Originally published on May 6, 2011.
A gang of thugs with stolen weapons knocks over a 7-Eleven, clearing the register of cash and grabbing a few Slim Jims on the way out.
A crew of lowlifes peddles coke and pain-killers to students on local high school and college campuses.
A multinational network of Islamic jihadists seeking the return of the caliphate terrorizes Western and Muslim nations with thousands of violent offensives, including the horrific attacks on 9/11.
One of these things is not like the others.
The Left views terrorists as the equivalent of ordinary criminals. Basically, jihadists are dysfunctional naughty boys, no different than the neighborhood bad boys who spend their weekends sleeping it off in county lock-up.
Leftists hate when we use those nasty metaphors like “War on Terror” to characterize our hunt for radicals like bad boy Osama bin Laden. After all, Islamic terrorists are nothing more than average criminals taken to the extreme. Islamic terrorism is the product of psychologically deviant behavior and should be dealt with by law enforcement, in their warped estimation.
By using this screwed up outlook to explain away Islamic terror, 9/11 might as well be described as a flight miscalculation.
In the closed minds of leftists like Salon’s Michael Lind, America is the bad guy. The 9/11 attacks, the attacks since, and those so-called terrorists we’re trying to stop from destroying mankind are nothing more than international criminals, hardly different than drug dealers and prostitutes:
When the al-Qaida attacks on 9/11 were followed by a debate about whether the campaign to defeat Osama bin Laden and his network should be thought of as police work or war, I was surprised. The idea of a ‘war on terror’ seemed obviously inappropriate, even as a metaphor. In its structure and modus operandi, al-Qaida and other terrorist networks were and are more like international criminal organizations—drug smuggling or prostitution cartels, for example—than like states. The U.S. military might supplement law enforcement efforts, if countries protected bin Laden, as the Taliban regime did in Afghanistan before it was deposed and as it now appears elements of the Pakistani government must have done for many years. But apart from raids like the one in which bin Laden was killed, the chief responsibility for identifying jihadist networks and disrupting planned acts of terrorism would lie with intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials…In a remarkably short period of time, the right managed to persuade the American people to think of jihadist terrorism as war, not crime. Al-Qaida’s transnational network of militants, and the imitators it inspired, was treated as though they were the equivalents of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Instead of being treated as the equivalent of the terrorist Carlos the Jackal, bin Laden was promoted to the status of Hitler or Stalin.
Lind’s commentary is so typical of the Left.