Monday, September 19, 2016

US cities are becoming much more dangerous places

I'm seeing a confluence of three different threats at present that are bad enough in themselves, but together threaten to make many US cities much more dangerous than in the past.  Some suburbs may become so dangerous as to turn into 'no-go areas' for all except those trapped there.

The first is, of course, terrorism.  Over the last forty-eight hours we've seen four separate attacks (and ignore the politically correct idiots who refuse to label them 'terrorism' - the reality is as obvious as the nose on your face).

Despite all politically-correct proclamations to the contrary, it's very obvious that most such terrorist incidents have involved individuals with a Muslim background.  Some have been refugees from other countries with their own terrorism problems.  (For example, the Minnesota knifeman is reported to have been of Somali origin.  The Somali community in that state has experienced significant problems in terms of racism, economic difficulties, and radicalization of its youth - the latter exemplified by Saturday's attack.)  Minnesota is far from the only state with such concentrations of immigrants and refugees that may be susceptible to radicalization.  Using such communities as relatively secure bases, and with free access to vehicles, any potential terrorists can cross the country in a couple of days, carrying with them all they need to wreak havoc and carnage when they reach their targets.

The second threat is the so-called 'Ferguson effect'.  We've spoken of it in these pages several times before.  US police forces are basically withdrawing from high-conflict inner-city areas, because if they try to keep the peace there, they're assailed by civil rights activists and left-wing and progressive pressure groups.  They're in a no-win situation;  and rather than fight it, they've chosen to abandon the people in such areas to the predations of the lawless.  Frankly, if I were in their shoes, I'd probably have made the same choice.

This means that a great deal of low-level crime that would normally be dealt with by the police is now allowed to continue unchecked.  Those engaged in it become bolder, and their depredations increase.  The path from low-level misdemeanors to felony criminal offenses is now much easier to take, with fewer obstacles to deter those so inclined . . . and that means the citizens threatened by such escalations in crime are much more vulnerable.  At present the problem is largely confined to inner-city ghettoes, but every now and then it spills out into more 'respectable' areas in the form of flash mobs and demonstrations.  I expect such incidents to become more frequent, and more violent.

The problem is aggravated by protests organized by Black Lives Matter and similar organizations.  BLM has apparently obtained over $130 million in funding from liberal and progressive individuals and organizations.  I don't think those donations were provided to fund the widespread use of tiddlywinks as a stress reliever!  The left is clearly trying to use BLM as a political lever.  I think that's a very dangerous thing.  BLM is hardly noted for moderation.  Emboldened by such support and such lavish funding, I expect its activities to grow more widespread - and more violent.  That, in turn, is likely to lead to a backlash, not so much from police (whose leadership appears to be intimidated by political correctness in many cases), but from ordinary citizens.  Certainly, in the part of the country where I live, one hears many outraged comments about BLM's shenanigans, along with promises to take whatever steps are necessary to stop them being perpetrated in this area.  I know many share such opinions . . . and I don't think police, currently under attack (both verbal and - sometimes - physical) by BLM, are going to be overly inclined to stop them.  Escalation may be inevitable and unavoidable by now.

The third is growing criminal violence, in terms of both inter-gang conflict and attempts to make certain areas 'no-go zones' to both rival gangs and the authorities.  Much of the impetus for this comes from South America, where such conflicts and no-go zones have become commonplace in several countries.  I'll have more to say about that in a moment;  but to illustrate, in 2007 Vanity Fair published an excellent article titled 'City of Fear' about the Brazilian experience of such problems.  Here's an excerpt.

For seven days last May the city of São Paulo, Brazil, teetered on the edge of a feral zone where governments barely reach and countries lose their meaning. That zone is a wilderness inhabited already by large populations worldwide, but officially denied and rarely described. It is not a throwback to the Dark Ages, but an evolution toward something new—a companion to globalization, and an element in a fundamental reordering that may gradually render national boundaries obsolete. It is most obvious in the narco-lands of Colombia and Mexico, in the fractured swaths of Africa, in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in much of Iraq. But it also exists beneath the surface in places where governments are believed to govern and countries still seem to be strong.

. . .

But then, suddenly, on the afternoon of Friday, May 12, 2006, São Paulo came under a violent and coordinated attack. The attackers moved on foot, and by car and motorbike. They were not rioters, revolutionaries, or the graduates of terrorist camps. They were anonymous young men and women, dressed in ordinary clothes, unidentifiable in advance, and indistinguishable afterward. Wielding pistols, automatic rifles, and firebombs, they emerged from within the city, struck fast, and vanished on the spot. Their acts were criminal, but the attackers did not loot, rob, or steal. They burned buses, banks, and public buildings, and went hard after the forces of order—gunning down the police in their neighborhood posts, in their homes, and on the streets. The police shot back and killed some people, but the others did not stop. They were like ghosts. On an animated plot of São Paulo their presence would have seemed like pinpoint flashes of light sparkling at random far and wide. The sparkling was slow, but word spread quickly, and traffic snarled as citizens tried to rush home. After they settled behind locked doors, they did not dare to venture out. Restaurants and shops were closed. The boulevards lay lit and abandoned. On television came news that the attacks were the work of a prison gang, half forgotten but widely known, called Primeiro Comando da Capital, or P.C.C., the First Command of the Capital. Across the state 73 prisons rose in synchronous rebellion. This caused less concern than one might expect, in part because prison riots are common in Brazil, and are routinely if sometimes brutally contained. But the attacks against the city were something else, and the government had no idea how to respond.

