Farewell, War on Ter­ror

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Bill O’Reilly

Did you no­tice in his Cairo speech to the Mus­lim world two weeks ago that Pres­i­dent Obama did not use the word “ter­ror­ism”? In­ter­est­ing in light of re­ports that some in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion no longer re­fer to ac­tions against al-Qaida and the Tal­iban as the “war on ter­ror,” in­stead call­ing them an “over­seas con­tin­gency op­er­a­tion.” But why? What is the rea­son­ing be­hind this?

Ap­par­ently, the pres­i­dent be­lieves that in or­der to forge a “new start” with the Mus­lim world, Amer­ica must spot­light the com­mon ground be­tween the two cul­tures. Em­pha­siz­ing atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by ter­ror­ists un­der the ban­ner of Is­lam ob­vi­ously does not aid that strat­egy. So out with the war on ter­ror, in with the spirit of co­op­er­a­tion.

Some con­ser­va­tives find this ap­palling. They say it shows weak­ness on the part of Mr. Obama. I dis­agree. As long as the United States stays strong on the bat­tle­fields and in the se­cu­rity area, diplo­matic eu­phemisms don’t mean very much. Mr. Obama wants more friends in the Arab world, and he’s will­ing to give Mus­lims a rhetor­i­cal break to get them.

That, of course, pleases the Amer­i­can left, and herein lies a prob­lem. The lib­eral me­dia are now ac­tively down­play­ing Mus­lim ter­ror­ism, and that was vividly demon­strated two weeks ago when an Amer­i­can Mus­lim in Arkansas shot two sol­diers. One of them, 24-year-old Pvt. William Long, was killed.

The cold-blooded mur­der of Long by Car­los Bled­soe, aka Ab­dul­hakim Muham­mad, was a shock­ing story. But if you were watch­ing Katie Couric on the “CBS Evening News,” you missed it, as Ms. Couric did not men­tion the mur­der. On ABC, Charles Gib­son ig­nored the story, as well. On NBC, Brian Wil­liams spent less than two min­utes on the sit­u­a­tion.

But the net­work news op­er­a­tions and most other na­tional me­dia en­thu­si­as­ti­cally cov­ered the mur­der of late-term abor­tion doc­tor Ge­orge Tiller by a pro­life zealot. Ac­cord­ing to a new study by the Pew Re­search group, Tiller’s mur­der re­ceived 90 per­cent more news cov­er­age than the crime against Long. Un­be­liev­able.

It is flat-out wrong for the news me­dia to un­der-re­port a story where an Amer­i­can Mus­lim guns down two Amer­i­can sol­diers in a small Arkansas town. Just a few years ago, that kind of jour­nal­is­tic ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity would have been se­verely crit­i­cized. But not now. To­day, news re­port­ing is a dif­fer­ent story.

As has been well doc­u­mented, the Amer­i­can me­dia are now in the ide­ol­ogy busi­ness, and Mr. Obama has been a big ben­e­fi­ciary of that. Not only did most jour­nal­ists vote for him, as the pres­i­dent re­cently pointed out, but the me­dia ac­tively aided his can­di­dacy by pro­vid­ing him with fa­vor­able cov­er­age. And that con­tin­ues to this day.

The news me­dia may be­lieve they are help­ing Mr. Obama by avoid­ing the con­stant vi­o­lence of Mus­lim ter­ror­ism, but the prac­tice is putting all of us in dan­ger. How many more Bled­soes are roam­ing around? Good ques­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, you won’t get an an­swer on the nightly news.

Bill O’Reilly is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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