President Obama has reached peak annoyance with the GOP and Donald Trump, as evidenced by today's speech following a press briefing. During this speech he talked about many issues regarding national security, ISIS and our continued battle on terror. In this clip, he highlights the GOP and Trump's ridiculous focus on the specific terminology he uses. Yes, words matter. Use the wrong words and ISIS won't think we are serious. The second we call them that magic phrase, like in Beetlejuice, they will all disappear to a dimension far far away. Right?
Here is what President Obama said:
"Let me make a final point. For a while now the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase "Radical Islam."
"That's the key" they tell us. "We can't beat ISIL unless we call them Radical Islamists."
What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy served by this? The answer is none of the above.
Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.
Since before I was President, I have been clear about how extremist groups have perverted Islam to justify terrorism. As President, I have repeatedly called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of one of the worlds great religions.
There has not been a moment in my seven and a half years as President where we have not been able to pursue a strategy because we didn't use the label "Radical Islam."
Not once has an adviser of mine said "man, if we really used that phrase we are going to turn this whole thing around." Not once. So someone seriously thinks that we don't know who we are fighting? If there is anyone out there who thinks we are confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists we have taken off the battlefield.
If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people around the country and around the world who are working to defeat ISIL aren't taking the fight seriously, that would come as a surprise to those who spent these last seven and a half years dismantling Al-Quada and Fataa, for example, including the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk, the Special Forces that I ordered to get Bin Laden, and are now in the ground in Iraq and in Syria.
They know full well who the enemy is. So do the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spent countless hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans, including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows."
"They knew who the nature of the enemy is. So there is no magic to the phrase "Radical Islam." It's a political talking point. It's not a strategy. And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism. Groups like ISIL and Al-Queda want to make this war a war between Islam and America. Or between Islam and the West. They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the world who rejected their crazy notions. They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billions of people, that they speak for Islam.
That's their propaganda. That's how they recruit. And if we fall into a trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush, and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists work for them.
Up until this point, the argument about labels has mostly just been partisan rhetoric, and sadly we have all become accustomed to that kind of partisanship, even when it involves the fight against these extremist groups."
How fast do you think Donald Trump's baby hands are typing out a series of poorly edited and mispelled tweets blasting Obama for hurting his delicate feelings and ending with the word "SAD!"
Update: The Orange One has responded, with the usual protofascistic talk.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) June 14, 2016