By Robert Spencer
After four years of pretending there is no jihad against the free world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blurted out the truth during her testimony on the Benghazi jihad massacre Wednesday: “We now face a spreading jihadist threat,” she said, adding: “We have to recognize this is a global movement.”
We do? Yet the Obama administration has for years steadfastly and repeatedly denied both that there was a jihadist threat at all and that it was a global movement. So far has the Obama administration been from acknowledging that there was a jihad threat that less than two months into Obama’s first term, on March 16, 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitanonoted proudly that in her first testimony to Congress, “I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”
Even “terrorism,” absent a modifier, was a politically correct euphemism for jihad violence that demonstrated an unwillingness to examine the beliefs of the jihadists, for to have done so would have led straight into Islam. Those who described those dedicated to destroying the United States simply as “terrorists” generally did not want to admit that Islam had anything to do with that war. George W. Bush had started this ball rolling when he proclaimed Islam a “religion of peace” shortly after 9/11; however, Bush officials could and did explore the Islamic texts and teachings that illuminated jihadist motives and goals. Under Obama, it became official U.S. policy not to do so.
On May 13, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee, where he was questioned repeatedly by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) about whether the Fort Hood jihad mass murders, the attempted jihad car bombing in Times Square, and the Christmas underwear jihad bomber over Detroit could be attributed to “radical Islam.” Holder repeatedly refused to agree to this, going only so far as to say: “There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious.”
Noted Smith: “I don’t know why the administration has such difficulty acknowledging the obvious, which is that radical Islam might have incited these individuals. If you can’t name the enemy, then you’re going to have a hard time trying to respond to them.”
Indeed. Nonetheless, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, who is the current Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, echoed Holder’s reluctance to say that Islam had anything to do with jihad terrorism on May 26, 2010, during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He declared: “Nor do we describe our enemies as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.” Brennan has repeated this many times, and has defined the enemy not as a global movement, but as a “small fringe of fanatics” consisting of al-Qaeda and “its terrorist affiliates.”
It was no surprise, then, that Brennan readily agreed in October 2011 to demands from Islamic supremacist groups with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, to purge all training materials for law enforcement and intelligence agents of all mention of Islam or jihad. Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”
In December 2011, when Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) asked Paul Stockton, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, whether “we are at war with violent Islamist extremism,” Stockton did his best to dodge the question and finally answered: “I don’t believe it’s helpful to frame our adversary as Islamic with any set of qualifiers that we might add, because we are not at war with Islam.”
This created numerous absurd situations, since Islamic jihadists so often spoke of Islam and jihad in explaining and justifying their actions, but the Obama administration plowed ahead anyway. Most notoriously, it characterized the November 2009 Fort Hood jihad massacre, when Major Nidal Hasan, a self-described “soldier of Allah” who had given numerous indications of his jihadist proclivities and was shouting “Allahu akbar” as he murdered thirteen Americans, not as Islamic jihad or even terrorism, but as “workplace violence.”
And now, after years of politically correct obfuscation, Hillary Clinton describes our enemies as “jihadists.” Will Brennan rebuke her? Will Obama? Probably not, since they can be sure that an ever-compliant mainstream media won’t ever ask the uncomfortable questions that should be asked at this point: Does this signify a departure from administration policy? Is the Obama administration going to reevaluate its refusal to examine the role that Islam plays in motivating those who identify themselves as mujehedin, jihadists, warriors of jihad and Islam? Doesn’t Hillary’s statement undercut everything the administration has stood for all along – and, incidentally, demonstrate the cynicism and dishonesty of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations campaign to make Americans think that jihad is just getting in your exercise or taking the kids to school?
But of course, it was just a slip of the tongue. “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar,” said Abraham Lincoln, and in doing so, he demonstrated why the Obama administration’s See-No-Jihad, Speak-No-Jihad policy is doomed to failure: the Muslim enemies of the United States are obviously Islamic jihadists, as shown by their own words, their largely unchallenged claim within the Islamic world to represent authentic Islam, and their references to Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions and gain new recruits – again largely unchallenged. Hillary Clinton knows they’re jihadists, and that’s why she called them that, although she would almost certainly not have done so if she had been more collected and not caught off guard. But it is when one is under pressure that the lies give way. And so they did.
Yes, Hillary, It Does Matter
By George Rasley
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s much delayed testimony on the terrorist attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya was remarkably short on facts and analysis and was further clouded by Clinton’s feigned outrage at a very basic question from Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Why, Johnson asked Clinton, weren’t the survivors of the Libya attack interviewed before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's now-discredited public statements on the attack were aired?
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton told him angrily. “Whether it's because of a protest or whether a guy out for a walk decided to go kill some Americans, what difference at this point does it make?”
Clinton’s phony outrage shows once again the famous Clinton spin machine at work. Senator Johnson's question matters because the Obama administration -- from President Obama, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice -- has been lying to hide the fact that they are losing the war with radical Islam.
Despite the Obama administration’s outright lies, conflicting statements and political obfuscation, other congressional hearings and documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as the statements of truth-telling patriots in government, have proven the attack on our Embassy in Libya was a well-coordinated terrorist attack -- not a spontaneous riot in response to an amateurish video that insulted Islam. And, that this was known at the time of the attacks.
Yet Clinton’s testimony failed to tie all this together in any kind of coherent fashion.
“We didn't know who the attackers were or what their motives were," she said. "The picture remains somewhat complicated.”
Radical Islam is “somewhat complicated.” Wow, there’s an incisive foreign policy analysis for you.
Americans are uniquely unqualified to be engaged in a religious war. The very idea of a religious war goes against our history as a sanctuary for the religiously oppressed – yet we have been engaged in one with radical Islam for some 20 years.
While our “targeted strikes” and drone warfare have been successful in killing individual enemy leaders and operatives, they haven’t turned-off the spigot. Others have simply stepped in to take the place of slain radical Islamist leaders and new theaters of action -- such as Libya, Mali and Algeria -- have opened.
Clearly the Obama strategy isn’t working. We will run out of bullets, and money, long before we win the “war on terrorism” that way.
Republicans on Capitol Hill unfortunately did little to clarify the picture. They focused on Watergate hearing-style “what did Clinton know and when did she know it” questions, instead of the “who, what and why" of the deadly attacks.
Secretary of State Clinton’s testimony on the Benghazi attacks was all about politics, not the real crisis that the attack revealed: Obama’s failing strategy in the war with radical Islam.
As the attacks in Benghazi, Mali and the BP refinery in Algeria demonstrate, right now we are losing the war of ideas with radical Islam. If the Capitol Hill hearings and Clinton’s testimony shed any new light on anything, it is that our national leaders, Republican and Democrat, appear to be focused only on politics and entirely disengaged from the reality of the most dangerous enemy we have ever faced.