The Obama administration’s politically-correct orthodoxy regarding the fight against terrorists is hurting the U.S. war effort, according to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Obama and many lawmakers in both houses of the U.S. Congress are often at odds with other politicians over the language used and the tools utilized in the war on terrorism. For example, the controversy over trying terrorists using civilian courts or military commissions approached the boiling point until the President acquiesced and allowed the military to try terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9-11 mastermind.
President Barack Obama is hurting the U.S. war against terrorism due to his overly excessive concern with not offending Muslims either in the United States or overseas, Sen Lieberman told an audience on Thursday during his speech blasting the president’s new counterterrorism strategy.
“The [Obama] administration still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name: violent Islamist extremism,” Lieberman said, speaking to an audience at a National Press Club event hosted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
Lieberman pointed out that Obama’s counterterrorism strategy, which the White House released in June, was a disappointment in its tone and in its lack of substance. “While it successfully identified the core of the domestic radicalization problem, it did not establish a clear plan of attack to deal with the growing issue,” said the former Democrat.
The four-term senator, one-time vice-presidential candidate on the Gore-Lieberman ticket in 2000, and presidential candidate (2004) said one the glaring politically-correct sections of the Obama administration’s strategy was that it continues to call acts of terrorism perpetrated by Muslims “violent extremism” instead of “violent Islamist extremism.”
In fact, both Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano prefer using the terms “extremism” or “militant” rather than terrorism or Muslim/Islamic.
“To call our enemy ‘violent extremism’ is so general and vague that it ultimately has no meaning. The other term used sometimes is Al Qaeda and its allies. Now that’s better but it is still too narrow and focuses us on groups as opposed to what I would call an ideology, which is what we’re really fighting,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman implored President Obama to stop being afraid of offending the overwhelmingly large portion of law-abiding and well-intentioned Muslims with his rhetoric.
“I assume the refusal of the administration to speak honestly about the enemy is based on its desire not to do anything that might feed into al Qaeda’s propaganda that we’re engaged in a cold war against Islam,” he said. “But that is so self-evidently a lie that we can and have refuted it and I think we’ve done so effectively.”
The Obama administration often mentions other radical extremists groups, such as white supremacists, environmental extremists, and animal-rights activists.
Lieberman referenced these sentiments on Thursday, saying that although they are extremist groups, they do not constitute the threat the U.S. faces from radical Islam.
“We’re not in a global war with those white supremacists or political radicals,” he said. “We’re [fighting] a global war that affects our homeland security with Islamist extremists.”
“To win this struggle, it’s vital that we understand that we’re not just fighting an organization al Qaeda,” he said. “We are up against a broader ideology, if you will, a politicized theology, quite separate from the religion of Islam, that has fueled this war.”
Other groups probed by both Lieberman’s senate committee and Rep. Peter King’s house committee are al-Shabaab, which is based in Somalia; al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. which is based in Yemen; Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon and supported by Iran; and other Islamic terror organizations.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he’s a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he’s a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (http://www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.