THE STRATEGY for Afghanistan and Pakistan announced by President Obama yesterday is conservative as well as bold. It is conservative because Mr. Obama chose to embrace many of the recommendations of U.S. military commanders and the Bush administration, based on the hard lessons of seven years of war. Yet it is bold—and politically brave—because, at a time of economic crisis and war-weariness at home, Mr. Obama is ordering not just a major increase in U.S. troops, but also an ambitious effort at nation-building in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is right to do it.
You might well think this is from The Weekly Standard, Commentary, or some neoconservative journal of opinion. But it isn’t. It’s the opening paragraph of the lead editorial of this morning’s Washington Post. That, and President Obama’s warmongering, should keep the progressives at bay, at least for the time being.
But wait, there’s more. The editorial concludes by saying that the renewed military and political effort in Afghanistan “offers the best chance for minimizing the threat of Islamic jihadism—to this country and to the world.” [emphasis added] Note also that the Post did not resort to the more politically correct terms “religious extremists,” or “violent extremists” as those who threaten “this country and the world.” They actually used the “I” word and the “J” word. Next thing you know they will be calling them Islamo-fascists, but I wouldn’t recommend it, mainly because, given the barbarity of Islamic jihadists, that term may well be an insult to fascists everywhere.
In any case, the folks over at the Washington Post evidently didn’t get the memos sent out last year by Departments of State and Homeland Security. As I commented here, these memos garnered wide criticism for politically correct memos prohibiting the use of certain language in referring to Islamic terrorists.
…the diplomatic and intelligence communities were urged to “never use the terms jihadist or mujahedeen in conversation to describe the terrorists.” The bureaucrats at State and Homeland Security insist that “calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad unintentionally legitimizes their actions.”
In that post I also quoted a decidedly less politically correct Red Cell report published by the U.S. Central Command that addressed the objections that Muslims might have to the use ofÂ such terms:
We should suggest to Muslims who advise the [U.S. Government] on Islamic matters that, as an all-encompassing way of life that binds state and religion into a single unit, it is incumbent upon the Muslim community at large to disprove (to “Violent Extremists”) the martial tenets of Islam to which our enemies turn. The onus is on Muslims to disprove, within their own communities, that those who undertake source-prescribed warfare (jihad) are patently incorrect in their actions in accordance with all norms of social behavior.
Let’s hope the bureaucrats over at the State Department, Homeland Security and the CIA got the message as well as the editors at the Post.
Even better, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the journalists at the Post actually began referring to this war (assuming that it is a war, of course) as something like the “War on Islamic Jihadism?” It would even better, of course, if the Obama administration, having rejected Bush administration terminology referring to “the global war on terror,” or “the long war,” would go with something like “War on Islamic Jihadism.” That would certainly be “change you can believe in.”