On Wednesday, President Obama told the American people he plans to “degrade” and “destroy” ISIS. In doing so, the President also sought to redefine the nature of the enemy - saying the terror group is neither “Islamic” nor “a state.” On radio this morning, Glenn looked at the historical danger of not calling the enemy by its name.
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not ‘Islamic,’” Obama said on Wednesday. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”
“And ISIL is certainly not a state,” he continued. “It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.”
Considering the ethos of ISIS, which claims to be rooted in Islam – albeit extreme Islam – Glenn was concerned about Obama’s unwillingness to call evil by its name.
“We should start calling this ‘psychotic Islam,’” Glenn said. “This is so insulting. Who is [Obama] saying this to?”
Glenn used Nazi Germany as a historical example.
“Here's the problem: We didn't have leaders back in the day saying that Nazis aren't German. Yes, they are,” Glenn said. “Nazis were German. But not all Germans [are Nazis], and we get that.”
While the U.S. ultimately went to war against Germany to defeat the Nazis, Americans were among the first on the ground when the war was over to aid the moderate German people. The same is true and will continue to be true of the U.S. approach to Islamic extremism.
“Our fight was not against the German people. However, if you were involved with the Nazis, we were coming for you,” Glenn said. “Our fight is not against Islam. And every rational person knows that. Our fight is against those who claim Islam is psychotic. If you want to interpret the Koran that way… you are an enemy to all mankind. Let's stop calling it radicalized Islam – it's ‘psychotic Islam.’”
Ultimately, Glenn does not believe it is possible to succeed against an enemy group until it is identified, named, and targeted accordingly. If the Obama Administration is unwilling to do so, it is unclear what lies ahead.
“You're never going to win unless you can name your enemy. We can't name the enemy,” Glenn concluded. “If you can't name the enemy, how are you ever going to find them? How do you know who the bad guys and the good guys are?”
Front page image courtesy of the AP