Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, issued a scathing assessment Tuesday of President Obama’s refusal to utter the words “Islamic extremism” in reference to recent terror attacks, calling the omission a threat to the safety of the nation.
“This is not just about words,” the Hawaii Democrat told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “It’s not about semantics. It’s really about having a real, true understanding of who our enemy is and how important that is, that we have to understand what their motivation is and what their ideology is — the radical Islamic ideology that is fueling them.”
Ms. Gabbard took umbrage with Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent assertion that the criminal conduct of terrorists with the Islamic State and al Qaeda is “rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors,” which she said is flat-out wrong.
“If that’s really the cause, then the solution would be just to give them a trophy, give them a hug, give them a good-paying job, $10,000, and a skateboard so they can go and get their thrills and say, ‘OK, great, they are going to be happy and they won’t be fighting anymore,’” she said. “That’s not the case. … We’ve got to look at what their ideology is and how that’s fueling these tragic attacks that keep on occurring.”
Ms. Gabbard said part of her views of how to handle radical Islamism come from her military service and her up-close-and-personal look at the combat situations in Iraq.
“If you are at war, which we are, you have to know who your enemy is to defeat them,” she said.