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by Dr. Robert J. Bunker and Mr. Hakim Hazim
The contention being made is that governmental officials are downplaying a threat to the US homeland—that compromised of a small, yet virulent, component of domestic radical Islamic insurgency derived from the actions of one and two man cells. While a well intended policy, such actions may be in actuality setting up our nation for some sort of disaster down the road.
With this said, no overarching conspiracy is implied to be taking place with the suppression of this threat, but rather that incremental policies and decisions appear to be promoting this public policy. The motivations behind such policies surely vary but appear to be centered on not unnecessarily alarming the American public or causing them further fear and consternation. With the burden of economic hardships, high levels of unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures, health concerns over the H1N1 virus, and the other trials and tribulations of today's world, the American public is, in a sense, being protected for its own good. Further, due to both considerations of 'political correctness' on one hand and appropriate concerns over 'witch hunts' and Islam-bashing on the other, any discussion of domestic Islamic self-radicalization quickly becomes a highly politicized topic. As a result, it is officially better to attribute any form of violence undertaken due to self-radicalization as a manifestation of mental health issues or heightened emotional states instead of being symptomatic of radical Islamic yearnings derived from one's own internalized metric of rationality.
One may argue that, in order to ensure an appropriate homeland security posture, the perception of threat and the actual threat that exists should always be closely intertwined. Not only should the American government be accurate in its understanding of what the actual threats to homeland security are but it is critical that the American public also be informed and educated in a similar manner. The greater the divergence between the threat reality that exists and the perception of that reality held by the American public, the greater the potential for some sort of disaster to take place.
Dr. Robert J. Bunker is CEO of the Counter-OPFOR Corporation. He has over 150 published works including essays, papers, and edited books focusing on terrorism and homeland security. He can be reached at Pradatorius@Counter-OPFOR.com.
Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now, a nationally recognized consultancy company. His research expertise includes sociological intelligence, realism, mentoring, gangs, radicalization processes, urban and social decay, and law enforcement approaches to the mentally ill and cognitively challenged. He can be reached at Info@relevantnow.net.