Foxnews.com reported in 2010 that, according to counterterrorism officials, there was a proposal by the Obama administration to remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the National Security Strategy document, a radical shift in language from previous documents. That year, the Washington Times reported, the Department of Homeland Security's Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, "...does not use the words "Islam" or "Islamist" a single time.
How will erasing a few words from the National Security Strategy lead to Muslim nations making nice? The president's 2009 "outreach" speech in Cairo did nothing to change the dynamic between many Muslim nations and the West, and there appears little or no evidence that similar efforts have changed anything since.
Here is what the National Security Strategy document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war said: "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the greatest ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century." Is this not true? If it is true, how will massaging the language reduce the likelihood of future terrorist acts? How will not fitting the punishment to the crime make us any safer?
Having removed many of the boundaries of right and wrong and forgetting what makes an American an American, we are finding it difficult now to redraw boundaries that will keep us safe at a time when we need it most.
Call terror by its rightful name. Judge Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by the crimes he has committed and let his punishment fit them.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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