Ted Cruz penned an op-ed in the New York Daily News today, responding to criticisms of his policies on radical Islamic terrorism by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Cruz turns the tables on Bratton, calling both he and de Blasio out for basically making New Yorkers less safe by bowing to political correctness and killing the counterrorism program that he argues likely saved lives.
Here’s a portion of Cruz’s op-ed:
NYDN – In the wake of the Brussels attacks, I called for vigorously guarding against the political correctness that has plagued Europe. I also called for empowering law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they follow the path of Molenbeek and become havens for radical Islamic terrorists.
The response was predictable. Liberal politicians, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mayor de Blasio, all loudly denounced my approach. Indeed, they seemed far more outraged at my calling for us to prevent radical Islamic terrorism then they were at the terrorists who attacked in Brussels. In high dudgeon, they insist we must remain willfully blind to the root causes of these attacks.
The Islamic State “is not Islamic,” President Obama absurdly tells us.
Everyone knows that’s nonsense. Of course, there are many peaceful Muslims in America, and hundreds of millions across the world, who can be our allies in this global battle. But we cannot fight and win without identifying and confronting the enemy. Islamism is a political and theocratic philosophy that commands its adherents to wage jihad, to murder or forcibly convert the infidels (by which they mean everyone else). Islamism is the enemy, and it must be defeated.
A prime case study is here in New York City. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly, the NYPD started a counterterrorism unit that tracked demographic trends in New York City to provide investigators with important information about where terrorists might congregate and recruit. That sophisticated analysis can be a critical part of counterterrorism efforts to prevent an attack before it occurs or disrupt burgeoning terror cells. That unit likely saved lives.
Once elected mayor, however, de Blasio shut down that counterterrorism unit. He was taking heat from liberal advocacy groups who caricatured the unit’s work as “spying on Muslims,” which it wasn’t. New Yorkers, including the Muslim community, are less safe as a result.
After the Brussels attacks, I called out the de Blasio administration for its shortsighted capitulation to its liberal allies at the expense of the safety and security of the people of New York. In response, Commissioner Bill Bratton penned an op-ed attacking my policy in this newspaper. He did not say that the work of the unit was misguided or a failure. Instead, he alleged, remarkably, that the unit “was finished” with its work and “it wasn’t serving any useful purpose.”
Bratton has a difficult job, and I am grateful for all he does to keep the people of New York safe. I also understand that politically, he has no choice but to implement the de Blasio-Obama liberal agenda. But his explanation for dismantling the unit makes no sense; it ignores the nature of the threat that we face from radical Islam.
The de Blasio administration is trying to avoid the ideological foundation of the war radical Islamic terrorists are waging against us. While Bratton admits that the jihadists are driven by ideology, he astonishingly maintains that our response should have “no ideological component whatsoever.”
That’s ridiculous. If the terrorist threat is driven by radical Islamic ideology, then we must take account of that ideology in countering the threat: To “stop the terrorists before they strike,” we must understand what their motivation and goals are, where they might plot attacks and which targets they are inclined to strike. Their ideology tells us how they might peddle their radical Islamism in our cities and towns and helps us encourage our fellow Muslim citizens to choose a different path.
The hollow argument that ideology has no role in counterterrorism leaves no doubt that politics is afoot here.