It's somewhat disconcerting, but the Obama administration continues to dance around the terrorism question. While a new Rasmussen poll shows 60 percent of Americans want the Fort Hood massacre investigated as a terrorist act, the president sees the mass murder as a "tragedy" and a violent crime. He told ABC News: "In a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable."
But Fort Hood is not one of them.
When a man e-mails an al-Qaida recruiter in Yemen 20 times, and then yells "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) while gunning down innocent people, the math is on the blackboard: Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is a terrorist. And he is now charged with murdering 13 people.
So why does President Obama have a problem accepting that?
The answer was given last February when Obama told CNN: "I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations, but that those organizations aren't representative of a broader Arab community, Muslim community.
"I believe we can win over moderate Muslims to recognize that that kind of destruction and nihilism ultimately leads to a dead end."
But what if the terrorist activity is not overseas? What if it happens in Texas? Well, then Obama says it is "a crime against our nation."
Notice the word "crime."
I'm not one to nitpick, but this is important. Technically speaking, the slaughter of human beings at Fort Hood was a crime. But the motive was born out of jihad, the Muslim holy war. So if you want to be honest about it, the Fort Hood massacre was an act of terrorism to further a war goal: the destruction of infidels.
Fort Hood is not a "tragedy." That word signals an individual flaw that leads to great sadness. Give me a break. Hasan is a hater driven by a fanatical Islamic point of view. He isn't some morose guy contemplating why life dealt him a bad hand.
Obama often says that words matter, and that is certainly true. Americans are at risk because Muslim terrorists want to kill us. That doesn't mean most Muslims subscribe to jihad, but it does mean the problem is exclusively Muslim.
It is good that Obama wants to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. But he'll never do it by avoiding reality. He should be appealing to decent Muslims to help the West defeat the terrorists in our midst. Calling the obvious act of terrorism at Fort Hood a tragic crime is naive at best.
• Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor."