Impotent Jihadists, Deadly ‘Right-Wing Extremists’

by David French

I’d like to thank Kevin Williamson for pointing us to perhaps the dumbest column I’ve ever read on CNN – an actual argument that allegedly “right-wing” extremists are more deadly than jihadists. In addition to Mr. Williamson’s spot-on critique, can we also say something else about jihad since 9/11? The death toll in the U.S. may be “only” 21, but the American toll overseas is at least 6,802 with well over 50,000 injuries, including 16,000 serious injuries. Peter Bergen evidently does not think this important enough to explore, but in the aftermath of the actual worst terrorist attack in American history we engaged in direct combat against jihadists in two separate countries, combat that continues in Afghanistan to this day. In that process, these jihadists not only killed thousands of Americans, they inflicted an unholy death toll on allied soldiers and civilians.

Are these American lives any less precious or important because they were lost overseas? Does the fact that jihadists have proven capable of killing thousands of the best-equipped and best-trained soldiers in the world tell him anything about the destructive potential of jihad compared to the allegedly “right-wing” Klan? 

You would think that he would at least have the decency to acknowledge that this immense sacrifice — resulting in the killing and capturing of tens of thousands of jihadists (notably including Osama bin Laden) — is at least partly responsible for the domestic peace and tranquility we’ve enjoyed since 9/11. But no, he has an ideological sword to swing, one that Mr. Williamson expertly parries.

Mr. Bergen, those 6,802 Americans — including some of my own dear friends and brothers-in-arms — their lives count as well. Their sacrifice has not only made you safe, it should also prove beyond doubt who presents the greater threat to our nation and our way of life.