In the months following 9/11, the American perspective on the new War on Terror was simple. Islamic extremism had to be defeated, and we would go to the ends of the Earth to see it crushed beneath American military might. As the years went on, of course, our mission became divided. It became diluted. And the left began humming a refrain that has swelled in power to this day. The enemy is not Islam. The real enemy is America. The real enemy is Halliburton/Bush/Cheney/the TSA/etc. And while they had their points, this view of terrorism is why we haven’t yet smashed ISIS into oblivion. In fact, it’s why there is an ISIS at all.
The Not-Islamic State
One of the worst examples of this refrain comes when world leaders like Obama try to characterize ISIS as something other than an Islamic faction. The point, of course, is to quell national hatred towards Muslims, but there’s a difference between making distinctions and telling lies. Unbeknownst to Obama, Americans are sophisticated enough to draw a distinction between a terrorist and an American who just happens to be a Muslim. By distorting the facts, though, Obama convinces us that this is some new threat. Something different than al Qaeda. It isn’t, though; strategical differences aside, it’s all terrorism, it’s all hatred for the West, and it’s all Islam.
Liberals have put themselves in a tricky position, of course, because of their stance against the war in Iraq. Now, there are reasons to go back and question whether dethroning Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do, but there is no doubt that Democrat lawmakers were on board with it. They weren’t duped by Bush’s lies as they claim now; they sat in on the same intelligence briefings. They were complicit in America’s actions. To later claim that it was a mistake – to claim that it was evil Bush, deceiving the masses – is just so much political backtracking.
Today, of course, there is another persistent lie that leaves us vulnerable. It is the lie that says ISIS is a “distraction.” It’s the lie that says we can defeat them using airstrikes. We don’t have to get our hands dirty. That’s simply not true, and we’re beginning to realize it as our coalition fails to destroy the enemy. The jihadists involved in terrorism are in it to die for their cause. You can’t defeat an enemy like that unless you’re willing to do the same.
No one wants war, but you can’t just operate on “the way things ought to be.” That’s what liberals never understand. They look at a situation, see the way they would like it to be, and then base policies on that idealism. Conservatives prefer the truth. And the truth is that the War on Terror is far from over. When there is another domestic attack as frightening as 9/11, the liberal lies will go up in smoke. It would be nice, though, if we exposed them before that happens.