Speaking at an Iranian-American Community symposium, an obviously frustrated former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani posed a rhetorical question to his audience.
Citing attack after attack in which Westerners have been murdered—from 9/11 to Fort Hood to Paris—Giuliani noted each involved “a movement the president of the United States will not recognize”—radical Islam. He then queried: “What is wrong with him?”
Concerning President Obama’s “see-no-evil” in Islam agenda, Giuliani should also have queried, “What is wrong with those in government supporting this irresponsible position?”
Despite loyalty to their boss, it is maddening to see Obama’s subordinates, from the Vice President on down, all of whom are charged with protecting our national security, unfazed by his unwillingness to label today’s terrorism as radical Islam.
As one pundit observed, “You cannot fight what you refuse to name… and you cannot win against something that you will not fight.” This is the weak link in Obama’s anti-terrorism policy—with no one else in authority willing to call it what it is.
Unsurprisingly, this approach generated incredulous comments last week from two Obama minions who remain clueless as to what we are fighting.
The White House response to the January 7th Charlie Hebdo attack was to announce it would hold a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” (SCVE). Its focus would be “to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence”—all of which are elements of radical Islam. Yet, nowhere in the 295-word announcement was “Islam” mentioned.
While the announcement suggests “generic” violent extremism exists, one is hard-pressed to name a singularly more dominant violent extremist influence other than radical Islam.
The SCVE kicked off as a clueless Vice President Biden suggested what is needed to stop extremism is ensuring immigrants are fully included in American society so violent ideologies cannot take root domestically.
Yet not one person present offered that Islam specifically prohibits assimilation by Muslim immigrants—as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan preaches.
Thus, the problem is not Americans or Europeans failing to include Muslim immigrants, but Muslim immigrants excluding them, creating the fertile soil for violent extremism to take root.
Also on Obama’s “see-no-evil” in Islam team is a U.S. State Department that believes the best way to fight ISIS is with jobs.
Queried on MSNBC by “Hardball”’s Chris Matthews about ISIS, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf noted:
We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them…But we cannot win this war by killing them…We need…to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs…We can work with countries around the world to help improve their… economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…
She should have stopped with “we’re going to keep killing more of them.” Everything else was simplistically foolish. She ignores the fact that thousands of Muslims have left jobs to join ISIS.
Unemployment does not beget ISIS followers; radical Islam begets them. And, specifically as to ISIS, “killing them” IS the ONLY solution.
Obama spoke at the SCVE—for the first time mentioning “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same breath—but still rejecting any linkage.
“We are not at war with Islam,” Obama said. “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.” Militants, he suggests, are simply terrorists masquerading as Islamic religious leaders.
Sadly, Obama believes all Muslims are incapable of violent extremism which, when it happens, is a “perversion” of Islam. But what Obama calls a “perversion” is really a license to kill non-Muslims some interpret to be granted by the Quran to every Muslim. Some choose to exercise it; most do not.
As Obama clings to this belief, Islamic doctrine is taught to future generations of Muslims who will continue their fight in a war not being fought against them.
A February 17th LA Times op-ed by Obama suggested ISIS recruits young followers by successfully exploiting their anger over having “no chance of improving their lives.” Making no mention Islam’s teachings have created this environment, he admonishes the rest of the world for failing to offer them something better (while charging all religions with generating hatred).
Islam is a “never-ending story” generating hate-filled followers, yet Obama seeks a never-ending solution from their victims.
The State Department maintains a list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) around the world, to which additions or deletions are made as necessary.
Currently, 59 FTOs are listed. Obama might do well to review that list as 45 (76%) have Islamic links. It might give him pause to consider the cause of violent extremism is not “perverted” Islam but Islam itself.
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.