On January 12, 2015 FOX News anchorwoman, Martha MacCallum, had an exchange with the deputy State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf. The topic was the White House’s persistent refusal to use the adjective “Islamic” as a descriptor of the terrorism that people now face around the world in places as diverse as Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Fort Hood Texas, Boston Massachusetts and New York City. The dialogue was as follows:
MacCallum: “Every time we see this exchange [with this administration] it seems like the [White House’s] answer is so tortured. Like it’s so difficult to say what everybody around the world seems to feel so clearly it is. And what the leaders have said in Canada and Australia and Paris, where they have felt it so potently and personally — they’ve all said quite clearly that the battle is against Islamic extremism. Why is that so hard to say?”
Harf: “Much [of the terrorism] is Islamic, but some of it not, so we are going to focus on the different kinds of extremism…that are also important”
MacCallum: “Let me ask you this, what other forms of extremism [can you cite]?”
Harf: “Well, look, there are people out there doing terrorism for a variety of causes.”
Note that no examples are given. Harf simply changed the subject and uses the rhetorical tactic of evasion and deflection.
MacCallum: “I just think a lot of other different countries listen to this and scratch their heads and wonder why it’s so hard for us to [identify our enemy].”
The White House’s response as represented by Marie Harf’s comments is absurdity to the extreme. Why does this administration continue to serve as the lead apologist for a worldview that is so clearly set against us; one that is diametrically opposed to the morality and virtues engendered by a Judeo-Christian ethic; one whose laws and values stand in opposition to those of a free society and free people? Why does our State Department continue to force feed the American public this painfully flawed syncretistic logic (or lack thereof) of all religions and all ideologies being similarly committed to extremism and terror?
To paraphrase Martha MacCallum: What worldview was responsible for the Shoe Bomber, the Beltway Sniper, and the Fort Hood Shooter? What ideology inspired the underwear Bomber and the bombings of the USS Cole, the London Subway, the Moscow theatre and the Boston Marathon? Who were the Air France Entebbe hijackers? Who attacked the Iranian Embassy, the Beirut Embassy, the Kenyan embassy and the Benghazi embassy? Who celebrated the destruction of the Beirut Marine Barracks and took joy in the first World Trade Center bombings? Who attacked Bombay and Mumbai? Who sprayed machine gun fire on the Achille Lauro? What worldview inspired the 9/11 Hijackers? Who danced in the streets when the World Trade Center finally fell in 2001?
There are countless terror organizations that explicitly espouse one worldview: ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Liberation Front–the list goes on and on. Why won’t Marie Harf (and the White House by inference) answer Martha MacCallum’s question? Where are these “other people” that Harf references who are beheading journalists and crucifying women and impaling children of different faiths? Where is the evidence of a “variety of [other] causes,” i.e. other religions, that lead adherents and believers to celebrate such butchery against their detractors? Where are the parallel terrorist organizations for Catholics, Methodists, Mennonites, and Baptists who want to spray gunfire upon journalists who disagree with them? What evidence does the White House have of Anglicans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians executing cartoonists whose drawings are offensive? Where are the parallels? Where are these “other examples” that Marie Harf, the State Department, and the White House suggest justify our President’s head scratching obfuscation in defense of an enemy that seems so obvious and evil to the rest of the free world?
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Postscript: For anyone tempted to respond with the worn-out politically correct self-flagellation of the Inquisition, the Crusades, Old Testament violence, antebellum slavery and the like — please don’t. Reformation and revival exist nearly exclusively within Christendom for a reason: There is a True North in Christianity (unlike other worldviews) called the Gospel that reforms, revives and restores when its adherents lose their way. See MLK’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail as but one example.
Talking Points With President Piper is a weekly column featured in the Examiner-Enterprise newspaper. In addition to serving as the Oklahoma Wesleyan President, Dr. Everett Piper is also a frequent guest commentator on a variety of talk radio programs across the nation, as well as a published author and essayist.