there up to a week before your blogposts, you can start castigating others for being behind the times.

Until then, enjoy the view from your glass house, and be careful of those stones you throw.

narciso said...

this blog has tracked many of the players


https://emmejihad.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/convicted-european-top-terrorist-abdelkader-hakimi-has-traveled-to-syria/

Sammy Finkelman said...

Trump seems to be conflating the leader of ISIS and the leader of the Paris plots.

Michael K said...

"probably had rudimentary explosives training, the parallel is to Abu Khattalah, the button man they pegged for Benghazi"

I think the term was originally used for the bomb maker., These people are in great demand as there is a harsh method of evolution to bomb making that eliminates the amateurs. Bomb makers are very valuable in the terrorist world. Ramzi Youseff was caught when a bomb went off in a safe house in the Philippines. He was the bomber of the WTC in 1993.

I am waiting to see if Obama allows the FALN bomber back into this country now that he has renewed relations with Cuba. Willie Morales escaped with the aid of Joanne Chesimard, who is also in Cuba.

Bill Clinton already pardoned the rest of the terror group in 1999 as he left office.

chickelit said...

What I want to know is who is the masturmind behind Laslo's posts?

Kevin said...

Since he's trying to bait the West into a war with Islam, why don't we just refer to him as the "Master Baiter"?

William said...

What's even worse than calling him a mastermind is calling him an Islamic radical terrorist. I learned on MSNBC today that such language enrages moderate Muslms and causes them to join ISIS. And the President has informed us that barring Syrian refugees will only serve to recruit more Muslims to the ISIS cause.. The only proper term is radical jihadist, and the only proper response to their actions is inviting more Muslims to come here.. Hillary uses ithat term so you know it's the right descriptor.........I've seen some pictures of this community bomber. He looks like the sort of dweeb who would welcome the attention and any insult would just serve to make him feel more important. He bears this in common with the various school shooters.

Eric Landgraf said...

I think the term "RING-LEADER" is more appropriate in this instance.

Anthony said...

Yeah, but if they call him a 'Mastermind' once they get him the media can crow about how "They got him!" and then go back to ignoring the rest of the failures of the administration.

Yes, it was France, but they use the same narrative to keep in practice.

ken in tx said...

Somewhat related, we should not call our sharpshooters and marksmen snipers. In my mind, snipers are the bad guys.