The Wingnut Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

The warped philosophy of conservatives in America has long held that the primary reason for the persistence of terrorism is that President Obama and other Democrats are reluctant to utter the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” They somehow have concluded that those magical words are key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. And they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Fox News Beetlejuice

Following the Democratic Debate in Iowa on Saturday, the call to cast the magic spell was once again made the centerpiece of rightist criticisms. GOP candidates, and right-wing pundits on Fox News and elsewhere, have uniformly adopted the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “radical Islamic terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. Actually, it isn’t even required to shout it. You can just tweet it. For example:

  • Donald Trump: Why won’t President Obama use the term Islamic Terrorism? Isn’t it now, after all of this time and so much death, about time!
  • Jeb Bush: Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate
  • Ted Cruz: We need a President who is unafraid to name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism — and will set out to defeat it.
  • Rick Santorum: Yes, @HillaryClinton we are at war with radical Islam! You are not qualified to serve if you cannot even define our enemy! #DemDebate
  • Mike Huckabee: You’re all grown up now. You can do it. Three words. Ten syllables. Say it with me: “Radical Islamic terrorism.” #DemDebate
  • Carly Fiorina: We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth…Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.
  • RNC (Republican National Committee: Hillary refuses to say we are at war with “radical Islam.” #DemDebate
  • Todd Starnes (Fox News): If your #DemDebate drinking game words are “Radical Islam” — you’ll be going home cold sober tonight, folks.
  • Eric Bolling (Fox News): Just so all you vapid @HillaryClinton supporters know. She just said “we are not at war with radical Islam”. #parisisburning
  • Donald Trump (again): When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? He can’t say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!

In addition to these individuals, conservative media is singing from the same hymnal. National Review, Breitbart News, Washington Times, Free Beacon, and the Daily Caller are among those in the choir. It’s clearly an obsession with these folks. They are convinced that babbling a few specific words is a better indicator of the determination to fight terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and as Commander-in-Chief presided over the killing of thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he recites the approved scriptural incantation.

For the record, just this week under the leadership of President Obama, missions were carried out that are believed to have resulted in the deaths of the ISIS chief in Libya and the infamous ISIS executioner known as Jihadi John. And all without invoking the magic spell.

At Fox News they are engaging in their standard game plan of distorting reality in a way that twists it to their far-right biases. Ed Henry, their senior White House correspondent, in a post-debate report told Sean Hannity that “At one point [Hillary Clinton] said ‘I do not believe we’re at war with radical Islam.’ The reaction to that online and overnight will be very interesting.”

Of course the most interesting part of that is that it is not what she said. What she said was “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.” Nevertheless, Henry’s bastardization of her remarks is what will stick in the already gooey minds of Fox viewers. The cult simply will not permit free thought based on verifiable facts.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

There are numerous reasons for declining to fall into the “radical Islamic terrorist” trap. News Corpse spelled them out early this year in some detail. The gist is that we have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are they insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

And here’s some perspective from Muslims on the anti-Islam extremists who pretend to be Muslim.


14 thoughts on “The Wingnut Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

  1. Indeed! These buffoons, passing as American patriots, I’m sure, can only think in terms of incantations, a cultish religious response to all mythology. Hillary’s comments, in context, are exactly what our foreign policy should always be: deplore the radicals whether they are Islamic or Christian. That old forest and its trees stymie them. Of course, it’s their total ignorance of successful foreign policies that is profoundly frightening, should one of them achieve the White House.

  2. From what I heard from Hillary Clinton at the debate – it appears that “radical islam” is the norm in the middle east and everywhere. According to her – using that term suggests we’re at war with islam….so it is reasonable to assume the “truth” according to the democratic presidential candidates is that the majority of those who practice islam are radical. Is that not what she is suggesting – even if it’s not exactly what she means to suggest? I never thought of it that way until watching her respond as she did to the question about this terminology and her fear (or whatever it is) of using it. It is consistent with what Sam Harris claimed on Bill Maher all those months ago.

    • Huh? How you got from her response that she was saying that radical Islam is “the norm” is downright delusional. Likewise your assumption that the Democratic candidates think that the majority of those who practice Islam are radical. Seriously, do you just spew utter nonsense because you think it will get you attention? Or are you really this stupid?

      In fact, it could not be more clear that she’s saying the exact opposite. She’s saying that the problem with using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorists” is that it “paints with too broad a brush” the vast majority of Muslims who are NOT radicals or terrorists. And it interferes with our ability to reach out to allies in Muslim countries.

      • Oh my god – how can you not see it that way. I’m not suggesting she actually meant it that way, but it sounds exactly like that. In response to the question about the use of the term “radical islam” she clearly notes we’re not at war with islam. She is suggesting – quite clearly – that calling it “radical” islam is a direct reference to all people who practice islam and that calling it that is potentially alienating those countries and people. If they are NOT practicing radical islam, then how would they feel alienated. I think she is trying to make a distinction – but a person listening can easily hear it the way I suggested. The moderator even tried to get her to address the specifics about the term and she went down the same path. People who use the term “radical” islam refer to the exact same people she claims to be against in the response – NOT to muslim’s in general as she suggests. Either she is playing some ridiculous PC game or she is suggesting “radical” islam is the same as just plain old islam.

      • Here is the simple approach – Hilary Clinton and Mark Howard both noted the use of the word “radical islam” is too broad a brush. By definition – that means radical islam GENERALLY refers to anyone islam. If that doesn’t suggest what I’m saying isn’t true, I don’t know what does.

        • You’re blathering. This is why I usually don’t respond to you. What you’re saying makes no sense. I’ll go back to not responding to you now.

          • I know Mark, alternative views that aren’t yours or do not agree with your stated views are not your style.

        • “From what I heard from Hillary Clinton at the debate…”

          “…but a person listening can easily hear it the way I suggested.”

          (I just…can’t…..stop…..the voices….in my head.)

          “Is that not what she is suggesting – even if it’s not exactly what she means to suggest?” The correct answer: NO!!!!

          There–fixed it for you.

          • So you disagree…that would be the answer when you don’t have any other way to dispute the claim but you still can’t agree. I could and may should have done the same thing. Perfectly acceptable, but agreeement is what is expected as far as I can tell.

            • Your claim is wingnut bullshit. My way of disputing the claim of what you say you heard is that I heard exactly what she said and you made up some wingnut bullshit. English is my first and only language so I’ll do my own thinking, thank you very much. You’re reading something into her response that doesn’t exist.

              And just because no one agrees with your wingnut analysis doesn’t mean we’re ignoring anything she said. It just means you chose to be a wingnut in public and no one else did.

            • Keep dreaming Bigtoe. I’ll admit (you should try it sometime) it’s strictly an observation and totally subjective, but it’s NOT inconsistent with what she said.

              I just presented an alternative interpretation of what she said – don’t worry, your paycheck won’t be hurt. Maybe an alternative view is what is needed – try to keep an open mind.

            • Again, with the asinine and the sophomoric. Not sure what my paycheck has to do with anything about this topic. And your wingnut interpretation IS inconsistent with what she said. That’s the whole point. Water is wet and the sky is blue. That’s reality.

  3. Why not refer to Daesh types as what they are? Criminally insane psychopaths? For that matter, how come Obama never refers to ‘Republicans’ as stupid assholes?

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