One of the consequences of abandoning a standard by which right and wrong can be judged is our increasing inability to mete out punishment that fits the crime. In fact, too often we weigh extenuating circumstances rather than guilty actions.
In the case of the Boston bombers, observers search for reasons why the attacks occurred. But the failure to view the attackers as anything other than simply guilty and judge them accordingly is similar to the U.S. government's attitude toward the Middle East, which often sees
The surviving bomber, 19-year-old
This administration has been reluctant to try terrorists in military courts. Instead, in 2010, it attempted to try
Mr. Tsarnaev, if he is indeed guilty, is a traitor to his adopted country. When he took the oath of citizenship last September 11, of all dates, he swore allegiance to America. Whether he lied about his intentions at the time, or became "radicalized" since then, the acts he and his brother are alleged to have committed are treasonous. He is an enemy combatant.
Refusing to label Mr. Tsarnaev's actions for what they are -- traitorous -- does not change the nature of the act, or the intentions behind it. But that's what President Obama seems to be doing elsewhere.
Foxnews.com reported in 2010 that, according to counterterrorism officials, there was a proposal by the Obama administration to remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the National Security Strategy document, a radical shift in language from previous documents. That year, the Washington Times reported, the
How will erasing a few words from the National Security Strategy lead to Muslim nations making nice? The president's 2009 "outreach" speech in Cairo did nothing to change the dynamic between many Muslim nations and the West, and there appears little or no evidence that similar efforts have changed anything since.
Here is what the National Security Strategy document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war said: "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the greatest ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century." Is this not true? If it is true, how will massaging the language reduce the likelihood of future terrorist acts? How will not fitting the punishment to the crime make us any safer?
Having removed many of the boundaries of right and wrong and forgetting what makes an American an American, we are finding it difficult now to redraw boundaries that will keep us safe at a time when we need it most.
Call terror by its rightful name. Judge Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by the crimes he has committed and let his punishment fit them.