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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Such Thing As Islamic Terrorism?

By Deborah Weiss American Security Council Foundation: May 18, 2010

Against President Obama’s backdrop of bowing to the Saudi King, berating Israel, Mirandizing terrorists, and voluntarily reducing US nuclear capabilities, the United States Administration has now made a decision to ban words such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism” from the US National Security Strategy. But will this cleansing of national security vocabulary be effective in making America safer?

Last month it was announced that President Obama’s advisors will remove all religious terms from the central National Security Strategy document, an instructive document on preventive war strategy. The purpose of the removal of these terms is to send a message to Muslim nations that America does not view them through the eyes of terrorism. The change constitutes a significant shift in US strategy. Under President Bush, the same document expressed the view that “militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the 21st century.” Now however, it appears that in the context of US national security, any discussion of Islam is verboten.

Instead of addressing radical Islam head-on, Obama has teamed up with the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to fight polio. The OIC is an organization of 57 Muslim majority states that vote as a block on the UN Human Rights Council, rendering it unable to address human rights abuses in the Muslim world. Obama also held an Entrepreneur Summit encouraging US investment in Muslim businesses, some of which were owned by Muslim Brotherhood types. Additionally, the President’s administration collaborated with Egypt to introduce a resolution into the UN Human Rights Council encouraging all nations to “take effective action” against those who “defame Islam.” In other words, the resolution seeks to provide an ideology (rather than people) with protection from criticism, and aspires to penalize those who make such criticism.

Part of the Administration’s apprehension in using accurate terminology might be attributable to political correctness. Though the push toward political correctness has been building for decades, the momentum greatly accelerated since 2009 when Obama took office. Indeed, documents such as the 9/11 Commission Report, which repeatedly mentioned Islamic terrorism, could likely not have been written in today’s politically correct environment. Thus, despite overwhelming evidence that the Fort Hood shootings constituted an Islamist terrorist attack, the Pentagon report failed to entertain this possibility. Instead, it speculated that Major Hassan was somehow suffering from “PTSD” or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, despite the fact that he never went to war.

Obama’s new national security strategy turns a blind eye toward Islamist supremacist ideology and its adherents’ abhorrent treatment of infidels around the globe. The elimination of words from the national security lexicon not only changes how the US can talk to Muslim majority countries, but what America talks to them about. Instead of focusing on terrorism – in other words national security concerns, officials will now be discussing issues like the environment, poverty and education. This is based on the false premise that terrorism is caused solely or primarily by legitimate geo-political complaints, rather than a radical political ideology masking itself in the name of religion.

The question is, will the elimination of offensive words eliminate the underlying threat conveyed by these words? History, global politics, and the study of human psychology will answer this question with a resounding “no!” Denial has never made any problem disappear. To the contrary, traditional threat doctrine mandates that in order to defeat an enemy, one must be able to accurately identify it and name it by name.

Though the President might score some political points with those whose true agenda is to destroy America’s freedom from within, the strategy of omitting language offensive to America’s enemies comes at a cost. Appeasement of terrorists and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers will only serve to embolden them. By contrast, truly moderate Muslims should have no reason to feel offended if the US takes aim at radicals who in addition to putting Jews, Christians and atheists in danger, equally threaten the lives and freedoms of moderate Muslims.

To be sure, radical Islam - both violent and stealth, constitutes today’s greatest threat to freedom around the globe. One needs only to look at the incremental Islamization of Canada and Europe to see what forebodes America. Dictators have always known that the first step to gaining power and implementing tyranny is through censorship. And, there is no better way to relinquish power than to use self-censorship in discussion or identification of Freedom’s ideological enemies. Despite this, when President Obama visits Indonesia in June, he is determined to reiterate the themes of appeasement that he delivered in his Cairo speech.

Words represent ideas and thoughts. The removal of language identifying America’s threats also necessarily precludes discussion of strategies to defeat such threats. It is tantamount to removing tools of war from America’s national security professionals, hindering their ability to keep America safe.

President Reagan understood the power of words. By identifying evil for what it was, he gave hope to those around the world who suffered under its tyranny. In part, his speeches set the stage for the collapse of the “Evil Empire”. But under Obama’s leadership, what was heretofore considered Freedom’s greatest ideological enemy can no longer even be mentioned. Traditional threat doctrine, critical to winning any military war as well as the war of ideas, is now being replaced with the official policy of Denial.

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to the American Security Council Foundation and a columnist with FrontPage Magazine. She works for and delivers speeches on the instruments radicals use to stifle free speech.

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