Conspicuously absent from this report — though predictably so — is any mention of Islam or jihad. Not even “Islamists,” “radicalized Muslims,” “Islamic extremists,” or other George Carlin-esque euphemisms aimed at softening the blow of an unpleasant reality by spreading it out over more syllables.
Everyone knows the jihadist threat is the overwhelming threat to national security, but here, only group names and individuals merit mention, as if they cooked up their own ideologies.
We cannot fight an ideology we can’t name. For those who want to see the spread of Sharia law, that is exactly the idea, and it keeps our officials chasing rabbits like “underlying causes” of “radicalization” (outside of chapter and verse) and preoccupying themselves with adventures in cultivating “moderation” through “engagement” of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, where “engagement” itself has become a euphemism for doing business with thugs.
Lastly, if “terror” is the name of the game, nothing amplifies terror quite like keeping people in the dark about who is attacking them and why, in a culture that encourages them to blame themselves for the hostility of an enemy who has his own reasons for despising and plotting against them: The goal of jihad in all its forms is to impose Islamic law, and anything that stands in the way is a target.
At the end of the day, when one peels away all of the various grievances du jour, that is what will remain, as it has for almost 1400 years. “Napolitano: Nation’s terror threat may be highest since 9/11,” from CNN, February 9:
Washington (CNN) — The terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland has continued to “evolve” and may now “be at its most heightened state” since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress on Wednesday.
There is an increased reliance on recruiting Westerners into terrorist organizations, she told the House Homeland Security Committee. State and local law enforcement officers are increasingly needed to combat terror, and the focus must be on aiding law enforcement to help them secure communities, she said.
Along with the joint terror task force led by the FBI, the nation’s four-pronged counterterrorism response includes locally run “fusion centers” aimed at facilitating intelligence-sharing and analysis; a nationwide reporting initiative for suspicious acts; and the “If you see something, say something” campaign designed to “foster public vigilance,” she said. The campaign has been rolled out at major public events such as the Super Bowl and at retail centers, Napolitano said.
In addition, as previously announced, authorities are replacing the color-coded terror alert system with a more useful one, she said. The new system will reflect the nation’s need to be ready while also keeping the public as informed as possible, she said.
The most significant risk to the United States is probably posed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Anwar al-Awlaki, said Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. The American-born Muslim cleric has close ties to al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda is at its weakest point in the last decade, but remains “a very determined enemy,” he said, noting there have been five disrupted plots in Europe in the last five years.
Authorities are also watching groups such as the one behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba; Hezbollah; Greek anarchists like the ones thought to have sent letter bombs to embassies.
And “homegrown radicalization is a growing threat, and one we cannot ignore,” said Rep. Peter King, R-New York.
We can’t ignore “radicalization.” But apparently we can whitewash the ideology behind it.
The attacks at Texas’ Fort Hood army base show that attacks do not need to be sophisticated to be effective, Leiter said. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 in November 2009 at a soldier processing center on the base, the largest military base in the nation.
It is fitting for this article to end with a mention of Fort Hood. That is the starkest example of the consequences of fighting a politically correct war against… that thing we’re not supposed to talk about. The consequences of continuing to act in such a manner will be more attacks, more bewilderment, more navel gazing, and the cycle will continue…