One of the most famous sayings of the Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky was this: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." It's one of the few correct things that violent Communist ever said.
President Obama is clearly not interested in war. And he has stacked his administration with people who are similarly not interested. This is especially true when it comes to Islamist terrorists. They may make war on us, but to Mr. Obama and his team, these are "man-caused disasters" or, preferably, domestic crimes to be dealt with in the normal course of the administration of justice.
Catch them mass murdering here, then read them their Miranda rights, let them be "lawyered up" with free counsel. Members of what former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy calls "the al Qaeda bar" can always be found to represent those accused of mass murderers pro bono.
It is hardly possible for Americans to defend ourselves, if the Obama administration refuses even to name what it is we are fighting against. War-even "holy war"-is interested in us whether or not Mr. Obama's appointees recognize it or not.
In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, many media outlets were hoping for a white, right wing perpetrator, another Tim McVeigh. They openly dreaded the thought that this heinous terrorist attack might have come from a jihadist. When the Tsarnaev brothers were caught, some conservative jabbed that the left had gotten its wish: They are Caucasians, but they are Muslims from the Russian province of Chechnya.
President Obama's man at CIA, Director John Brennan, strongly denounced even the use of the terms jihad, jihadist, jihadi. In 2010, he said that jihad is a "legitimate tenet of Islam."
It staggers the mind to think that Mr. Brennan is now in charge of central intelligence. He deliberately looks away from obvious drivers of international terrorism. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was under no such misapprehension. On a Sunday news talk show recently, Sen. Feinstein, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, correctly pointed out the jihadist motives of the Tsarnaev brothers. She said:
However, we do know that there was very likely a call from Russia before he went back to Dagestan and Chechnya, asking about it. I think just conjecture would lead one to believe that this may have come from his running jihadist sites on his Web site. Anyway, he went home for six months. That's a lapse. We will find out what happened during those six months. I think there is likely going to be an assessment that this was somebody who did want to participate in a jihadist event.
We cannot possibly counter the murderous aims of jihadists if we refuse to admit that jihad has taken on the form of terrorist attacks. We will then, in Andy McCarthy's telling phrase, have willfully blinded ourselves.
What Sen. Feinstein's statement proves is that there are still liberals who are willing to name the threat-however much we may disagree about how to counter it. If you cannot even name the threat, you will never see it.
The Boston Marathon bombing should at least expose the flawed thinking of CIA Director John Brennan. Will he guard us against jihadists intent on mass murder?
Compare President Obama's trivializing of the terror threat with the unflinching realism of President Reagan. In his 1989 Farewell Address to the Nation, Mr. Reagan welcomed the new thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations and recognized that Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev was different than all his predecessors in the Kremlin.
I think he knows some of the things wrong with his society and is trying to fix them. We wish him well. And we'll continue to work to make sure that the Soviet Union that eventually emerges from this process is a less threatening one. What it all boils down to is this: I want the new closeness to continue. And it will, as long as we make it clear that we will continue to act in a certain way as long as they continue to act in a helpful manner. If and when they don't, at first pull your punches. If they persist, pull the plug. It's still trust but verify. It's still play, but cut the cards. It's still watch closely. And don't be afraid to see what you see.
"Don't be afraid to see what you see." That is exactly what we cannot do with the self-blinded CIA headed by John Brennan. The hunt for the Boston Marathon killers was widely described as "searching for a needle in a haystack." With John Brennan's blinkered view, we cannot not find even the haystack.