The War on Terror 

Sticker Shock: And John Edwards says there's no war on terror

"The 'war on terror' is a bumper sticker and a political slogan, that's all it is. That's all it's ever been." —Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, June 2007.

When you're slogging through the security line at Logan this summer, the heady scent of strangers' feet wafting about you, try to remember what those cheerful TSA professionals are reall looking for.

Bumper stickers.

In Scotland, smoke and flame billowed from the Glasgow airport after two men plowed their "bumper sticker" into the main terminal. In London, two more "bumper stickers" were parked outside popular night clubs but, fortunately, failed to detonate.

In Yemen, a suicide bomb— er, "sloganeer" blew himself up at the site of an ancient temple, killing eight innocent people. In Thailand, police arrested 50 Muslim men found with (ahem) "bumper sticker"-making materials in a region where thousands of non-Muslims have been murdered.

Meanwhile, Iranian terror sponsors are using Lebanese Hezbollah to kill American soldiers hunting Al Qaeda in Iraq.

All this news from just one weekend. And John Edwards says there's no "war on terror."

War? Terror? What are you, a sucker? You probably think the Pentagon got hit by a passenger jet, too.

The enlightened Left sees through all this. We knuckledraggers see yet another attempted bombing of yet another Western target by yet another group of Muslim men, and think, "Hey, 'war on terror.'"

The Left sees the bombs, the gas canisters, the nails (in Israel, the "bumper sticker" crowd coats the nails with rat poison to make them more lethal) and sees something other than a widespread terror movement inspired by common theology and uncommon hatred.

When Brian Williams asked the Democratic presidential candidates to answer (by a show of hands) if they believe "there's such a thing as a global war on terror," the only top-tier candidate whose hand shot up was Sen. Clinton. Sen. Obama reluctantly gave an insincere wave. But John Edwards? Never.

So, if there's not a global terror threat, how does the Left explain the guy on fire climbing out the window of an explosives-laden car on CNN last night? Spontaneous human combustion?

Poverty.

Poverty causes terrorism, the Left insists, despite the fact that a) there are at least one billion impoverished non-Muslims in the world who aren't blowing up nightclubs; and b) two of the plotters arrested yesterday are doctors. In fact, most of the 9/11 and 7/7 attackers were relatively affluent and well-educated. And still they chose murder.

Advocates of the "bumper sticker" theory sometimes claim that terrorism is the last resort of the desperate. The New York Times calls the latest would-be bombers part of Europe's "disenfranchised South Asian population."

Got that? Not "terrorists." Certainly not "Muslims."

Disenfranchised.

Tony Blair doesn't agree. In a recent interview, the former prime minister throws down on the self-indulgent victim myths of the Islamists. He rejects the idea that Muslims who watched teachers executed by the Taliban are "oppressed" by the nations who liberated them.

"We need to stand up to these people and say, 'It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified.'"

How can John Edwards watch the news from London (or Scotland or Yemen or Iraq) and not see that? Why can't he grasp the notion of Islamist-inspired violence supported by extremist regimes and targeting the values of the West?

Maybe if we could fit it on a bumper sticker...


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