- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There was no joy in liberal land when the prime suspect in the Times Square bomb plot turned out to be a Pakistani-American. The right-wing terrorist boogeyman vanished. Leftist racial and ethnic profiling failed again.

The widely distributed videotape of a lighter-complected suspect near the attack scene - almost universally reported as a “white man” - raised expectations in some quarters that this could be the work of right-wing extremists, maybe even - oh dare it be hoped? - a Tea Party Republican.

The right-wing bomber story line quickly established itself in the meme stream. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, prompted by CBS News reader Katie Couric, speculated that the culprit was “homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and NBC News “terrorist analyst” Roger W. Cressey dwelt long on the idea of the bomber being someone with a “right-wing” agenda. Geraldo Rivera seemed fixated on the idea that the bomber was a “white man.” Similar unsubstantiated musings and outright accusations were rife in the liberal blogosphere.

But then a suspect was apprehended on a Dubai-bound airplane, and his name was Faisal Shahzad. Talk about an inconvenient truth. It would be nice if this were just another opportunity to mock the haplessness of those liberals who are so captive to their agenda that they subordinate reality to their warped worldview. Delusions like this, however, place the country in danger.

Whether officials will admit it or not, the United States is at war with a loosely organized sect of Islamic extremists who are attempting to disrupt U.S. interests abroad and create mayhem here at home. Muslim extremists should be considered the default culprits in every random act of terrorism unless compelling evidence exists to the contrary. It’s possible that terrorists could be motivated by other orientations - witness Andrew Joseph Stack, who flew a small plane into the Internal Revenue Service offices in Austin, Texas, in February - but such incidents are outliers and, as in the Stack case, tend to be isolated.

The Times Square bombing attempt was the kind of terror attack in which al Qaeda, the Taliban and their cohorts are well-schooled, and it’s reasonable to assume this was not an isolated incident, given Mr. Shahzad’s recent travels to the Pakistani frontier. This was an attack either directly ordered or inspired by our enemies; it was part of their unfolding war plan against the United States. As in the Christmas Day underwear bombing attempt, we are lucky it failed.

Blaming the white American man is an ingrained habit, driven by political correctness and unapologetic biases. This is the same knee-jerk response that occurred over the October 2002 D.C. snipers. The prevailing view at the time was that the perpetrator was some kind of white, male, veteran, right-wing, religious nut. Commentators, self-appointed terrorism experts and security officials discussed the profile as though it were incontestable. When the shooters turned out to be two black males under the spell of radical Islam who virtually worshipped Osama bin Laden, the narrative collapsed. But the damage was done; shooters John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo passed a police checkpoint during their killing spree, perhaps because they didn’t fit the prevailing profile.

Those who style themselves as the intellectual class are so captive to hatred for a particular kind of American citizen that they immediately and without evidence ascribe acts of violence to them. These liberals should reflect on the fact that they’ve become the most bigoted people in America.