Should Trump Call Terrorists 'Losers'?

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Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gives the middle finger to a security camera inside his jail cell three months after he was arrested in the terror attack July 10, 2013. Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 counts related to the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line. United States Attorneys Office via Getty

This article first appeared on the Cato Institute site.

President Trump made headlines with his impromptu remarks after he learned of the tragic attack in Manchester earlier this week.

President Donald Trump put the latest incident in perspective:

So many young beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that's a great name. I will call them from now on losers because that's what they are.

They're losers, and we'll have more of them, but they're losers, just remember that.

He spoke from the heart, but there is wisdom in the President's words, as I explain at The National Interest 's The Skeptics.

I note that "loser" is the same word that Ruslan Tsarni used to describe his nephews, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two Boston Marathon bombers.

When asked what provoked the bombing suspects, the uncle stated: "Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves—these are the only reasons I can imagine.

"Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, is a fraud, is a fake," Tsarni added.

Other words include nitwits and idiots. My colleague John Mueller, who has assembled a catalog of all the post-9/11 terrorism cases in the United States —92 as of January 2017—characterizes most of these plots as bone-headed. These words describe mostly instances in which the would-be terrorists managed to kill and injure no one, not even themselves.

RELATED: Manchester Bomber Salman Abedi 'Went Off the Rails'

But we should be equally dismissive of the losers that manage to detonate their bombs, or fire their weapons. Trump got it right.

I explain:

The word "loser" works because it doesn't imply that there is anything particularly special about the individuals who perpetrate these heinous acts. They might wish to make a statement by indiscriminately killing and injuring helpless victims. They might fashion themselves as heroic, or uniquely evil, or superhuman. They are none of these things.

And I conclude:

I refuse to reward these losers. I refuse even to mention their names. Though we should never forget their victims, we shouldn't allow [killers] to change the way that we live. They were sad and angry, and they lived unhappy lives. They wanted us all to be unhappy, too.

I'm not having it. I just cranked an Ariana Grande shuffle on my iPhone.

You can read the whole thing here.

RELATED: Why We Have Different Reactions to Manchester and Syria

Christopher Preble is the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free (Cornell University Press, 2009) and John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap (Northern Illinois University Press, 2004). He co-edited, with John Mueller, A Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security (Cato Institute, 2014); and, with Jim Harper and Benjamin Friedman, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It (Cato Institute, 2010).

Should Trump Call Terrorists 'Losers'? | Opinion