Tag Archives: Saeed Hotari

About your trauma recovery dear Father Byers… ;-)

A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.

There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.

In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.

I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:

  • “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]

Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?

Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.

Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.

Two points and excuse my theological language:

First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.

My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”

It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.

But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.

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Filed under Guns, Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Law enforcement, Military, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Prison, Terrorism, Vocations

“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” he said, thus claiming I’m not Christian.

Saeed Hotari, terrorist suicide bomber

“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” said some guy to me the other day – knowing I’m a priest and a law enforcement chaplain – thus claiming that I’m not a Christian because I do carry, thus claiming that all law-enforcement officers are also anti-Christian because they also carry.

If that guy’s house was being burned by mobs, and his family was getting raped and looted and killed, you know, because he himself is part of the he establishment, living in society as he does, I just bet he thinks he could stand idly by, watching all this in all safety, maybe filming it while trying to also call 911, waiting for law enforcement to arrive after minutes if not hours – depending on the day – arriving after his house was torched, after his family was raped and killed and after the mob had moved on to other neighbors’ houses to do the same. I bet he would call those “anti-Christian” police who also carry weapons. And when they arrived and stopped the criminals, I bet he would stop claiming law enforcement officers and any supporting chaplains are anti-Christian, having risked their lives to save the likes of him and his neighbors if not in time to save his family. No greater love and all that… He should sign up for some 2nd amendment instruction.

I’m guessing that he just doesn’t have the experiences I have. For instance, I knew Saeed Hotari pictured at the top of this post. I would consider him a friend ten years before he did what he did. But if I saw him walking into the Dophinarium strapped up with bombs likely weighing more than himself and screaming all Jews must die and shrieking that “Allah is great!”, I would neutralize the threat and be happy that I did, even while I was sad about the fallen state of the world in which something like that terrorist attack could be planned and put into action.

Here’s a list of Saeed’s victims who died. Add to that another more than 130 with horrific injuries, missing arms and legs, suffering hematomas and shattered skeletons. Perhaps that young man could recite their names, as the practice goes, along with their ages and where they’re from, asking himself what he would do if he was able to take out the threat. Would he stand idly be when there were only seconds to stop him? Would he call the IDF who might get there in time to put up police tape around the area? If he had a tool to stop the threat would he use it? Scary questions, for him, I’m sure.

  • Maria Tagiltseva, 14, of Netanya
  • Raisa Nimrovsky, 15, of Netanya
  • Ana Kazachkova, 15, of Holon
  • Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir, 15, of Ramat Gan
  • Irina Nepomnyashchi, 16, of Bat Yam
  • Mariana Medvedenko, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Yulia Nelimov, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Liana Saakyan, 16, of Ramat Gan
  • Marina Berkovizki, 17, of Tel Aviv
  • Simona Rodin, 18, of Holon
  • Aleksei Lupalu, 16, of Ukraine
  • Yelena Nelimov, 18, of Tel Aviv
  • Irena Usdachi, 18, of Holon
  • Ilya Gutman, 19, of Bat Yam
  • Roman Dezanshvili, 21, of Bat Yam
  • Pvt. Diez (Dani) Normanov, 21, of Tel Aviv
  • Ori Shahar, 32, of Ramat Gan
  • Yael-Yulia Sklianik, 15, of Holon – died of her injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Sergei Panchenko, 20, Ukraine – died of his injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Jan Bloom, 25, of Ramat Gan – died of his injuries on 3 June 2001
  • Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15, of Bat Yam – died of her injuries on 19 June 2001

“Father George, you don’t understand what with your putting up straw men examples like that, because that was in Israel where it’s just that ‘someone did something’ (Ilhan Omar), like it was, you know, an ‘incident’ (Nancy Pelosi) and ‘what does it matter anyway?’ (Hillary Clinton). We’re all nice here in America.”

I could multiply examples of myself getting shot at, but let’s limit this to just this area is just the last few days right here in this area:

  • So, just the other day, not far as the crow flies, down in north Georgia, a deputy pulled over a truck and trailer. The guy immediately shot the deputy in the chest (who survived). They caught the perp and his accomplice and also found out that the perp was hauling illegal explosives, heading south on 75, which would be in the direction of Atlanta, you know, in time for the elections. Get it?
  • So, just the other day, now in Western North Carolina, a deputy pulled over a guy who immediately got out of his vehicle and shot the officer in the face (who later died).
  • Oh, and just the other day, about all the law enforcement in the region was doing an massive operation just down the road, no, really, like pretty much all available law enforcement in the region. Because we’re all nice.

I could continue, but, for my interlocutor pacifist, there’s really nothing I can say. If defense of the innocent from unjust aggression is a mortal sin of the magnitude that I can no longer be a Christian, what can I say?

Where do these people get this? Oh, I forgot. There’s a minister in the region who is aggressively promoting BLM, which stands for “Destroy the Police.”

We live in weird times. Even Jesus is mocked and killed:

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Filed under Guns, Law enforcement, Officer Down!, Terrorism

Update: My terrorist friend and the terrorist friend of USMC Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis

26th U.S. Secretary of Defense USMC General James Norman “Mad Dog” Mattis asserts that we can get along with the Islamicist countries at least on some security cooperation by way of the inspiration of the greatness of America, noting that this is a better way to go because, as has been pointed out with the way things stand now (because of the past number of years), Islamists would rather put up with an imperfect government of their own free will than be forced to like America at the end of a USMC bayonet. I agree with all that only because I think the General has enough sense to see that security cooperation as that which needs double and triple checking, something we can actually do. It’s like giving fighter jets to such a country, knowing that Israel and the USA can take out those out-of-date planes in a nano-second. So, nobody is hoodwinking anyone.

