It makes a difference between life and death.
Obama is angry. Not at the terrorists, mind you, but at Donald Trump and those who criticize him for calling our enemies “extremists” (like the Sandy Hook and Aurora shooters) instead of “radical Islamic terrorists,” which is what they are. “Radical Islamic terrorist” is not a strategy, says the president. But it is the necessary step in creating one. Obama wants to treat our enemies as individual criminals, lone wolves and nut jobs. Since he is the commander-in-chief he defines the policy parameters under which our military and intelligence agencies operate. The Orlando murderer was interviewed by the FBI, which discovered his associations with radical Islamic terrorists, and jihadist sympathies, but dropped him off the radar, because the FBI was looking for crimes which he hadn’t (yet) committed. If, on the other hand, the FBI had been looking for soldiers in a war conducted by radical Islamic terrorists, they would have kept him on the radar and extended their investigation until maybe they would have saved 50 innocent lives.
The Achilles heel of democratic societies is also their foundation – the principle of tolerance we extend even to those who want to destroy us. It is therefore also a central strategy of the Islamists to take advantage of this vulnerability. Using defamatory expressions like “bigotry” and “Islamophobia,” they and what Lenin called the “useful idiots” on our side stigmatize those who attempt to draw attention to the political nature of their movement, its imperialistic ambitions, its terroristic methods, its oppression of women, its hostility to other creeds, and its virulent Jew-hatred. To point out these elements of Islamism is to persecute Muslims. By casting themselves as victims, the Islamists have succeeded to a remarkable extent in censoring and marginalizing their critics. Until Donald Trump came along.
But until now, the Islamists’ success has been impressive. It is most striking in the self-censorship that agencies of the American government have imposed on themselves, and on the institutional guides for America’s first responders to the threat they pose. The 9/11 Commission Report on the Islamic attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001 referred to “Islam” 322 times, used the word “Muslim” 145 times, and “jihad” (holy war) 126 times. But even after those attacks, and even though Osama bin Laden had declared his mission to be a religious war against “the Jews and Crusaders,” the Bush administration designated its response merely as a “War on Terror” without any reference to Islam. This omission was designed to avoid offending Muslims who did not support the jihad or giving ammunition to Democrats who insisted on treating acts of Islamic terror as crimes by individual “extremists.” By using the neutered term “terror” to describe the Islamist threat, the administration obscured not only the religious nature of the war that had been declared on us, but the fact that the Islamists did not confine their tactics to military strikes and also pursued their goals through sophisticated political movements specifically designed to infiltrate societies they regarded as “infidel,” and subvert them.
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