- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The enemy does everything it can to make clear its motivation, and we do everything we can to bury it.

During its coverage of this week’s Islamic terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia, CNN ran a telling banner: “Motivation of suspect unknown.”

Motivation unknown? Really?

News outlets must be responsible when covering breaking events. However, as details quickly emerged about the gunman, Man Haron Monis, it became clear to any sentient person that his motive was jihad.

Mr. Monis was a self-styled Islamic cleric who had come to Australia from Iran as a refugee. He repaid the generosity of his adopted land by sending disgusting hate mail to the families of dead soldiers, protesting the West in the Sydney streets and preaching Islamic fundamentalism. During the siege, he forced his hostages to hold up the black flag associated with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

But his “motivation?” “Unknown.”

This suicidal inability to call the enemy what it is comes straight from the top. President Obama doubled down on President Bush’s late-stage wimpiness and will not go anywhere near placing the words “Islam” and “terrorism” together. His administration has contorted itself into all kinds of politically correct gymnastics to avoid making the connection, going so far as to term acts of terrorism “man-made disasters,” the fight against terrorism “combating violent extremism,” missions fought abroad “overseas contingency operations” and the wars themselves “kinetic military actions.”

The virus of political correctness has long infected the way in which Mr. Obama and his fellow leftists in the media speak about the enemy — when they do at all — and in how they deal with it.

The day after Mr. Monis’ deadly siege ended, Islamic terrorists slaughtered more than 100 schoolchildren in Pakistan. In his condemnation of the barbarism, Mr. Obama failed to mention the Taliban, which had no problem taking responsibility for the massacre.

On May 4, 2010, Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani native turned naturalized U.S. citizen, was apprehended for an attempted car bombing in New York. Shortly after being naturalized in 2009, he made a trip to Peshawar, Pakistan — a hotbed of Islamic terrorist activity and recruitment.

In the countless early stories about his arrest, not one mentioned his faith. We were left to deduce that he was a Muslim by his Pakistani ethnicity and name. I’m sure plenty of leftists assumed someone named Faisal Shahzad could very easily be an Irish Catholic priest from Boston or a Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Mennonite.

Mr. Obama and much of the media also refused to speak the truth about the motivation of Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a self-described “soldier of Allah” who loudly proclaimed hatred for America and his intention to carry out an act of war against the United States. He had up to 20 email communications with American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, which drew the attention of the FBI and the Army, which later dropped the case after concluding that Hasan didn’t pose a threat. Before the slaughter, he gave away his possessions, including a Koran. As he bore down on his victims, he screamed, “Allah Akbar!” The administration continues to classify his act of jihad as “workplace violence.”

Nor would Mr. Obama make the Islam and terrorism connection with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian Muslim who tried to detonate a bomb aboard a Northwest flight and rain hundreds of bodies over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. Mr. Obama refused to “jump to conclusions” about what propelled him to try to kill Americans.

In terms of pure idiocy about the Islamic threat, however, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s comment before Shahzad’s arrest took the cake: “If I had to guess this would be exactly that. Homegrown. Maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” Mr. Bloomberg knew exactly in which direction the investigation was going but was too spineless to tell the truth. When Shahzad’s identity was made public, CNN helpfully theorized that he might have acted out of frustration after having suffered the indignity of home foreclosure. CBS and The Associated Press seemed equally mystified by what might have driven Shahzad to want to blow up Times Square: “Faisal Shahzad’s motive shrouded in mystery” blared their headline. Of course, Shahzad’s real motivation — Islamic jihad — appeared nowhere in their article.

Unless and until we can call this enemy and what drives it to kill by their accurate names, we cannot and will not win this “kinetic military action.” Yet our leaders still sugarcoat the true nature of the threat.

Mr. Obama’s handling of the war is less about protecting America than about carrying out a public relations campaign. He is attempting to fight the war on Islamic terror according to the Politically Correct Guide Dealing With Misguided People Who Just Need To Be Better Understood.

After all, according to Mr. Obama and others on the left, our enemies are people too.

Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.

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