- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If you are trying to keep track of President Obama’s euphemisms about the war against Islamic terror, he just added a new one. In his weekly radio address, he replaced “global war on terror” with “war on a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” In another attempt to be “anything-but-Bush,” Mr. Obama has turned the simple, descriptive acronym “GWOT” into the mangled “WFRNVH.” I think even members of al Qaeda are perplexed over the American president’s determination to make even simple concepts maddeningly complex.

The “WFRNVH” now joins a motley collection of other powder-puff phrases the Obama administration is using to describe the current war, the attacks against us, and those who carry them out: “Extremism.” “Attempted.” “Isolated.” “Incident.” “Man-made disaster.” “Overseas contingency operation.”

Everything but the truth: terror against the infidel carried out in the name of Islam as part of a global jihadi movement.

Over a week after the Christmas Day terrorist attack aboard Northwest flight 253, Mr. Obama finally acknowledged that it was an al Qaeda operation, planned in Yemen. (And no, it was not an “attempted” attack - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab got as far as lighting an explosives-driven fire on an airplane in order to rain bodies on Detroit.)

But that’s where Mr. Obama’s recognition of the true nature of the threat ended. And it’s precisely what’s missing from his attempts to prosecute the “WFRNVH.”

Not once since becoming president has Mr. Obama linked terror aimed at the United States with Islam. He has refused to do so, despite escalating attacks and plots, including two fatal terror attacks by Muslims against the U.S. military at home (the shooting deaths at a recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark., and at Fort Hood, Texas); the arrest of an Afghan-American in Denver on charges that he was building a bomb to blow up New York; the arrests of five Muslim Americans in Pakistan on terrorism charges; the slaughter of seven CIA employees in Afghanistan by a double agent for the Pakistani Taliban; the charges brought against an American accused of scouting targets for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 170 people; and this latest attack on an American aircraft over Detroit. The terrorists are all Muslims.

And yet, the president refuses to link terrorist acts with Islam. Like his predecessor, he does not want to lend the impression that the United States is at war with the larger Muslim world, particularly when we’re seeking the help of many governments there to fight the “WFRNVH.” But omitting the obvious reality of the nature of the enemy is childish and dangerous.

Does every Muslim commit terror? Of course not. But those who do believe they are carrying out the Koranic command to “strike terror in their [infidel] hearts.” This is one of the reasons why we hear little to no true condemnation of these acts from the Muslim world. Many Muslims may not seek to kill the infidel, but they don’t want to condemn those carrying out the holy book command.

Unless and until we see the threat clearly, call the enemy what it is and identify what motivates it, and assign blame to its proper place, we will not gain the edge we need to defeat it. President George W. Bush began the fight with an honest treatment of the enemy, but then the left so brutalized him over the Iraq war that his ability to speak truthfully about the threat was undermined. The enemy was paying attention.

The enemy was paying attention last week, too. Mr. Obama was vacationing on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and fast asleep at noon Eastern time when Mr. Abdulmutallab tried to incinerate Flight 253. For three days following the attack, Mr. Obama continued to work out, snorkel and play golf. What explains the 72-hour gap between the attack and Mr. Obama’s first grotesquely weak statement about the “isolated extremist?” What explains the next 24-hour gap until his marginally stronger statement about “systemic failure” being “unacceptable?” What explains the following 96-hour delay until his remarks over the weekend that it was an al Qaeda operation?

(For Michael Moore and others on the left who mercilessly pummeled Mr. Bush for remaining seated for seven minutes in a Florida classroom after being told that airplanes had just struck the World Trade Center, the days-on-end delays by Mr. Obama must be infuriating, huh?)

In addition, Mr. Obama has also failed to mention that Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - who, in doing his part for the jihad, slaughtered 13 of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood - was in contact with the same Yemeni-based terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, who coached Mr. Abdulmutallab.

All of these attacks, plots and terrorists are of a piece: They are deadly parts of an Islamist jihad to conquer and kill the infidel. The enemy is engaged in a holy war against us. That’s what they call it. Unlike us, they don’t come up with absurd acronyms for it to make themselves feel better. It’s about time we recognized that we’re in a religious war, whether we like it or not.

Monica Crowley is a nationally syndicated radio host, a panelist on “The McLaughlin Group” and a Fox News contributor.