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Lieberman: Obama’s concern with offending Muslims is hurting the war effort

2 September 2011 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Joe Liberman

Joe Liberman

Last month Lieberman argued that we should cut social security to pay for fighting Islamic extremists. This month he is arguing that Obama is afraid to offend Muslims. He is making no sense these days and beginning to sound a lot like Robert Spencer.

Lieberman: Obama’s concern with offending Muslims is hurting the war effort

By Jordy Yager – 09/01/11 02:03 PM ET

The Obama administration’s fear of offending Muslims will hurt the U.S. war against terrorism, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday in a speech blasting the president’s new counterterrorism strategy.

Lieberman said that Obama’s strategy, which was released in June, “was ultimately a big disappointment,” and while it successfully identified the core of the domestic radicalization problem, it did not establish a clear plan of attack to deal with the growing issue.

The four-term senator and one-time presidential candidate said one of the key problems with the Obama administration’s strategy was that it continues to call terrorism that aims to harm the U.S., “violent extremism” instead of “violent Islamist extremism.”

“The administration still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name: violent Islamist extremism,” Lieberman said, speaking at a National Press Club event hosted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

“To call our enemy ‘violent extremism’ is so general and vague that it ultimately has no meaning. The other term used sometimes is Al Qaeda and its allies. Now that’s better but it is still too narrow and focuses us on groups as opposed to what I would call an ideology, which is what we’re really fighting.”

Lieberman, who as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has held numerous hearings on the issue of Islamic extremism, said that Obama needs to stop being afraid of offending the overwhelmingly large portion of law-abiding and well-intentioned Muslims with his rhetoric.

“I assume the refusal of the administration to speak honestly about the enemy is based on its desire not to do anything that might feed into al Qaeda’s propaganda that we’re engaged in a cold war against Islam,” he said. “But that is so self-evidently a lie that we can and have refuted it and I think we’ve done so effectively.”

The issue of singling out Muslims in the U.S.’s war against terrorists came to a head earlier this year when Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) held the first in his series of hearings on American-Muslim radicalization.

Nearly 100 Democratic lawmakers wrote to King, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and asked him to expand the scope of the hearing to include other radical extremists groups, such as white supremacists, environmental extremists, and animal-rights activists. King declined to expand the hearing’s scope and heralded it as a success for drawing attention to an issue that lawmakers and government officials avoid too often.

Lieberman referenced these sentiments on Thursday, saying that though they are extremist groups, they do not constitute the threat the U.S. currently faces.

“We’re not in a global war with those [groups],” he said. “We’re in a global war that affects our homeland security with Islamist extremists.”

The U.S.’s successful war against terrorists depends on the administration’s ability to correctly identify who its enemy is, Lieberman said.

“To win this struggle, it’s vital that we understand that we’re not just fighting an organization al Qaeda,” he said. “We are up against a broader ideology, if you will, a politicized theology, quite separate from the religion of Islam, that has fueled this war.

“Success in the war will come consequently not when a single terrorist group or its affiliates are eliminated but when the broader sets of ideas that are associated with it are rejected and discarded. A reluctance therefore to identify our enemy as violent Islamist extremism makes it harder I think to mobilize effectively to fight this war of ideas,” Lieberman said.

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12 Comments »

  1. Lieberman is nothing if not totally pathetic.

  2. If he wants a war, why doesn’t HE go fight it!

  3. When George W. Bush consistently stated that terrorism was not part of Islam, Lieberman, and the other paranoia and hate mongers, had no problem with him not associating the two.

  4. To call a “war” on terrorism is so vague Senator Lieberman and the people killed, tortured, raped, degraded and terrorized in the name of that “war” is just criminal. You say it’s an ideology that the US is fighting. So you fight an ideology with missiles, guns and soldiers breaking down doors and terrorizing families in Iraq and Afghanistan? I don’t know, maybe I’ve been out of the US for too long but I seem to be missing something. Or maybe I never got it and that’s why I’ve been out of the US for so long.

  5. No Mr Lieberman wants to play Golf while sending American kids to fight. Obviously now according to Mr Liberman the war seems to be not only about extremist but anyone with a Muslim name. Pathetic!!

  6. I just don’t get it, why does the term “violent Islamist extremism” upset Muslims? You mean it doesn’t exist? So the video that was sent to me of a six year old sawing some ones head off and reciting from the Quran was a fake?

  7. This is for: “Love Them Moonbats”..Salam Alaikom, I wish to make you aware of the real facts about what you saying here. People who would do such things…ARE NOT MUSLIMS AT ALL! The public doesn’t seem to get this fact. If a person says they are any religion at all and they do things that their Holy Books do not support at all..which this action is not supported in the Holy Qur’an at all!…then they are not that thing. It is a simple fact but a tactic people use when they hate Muslim’s..the Hell Fires are waiting for such a person who would saw someone’s head off. This is not anything at all in Islam…never. Neither are about a thousand other things that all the Islamaphobe’s say…that hurt all of us out here alot. I wish for you God Willing to rethink your positions and please..do read our Holy Book so you will then know what we believe. Because I am sure you are a very nice person and would appreciate knowing the truth Those who are fakes..are not Muslim’s at all. And it goes for all religions..in all they would do.. Thank you. Ani

  8. Love Them Moonbats, Yes I would say that picture was a fake and to answer your original question, we get upset because there is really so little “violent Islamist extremism” that only represents a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world that it gets tiring and upsetting to have this small minority portrayed as the norm for Muslims.

  9. More than a million people killed in IRAK, and how many stories of US soldiers killing innocent civilians in the name of Christianity. May be you missed those news. I guess thy can not be called extremists because they are not Muslims I guess. an Extremist is an Extremist reardless of his belief, but ofcourse for you it does not work that way.

  10. salim,

    seriously ???????? a million????????? “More than a million people killed in IRAK, and how many stories of US soldiers killing innocent civilians in the name of Christianity. May be you missed those news. I guess thy can not be called extremists because they are not Muslims I guess. an Extremist is an Extremist reardless of his belief, but ofcourse for you it does not work that way.”

    post even the most radical stats? “May be you missed those news” post a link….were do you get this from??????

    “US soldiers killing innocent civilians in the name of Christianity” you sure that us soldiers are christians? sure they are killing in the name of christianity????? maybe they are jinn????

  11. Salim,
    How many deaths of innocent Muslim civilians can be blamed on other Muslims? It would appear to me that every day there are Muslims killing innocent Muslims. How many Muslims did Saddam have killed?

    ….and what news are you reading?

  12. Lovethemmoonbats

    Many. And like many other leaders (unfortunatley) they kills Arabs and Muslims off, you know the normal ones that just want to live peacefully and not fight. Suddam, Bin Laden, all those corrupt and sick people killed not ust U.S. soldiers ut their own peole. In the name of Islam my ass. Ugh. Sometimes I wish God would come down and just straighten everything out. But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. I’m stranded in a world of ignorant peope and educated people who battle it out in the stupidest of ways. And of course there are the stupid ones that throw bombs on people and others that claim its all in the name of “insert religion here”

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