President Obama refused to call the London terror attack terrorism yesterday in his major speech on countering terrorism. In fact, he did not even utter the word “London” once. There was no mention of the attack; no description of it as terrorism; no pointing out that the attack shows why we must stay resolute and vigilant.
Most worryingly, there was no sign of solidarity with the U.K. during this troubling time. Of course, 9/11 was mentioned and the recent Boston terrorist attacks were mentioned. Even Benghazi was mentioned. Yet, the most recent terror attack against America’s closest ally was ignored as if it didn’t happen. This makes the Special Relationship look just a little bit less special.
Three days after the horrific terrorist attack that left one British soldier dead on the streets of London, it is troubling that the Obama Administration still refuses to acknowledge the attack as terrorism.
There is no doubt that Wednesday’s attack in London was exactly that. The target was an off-duty British soldier—son, father, and combat veteran of Afghanistan. It was an act of brutality motivated by extreme religious and political beliefs with the aim of terrorizing the people of London. The blood-soaked killer, holding a bloodied meat cleaver and butcher’s knife, told the world:
We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth—by Allah.
Anyone can see that this is terrorism. British Prime Minister David Cameron called it terrorism. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also called it terrorism. The Obama Administration’s refusal to call it terrorism is pitiful, spiteful, and divorced from reality.
As Heritage Foundation researcher Daniel Kochis pointed out, the U.S. State Department’s response has been equally pathetic. The State Department issued a curt statement only 40 words long that did not refer to the attacks in London as terrorism. To make matters worse, the statement was not put out in John Kerry’s name or even in the name of his official spokesman. It was released by an “acting deputy spokesman.”
The reluctance by the Obama Administration to call the attack in London terrorism is part of a continuing trend. Yesterday, President Obama declared that “[t]here have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure,” yet only last month terrorists killed three and wounded 264. How much larger does it need to be?
The Administration refers to the Fort Hood terrorist attack that left 13 people dead and 32 wounded as “work place violence.” In addition, it was either in denial mode or cover-up mode over the terrorist attack in Benghazi last year, blaming it on a YouTube video.
The U.K. is America’s number one partner. Since 9/11, the British have fought side by side with the U.S. against terrorism. After all, the attacks on the World Trade Center killed 67 British citizens—making it the single largest terrorist attack against the U.K. Hundreds of British troops have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is time for the Obama Administration to stand with Britain just as Britain stands with America.