(The following is an adaptation of a talk that I recently gave.)
Every act of violence has two sides. The side of those who carry it and the side of those who let it happen.
When a burglar breaks into a home and kills two people, we don't just discuss what made him do it, but why it was allowed to happen.
That's a conversation we rarely have about terrorism. The left wants us to talk about terrorism as a reaction to something that we as a society or a nation did. It doesn't want to talk about how it smoothes the way for terrorists to do what they do.
The left has a long history of being soft on crime and empowering criminals because it rejects the idea that society is good and criminals are bad. Instead it flips the equation around. Criminals are good because society is bad.
The man with a house full of stuff is bad for keeping it from the burglar who just wants to have some of the good life.
Now America is bad. It's bad for wanting to have the good life. It's bad for wanting to protect its own people. It's privileged. And to the left, privileged is the dirtiest word it can think of. The left will put on NEA sponsored plays full of every possible obscenity, but privilege is what it considers a really dirty word.
The left doesn't accept the basic parameters of our society. It doesn't accept that if you buy a house, it's yours. It doesn't accept that if you work 100 hours for 10 dollars an hour that you're entitled to a thousand dollars. It doesn't believe that you built anything.
And so it doesn't accept the idea that stealing or killing is wrong.
The left doesn't accept that the United States has a right to safe and secure borders. It doesn't accept that when it comes to immigration policy or to terrorism.
The left doesn't accept that the United States has a right to exist.
This is where the left finds common ground with Islamic terrorists. Islamic terrorists and the left both agree that the United States is an immoral society. They agree that the United States must be fundamentally transformed.
They just disagree on what it needs to be transformed into.
The left does not believe that violence is an illegitimate means of political change. If it did, you wouldn't see those Che shirts and the Haymarket bombers wouldn't have their own memorial in Chicago.
The left believes that there are two kinds of political violence; legitimate and illegitimate.
The difference between the two isn't about soldiers and civilians or about the scale. The Soviet Union killed huge amounts of innocent people. Bill Ayers was thinking in terms of killing millions.
It's about the ideology.
The left divides political violence into the illegitimate violence of the oppressors and the legitimate violence of the oppressed.
The violence of the oppressors is the violence of people who have homes that they want to keep. The violence of the oppressed is the violence of the burglars.
The left will ruthlessly suppress what it calls the violence of the oppressors, but it will make excuses for and even collaborate in the violence of the oppressed.
When it comes to the violence of the oppressors, the left will say that we need to use every possible means to stamp it out and destroy the mindset that makes it possible. We need to open reeducation camps, drag people out of their homes in the middle of the night and lock them up for believing the wrong thing.
But when it comes to the violence of the oppressed, the left will make excuses. It will say this young fellow had a bad life. He had some setbacks. He couldn't succeed as a boxer. He picked up some PTSD at his job. He was angry at American foreign policy.
He was one of the oppressed. And the left lies about and makes excuses for the oppressed.
To the left, Islamic terrorism is the violence of the oppressed. It's not the evil violence of the homeowner shooting a burglar, but the moral violence of the burglar who just wants to redistribute some wealth.
Even moderate liberals don't want to deal with the reality of Muslim violence because it ruins their multicultural paradise.
Muslim violence is the snake in their multicultural garden of eden. If they admit that Muslim immigration is endangering the country, then they have to rethink immigration. If they admit that there is something wrong with at least some forms of Islam, then they have to question their belief that all cultures are good... except Western culture.
Don't fight crime. Fight the root causes of crime. Fight poverty. Fight neglect. Fight inequality. Spend billions to fight poverty in the Muslim world. Fight Islamophobia in America. Do all the other soft on crime stuff that nearly destroyed most American cities.
And most of all... deny that there is a problem.
Liberals or leftists don't see Islam for what it is. They see it for what they want it to be.
They see it as the burglar trying to break into Uncle Sam's house. They don't want to talk about how to stop the burglar. They want to talk about how to make the burglar feel better about himself.
