Last year this time, I was coming back from my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia where I had attended the annual reunion of the First Infantry Division, “The Big Red One.” We had a memorable weekend and I was reunited with several of my Operation Desert Shield/Storm comrades.However, something else happened during my time there, which I will not forget: the Pulse Nightclub Islamic jihadist attack in Orlando. Forty-nine Americans were slaughtered, and another nearly 70 will be forever wounded because the Islamic jihad doesn’t exist on some far away battlefield; it’s right here. A year later we’re reminded of such heinous, barbaric and evil actions when we consider the Manchester and London Bridge Islamic terror attacks which just occurred. But, can we defeat this present day scourge?
If the commentary about the one-year remembrance of the savagery of one Omar Mateen in the Washington Post yesterday is an indicator, we will be challenged to do so.
As written by Katie Mettler, “For the first time since the massacre last June, when Orlando’s Pulse nightclub went from patrons’ haven to nightmare in a matter of seconds, owner Barbara Poma turned on the building’s outside lights Sunday — reminding mourners what it looked like before everything closed down.
Hues of pink and purple splashed across the bar’s black exterior and blue-green spotlights illuminated palm trees. The club’s logo — a large “P” — was projected on the wall. It had been a year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stole 49 lives there and scarred countless others; a year since Pulse, a safe space for Orlando’s gay community, fundamentally changed.
“It’s totally different now. It’s like all the terrifying and awful memories I had have been replaced with tonight, with this unity and all this love,” Ramses Tinoco, who survived the massacre
Hues of pink and purple splashed across the bar’s black exterior and blue-green spotlights illuminated palm trees. The club’s logo — a large “P” — was projected on the wall. It had been a year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stole 49 lives there and scarred countless others; a year since Pulse, a safe space for Orlando’s gay community, fundamentally changed.Overnight, those directly touched by the June 12, 2016, tragedy — survivors and family of victims — gathered in the parking lot outside the club for a private memorial service. They weren’t allowed inside the building, which has been boarded up for months, but just being near the place was emotional enough.
“It’s totally different now. It’s like all the terrifying and awful memories I had have been replaced with tonight, with this unity and all this love,” Ramses Tinoco, who survived the massacre, told the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re all still grieving but this gave me some closure. I could smile and remember the 49.” By the end of the night, more than 1,000 people had gathered to remember what happened last June, when Orlando became the first U.S. city of the summer — before Falcon Heights, Minn., and Baton Rouge and Dallas — to be upended by gun violence.
For 12 years, the club grew into an integral space for the gay community, one shattered within a matter of minutes by a madman with a gun. Poma wasn’t at the club the night of the shooting, but every day since she has felt a sense of responsibility to mend what happened there. “It’s hard to come to grips with my new reality but it’s something I have to do,” she said in a promotional video on the onePULSE Foundation website. “It’s something I was called to do, and I’m honored to do it.”In this entire commentary by Mettler, never was there any mention of an Islamic jihadist attack. It appears that Ms. Mettler just relegates what happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as evidence that we have an issue of gun control. She simply asserts that what happened was the result of a madman with a gun. And so I ask, can we defeat this modern day scourge known as Islamic jihadism, Islamic terrorism, Islamism? Not when we, after just one year, obfuscate, dismiss, and deny the nature of what happened, and its meaning.
No, I didn’t expect Ms. Mettler to write an analysis of Islamic terrorism; this was a report on the one-year anniversary and the memorial being done in remembrance. However, should we just cast aside the reason why those 49 Americans were killed? Should we not remind ourselves of the clear and present danger, the evil that exists which inspired Omar Mateen to enact this horrific Islamic terror attack on our soil?I find it absolutely unconscionable that we still classify Nidal Hasan’s islamic jihadist attack on Ft. Hood as “workplace violence.” It’s reprehensible that we ever termed it in that manner. I suppose those folks out in California still believe the Islamic jihadist attack of Syed Farouk and Tashfeen Malik at a Christmas party in San Bernardino is all about gun control as well?
What is so damn perplexing for me is that here we are in Gay Pride Month and some are too busy conducting a “resist Trump” march instead of evidencing anger about what happened at the Pulse nightclub. We had an anti-Sharia law protest over the weekend — why wasn’t the gay community standing with those protesters since Sharia law calls for the death of gays and lesbians? Every time the jihadists kill us, we respond with calls for love, tolerance, and demean and denigrate those who take this threat seriously with absurd monikers such as “Islamophobe.”
And those Stalinesque “useful idiots” fail to realize that it was a Muslim Brotherhood front group, Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), that introduced that insidious label as part of their “civilizational jihad” objective. When will young people especially come to grips with the fact that it is their freedoms, liberties, and lifestyle choices that are being targeted and assaulted by these Islamic jihadists?
Let me spell it out. Manchester was about those young teenage girls leaving a pop star concert. The London Bridge attack was about late night revelers enjoying a walk and an evening in Borough Market. The Bataclan nightclub in Paris. The Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
What does it take for folks like Katie Mettler, and yes, Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma, who opened the club in tribute to her older brother [who] died in 1991 after a long battle with HIV, to admit the truth?
Why does the gay community become so enraged with Christian bakers, florists, and photography studios and seek to destroy their businesses and lives? Yet, has anyone ever seen or heard of a march organized by the gay community against Islamic jihadism, Sharia law, and the treatment of gays and lesbians?
Perhaps we should all remember that it was some judge who ordered the cessation of any further investigation and surveillance of Omar Mateen. Just as we have a judicial activist ruling against a temporary travel ban for six nations designated by Barack Obama as being Islamic jihadist hotbeds…but never mind, it’s more important to fight the perceived political enemy than the one who killed 49 at the Pulse nightclub.
So I close as I began with a simple question: can we defeat this present day scourge, Islamic jihadism? No, we cannot, not until we stop with the PC coexist bovine excrement that demands we fight amongst ourselves while the enemy hides in plain sight and kills us. Until we comprehend that “when tolerance becomes a one way street, it leads to cultural suicide,” we will not be able to defeat this ideological enemy of individual liberty. As long as we continue to have “journalists” who are reticent and recalcitrant in telling the truth about this medieval archaic barbarism, we cannot win. I pray my daughters won’t grow up in a world that “runs, hides, and tells”…but rather there will be warriors who will “stand, aim, and fire!”
US Representative Clay Higgins in Louisiana was right, we must possess a resolute determination to kill every single Islamic jihadist. And the ilk of Ms. Mettler isn’t capable of such intestinal fortitude, courage and bravery. Ask yourself, are you?
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]