Flags fly at half-staff around the Washington Monument at daybreak in Washington with the US Capitol in the background Monday, June 13, 2016.

J. David Ake | AP Photo

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Every single time there is a jihadist attack on American soil, we are subjected to the same government and media parsing, pussyfooting and counter-narrative-planting, indicative of an ignorance and willful blindness that is going to continue to get innocent Americans killed.

In the wake of the Ramadan jihadist attack on an LGBT club in Orlando, rather than lament how our craven elite are literally imperiling our survival—in particular by losing a war to Islamic supremacists that it will not even admit we are in, lest we create a “clash of civilizations” with the Religion of Peace as determined by theologians Bush, Obama and Kerry—I felt it more constructive to explore what a healthy reaction to jihad might look like. 

A see-no-Islam national security policy that equates jihadis with Joe the Plumbers is no national security policy at all.

If America truly has the will at some point to comprehensively defend itself against a global jihadist movement that seeks nothing less than our utter destruction, we must see the following five efforts undertaken:

1) Identify the enemy’s animating ideology.

You cannot defeat an enemy if you do not know what animates it. Our Islamic supremacist foes articulate their goals, strategies and tactics openly and honestly—goals, strategies and tactics that are rooted in core Islamic texts. Jihadists themselves do not claim that they slaughter nonbelievers because of poverty, lack of representative government or discrimination. The attempt to apply “root causes” materialist arguments only shows the ignorance and in fact ethnocentrism of our supposedly progressive elites. Jihadists broadly seek to bring the world under Allah’s command by making Sharia the international law of the land. The theo-political system they seek to foist upon the world is completely antithetical to our free Western one based in Judeo-Christian values, principles and ethics. Namely, the Islamic supremacist system is a totalitarian theocracy devoid of freedom of speech, thought, conscience or commerce. Islam permits jihadis to seek such ends by means violent and peaceful, overt and covert, and perhaps most insidiously through the use of taqiyya and dawa.

The seminal 1991 document, Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the [Muslim] Brotherhood in North America, illustrates well the view of the jihadist:

The process of [Islamic] settlement [in North America] is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Proecess’ [sic] with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.

It is not the West’s job to determine what is or is not “true Islam.” But it is our responsibility to listen to and defend ourselves against those Muslims who seek to destroy us on the basis of a threat doctrine rooted in theo-political Islamic supremacist ideology.

2) Define the enemy in clear terms.

Our enemy is not “terrorism.” Terror is merely one tactic used by jihadis to wear down foes not only materially but spiritually—that is, to paralyze us and more importantly to destroy our will to not only resist the jihad but defeat it. It is the jihadis themselves, and those who knowingly aid, abet and enable them, who are the enemy. By fighting a war with euphemistic “terror” or worse “violent extremism,” we are admitting that we do not have the will to defeat the global jihad out of our own ignorance and incoherence, or due to suicidal political correctness. “Violent extremism” is not an enemy with an animating ideology, and worse, the term lumps together a wide array of peoples with different visions and capabilities, as if “right-wing extremists” (which presumably include law-abiding conservative Americans) and violent animal rights activists are equivalent to ISIS. A see-no-Islam national security policy that equates jihadis with Joe the Plumbers is no national security policy at all. A law enforcement community that is shocked to find a jihadi slaughtering gays during Ramadan has clearly not studied the enemy’s ideology nor defined the enemy in clear terms.

3) Treat jihadist ideology as paramount.

In the wake of the Orlando attack, there has been much chatter about whether jihadi Omar Mateen was “ISIS-inspired.” While important for law enforcement to identify the affiliation of a jihadi as part of an investigation, the emphasis on inspiration from a particular group obfuscates the broader point that a jihadi is chiefly animated by jihadist ideology, as a vital but now purged NYPD intelligence report argues quite convincingly. Focus on a specific group minimizes the nature of the jihadist threat, signaling we are just fighting ISIS, or just fighting Al-Qaeda, rather than competing with a broader movement comprised of millions of individuals, aiders, abettors and enablers animated by an all-encompassing worldview. The focus on “lone wolves” too is farcical because no member of a broader theo-political Islamic supremacist movement is truly alone. Sure, individual jihadist groups may have tactical differences, but in terms of their goals, our submission to Islam is preeminent.

4) Shrink the enemy’s ability to operate freely, do not take away the freedoms of Americans.

The reaction to jihadis by our betters in Washington has consistently been to seek to diminish our liberties, arguing that we must shut up or be disarmed, in effect making us dhimmis. Never should the answer to jihadis be to abrogate our First and Second Amendment rights. Art, cartoons and movies do not cause jihad, nor do box-cutters, machetes or semi-automatic weapons. It is our liberty to speak and think freely and critically, and defend ourselves; it is in fact essential to beating the global jihad.

Meanwhile, the most invasive infringements upon liberty come because our government paints with a broad politically correct brush when it comes to national security generally and intelligence gathering in particular, rather than devising a targeted plan based on recognizing the enemy for who it is, and how it will seek to infiltrate and undermine our society.

A free nation cannot and must not tolerate a theo-political Islamic supremacist ideology that seeks to destroy it. The challenge presented by jihadis is that not only are their tactics and strategies uniquely suited to subverting liberal societies, but unlike the communists there is a religious veneer that creates a natural tripwire for the West. While remaining faithful to our Constitution and committed to religious liberty, we can and must protect and preserve our freedoms by carefully crafting a set of policies to reduce our enemy’s ability to operate freely and thus subvert our freedom.

At home, we must squelch jihadi efforts to harm us through among other things:

Religious freedom and all other freedoms can only be protected by defending ourselves against those who seek to overthrow our constitutional order.

As I have argued elsewhere, and as national security analyst Dr. Sebastian Gorka argues in his new book “Defeating Jihad,” a comprehensive policy for defending America from the global jihad at home and abroad could be based on the classic Cold War document, NSC-68.

5) Value American life and limb over political correctness.

Governmental institutions at the federal and local levels have purged themselves of the very materials that describe the jihadist enemy’s threat doctrine—materials that would help us better understand our enemy and thus be better prepared to defend ourselves against it. Meanwhile, they have consulted with and outsourced “anti-radicalization” efforts to Muslim Brotherhood-allied groups dedicated to our subversion. Law enforcement has undertaken investigations without taking action against individuals later involved in jihad, from Omar Mateen, to the Tsarnaev Brothers to Nidal Hasan, whose own business cards indicated he was a “Soldier of Allah.” Our State Department retained a highly insecure facility in Benghazi that left officials at State and CIA sitting ducks, while every other nation had already pulled out of the city.

All of these actions and many more deleterious to our national well-being derive in whole or in part from political correctness. Fear of offending people, or a belief in keeping up appearances for political purposes, are not the bases on which government should act. A society that values such superficialities over survival will not be long for this world.

While by no means comprehensive, the overarching point is that you must know your enemy before you can hope to have any chance to defeat it. As has been laid bare time and again over the 15 years since September 11, America as a nation has collectively failed to undertake this task. We must if we are to protect and preserve freedom.

Ben Weingarten is Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. A graduate of Columbia University, he regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal, The FederalistNewsmax and PJ Media on national security/defense, economics and politics. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.