— Bowling Green NPS (@NPSBowlingGreen) February 3, 2017
I bet, there was very little coverage—I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized—and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. I mean, most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.
–Kellyanne Conway, Hardball, February 2017
I’m mystified why KellyAnne Conway and her staff haven’t bothered to correct her hilariously inept reference to the Massacre That Never Was. The media has parsed the actual terror conspiracy based in Bowling Green (which involved almost none of the claims Conway made about it). But it has not referenced another key element in the Trump communications director’s confused narrative.
There was a terror attack in 2015 which Conway confused with Bowling Green. It happened in Chattanooga, which is in Tennessee, not Kentucky (but close enough that she might characterize her mistake as an ‘alternative fact,’ rather than an outright falsehood).
In this attack, an Arab American gunman assaulted two military recruiting facilities, killing four Marines. If you’re wondering why the Trump administration hasn’t bothered to point to her confusion of this real incident with faux Bowling Green, there are two reasons both of which are quite embarrassing: first, the Chattanooga shooter was Kuwaiti. In other words, he would not have been among those banned under the Trump travel ban, since Kuwait is not among the seven restricted countries. Second, the killer had lived in the U.S. since 1996. He never left the U.S. to become radicalized. He was a homegrown terrorist, the kind hardest to detect. He had not been on any terror watch list or been monitored by counter-terrorism officials.
There would be one convenient way for Trump, Conway and Bannon to extricate themselves from this mess. The problem, you see, is that they’re focussed on excluding Muslims via travel bans. But they’re not being true to their convictions. If they simply advocated banning all Muslims, including those in this country already, then they would be able to avoid all these complications involving some banned Muslim nations (but not all), domestic and foreign terrorists, etc. The best approach would be to adopt David Yerushalmi’s: Islam itself is a political ideology, not a religion. Its adherents have, therefore no protections under the First Amendment. They may be rounded up like cattle, placed in detention camps (do I hear Saharonim, anyone?), and excluded from our shores as a threat to national security.
Of course, it would be much more convenient if Trump & Bannon, Inc. could conjure a Reichstag Fire-type incident. Maybe get a few Muslims to set fire to the Capitol Building; or better yet, fly a plane into it. That should do it. Declare martial law. Start arresting Muslims. Suspend habeas corpus (it’s been done before!). Get the whole thing rolling. I should add a disclaimer here: I am a ‘professional’ satirist. Do not try this at home or anywhere else.
Oh, and there actually was a Bowling Green Massacre, just not in Kentucky. Rather it was in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1643. The then-governor ordered his soldiers to attack a camp of Lenape Indians at the site of what is today Bowling Green (New York City). 80 Native Americans were slaughtered in cold blood. Many of them babies torn from their mothers arms and hacked to pieces before their eyes. That’s a fact. An inconvenient one for Kellyanne. But a historical fact nonetheless. History and truth, clearly not their strong suit.