Lynch calls out Obama for “political correctness,” says WH should have used force on ISIS after Orlando
By NBP Staff | June 21, 2016, 13:23 EDT
U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch has some harsh words for President Barack Obama. Calling Obama’s response to terrorism “politically correct,” the outspoken Democratic congressman from Southie told Boston Herald Radio on Tuesday that the president is wrong to shy away from using the term “Islamic extremist,” and said he thinks presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will be tougher on terrorism than Obama.
Lynch further suggested the U.S. should have used military force against ISIS immediately after the June 12 attack on an Orlando nightclub by a shooter who pledged allegiance to the terror group.
“I would have liked to have seen a pronounced effort right after Orlando. They called for this. They struck American citizens and we should have a show of force to send a message,” he said.
Last week CIA director John Brennan said federal officials have found no clear link between Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, and ISIS.
Yet the terror group, to which Mateen pledged allegiance during 911 calls to the police during the massacre, eagerly took credit for the attack.
At the very least, Lynch said, the president should “call it like it is.”
“It is somewhat disheartening, we have this word game going on while we’re at war,” he said. “Look, these are radical extremists, Islamists. There are a lot of people within the Muslim community who recognize them for that and are not afraid to use that term.
“I would just say we need to get over it. It’s who they are. Let’s go get ’em.”
Over the course of his presidency, Obama has refused to use the phrases “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism.” In his administration, the Department of Homeland Security started referring to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”
In response to calls by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, to call the attacks by name, the president last week described the phrase “Islamic extremism” as “a political talking point.”
“It’s not a strategy,” Obama said in his White House press conference.
The president explained that he is “careful” about how he describes the threat because he does not want to “fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush.” The president further justified his refusal to call Islamic extremism by its name on the ground that the phrase implies that we are “at war with an entire religion” which does “the terrorists’ work for them.”
“Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer, they were all U.S. citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently?” Obama asked.
“We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe. It will make us less safe, fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims, making young Muslims in this country and around the world feel like no matter what they do they’re going to be under suspicion and under attack,” the president said.
But Lynch today said he doesn’t think moderate Muslims will be offended if someone uses the term “Islamic extremist.”
“That’s a game we play in this country,” Lynch said. “The Middle East, they’re not hampered by this. They’re dealing with the real world.”