HH: It’s Thursday. That means Mark Steyn. And it’s always stump Mark Steyn day. Mark Steyn, do you recognize that voice?
MS: Oh, don’t tell me, I’m on a very bad phone line, but don’t tell me you’re playing the Marlon Brando version.
HH: I am, because I went to Guys and Dolls for the first time last night. I’ve never seen the show, I’ve never seen the movie.
HH: And all that anyone could tell me was how bad Marlon Brando was in the film. I’d never seen it.
MS: Well, Frank Sinatra was also in the film, and they gave, you cast Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando in a movie, and then you give all the songs to Marlon Brando. That’s basically what they did with Guys And Dolls. And right to the end of his life, if you wanted to get a rise out of Frank, you could just go up to him and say hey, you know, I thought Brando was pretty good in Guys And Dolls, and then just stand well back and listen to him lay it on you for the next 40 minutes.
HH: It was a terrific show. I wanted to start light, because it’s going to get very heavy, very quickly. Coming up after the break, Ted Cruz is on. Rick Santorum is going to join me. I’m going to ask them the will-you-go-to-a-same-sex-wedding question after I put into context of throwing gay men from towers in ISIS land. But I want to begin with a story out of Ohio today. An Ohio man this afternoon trained with a terrorist group in Syria was charged today with returning to the United States with the goal of mounting an attack at home. They say Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, is a naturalized American citizen whose brother was killed fighting in Syria. He returned to the United States hoping to attack an American military facility, prison or hospital. So it’s happening, Mark Steyn.
MS: Yeah, you can’t have this number of people with Western passports going to Syria and Iraq and training, and not expect them then to return to the countries of which they’re nominally citizens. I get a kick whenever I see these things saying Ohio man, or California man, or the rest of it, because clearly, at a certain level, they obtained their citizenship fraudulently, because U.S. citizenship tests are quite up front about asking, by requiring you to renounce any other foreign prince or potentates, and that certainly includes caliphs, the brand new caliph in the Middle East. But what they seem to, in effect, is actually a far more sophisticated and advanced version of what was going on in Afghanistan in the 90s when the Taliban subcontracted large chunks of Afghanistan out to al Qaeda as their training camp. In this case, we’ve got an organization that holds a lot more territory, has a lot more money, has attracted thousands and thousands of citizens with Western passports, and then sent them all back to their countries. And according to the German police, it takes about 600 people to keep track of any one of these individual returning ISIS jihadists. So you can imagine the manpower you require to prevent every single one of these guys not getting through somewhere, sometime or other.
HH: The Times reports that there are 200 in America, 200 who have gone and back again. And that is actually, I think, going to stun a whole bunch of people, Mark Steyn, because when you hear about onesies or twosies or gyrocopters landing in the Congressional front yard with a crazy postman piloting, you tend to discount the seriousness of this. But 200 jihadis who have actually been to Syria and back, that’s a big number.
MS: Yeah, I was listening to you talking to Lindsey Graham about this copter on the lawn business, and he, I think he said to you right up front that he thinks the thing should have been shot out of the sky. But of course, the guy wasn’t shot out of the sky any more than the fellows who have been able to breach the perimeter of the White House have been able to do it. And my concern here is when you have the sort of super money no object security, that it’s applied to all 7 billion people on the planet randomly as it is at the airport. At the airport, all 7 billion people, if they show up at LAX or Newark or O’Hare are treated the same, that it is in fact, actually, if you have that system, it is easy to break through it. And one of these guys, I wrote today about a one-legged Chechen jihadist when I was being interviewed by Jyllands-Posten, the Danish cartoon paper in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, this guy came to blow us all up. And he was a one-legged Chechen, and hopping across the hotel room with his suicide belt on, he accidentally prematurely self-detonated. And we all had a good laugh about it, because the one-legged Chechens are a great comedy gold line until one of them gets through. And the fact is that with this kind of universalized, everybody’s the same kind of security, it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets through.