State authorities claimed that the situation was under control, but television showed that it was not. In fact, the authorities were barricaded inside their headquarters watching the same broadcast scenes. Some of the replays were set to music. The attacks continued in irregular waves, without discernible patterns. Through Friday night and across the weekend the police reeled backward, abandoning their posts, only to be ambushed in the open. The police in São Paulo are despised for corruption and brutality, but they do loosely stand for law and order, and it was shocking to see them in retreat. Over the first two days more than 40 police officers and prison guards were killed, and also one of the firemen responding to the flames. For every agent killed, several others were wounded. Passersby died, caught in the crossfire ... The city huddled through the third night. On Monday morning, after a period of calm, people summoned the courage to return to work, in the hope that the trouble was over. But at midday the attacks resumed, and people again fled for their homes, creating one of the greatest traffic jams in São Paulo’s great traffic-jam history.

Then, as abruptly as they had started, on Monday night the attacks suddenly stopped.

. . .

What is certain is that the assault was a demonstration of strength, an act of self-affirmation, and a measured blow against the rule of law. Some of the attacks were so brazen as to be nearly suicidal. The point being made was not that they could be carried out, but that they could be sustained.

There's more at the link.  It's a very long article, but well worth your time to read in full - because it's likely to happen here too.  Forewarned is forearmed.

The great danger, one that too many Americans don't yet recognize, is that people who've grown up with such gang violence and criminal terror are now present in this country in large numbers.  The activities of the MS-13 gang are relatively well-known, but it's only one gang.  There are many others, some of them even more violent.  Criminals from almost every country in South America have crossed our borders with impunity, and set up operations here.  Cartel hit-men have been active in Phoenix, Arizona and elsewhere.  Hispanic gangs - both home-grown, and infused by 'talent' from south of the border - are trying to drive out black residents from areas in Los Angeles they consider 'theirs'.  Conflict between hispanic and black communities in general, and criminal gangs in particular, has been growing for a long time.

I'm waiting for the 'example' of BLM (which has almost certainly been inspired by the success of gangs in South America at making certain areas of cities 'ungovernable' by the authorities) to motivate such gangs to do likewise in their areas.  It's a common progression all around the world.  I saw it in South Africa during the years of the struggle against apartheid, where gangs of one political persuasion or another would seek to make a particular township 'theirs' and exclude all other shades of opinion.  With certain suburbs now seemingly being downgraded by police, thanks to the 'Ferguson Effect', how long can it be before the same thing happens in some US cities?

So, to put it all together, we have:
  • Terrorist attacks;
  • The 'Ferguson Effect';  and
  • The influence of criminal gangs and racial tensions in a number of our cities and suburbs.
Combine all those elements, and you have a recipe for a very violent and uncertain future.  I don't have a crystal ball, and I can't predict the future with any certainty, but I think those elements are going to feed each other to make US cities much more dangerous places.  I can see criminal gangs actually encouraging terrorism, provided it's directed against those they consider their enemies too, so that they can take advantage of the resulting confusion and panic.  I can also see international terrorists deliberately seeking alliances with gangs in order to make their work easier (indeed, there are already widespread reports that Hamas and Hezbollah are working with drug cartels in Mexico).

I have a very bad feeling about the confluence of events at present.  May I suggest that readers living in closer proximity to events such as those of the past weekend should take note, and plan accordingly?



Glen Filthie said...

The third world is what it is because of the morons that live there.

Now they're here. It's that simple. The inevitable solution will be that we kill them, or they kill us, or that we deport them.

No amount of sanctimony or political correctness will change that.

TheOtherSean said...

What's especially scary, for me personally, is that I've been to two of the four sites where bombs exploded, many times. I have relatives who still go to or through those places. Very scary.

Anonymous said...

The Somali community in that state has experienced significant problems in terms of racism

Sorry, not buying it. If they don't like it in Minnesota, they can up sticks and go live in Somalia. A racism-free society is impossible to achieve. Accepting (alleged or real) racism as a causal factor for terrorism is giving them a permanent excuse.

We must stop letting Muslims immigrate into our countries. I fear Obama has a surprise executive order or two up his sleeve before he leaves office.

VFM #7916 said...

Mr. Grant,

An excellent post, as always.

