On The President's Refusal To Name Radical Islamic Terror
President Obama just gave a press conference explaining why he won’t use the term “radical Islamic terror.”
Here was a great opportunity to finally answer the question on everyone’s mind. Which is whether he has so much sympathy toward Islam that he cannot consider America’s interests objectively in this case.
His response: Using the term “radical Islamic terror” is actually dangerous, he said: “It won’t make us more safe, it will make us less safe,” because our enemies will use it as a propaganda tool. They will say such a label acts to “validate” the idea of a religious war.
Coming from the most image-conscious, message-aware and brand-savvy American leader of all time, this argument was specious at best. Nobody knows better than the President that radical Islamic terrorists turn everything we do into a propaganda victory.
The President also knows that naming the enemy is the only way to defeat them. After all he frequently names Republicans as the cause of the roadblocks he experiences in Washington.
There is no way to manage a problem effectively until you name it. The President knows this. After all, we name sex offenders, even though the overwhelming majority of sex offenders are male. Does this naming turn men into victims of discrimination?
Of course not. Because once you name the problem, you automatically create two categories: those who are part of it, and those who are not. Americans are an incredibly fair, even generous people and we know that a hateful subculture is not at all equivalent to the culture as a whole.
The President has no problem naming "radical right-wing extremists." We all know what type of people he means when he says that. Of course — a type of Republicans!
So his refusal to do so is disingenuous at best.
The President took the focus off the victims of terror. He avoided the rightful anger Americans feel, their sense of vulnerability and lack of protection. Instead he said, ISIL is getting weaker — believe me because I say so. So stop attacking me.
He delegitimized those who oppose his refusal to name radical Islamic terrorists, by questioning their motives. He said that those on “the other side of the aisle,” e.g. Republicans, and in particular a certain Tweeting Presidential candidate, seek to win points by politicizing the issue.
He played the military card, insinuating that anyone who questions the President is actually devaluing the way in which they risk their lives for the rest of us.
President Obama did everything to avoid the fundamental issue, which people on all sides of the aisle can see. And that is that radical Islamic culture, which has complex historical roots and is not easily divorce-able from religion, frequently praises those who use military force to do religious work.
If radical Islamic culture did not marry religion and killing, guns would not be so appealing. And yet the President scales down the issue to one of excessive gun rights.
The President implies that naming the enemy is un-American. He says that such an approach “doesn’t match our democratic ideals.”
Really? I thought one of our most democratic ideals was to speak the truth freely!
While it is true that hate is wrong and we should avoid it, the President avoids the fact that others hate us and that some have turned a particular religion into their calling card.
He says that naming the enemy would create a religious war that doesn’t currently exist. But in fact his refusal to name the enemy is making matters worse, because people perceive that he cannot be trusted to handle the problem objectively.
Instead of directing his outrage against those who act as dictators, the President says that if we do so we will tarnish the honor of Islam.
But the terrorists are the ones tarnishing it!
Mr. President, with all due respect, it is crucially important that you stop spinning narratives and start telling it like it is.