Claude Cartaginese

Please, Please, Don’t Call Them “Terrorists”!

Posted on April 10 2009 12:37 pm
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In the politically correct world of the Barack Obama administration, use of the term “terrorist” is essentially forbidden. As Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in a recent interview, when asked whether her reticence to use the word “terrorism” during her congressional testimony indicated that, in her view, “Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat” to the U.S.:


“Of course it does,” said Napolitano. “I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”


When the Director of Homeland Security is afraid to use the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” together in the same sentence, then a time may come when Islamic terrorists, sensing our pathetic squeamishness, will strike us defiantly and without fear of reprisal.


Such a situation has been unfolding over the past few days. Islamic terrorists briefly hijacked the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama freighter Wednesday, but the 20 American crewmen retook control of the ship after a confrontation far out at sea, where terrorists had similarly captured five other vessels during the previous week. Four gang members are now holding the freighter’s captain, Richard Phillips, on a lifeboat after he apparently volunteered to be a hostage for the sake of his crew. The terrorists are out of fuel and drifting and have been confronted by the cruise missile-carrying USS Bainbridge and several other vessels. Now that they are surrounded, the Navy has passed the baton over to an FBI hostage negotiator, thereby downgrading an act of war to the status of a criminal act.


Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “we think the world must come together and end the scourge of piracy.” In other words, this crisis, like last week’s North Korean missile launch, should be deferred to an international body such as the impotent United Nations. Thomas Jefferson needed no international body to take action to rid the seas of the Islamic terrorists who hijacked ships off the Barbary coast 200 years ago, and neither should we.


The larger question is this: Why are our government officials so eager to whitewash these Islamic terrorists as generic “pirates”? If your cargo ship is intercepted by speedboats carrying turbaned men who are armed with AK-47s and rocket launchers—and who shout “Allahu Akbar” while they climb aboard, take you hostage, and threaten to behead you if ransom is not paid—chances are you have just had an encounter with Islamic terrorists. If, however, you call them “pirates” or “criminals” or “miscreants” for fear of offending them, then you have misidentified them and misdiagnosed the problem. If that’s the case, you are likely to prescribe the wrong solution.

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