Charlotte Hays

Perhaps the worst example was Vice President Joe Biden’s speech at the memorial service for slain MIT policeman Sean Collier, 27. No surprise, it was a masterpiece of bombastic denial. He referred to the bombers as “knock off jihadis,” which apparently is the state of the art term for two supremely successful terrorists who destroyed lives on a bright day in Boston. Like virtually everybody who has spoken in the aftermath of the bombings, the vice president didn’t entertain the notion that the terrorists might…win.

Although I argue that the Boston Strong rhetoric is a way of cloaking our fear, Biden asserted that we have not yielded to fear, weakened our constitutional protections (some might beg to differ), or closed our borders in response to terrorism. About those borders, Mr. Vice President, we don’t want to close them, Sir, but it might be a good idea in the future to stop people like Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the border. It is worth noting here that, according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke to Fox News, the student from Kazakhstan who was arrested in connection with the bombings had re-entered the United States without a valid student visa. So maybe a few changes at the border wouldn’t be such a bad idea, Mr. Biden.

"Whether it’s al-Qaida central out of the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] or two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knockoff jihadis here in Boston, why do they do what they do?” the anguished vice president asked. I could tell him, but I’d have to use the I-word.

So odious is facing the truth about Islamic terrorism that Department of Justice training material, according to Rep. Michele Bachmann, has removed references to Islamic terrorism. Could that be how the FBI and Homeland Security let Tamerlan Tsarnaev slip past them? After all, without the Islamic connection, he is just a thuggish guy living off the American taxpayer, no need to send him packing.

We can’t save ourselves by refusing to face reality and calling the terrorist dirty words—“cowardly” is a favorite epithet for these fierce killers who risk everything to destroy us—and pretending that somehow we’ll win merely because we tell ourselves we will win. Winston Churchill didn’t save England by saying that Hitler was a knock-off fuhrer.

On the eve of the Battle of Britain in 1940, Churchill, in a speech quite different from Biden’s oration at Sean Collier’s memorial, said this: "I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.”

One of the real heroes of this horror is Jeff Bauman Jr. Even as he was being wheeled into the hospital with his legs blown off, Bauman was giving authorities information to help them identify Tamerlan Tsarnaev. In a weary interview, Bauman said he still has “much to live for” but admitted he is “pissed.” Thank Heaven—somebody in Boston with the courage to be pissed.


Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.



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