When shit happens there's always plenty of blame to go around. But once in a while we should stop and thank our lucky stars — and the counterterror experts at the LAPD and FBI — for being successful so far for making terrorism in L.A. a difficult proposition.
And maybe we should also thank Brian Jenkins, a top adviser at the Santa Monica think tank RAND.
The author of 2008's Will Terrorists Go Nuclear and a former Green Beret, Jenkins has extremely sober and wise things to say about the state of America's Islamic discourse as it relates to extremism.
In a Q&A in the latest Los Angeles magazine, Jenkins says:
There's a dark streak in America, a continuing current that has a xenophobic, racist component, and I think we are seeing a bit of it emerge in the current Islamophobia … Look at the controversy over the proposed New York mosque. On that issue, frankly, I'm more conservative than most conservatives. Where one builds a mosque is simply not the government's business. We also have some damn fools who wanted to burn the Koran — and look at the media attention. We're going to pay for that. We're going to pick up two or three would-be terrorists a year from now who will trace their radicalization back to what we are seeing now.
Our strength derives from our fundamental American values: courage, self-reliance, tolerance, a sense of community, pulling together in danger.
Sound reasonable to you?