Not to be outdone by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump -- who in a powerful homeland security speech on Monday laid waste to the progressive ideology that has enabled Islamic terrorism to proliferate on our shores -- President Obama defended his refusal to use the terms "Islamic terrorism" and "radical Islam."
The disgraced Washington Post characterized Obama's speech as "his most forceful rebuttal to Trump since the real estate mogul became the presumptive GOP presidential nominee."
During his speech, delivered on Tuesday, Obama continued to use the acronym ISIL instead of ISIS as he doubled down on his refusal to say the term "radical Islam":
And let me make a final point. For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize the administration and me for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key, they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.
What exactly would using this label would accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?
The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.
No, the real political distraction is in calling the worst Islamic terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11 a "mass shooting" related to America's "obsession with guns." And no one ever said that calling Islamic terrorism what it is would, of itself, make the threat go away. The point is that Obama refuses to acknowledge that Islamic ideology is what drives our enemy, and that is the beginning of understanding how to confront and defeat them at home and abroad. Seven years of Obama's constant deflection of blame from Islam has done nothing to make jihad "go away," as he put it. The left's unwillingness to talk about it is in itself a major victory for the forces of Islamic fundamentalism.
"There has not been a moment in my 7.5 years as president where we have not able to pursue a strategy because we didn’t use the label 'radical Islam,'" Obama said.
"Not once has an adviser of mine said, 'Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around,' not once."
Given the advisers Obama keeps company with, we're fairly certain of that.