“Highest Threat Level Ever”: House Rep Warns of Danger
Americans are accustomed to politicians who trade in hyperbole, but even the fiercest national security hawks generally pull their punches in public. For that reason, many are raising an eyebrow at a Sunday interview with House Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), where he told CBS’ Face the Nation that America was looking down the barrel of “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country.”
According to Nunes, this threat comes from terrorist propaganda that lures young people into Islamic radicalization. “They’re very good at communicating through separate avenues where it’s very difficult to track,” Nunes said. “That’s why when you get a young person who is willing to get into these chat rooms, go on the Internet and get radicalized, it’s something we are not only unprepared for, we are also not used to it in this country.”
Nunes, who serves as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said U.S. law enforcement was having a difficult time tracking down terrorist cells in the United States. “It’s just tough to secure those types of areas if you have someone who wants to blow themselves up or open fire or other threats of that nature and we just don’t know or can track all of the bad guys that are out there today.”
Though using harsher language than we’ve heard from the Obama administration, Nunes’ warning echoes those from the State Department. U.S. officials are deeply concerned about the influence of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other radical terrorist groups with a firm grasp on the use of propaganda. We’ve already seen more than a handful of Americans arrested for plotting terrorist attacks after getting involved with online communities that vilify the West. Others have attempted to send money to ISIS or even fly to Syria so they can join the fight in person.
As we consider what we’re going to do about ISIS on the battlefield, we must also turn our attention to its sphere of influence. Obama’s foot soldiers, arguing against the use of ground troops in the region, have often said that we can’t win this war with bombs alone. But even though their ultimate argument is wrong, they are right when they say this is a different kind of war. Military action must be one element, but our guns must be accompanied by a strategy to reduce the lure of this radicalization.
Unfortunately, listening to liberal America isn’t much different from listening to the latest ISIS video. Without accusing liberals of wanting to kill innocents, we can still draw easy parallels between the messages. America is evil. Muslims are oppressed. Israel is a terrorist state. So on and so forth. It’s hard to combat propaganda when a great many of your own beliefs can be found inside it.
We need new leadership. That’s not news to anyone who sees the folly of the airstrike campaign in Iraq, but Obama’s failures extend well beyond his role as commander-in-chief. At every moment, he has failed to present an argument against what ISIS stands for. It’s not enough to simply hate the way they go about spreading their message. We must also hate the message. And that’s something the left cannot do.