Letter: Major Hasan and the Holy War

Dear Editor:

Reuel Marc Gerecht astutely points out that President Obama has missed a critical opportunity to militate against Holy Warriors in our midst (Opinion, Nov. 22). But Mr. Gerecht fails to connect the dots on a larger trend: American reluctance to admit that we are at war.

Major Hasan was not merely one of many soldiers suffering from PTSD, any more than Khalid Sheik Mohammed was a common criminal. Both should be treated as terrorists not, as Mr. Gerecht suggests, because they are “Muslim radicals,” but because they have committed terrorist acts.

We are living in a September 12th world, and language has evolved. “War” no longer means uniformed soldiers lined up for battle; it should now include extremists wielding airplanes as weapons. Similarly “terrorism” should have evolved to include making jihadist threats against soldiers and attempting to contact Al Qaeda, as Hasan did.

As long as the government refuses to classify terrorist acts as acts of war, terrorist activity will continue and it will get worse. Only by removing his head from the sand now can the President reverse this trend.

Try KSM as a war criminal. Label Hasan as the jihadist he is. Admit we are at war now, or keep bowing until the terrorists remove any doubt.

Kathryn Ciano

Arlington, VA

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