Mark Zuckerberg should be so proud. Not only is his much ballyhooed invention Facebook being used to recruit and propagandize for murderous jihadists, one of the San Bernardino killers used it to pledge her allegiance to the leader of Islamic State in the midst of the actual attack!
Real-time relevance! What a marketing coup for Facebook! It's not, after all, just a time sink for trivial pursuits or clever contrivance to elicit marketing intelligence from users who want to believe they are in a community.
But, hold on, why is the murderous ISIS aka Islamic State, which has declared war on the West and pledged after the shocking Friday the 13th attacks on Paris to spin up terrorist attacks inside the United States, allowed to propagandize and recruit on Facebook in the first place?
Ironically, on the very day of the San Bernardino attack, the Washington Post ran an unintentionally hilarious article on the failure of US government attempts to "discredit" ISIS propaganda and recruitment on social media platforms.
Why are we trying to "discredit" ISIS on social media? This is not a campaign for homecoming queen. All these jihadist platforms, on social media and the Internet as a whole, should be, not "discredited," but eradicated. As I discussed in this post-Paris piece on how to strangle ISIS without engaging in a conventional land invasion.
We have criminalized hate speech. The Confederate flags are at last where they belong. Down.
Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't "counter" Nazi recruitment efforts in World War II; he shut them down.
But nothing has been done, either by the Obama administration or by the companies that host this seductively murderous nonsense.
Nor has anything serious been done to destroy the ISIS oil trade, commerce, and fundraising which fuels the so-called Islamic State, making it by far the wealthiest radical Islamic terrorist outfit in history.
That part is part of the offense against ISIS. Looking at the weird attack on San Bernardino reveals something that could be prevented, but was not.
Although it seemed odd at first -- attacking a county health department holiday party does not appear to be a strategic act -- what the murderous pair, outfitted for war with four guns, over 2000 rounds of ammunition (and another 4000-plus rounds back at home) and plenty of explosive material pulled off literally was an act of terror. If an everyday gathering with no political import can become the scene of a massacre, who can feel entirely safe going about the mundane exercises of their lives?
The purpose of terrorism, after all, is to induce terror. And it certainly never made any sense that a dispute at a holiday party would lead to an attack from a black-clad pair geared up for Iwo Jima.
So this is exactly what it looked like from early on, a case of home-grown jihadism.
With the massive surveillance apparat we have, there is no good reason why this sort of thing can't be monitored and anticipated.
The attackers were fundamentalist Muslims, one brand new to America, the other second generation, with travel records and contacts suggesting potential radicalization. Couple that with their extraordinary purchases of ammunition and explosive materials, not to mention assault weapons that no one needs for home defense, and there is an alarming confluence of factors.
But, perhaps thanks, as it were, to inefficient intelligence and counter-terror practices and our zealous gunner and PC lobbies, no one paid any attention.
We can and must do a lot better.
Islam need not be demonized. But it has to be recognized that there is a cancer on Islam and that the jihadists produced by the perversion of extreme religiosity manifested in the all too effective propaganda and recruitment efforts of ISIS -- using Western technology supported by our own companies -- are in fact disaffected and angry Muslims.
They can be shut down. And the blanket anti-Islamic bigotry of Donald Trump and his ilk can also be shut down.
But not by placing our heads in the sand.
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