I keep hearing that the Republican Party increasingly favors isolationism, although I continue to think that what it really favors is whatever Barack Obama opposes. But if you sincerely believe that Republicans are turning away from militarism, do you really think that trend can survive incidents like this?
Masked gunmen stormed into a fancy, crowded mall in Nairobi on Saturday and shot dead at least 39 people and wounded more than 150 in one of the most chilling terrorist attacks in East Africa since Al Qaeda blew up two American embassies in 1998....Yes, and Haaretz is reporting that Israeli security forces are at least advising the Kenyans on the response to the attack:
The mall, called Westgate, is a symbol of Kenya's rising prosperity.... American officials have long warned that Nairobi's malls were ripe targets for terrorists, especially Westgate, because a cafe on the ground floor, right off the street, is owned by Israelis.
An Israeli security source said earlier Sunday that Israeli advisers were helping Kenya formulate a strategy to end the siege at the upscale Westgate shopping center.Now, to be sure, there's a distinct strain of anti-Semitism among the Paulites and Buchananite paleoconservatives. But there's also a serious strain of philo-Semitism among more-Jewish-than-the-Jews Christian evangelical rightists.
"There are Israeli advisers helping with the negotiating strategy, but no Israelis involved in any imminent storming operation," said the source, who declined to be identified.
The source said only a "handful" of Israelis, "purely in an advisory role," were on scene at the mall, which has several Israeli-owned outlets and is frequented by expatriates and Kenyans....
There were conflicting reports from other security sources in Nairobi about the part Israel was playing. One Kenyan security source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that the Israeli military was involved in the operation, while a private security official also said they were helping comb the mall. But the Kenyan Interior Minister insisted it was a national operation, despite offers of foreign support
And, of course, there's this:
Several witnesses said the attackers had shouted for Muslims to run away while they picked off other shoppers, executing them one by one.There may be a lot of war skepticism on the right, but nearly all right-wingers continue to loathe and despise Muslims, believing that they're all violent jihadists until proven otherwise.
I'm not saying that there are going to be GOP calls for a U.S. attack on Al Shabab anytime soon. I'm just saying that the actions of extremist groups will rouse the usual tendencies on the right sooner or later. Now, maybe the rank-and-file will keep this in check -- but I wouldn't count on it if the targets of these groups include Americans, Jews, and Christians. The saber-rattling right we're all familiar with will rise again.