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Rep. Shadegg: Obama Terror Terminology Misleads

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2009 04:40 PM

President Obama’s effort to banish the term “war on terror” misleads the American people and is demoralizing to those fighting terrorists, Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., tells Newsmax.

By calling the war on terror an “overseas contingency operation” against “man-caused disasters,” the administration denies the reality of what we are fighting, Shadegg says.

Evidently, “The Obama administration wants not to offend the Muslim world or the Middle East . . .,” Shadegg says. “We are now going to use ‘overseas contingency operation.’ What in the world that means, I have no idea.”

As for the effort by Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, to refer to terrorism as “man-caused disasters,” Shadegg says most people understand the term “disaster” to refer to unintentional acts, not intentional acts.

“I believe that if you aren’t willing to acknowledge the threat that your enemies actually pose, then you increase the risk of danger from them,” Shadegg says. “I think that the American people, rather than having the threat of radical Islam diminished, should indeed be taught more and more about it.”

Shadegg says Obama is wrong if he thinks the term “terrorists” would be misunderstood as referring to moderate Muslims.

“I don’t think anybody who talks about Muslims and extremism or radical Islamist extremism is talking about moderate Muslims,” Shadegg says. “Indeed, I think we should be working with moderate Muslims. There are high-profile moderate Muslims in my community here in Arizona that I have reached out to. The moderate Muslims that I’ve spoken to are not offended when you talk about extremist Muslims or radical Muslims. Nobody is confused about the fact that there are some Muslims who chant ‘death to America’ and who populate terrorist camps and engage in terrorist training and terrorist acts, including suicide bombing attacks.”

At first when he heard the new terminology, Shadegg didn’t know what to make of it.

“Now I understand that their purpose is in fact not to offend the terrorists or not to offend those in the Middle East,” Shadegg says. “That brings to mind the image of Neville Chamberlain and his policies of appeasement.”

To use terms “that no one can comprehend, I believe misleads the American people and will cause them to be less aware of the threat that is posed,” Shadegg says.

At the same time, telling FBI agents, CIA officers, and military forces who are fighting terrorists that calling them what they are is frowned upon is demoralizing, Shadegg observes.

“This has a negative impact on our troops, who are engaged with serious opponents whose goal is to kill them, and on our military experts and intelligence officers and FBI agents,” Shadegg says. “By shying away from the correct terminology, we are pretending this is something other than a serious threat. We are deluding ourselves as to the intention of the people engaged in this conflict.”

The same tendency to placate others seems to be behind Obama’s order to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Shadegg says. Fearing that Obama might send detainees to U.S. prisons, Shadegg introduced a bill that would bar any such transfers. Since he introduced it, Shadegg points out, Attorney General Eric Holder has explicitly stated that detainees will in fact be sent to U.S. prisons.

Conditions at Guantanamo Bay are superior to any U.S. prison, Shadegg says, and transferring terrorists to the U.S. risks attacks by al-Qaida and by incarcerated terrorists.

“How safe would you feel if a federal prison in your neighborhood held some of these detainees?” Shadegg asks. “What if you have a prison guard that works in and out of the prison every day, and somebody kidnaps his wife or his children, and says look we’re going to hold them for ransom until you help us spring one of these people out?”

Transferring Islamic radicals to U.S. prisons will give them an opportunity to try to convert other prisoners to their cause, Shadegg says.

“Now American prisoners can learn directly from a genuine jihadist what jihad is all about,” Shadegg observes.

“The administration believes that by somehow appeasing a perceived enemy, that will cause them not to engage in any harmful conduct,” Shadegg says. But as Neville Chamberlain’s effort to appease Adolf Hitler showed, “appeasement does not work,” Shadegg says.

By trying to “appease the other side,” Shadegg says, “we demoralize those whose life’s work is protect us, and by doing that, we are in fact placing ourselves at greater risk.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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President Obama’s effort to banish the term “war on terror” misleads the American people and is demoralizing to those fighting terrorists, Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., tells Newsmax. By calling the war on terror an “overseas contingency operation” against “man-caused...
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 04:40 PM
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