The Ambush of Advent

Dec 20 2019
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“It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees, they’re putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace.”

Eve of Christmas Eve, 2014:  The joy and peace of New York City’s midtown shopping district was shattered.  ANSWER (Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism) Coalition, partnered with Occupy Wall Street, was on a mission to “Shut Down 5th Avenue”, “the playground of the global one-percent”.  The alleged focus of the one thousand marchers was the death of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both killed during  police encounters.  Even Mayor Bill de Blasio, Marxist rah-rah boy, card-carrying member of the pro-Sandinista “Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater NY”, requested a moratorium. Three days earlier, two NYPD officers, Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot, execution style, as they sat in their squad car, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. ANSWER sneered that the mayor’s appeal was an “outrageous attempt to chill free speech”: #jailkillercops, their placards urged.  This was their #winterofresistance.

Bravo, ANSWER!  Merchants began locking up and boarding windows. Customers fled.  Midtown Manhattan became a ghost town, but for the “social justice” thugs.  ANSWER delightfully tweeted how they forced “Fendi, Chanel, Armani…” to close shop. They marched up Fifth Avenue, across 59th Street, to the Upper East Side, savaging commerce and the Christmas spirit. Property damage was minimal, as were arrests.  Economic loss was substantial, and what price tag can be affixed to the terror engendered by this brand of “free speech”? 

ANSWER Coalition was launched in the wake of 9-11 and not for patriotic purposes. Founders are Richard Becker, Sara Flounders and Elias Rashwawi, all associated with the Communist Workers World Party, the Marxist-Leninist Workers Party, the Stalinist Workers World Party and numerous anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian, extremist Islamic causes. They supported the late Cesar Chavez, his successor Nicolas Maduro and Bolivian strongman Evo Morales and were “invited guests”, representing “US anti-imperialism”, to  Republic of Korea’s 2019 “May Day International Festival”.  ANSWER has grown to thirteen chapters, thus far none in Texas. 

“Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on.”

People were ice skating, sipping cocoa, shopping and enjoying  Strasbourg, France’s Christmas Market, a cluster of eleven holiday fairs in the “Capitale de Noel”, December 11, 2018.  Cherif Chekatt, well known to French police, and, since 2015, one of 20,000 on France’s “S file” terrorist list, radicalized in prison, with 27 convictions in France, Germany and Switzerland, put the brakes on this bliss. Armed with a pistol and knife, he murdered five and seriously wounded eleven.

A previous theatre of blood occurred, December 19, 2016,  Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market.  Tunisian Anis Amri, acting on orders of Islamic State, drove a rental truck into the market, killing twelve and seriously wounding forty-nine.  Prior to this carnage, Amri was under surveillance by Berlin authorities.  Like Chekatt, he was radicalized in prison, under deportation orders, but Tunisia had “delayed” his paperwork.

Chekatt fled. Two days later, located by police, he opened fire, and officers returned same, killing him.  Islamic State claimed him as one of their “soldiers”.  Found among his belongings was a video he had produced, pledging  allegiance to Islamic State.  With their track records, why were Chekatt and Amri, warriors of the Caliphate, at large?

This season’s Strasbourg Christmas Market opened November 22, 2019 and runs through Christmas Eve.  Five hundred plainclothes officers will be stationed throughout. Bags will be checked.  Fear will not halt this 450-year old tradition, according to  townspeople and vendors.  Said Christophe Castaner, France’s Interior Minister, “we will be vigilant, but calm and confident.”  The 2019 “Capitale de Noel”  is dedicated to those whom  Chekatt deprived of their lives.

London Bridge, Black Friday 2019, the backdrop for knife-wielding Usman Khan, another dedicated  jihadist:  two dead, three injured. Usman, adorned with an electronic ankle bracelet, had been convicted in a 2012 plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange. He was released “on license”, or was it “license to kill”?  Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to introduce longer prison sentences for terrorist offenses, but far-left Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, advocating that terrorists should not always serve their full sentences, encourages license to kill.

My husband would remark, “Commend the Israelis. Wherever they go – grocer, café – there is potential of suicide bombers. They go about their lives. We need to follow their example.”

Terror does not make scheduled appearances, nor take a sabbatical.  Be vigilant, calm and confident. Joy, not jihad; faith, not fear. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, from the GOP.

“And God bless us, everyone!”

(Lyrics from “River”,  Joni Mitchell,  recorded 1971; quote from “A Christmas Carol”, Charles Dickens, published 1843)

Himlin is President of the Kendall County Republican Club