Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder mocked Fox News at the National Press Club Tuesday for talking so much about the Obama administration’s refusal to use the term “radical Islam.”
HOLDER: Whenever you’re getting criticized by both sides, it probably means you’re probably getting right. We spend more time, more time talking about what you call it, as opposed to what do you do about it, you know? I mean really. If Fox didn’t talk about this, they would have nothing else to talk about, it seems to me.
Radical Islam, Islamic extremism; I’m not sure an awful lot is gained by saying that. It doesn’t have any impact on our military posture; it doesn’t have any impact on what we call it, on the policies that we put in place. What we have to do is defined not by the terms that we use, but by the facts on the ground. So I don’t worry an awful lot about what the appropriate terminology ought to be.
I think that people need to actually think about that, and think about will we be having this conversation about words as opposed to what our actions ought to be? This is a difficult problem. This is going to be an ongoing issue. This is something that requires us to think as a nation how we are going to deal with the domestic issues that I was describing in my previous response, and how are we going to deal with the foreign policy consequences of some very, very serious problems that our allies face, and that we face, particularly in a particular part of the world. The terminology, it seems to me little to no impact on what ultimately we have to do.