The video embedded below goes a little under 10 minutes, and it’s quite educational in explaining why time and time again we find jihadist terrorists able to perpetrate murder and mayhem on Americans — from Little Rock to Fort Hood to Boston to Chattanooga to San Bernardino to Merced to Orlando — despite displaying shiny red flags that a competent — and expensive — counterterror apparatus should be expected to process.
Republicans make a big deal of the president’s refusal to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism” in describing these jihadist attacks, and it drives Democrats crazy because they think it’s pure political point-scoring. But there’s a reason why the argument is being made; the video below paints a picture why.
Because as Cruz’s subcommittee showed Wednesday in a different hearing, not only won’t Obama name the threat but his administration is actively scrubbing references to Islamic jihad from its own counterterror documents and it’s treating a global jihadist insurgency as a series of essentially unrelated criminal acts.
And worse than that, Johnson’s attitude on display in the video is that the whole line of inquiry is cute and it’s good politics for Cruz to engage in it, but an emphasis on Islam and jihad as the source of these supposedly unrelated criminal acts is a waste of time.
Cruz’s subcommittee hearing was titled “Willful Blindness,” which is quite descriptive. And the hearing — which no one from DHS bothered to attend — proved more or less beyond a doubt that it’s government policy to disengage from the larger fight. Click here and you’ll see a back-and-forth between Cruz and Farhana H. Khera, the president of an organization called Muslim Advocates, who pressed the Obama administration to expunge references to jihad and Islam from its counterterror documents on grounds that to make such references was offensive to Muslims.
Khera goes so far in the video as to complain about discrimination on the basis of “race, religion or ideology.” If there is an ideology containing as a central tenet the destruction of the American way of life, which is unquestionably true of radical Islam, it’s difficult to understand how discrimination on the basis of that ideology by the American counterterrorism apparatus is a bad thing, and yet this is what is said openly by a woman who successfully influenced U.S. counterterror policy.
You are correct in your concern.
It’s also probably not necessary to explain that an administration which believes that ignoring the role of Islam in the enemy’s threat doctrine is making a particularly unwise decision in formulating our counterterror strategy, but perhaps a few points can be reiterated.
First of all, while moderate Muslims might well complain that ISIS and al Qaeda and those they inspire are perverting, rather than espousing, true Islam, that does not make ISIS and al Qaeda and the rest of the global jihad movement “un-Islamic.” The jihadists see themselves as proper Muslims and find scriptural basis for their actions in the Quran and the Hadith. That might be an inconvenient fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless. The kind of “cooperation” we’re getting from the CAIR’s of the world, who demand lectures about anti-Muslim backlash every time there’s a jihadist attack on Americans, is barely worth having and doesn’t look like anything we’ve had in any successful ideological conflicts we’ve previously engaged in.
Second, if you’re not versed in the enemy’s threat doctrine and don’t understand what makes him tick, it’s considerably harder to trace his movements and predict what he will do next. You probably won’t even be able to spot the enemy in your midst before he goes off in a blaze of jihadist glory.
Third, it’s largely a myth that jihadists are radicalized online. Omar Mateen certainly wasn’t. Mateen dutifully attended the same mosque as another jihadist, who turned into a suicide bomber in Syria. An effective counterterror operation would have red-lined that mosque for scrutiny, recognized Mateen’s father’s pro-Taliban YouTube channel, connected the dots to Mateen’s boasts of an al-Qaeda connection three years ago and the FBI’s investigation of it and the warning by a gun store owner from whom Mateen attempted to buy large amounts of ammunition as well as body armor and identified him as a prime suspect for potential violent jihad worthy of surveillance. The entire mosque, seeing as it preaches sharia law — from which violent jihad finds its ideological succor — would have been a target for investigation by an effective counterterror campaign.
It isn’t as though we’re not paying for an effective effort at stopping terrorism. Johnson’s budget as head of DHS this year was just short of $65 billion. That’s an incredible amount of money for an agency that was formed after 9/11 for the specific purpose of fighting terrorism, and yet it can’t find jihadists who are easily found were one to look for them.
No, Johnson’s blindness isn’t based in a lack of resources. It’s willful. The enemy is focused on extinguishing our way of life and our focus is on ignoring him.
That’s why we’re losing. Cruz gave America definitive evidence this week.