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Naming the Enemy is Necessary to Protect Our Nation


Harry G. Hutchison

June 23, 2016

5 min read

National Security



It’s infuriating and outrageous. It would be laughable if so many lives and our national security weren’t on the line.

If you listen to the Obama Administration, then American leaders and citizens urging them to name our enemy as radical jihadists offer nothing but empty rhetoric and talking points. Recently, the American people have been treated to a disturbing spectacle as both the President and his press secretary have heaped ridicule on the idea that clearly identifying America’s enemies is helpful in winning the war against Islamic terrorist groups, who have so clearly declared war on us.

Apparently, uninformed by history, the Obama Administration continues to claim that it has implemented a strategy that puts increasing pressure on ISIS and as a consequence, the country is now safer because the Islamic State is in retreat. Such claims, which are widely contradicted by evidence on the ground, are reinforced by the President’s consistent failure to understand the legitimate fears of the American people as well as the lessons of history.

Winston Churchill, acting forcefully to fight one of the greatest wars in history, said:

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Later, after the Battle of Dunkirk, in a speech designed to explain the resolve of freedom-loving people to stand up to evil, Churchill offered a conclusion that explains perfectly what is missing in President’s Obama policy and what is missing in Attorney General Lynch’s censoring of Omar Mateen’s 911 call, as well as, what was missing in the Obama Administration’s lame attempts to place the destruction of the U.S. compound in Benghazi on an internet video.

Churchill rightfully concluded:

We shall go to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans . . .we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds . . . we shall never surrender.

Churchill’s analysis, which is recounted at length in ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow’s forthcoming book, Unholy Alliance, points out what is sadly missing in the Obama Administration’s policy on jihadists’ terror: resolve that would unite all Americans irrespective of political affiliation.

In a world currently rife with countries that support terror, with news that ISIS now has armies in six countries in addition to Syria and Iraq and with CIA Director Brennan’s statement that the Islamic State is on the march, resolve matters.

President Obama has consistently failed to name our enemy. He desires to create a modern international community based on mutual respect, international security and global prosperity. This approach constitutes a false narrative and false dichotomy because those things remain unachievable when the United States faces a serious security threat.  Anyone who truly values mutual respect, international security, and global prosperity would realize that completely destroying ISIS and squashing jihadist terror is a necessary prerequisite to achieving these things.

Naming our enemy is the first step in mustering sufficient resolve. This is a necessary first step but it cannot be the only step in destroying ISIS.  I have previously written in more detail about the ACLJ’s additional steps that the U.S. must take to stamp out these jihadists.

No matter how frequently Attorney General Lynch scrubs the record of references to the Islamic State, and no matter how frequently she proclaims her commitment to transparency, the evidence remains clear to most Americans. Just like the attack on Benghazi, which the Administration wrongly blamed on an obscure video and just like Omar Mateen’s un-redacted 911 call reveals, terror whether at home or abroad is motivated largely by allegiance to radical Islam and Sharia law.

What is sadly missing in America’s current response to terror is leadership that clearly and unmistakably demonstrates resolve in the face of the enemy. The first step in doing so requires that we name our enemy, which is much more than a talking point – it’s a fundamentally necessary first step towards winning. Failure to do this hampers our anti-terror efforts and shows contempt for the American people’s intelligence.

Correcting this policy failure is the first step in ending atrocities like those in San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, and beyond to parts of the world where Christians are being tortured, enslaved, and extinguished. We must act decisively before it’s too late.

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