National Security & Defense

Obama Would Rather Declare War on the English Language than Speak of Islamic Terrorism

President Obama speaks the Orlando shootings, June 12, 2016. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Obama’s tortured euphemisms make the the U.S. look weak and unfocused.

First there were the 13 people killed in 2009 by an Islamic jihadist at Foot Hood in Texas. Then came Chattanooga, Garland (also in Texas), San Bernardino, and now the atrocity in Orlando. Each time the suspects were motivated by Islamic extremism. Each time President Obama and his team failed to identify the motive for the attacks as radical Islam.

Obama found time on Sunday to mention the need for gun control and the attack’s impact on the gay community, and he did note that “the FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terror.” He neglected, however, to mention that Islamic extremism played a role, despite clear evidence that the killer called 911 and had pledged allegiance to Isis.

“Facts don’t seem to matter to this administration, in this matter,” James Woolsey, who served as director of the CIA under President Bill Clinton, told Fox News after Obama’s statement. “This reluctance is doing real damage. You can’t effectively fight something if you can’t discuss it.”

RELATED: The Unmentionable Origins of Terrorism

Nor are other Democrats any more willing to say that the U.S. is at war with “radical Islam.” Incredibly, Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal, who was once Connecticut’s attorney general, issued this statement: “The Senate’s inaction on commonsense gun violence prevention makes it complicit in this public health crisis.”

In a Democratic debate last November, Hillary Clinton challenged the premise of CBS’s John Dickerson that the U.S. was at war with radical Islam. She instead urged outreach to Muslim countries — ironically, many of which recognize that perverted strains of Islam are indeed at war with their own countries and with modernity itself. In that same debate, Bernie Sanders went so far as to claim that climate change was the greatest threat to American security.

#share#There is good reason not to keep up a constant drumbeat emphasizing radical Islam’s ties to terrorism: We need the help of the world’s Muslim populations, and the last thing we want to do is drive them away by implying that they’re all our enemies. But the Obama’s administration’s PC attitudes come across as a sign of weakness to both friend and foe alike. As Sebastian Gorka, a security specialist and author of Defeating Jihad, has asked: “Did we talk about ‘hatred,’ when we faced the Nazis? Did we talk about ‘hate,’ when we faced the Soviets?”

RELATED: Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

The sad truth is that the French have been far more clear-eyed about the threat facing them than we are, and they are more willing to acknowledge that they need a new strategy. After terrorist attacks struck Paris last year, French prime minister Manuel Valls declared: “We are at war — not a war against a religion, not a war against a civilization, but to defend our values, which are universal. It’s a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against everything that would break our solidarity, our liberty, our fraternity.” France launched punishing air strikes against ISIS.

By comparison with the French, the Obama administration looks timid, obsessed with political appearances, and unserious.

#related#The administration’s gay allies should demand better. Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, noted Sunday that the LGBT community is often a target of the ISIS. “We’ve seen horrific reports over the last couple of years of gruesome killings of gay and LGBT people in Syria and Iraq, thrown off the top of buildings,” he told reporters on CNN. He also noted that the terror attack at Pulse, the gay Orlando nightclub, occurred during LGBT Pride Month.

Nor is the hatred of Islamic extremists confined to ISIS-controlled lands. An iman appeared at an Orlando mosque just two months ago to preach that gays should be killed “out of compassion.”  

It’s time to show the kind of solidarity and moral clarity that the French have against ISIS. The war that Islamic extremism is waging is, yes, against gays and, yes, against women. But it is also one against the West and indeed civilization itself. It’s time to call out the source of these terror attacks. Instead, the Obama administration continues to declare war on the English language by falling back on bureaucratic bafflegab.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (But not Allegra Budenmayer, may she rot in Hell), Some of you may recall that my favorite essay by the late Tom Wolfe is “The Great ... Read More