The Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama is John Brennan, who first came to my attention in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood shootings and the almost successful Christmas bombing of an airliner in Detroit. Here is a man who is on the front lines of a war that has been underway in its most intense phase for almost nine years and, in reality, for over 30 years. One would think that he has the enemy pretty well identified, right? Well, not quite, and he seems to have a tendency to think out loud in his deliberations, as evidenced by recent appearances. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he repeated the administration’s argument that our enemy is not “terrorism”, but then said that the word “jihad” should not be used either, as follows: “Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women, and children.” This despite the fact that enemy leadership itself describes their struggle with the West as jihad, that the word almost always connotes war, and that Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals commonly use the word to call for war against us. And this guy is one of the administration’s principal spokesmen on national security?
Alas, these remarks are consistent with the characterization of the perpetrator of the shootings at Ft. Hood by the Army Chief of Staff on the scene and later by the Attorney General before Congress. They also fall in line with the initial identification of the intended airline bomber as a “lone wolf”. New York Mayor Bloomberg speculated that the recent Times Square bomb might be the work of someone unhappy with the health care bill, and our Attorney General again avoided the obvious by saying “there are a variety of reasons why people do these things”. How can we continue to prosecute a war without properly identifying the enemy? It’s people like these who are aiding and abetting our real enemy by refusing to face the truth and misleading us from clarity on the objective.