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ISIS: The Case for Skepticism

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There is much talk about “the Islamic State,” or “ISIS,” or “ISIL,” or whatever we are calling it. To listen to the talking heads, both Democrats and Republicans, one could be forgiven for thinking that these 15,000 or so Muslim butchers are the biggest threat that the Western world has ever faced.


Of course, as is almost always the case, there is all of the difference in the world between the conventional wisdom and reality.

By now, no one who’s been alive for more than a few years, and certainly no one who has acquired affection for liberty, needs to be told that the government and its apologists in the media are not infrequently less than fully honest. So, when a bipartisan consensus emerges over any issue of the day, those of us who have long ago tired of cheerleading for one team or the other shouldn’t respond with anything other than skepticism.

And when politicians and polemicists of both national parties would have us believe that this issue is greater than any other, those who have been deceived one too many times can’t but meet such assurances with anything less than incredulity.

This lover of liberty is saying it: The notion that ISIS is an imminent danger that America must either face or be destroyed is a lie of epic proportions. It is also the offspring of the union of the same two factors—political opportunism and alarmism—that beget every national “crisis.”

There are two decisive considerations that bear this out.

First, if we are really all that interested in protecting ourselves against threats to our national security, and if we really believe that Islamic terrorists constitute the gravest danger, then one of the most rudimentary things that we need to do is to identify the enemy for what it is. It’s a cliché, but it’s true, that the first step toward defeating a problem is to acknowledge that there is one. This, in turn, requires that the problem be properly diagnosed.


However, this is something that Democrats and Republicans resolutely refuse to do.

Democrats can scarcely, if ever, bring themselves to even utter the word “Islamic” in connection with terrorism, and President Obama, even while addressing the nation with respect to ISIS, goes so far as to insist that this is not an Islamic organization!

Republicans, though, are hardly any better. While they (rightly) criticized Obama for making such a wildly preposterous statement, Republicans regularly imply that “World War IV,” as neoconservative writer Norman Podhoretz characterizes “the War on Terror,” has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam.

Rather, the fight to which Republicans want for Americans to commit their collective heart and soul is a fight against “radical Islam,” “Islamism,” “Islamo-fascism,” “Islamo-nazism,” “Islamic extremism,” and whatever other names they can invent to conceal the nature and identity of the enemy.

Since they are so fond of drawing parallels between the so-called “War on Terror”—notice, even here they can’t bring themselves to say Islamic terror—and World War II, we can ask Republicans: What would have happened if the Allied forces during WWII distinguished between “radical Nazis” and “moderate Nazis,” or “fascist extremists” and “moderate fascists?”

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, set the precedent for violence generally, and beheadings specifically, when, upon conquering his enemies, he decapitated, en masse, 700 of them. Those against whom we are now being urged to fight aren’t “radicals” or “extremists,” and they certainly aren’t “Islamists.”


They are Mohammedans.

But Republicans exhibit as much illiteracy—or dishonesty—when it comes to talk of Islam and Islamic terror as do the Democrats.

Secondly, anyone who carries on ad infinitum over the threat of ISIS while doing anything less than demanding an immediate moratorium on all immigration—both illegal and legal—to the United States is either a fool, a liar, or both.

As Brietbart reported last week, in just 2014 alone, a little under 500 illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries have been apprehended sneaking across our southern border. To put this number in perspective, it should be remembered that it took only 19 terrorists to bring about the fateful events of September 11, 2001.

And, lest it bears saying, it takes only one terrorist to detonate a bomb and slaughter thousands.

Yet not only hasn’t a single one of the politicians or media sensationalists who are now breaking out into cold sweats over ISIS come even close to calling for an abrupt halt on all immigration; they aren’t even calling to take the most rudimentary of steps in sealing our infamously porous borders.

Recall as well that many of these same people have advocated on behalf of amnesty (“comprehensive immigration reform”).

If Islamic terrorists compose the single most terrible danger with which Western civilization has to reckon, then those who believe this should invest a fraction of the energy they spend fretting over the borders of Middle Eastern countries into displaying some concern for our own borders.


Unless and until this happens—and I’m not holding my breath—no one with a modicum of intelligence should fail to recognize the buzz over ISIS for the hyperbole that it is.

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