HH: Now here’s my frustration. I talked with Lindsey Graham, and some of that got picked up, and I asked him the question which is are we more susceptible to a mass casualty 9/11 attack today than we were six and a half years ago, and he said absolutely, we are. At the same time that was going on, Jake Tapper asked Marco Rubio would he go to a gay wedding, and Marco Rubio said yes. Today, I’m going to ask Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum the same question, but in the context of what is more important – knowing if they’d go to the wedding, or whether they would destroy the Islamic State before they throw hundreds of more gay men from towers to their death. And I am guaranteeing you, because I already see it, we prerecorded those, the answer that Rick Santorum gives will get more attention than Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, all of them talking about terrorism. It’s really an upside down world.
MS: Yeah, and it’s a slightly faintly unreal world. In a way, we’ve moved on from same sex weddings where we’re talking now about transgendered bathrooms. And I’m sure we’ll be talking about transgendered bathrooms when the mullahs nuke us. These are like first-world indulgences at a time when large chunks of the map are going backwards. And I think back to that, the mall seizure in Kenya a couple of years ago. A lot of your listeners don’t pay any attention to Kenya. Who cares? It’s East Africa. They’re all crazy over there. Well, they’re not, actually. That was a sophisticated, first-world, upscale mall. And the idea that one day slaughter descends out of the blue and there’s corpses all over the floor. That actually is a metaphor for what’s going on in the world. You know, we’re a fabulous boutique, and there are dark, primal forces out there that want to just smash that boutique. And the idea that we can somehow live as an upscale, little Monte Carlo or Switzerland, and just obsess about transgendered bathrooms while the rest of the planet goes to hell is completely ridiculous.
HH: Mark Steyn, God forbid that I ever see the bright flash of light. But if I do, I’m sure hoping that I will recall your saying I’m sure we’ll be talking about transgendered bathrooms when the mullahs nuke us. I hope I have enough time between the flash in the sky and the wave hitting me to recall that Mark Steyn said it would be happening this way.
MS: Oh, well, it’s going to be a key plank in my presidential platform. I can’t be the only non-presidential candidate you have on the show, so I’m going to have to throw my hat in the ring, I think.
HH: Now speaking of which…
MS: You know, Ted Cruz, me and Rick Santorum, we’re all born in Canada. Rick Santorum pretends to be from the Austria-Hungarian empire, but he’s as Canadian as the rest of us, Hugh.
HH: Now you are, everyone is in New Hampshire this weekend. Are you there for the presidential candidate parade? I mean, they’re all there.
MS: Well, I’m in the part of New Hampshire that is fortunately a couple of hours north of that. But what you notice as we get nearer and nearer to primary day is that the canny guys hoping to pull off a surprise victory are also going to the small towns up north while the favorites are still hanging around Manchester and Concord and Portsmouth and Nashua. And if you do that well enough, like Pat Buchanan did in ’96, you can actually win the state by putting together enough small towns. So you’ll know it gets serious when you start seeing Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz at the general store.
HH: But there are so many of them, I actually think you could be like folks in an Olympic city and rent out your bedroom, Mark Steyn. There are going to be so many reporters and candidates, you can make some money on it this time.
MS: Oh, no, no, it’s perfect. I mean, if you look at Channel 9’s broadcast center, or the Union Leader offices compared to the audience and the readership, they have these fabulous, spectacular buildings that are essentially paid for in years when there’s like this year, when there’s whatever there is now, 23 candidates on the Republican side, and they’re all going to be spending money. And you can do very well here. You can do very well out of that. I mean, this, I’m not sure it’s a viable business model, and the Democrats certainly aren’t helping with Queen Hillary gliding to her coronation, but you can make a lot of money up here.
HH: And so Mark Steyn, question of the day, would you attend a same sex wedding?
MS: I would be very, I don’t know that I can give an answer, an honest answer on that, Hugh, because I’ve never been asked. I’ve never been asked it. I oppose, I oppose same sex wedding. I’m not in favor of redefining an institution that predates the United States by thousands of years, and I think vast damage will come from it. And a vast amount of human wreckage will be piled up from it. And so I would say in principle that you know, if a close friend of mine came and said to me will you come to my same sex wedding, I doubt very much whether I could easily say yes to that.
HH: Thanks, Mark Steyn.
End of interview.