If anyone should think that Mattis is crazy for hearing out his engineer-terrorist friend, let me offer my own similar anecdote on my encounter with one of the most deadly terrorists in the history of Israel…

jacobs well

“Hey!” said I to myself in early mid-January 1991, “why not jump on a bus and go deliver some anti-terror gas-masks to the Missionaries of Charity sisters up in Nablus in the West Bank before Saddam Hussein starts lobbing scud missiles on our heads?” So, off I went with the Jerusalem campus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute crowd shouting after me that I was really, really unwise. I knew that anyway, so, O.K.. I think they said something about a possible curfew as well, but, what does “possible” mean except possibly not?

I jumped off the bus on Al-Quds Street pretty far south of the city of Nablus and walked in, trying to get a feel for things, imagining biblical scenes playing out before me. On my way to the sisters, I wanted to stop and have a drink at Jacob’s well, which I did. But, before I got there, a young man I’m guessing twelve years old came up to me and asked me where I was from. As I think back on this, this was pretty brave, as the streets were completely empty. In Israel/Palestine, just because people stay inside, lock their doors and shutter their windows doesn’t mean a curfew, just that they are being careful. The monastery at Jacob’s Well had also been locked up, but the monk-in-charge let me in.

Anyway, when I said America, he got all excited and started telling me in broken English about how much he would like to go to the USA as he had some relatives there. “Great!” said I, and I asked him when he was coming over. His expression went all dark, with eyes glazing over. “I’m not going,” he said to no one in particular, as if he were asserting the fact to a vacuous universe. “But you have relatives there,” said I, encouraging him; “Why don’t you go?” “I would love to go,” he said; “America is a wonderful country. There is freedom.” “Come!” I exclaimed. “There are things I need to do here,” came the answer. He had a look that I would only come to recognize later as “The Look”, the look of terrorist who has been marked for a suicide mission at some point in the future. His mention of “things” he needs to do bothered me enough that I had mentioned it to others back at the Institute.

terrorist suicide bomber

I asked him to direct me to Jacob’s Well. Actually, we were within sight of it and he pointed it out with some anger for how stupid I was for asking him that. Calming down, he said that he had been there himself, outside the door, but had never gone in. The conversation switched to politics, his own poverty, and religion. I was pretty straightforward about my being Catholic. What I noticed in all this was that there was a kind of steel fist gripping his soul, suffocating him, that wouldn’t let him think about the topics he so very much wanted to think about. While “seeing” that fist crushing the life out of him, I saw clearly that he was looking for something from me, from anyone, different from what he had been getting from anyone around him. I hope I gave him something, but, was it enough? Evidently not. Some years ago, when I saw this picture of the young man, I froze, having the strong sensation that this was the fellow with whom I had been speaking in Nablus. If anything, it was a spitting image. I could be wrong, but, wow: it’s him.

This is Saeed Hotari, although the idiot military wing of Hamas, Izzedine al Qassam, who sent him to his death, called him by his father’s name, Hassan Hotari of Qalqiya, which is just a half a day’s walk from Nablus. It seems they had moved to Zarqa on the far side of Amman. He was there at the beginning of the time when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was there, but then he made his way back into the West Bank. I’m only guessing here, but the bomb Saeed would go on to use was so complex and so powerful that he would have had to have help by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. There’s simply no other way.

Saeed was the suicide bomber who had taken so very many lives ten years later, in 2001, in Israel, West of Nablus. Dozens dead, scores and scores injured: the Dolphinarium attack against mostly newly arrived Russian Jewish girls. Again, it’s absolutely a spitting image of him. Ten years had passed since our conversation. He held off for ten years. But in that time, of course, much can happen and much pressure can be applied. He was vulnerable to being misled again by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. People do have free will. Hearing what his family had to say, you would think that it was the greatest honor that their son had killed himself and so many innocent people. His own father is perhaps the most guilty.

This is another reason why, I repeat, that I’ve made Islamism a bit of a project in my life. I’m guessing I’m a bit sharper with things now. It’s not a talent you want to have to use, or want to have come by the hard way. But, as the FBI puts it in their training materials, one needs to prepare for “The Coming Storm” (see: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!)). I wish the CIA would put out something similar. We’ll surely be seeing more of this, more of “The Look.”

After drinking water from Jacob’s Well, I found the Missionaries of Charity and had a good time with them. But then I needed to get back to a bus going to Jerusalem. So, off I went, but I was still far from everything on the Northern side of Mount Gerizim when I found myself in the middle of an ambush, with the Israeli Defense Forces shooting in every which direction. The megaphones they used on top of their SUVs commanding this and that echoed from every which way, making it impossible to know which direction it was coming from. It’s seems there was a daytime curfew after all. That’s surely why Saeed ran out to meet me. He figured that anyone disobeying a curfew while carrying a package had to be a fellow terrorist. Anyway, they wanted anyone on the street to make their way down to a certain intersection, but a Palestinian man called me into his house so I could escape the bullets, and then, when all was calm once again, he politely asked me to be on my way. I thanked him for saving my life, risking his own to do it – with me looking much more Jewish than anything like a Muslim – but he just insisted that I now be on my way. Good people are to be found everywhere.

Islam has nothing to offer its adherents except the self-congratulations their submission to Allah brings to themselves, except the misery of oppression that submission to Allah brings. America always looks better, also because – I would say this – because of the circumstances which are brought about by and large by people of faith. That’s very attractive to the dark side. We should encourage that whatever way we can. I agree with Mad Dog Mattis. Yes, I do.

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