The third anniversary of Sept. 11 is upon us. We remain at war -- and the media remain in denial.
How many times have you picked up a newspaper and read about terrorist attacks perpetrated not by Muslim terrorists, but by generic "militants" or "guerrillas" or "rebels" or, as Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes noted the Pakistan Times called them, "activists"?
Contrast the media whitewashing of our Islamofascist enemies with the press coverage of the Waco, Texas, siege in 1993 -- which constantly reminded us that David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers were members of a "peculiar religious sect" (New York Times, March 3, 1993) and "a group of religious zealots with a known propensity for violence" (Washington Post, March 2, 1993) who were steeped in a "culture of Christian extremism" (San Francisco Chronicle, April 20, 1993).
A Nexis search of the terms "Branch Davidian" and "religious" and "cult" in The New York Times for the year 1993 yielded 151 hits. The vast majority of these references were in headlines and news articles, as opposed to editorials, letters or book reviews. A Nexis search of the terms "al Qaeda" and "religious" and "cult" in The New York Times for the year 2004 yielded just one article -- a magazine piece in March.
The mainstream media pounded President Bush for trying to explain that the War on Terror is unwinnable in a conventional sense. The mainstream press itself proves the president's point every time its reporters disguise the deadly fanatical nature of our opponents in this global war. How are we to win a war against blood-spattered enemies whom our own free press continues to protect through politically correct sanitization?
It wasn't no-name militants or wayward guerrillas who have butchered, beheaded and slaughtered thousands of innocents over the last three years alone. Anniversary reality check:
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Russia stabbed babies to death, shot toddlers in the back, forced children to eat rose petals and drink their own urine, raped teenage girls, executed their teachers and blew themselves up in a crowded school gymnasium. Death toll: 338.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Spain detonated bombs on four commuter trains during Madrid's rush hour. Death toll: 190.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Bali blew up a beach resort with an electronically triggered bomb at one bar and a car bomb hidden in a van at another nightclub filled with young Western tourists on holiday. Death toll: 202.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Pakistan kidnapped and beheaded American journalist Daniel Pearl.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Saudi Arabia kidnapped and beheaded American engineer Paul Johnson.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Iraq kidnapped and beheaded American independent contractor Nick Berg.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Iraq kidnapped and executed Italian security guard Fabrizio Quattrocchi.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in the Philippines kidnapped and killed American missionary Martin Burnham.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Israel engineered near-simultaneous suicide attacks on two buses, killing at least 15 people.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Morocco waged suicide bombing attacks in Casablanca.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in Turkey bombed synagogues and the British consulate.
In the name of Allah, Muslim terrorists in America hijacked and incinerated three planes full of men, women and children, trapped pregnant women and firefighters in smoke-filled stairways, and forced office workers to leap 99 stories to their deaths after saying final prayers from the ledges of the World Trade Center on a peaceful September morning. Death toll: 3,000.
They tell us to "never forget." First, let's stop misremembering.
Correction: I misspelled the name of New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick in last week's column. My apologies.