Farewell, War on Terror
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.