I respect your determination to be non-political in your blogging, but one thing is clearly coming into sharp relief in your reporting on the dangers of cities.

Those dangers come from groups that share the following characteristics:

Non-white and non-Asian (by this I mean Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.)
Non-western Civilization

From our last exchange I must still firmly point that unless Western Civilizationists profile groups based on the above characteristics the risks to them are significant and rising. It is not possible to apply NAGALT-style (Not All [Insert Group Here] Are Like That) thinking when profiling for risks.

As these kind of attacks become more common, and they will become commonplace, Whites/Asians/Christians will have to do risk assessment constantly while in public, and even on their own property to an extent which resembles the situational hyperawareness that US soldiers in Iraq during the occupation had.

Americans are not used to such hyperawareness, having lived in a safe country for so long.

The only respite will be partition based on the above three criteria.

Peter said...

@VFM #7916: Your comment makes sense, but I fear you miss one essential point: namely, the difference between risk assessment and blanket condemnation.

When it comes to risk assessment, I do so as much as the next person. If I see someone who looks like a potential threat - and that might mean manner of dress, color of skin, hair/beard style and quantity, behavior, being obviously out of place in the area where he/she is spotted, etc. - I'm on my guard. That includes Muslims encountered at random. Risk assessment is a sensible precaution. Most of the time, it's a wariness that can be discarded when the person is no longer in our vicinity, or otherwise proves that they're not a threat. Occasionally, it moves from assessment to action, as in the stabbing incident in Minnesota last weekend.

However, blanket condemnation is entirely another matter. That's when we condemn every member of a group because some of its members are evil. We do so automatically, without considering individual proclivities, inclinations, and so on. That's flat-out wrong. One might as well condemn all American citizens as left-wing and progressive because they all acknowledge Barack Obama as President. That's clearly nonsensical, but it illustrates my point. Such blanket condemnation doesn't assess anything at all. It's a knee-jerk, illogical reaction.

That's not to say that I don't understand such condemnation. I've lived far too long in combat zones to be under any illusions. I think the time-honored USMC approach of "Be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet" is anything but apocryphal. I've observed it myself for longer than I care to remember. However, the emphasis is on "have a plan to kill" - not "go ahead and kill". Discernment is called for - and blanket condemnation doesn't allow for discernment.

I hope this makes my position a little clearer.

Glen Filthie said...

It does and it doesn't, Pastor.

Our risk assessment is going to be very different than that of say, for example - a 16 year old girl. We have guns and street smarts - she doesn't. We can defend ourselves - chances are she can't.

I'm sorry but at some point we have to look out for our women and children in addition to ourselves. We know how these mutts operate: they violate our laws, they murder and rape our women and children - then they hide behind the law whilst virtue-signalling poseurs put on airs of concern for individual rights and liberties.

For the record, I am not buying it any more either. It's time to call a spade - a spade - and deal with it accordingly. We need to start asking and answering the tough questions. How many immigrants is enough? Are we obligated to become the world's dump for human trash and sewage? Are we obliged to let them in without vetting them?

For my two cents these people aren't worth the hassle.

Chuck said...

Hmmm.....Risk assessment - defined as "a good thing to do" versus blanket condemnation - which is "double-plus ungood so never do it."

At what point do those two things cross over into one another and blend into a unrecognizable mass?

Example: Based on your principles of risk assessment it is quite reasonable to render judgement on the threat level posed by an individual. What about an entire square mile neighborhood which contains a higher than "normal" statistical concentration of such individuals? At the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota - a "distant suburb" of Minneapolis (it's about 50 miles) a mass stabbing (10 victims have been identified) by Dahir Ahmed Adan has resulted in at least one ISIS-associated group claiming responsibility.

Minnesota has the largest Somali community in the United States, largely concentrated in Minneapolis, a 45 minute drive on I-94 from St. Cloud; Islam is the dominant religion in Somalia; an above average rate of Somali immigrants involved in violent attacks has been mentioned in numerous news sources; for years there have been news reports of widespread violence in Somalia, and according to the humanitarian group Human Rghts Watch it's getting worse; two large buildings in New York City no longer exist because muslims flew airplanes into them; in 2013 three people were killed and scores wounded in Boston from a bomb set by two young men the FBI said "were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs." The list goes on, but I think you get that.

At what point does the "prudent and worthwhile" act of risk assessment become the "double-plus ungood" of blanket condemnation? Given that the majority of violent crime in the United States is perpetrated by young black males, is it "prudent and worthwhile risk assessment" to avoid majority black areas of a city or is that "bad" blanket condemnation?

I'd appreciate some assistance here, Peter - please tell me the formula for determining which people in a group I may encounter are the ones righteously deserving of "prudent risk assessment" and which ones I may be guilty of "blanket condemnation" toward?

Anonymous said...

It's easy!

Blanket Condemnation is when you do it

Prudent risk assessment is when they do it to label you a domestic terrorist threat.