And so they tell NASA that its prime directive is to make burglars feel better about themselves.
And the thing that makes burglars feel bad is to be associated with crime. Instead the word goes out to emphasize that only a very tiny minority of burglar extremists is associated with breaking into houses. The rest just practice some form of moderate breaking and entering.
We have to recognize that all the breaking and entering comes from legitimate grievances, not criminal intent. Deal with the grievances and there will be no more burglaries so long as we don't make the burglars feel like criminals.
If we don't believe they're burglars, they won't be burglars, the ostrich says.
If we don't recognize terrorism, then terrorism won't recognize us, the left says.
The left operates on this strange kind of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It believes that if we don't recognize that Islamic terrorism exists, then Muslims will stop being terrorists.
If we stop calling Islamic terrorism, Islamic, then Muslims will stop seeing Al Qaeda as Islamic. This is the actual argument that gets made by liberal experts on terrorism over and over again.
If we stick our heads in the sand, the Muslim world will do it too.
That doesn't work. The Muslim world will not put on a blindfold just because we put one on. Instead the blindfold makes it impossible for us to recognize Islam as the connecting principle of the War on Terror.
What links a Major Nidal Hasan to a Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the next guy plotting a terrorist attack? If you take Islam out of the equation then there is no link. There is no motive. Just random acts of workplace violence by failed boxers and army doctors.
Terrorism denial takes motive out of the equation. There is no longer a motive. Just senseless violence. And without motive, you can't profile or predict. Without motive, narrowing down suspects becomes very difficult.
If the Boston bombers hadn't struck at a public event in an age where everyone totes their own smartphones, how much time would law enforcement have spent chasing the Tea Party tax protesters that the establishment wanted them to find?v
Would the terrorists have been able to buy enough time to make it to New York City and carry out the next phase of their plan while law enforcement was knocking on the doors of people who are angry about paying too many taxes to subsidize the likes of Tamerlan Tsarnaev?
Why was Tamerlan Tsarnaev given a pass despite his history of violence and interest in Jihad?
Because there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. Just anger over foreign policy. As a Chechen, it was assumed that Tamerlan was angry about Russian foreign policy. And this isn't Russia. So there was no problem.
Islam was the missing link. Without Islam, there was no reason for Tamerlan Tsarnaev to carry out an attack in Boston rather than Moscow. With Islam there was every reason for him to fight on the front that he was most familiar with.
There is a reason the burglar got in the house, killed 4 people and wounded many more. It's because we refused to recognize what motivates him.
A Chechen Muslim Jihadist, like a Mali Muslim Jihadist and a Syrian Muslim Jihadist and a Taliban Jihadist fights locally, but thinks globally.
We didn't deal with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in time because we thought it was a local problem. What do the Taliban have to do with New York or Washington?
What does Chechnya have to do with Boston?
There is no such thing as purely local Islamic terrorism. Islam is transnational.
An Islamic terrorist anywhere is a potential threat everywhere. Bring him to America, let him into the country and he is a threat right here, the same way that a Communist was a threat to any country he ended up in.
Understanding that is the key to fighting Islamic terrorism. But the media and the political
establishment insist that we go deeper into denial after every terrorist attack. Stick our heads deeper in the sand and maybe whatever is trying to eat us will stop being angry and go away.
Terrorism denial is the biggest threat to America. The terrorists alone can't destroy us. Not even if they detonate a weapon of mass destruction on American soil. But pretending that they don't exist can give them the time to get big enough.
It takes two parties to break into a home. The burglar and a society that accepts crime as normal or misunderstood.
When it comes to terrorism, most Western countries have taken the attitude that terrorists are misunderstood. And that's true. Terrorists are misunderstood and they are the ones who refuse to understand them.
Muslim terrorists are not suffering from too many blows to the head or secondhand PTSD. They have a purpose. Terrorism denial ignores that purpose and makes it easier for them to win.