May 3, 2008

McCarthy With Rush

Andy McCarthy talks about Willful Blindness with Rush Limbaugh. In this excerpt, McCarthy is asked by Rush if we are still taking Islamic terror seriously...

MCCARTHY: We're taking it less seriously. I think there was a time right after 9/11, probably I put it at about 18 months -- probably into the Iraq operation, so longer than that -- that I think we really were taking it seriously. We certainly changed our enforcement methods. The Justice Department still had a role, but it was much more subordinate. The military was out front, which it needed to be in that phase, but there was a realization that it needed to be a wholesale government approach. But when I read things like what we've heard in the last few days about how we're getting guidance inside the government about purging our lexicon and saying things like jihadism and mujahideen and the like and --

RUSH: Wait. Wait, wait, wait! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Who's getting what? Guidance? Who in the government is sending this out to who?

MCCARTHY: Well, the reporting that's come out since -- I guess it was about April 24th -- is that the internal syncing at least in parts of the administration -- and this is something the State Department's pushed for a long time -- is that we make a mistake call jihadism, jihadism; because there are all kinds of jihad, not just forceable jihad. This is how the thinking goes. And, by the way, while there may be all kinds of jihad, jihad is a military concept. That's how it grew up. That's the reason there is a Muslim world in the first place. But secondly the idea is that when you call them jihadists, you are somehow emboldening them as if what they were relying on is how we regard them rather than how they see themselves. And that you also --

RUSH: So what are we supposed to call 'em?

MCCARTHY: Well, I'm down to thinking -- as I wrote in a piece in National Review a couple years ago, I think maybe -- we should just call it "Mabel" or something. Because it seems like everything that you say that touches on this... We're so intimidated by the idea that there's a religious label on this and everybody is so afraid of their shadow to talk about it, that whenever you say what is obvious -- which is that you can't take the "Islam" out of Islamic terror and that the main cause of this is not democracy or lack of democracy; or, you know, ancient hatreds or the economy, poverty, or whatever our excuse is this week. This is driven by doctrine. You know, we have poor people all over the world. They're not all committing terrorism.

In a related piece, McCarthy takes issue with the New York Sun's choice of Laurie Mylroie to review Willful Blindness. Much of Mylroie's thinking about Islamic terror has been publicly discredited, and McCarthy calls her "studiously uninformed about the jihadist threat."

UPDATE 5/6: Laurie Mylroie replies to McCarthy

Posted by dan at May 3, 2008 10:44 AM