Ed Driscoll

DEFINING OUR TWO WARS: Daniel

DEFINING OUR TWO WARS: Daniel Pipes makes a great point. We’re fighting two wars at the moment–or (depending upon how you want to look at it) were fighting one war and about to fight a second war–at the moment. But one war is sharply defined and easy to grasp, the other isn’t:

When the subject is Iraq, the U.S. government is proactive, articulate and specific. But when it comes to militant Islam, officialdom is reactive, awkward and vague.

Take the issue of preventive security. To stop Iraqi sabotage and terrorism, The New York Times recently reported, Washington tracks thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans who might pose a domestic risk. It even has plans in place to arrest Saddam Hussein’s sympathizers suspected of planning terrorist operations.

No comparable program exists in the war against militant Islam. (I define militant Islam as not Islam, not terrorism, but a terroristic reading of Islam). Fearful of being accused of “profiling,” law enforcement treads super gingerly around those who back this totalitarian ideology. Thus, the airline security system randomly harasses passengers instead of looking for travelers known to sympathize with the likes of Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden. Immigration officials focus on superficial characteristics (nationality, criminal record) and ignore what is truly relevant (ideology).

The White House would not consider inviting apologists praising life in Iraq to festive functions. But it welcomed many of militant Islam’s sympathizers at a Ramadan dinner hosted by the president earlier this month.

Or consider this: When did you last hear praise for Saddam’s regime on an American television talk show? It does not happen. But media outlets routinely offer a platform to those promoting militant Islam.

If “war on Iraq” is easy to say, “war on militant Islam” is not. Instead, the Bush administration adopted the euphemistic “War on Terror.”

Why the readiness to confront Iraq head-on but reluctance to do so when it concerns militant Islam?

Read the rest of it for the answers.