Earlier this month Obama administration assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John O. Brennan gave a speech outlining the administration’s deep thoughts on combating terrorism. The speech — “A New Approach for Safeguarding Americans” — “conveniently outlined the administration’s present and future policy mistakes,” in the words of Daniel Pipes.
If you seek a handy compilation of the shibboleths that now guide our approach to the phenomenon formerly known as Islamist terrorism, Brennan’s speech is must reading. To take one example cited by Pipes, Brennan rejects any connection between “violent extremism” and Islam: “Using the legitimate term jihad, which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.” Any connection between Islam and Islamist terrorism is purely coincidental. While Brennan’s take on jihad may be a big hit in Obama’s White House, it is not exactly authoritative.
Pipes also captures the tone of Obama worship in which the speech is pitched: “Disturbingly, Brennan ascribes virtually every thought or policy in his speech to the wisdom of the One. This cringe-inducing lecture reminds one of a North Korean functionary paying homage to the Dear Leader.” You might say that Obama and Brennan worship at the same shrine.
Pipes concludes with a reasonable prediction: “Implementation of the inept policies outlined by Brennan spells danger for Americans, American interests, and American allies. The bitter consequences of these mistakes soon enough will become apparent.”
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