Claude Cartaginese

Is the Obama Administration’s Inability to Define Terrorism Putting Us at Risk for Further Terror Attacks?

Posted on December 30 2009 3:00 am
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Delta Flight 253

According to the latest polls, 79% of Americans think there will be a major domestic terror attack in the next year, a figure that is up 30 points since August.

Why are Americans so uneasy?

The recent attempt to destroy a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day by a jihadist, followed by the Barack Obama administration’s unbelievable incoherence in its comments on the incident have made the average person realize that, when it comes to fighting terrorism, this administration hasn’t got a clue.

In the first place, the administration doesn’t even have a name for what it is purportedly fighting against. Is the Detroit jihadist a criminal, an isolated extremist, an alleged attacker, a suspect, or an individual? I’m only asking because President Obama has used all of the above to describe Abdul Mutallab, the TERRORIST who attempted to destroy the plane.

And yet, in listening to the President since his first comments on the thwarted attack, not once did he use the term terrorist (or  jihadist, or Islamic extremist, or enemy combatant, for that matter) when describing Mutallab. What kind of message are we sending to our enemy? They have declared perpetual war on us, and we can’t even bring ourselves to accurately describe them for fear of offending them?

And that’s just from our Commander-in-Chief.

We also have another, even weaker link at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Janet Napolitano. If you’re a jihadist and wondering what you are up against, Janet Napolitano cuts a most pathetic figure. As head of the DHS, she is in way over her head, and having her continue in the role as head of Homeland Security is itself an egregious breach of security.

She has, from her earliest days as the head of DHS, tried to soften the image of our enemies by playing semantically disingenuous games, such as calling terrorist acts “man-caused disasters.” In a 2009 interview with Germany’s Spiegel Online, she was asked whether her avoidance of the term “terrorism” meant that “Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pos[es] a threat to your country?” She replied:

Of course it does [pose a threat]. 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.

It’s statements like that that scream: “Come and get us,” to Mutallab wannabes throughout the Islamic world.

The reality, which the current administration seems to be in denial over, is this: jihadists are intent on doing us harm. They have declared war on us. They will continue to plan acts of terrorism. They are the enemy, and they are relentless.

If we can’t come to terms with that, then we have already lost the war.

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