Why does our government recoil “at the notion that we might actually want to scrutinize an ideology that fuels anti-American militarism”? The purge of “Islam,” “jihad,” “sharia,” and other related words from our National Security documents, counter-terrorism training, and intelligence analysis is eerily reminiscent of the warning George Orwell described in his seminal work – 1984. “The purpose of Newspeak was…to make all other modes of thought impossible…by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meaning” This policy is the “Ostrich Complex,” a synonym for Jihad Denial Syndrome (JDS).
Both the Bush and Obama administrations have effectively ascribed to a “see no evil” policy when it comes to Islam. The problem is that “words convey reality,” and it is our duty as military officers to be connected to reality. Our oath requires us to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”. Yet this administration has tasked us to focus on the euphemistic “violent extremists”, which aside from being woefully ambiguous, ignores those who may not meet the narrow definition of violent extremists – yet still meet the broader threshold of being enemies.