The enemy is not just “terrorism”, some generic evil that has spontaneously produced a “phenomenon of violent extremism“. The threat is much more specific than this and it exists irrespective of what Obama believes; yet the President of the United States continues to deny reality with the most recent example coming from comments he made Tuesday night during the State of the Union speech.
“We’re assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism“, claimed Obama. This deliberate vagueness blurs the reality of the threat posed by the ideology that has given rise to Islamic terrorism and at present time appears to be quite prosperous and anything but bankrupt.
The global resurgence of Islamic terrorism can be directly attributed to this administration’s counter-terrorism strategy that is a complete failure. This strategy has focused primarily on targeting individual perpetrators and addressing “upstream causes”, rather than countering an ideology that is at war with the United States and the West.
Moreover, this strategy of fighting “violent extremism” replaces terrorism with euphemism by including words so generic that they mean nothing at all. Vagueness such as this attempts to downplay terrorist actions from religiously or ideologically inspired acts of will to merely reflexive reaction: little more than an involuntary response to abject circumstances.
The rhetoric from the White House was on display in Davos, Switzerland on Friday when Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech calling for a global effort against violent extremism. “The biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes…that their faith utterly rejects”.
Kerry went on to proclaim “it would be a mistake to link Islam to criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors”.
Under this administration Islamic extremism is treated as an extreme expression of protest against “legitimate” grievances caused by the West. Muslims are the oppressed, and the Western colonial powers are the oppressors.
In Obama’s Cairo speech, delivered at Al-Azhar University in Egypt on June 4, 2009, he provided the explanation for Muslim discontent stating:
The relationship between Islam and West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
Katharine Gorka of the Council on Global Security notes that in this statement “Obama provides three powerful explanations for Muslim discontent: colonialism, by which the West denied rights and opportunities to Muslims; the Cold War, which caused the West to treat Muslims as proxies and to disregard their aspirations; modernization and globalization, which breed Western hostility toward Islam”.
Thus, in Obama’s conception, “Muslim extremism is driven by legitimate grievances and the logic that follows is that once those grievances are addressed, the extremism will subside”, writes Gorka.
Daniel Greenfield of Frontpage Mag elaborates, “Obama and the Europeans see Islamic terrorism as a social problem whose root causes need to be resolved rather than defeated”.
Take for instance the response from this administration given by Josh Earnest to the recent jihadist attacks in Paris that targeted the satirical cartoon artists of Charlie Hedbo for depicting Muhammad. When asked by a reporter why the White House has gone to great lengths to avoid calling the perpetrators of the attack radical islamists, Earnest replied, “We want to describe exactly what happened”.
“These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it”, concluded Earnest.
This is a complete obfuscation of the facts. As Rich Lowry of Politico points out, “This makes it sound as if the Charlie Hedbo terrorists set out to commit a random act of violent extremism and only subsequently, when they realized that they needed some justification, did they reach for Islam”.
Obama even went as far to blame the Paris attacks on France for not “assimilating to Muslim minorities” living within their borders. Taken into context with regards to Obama’s Cairo speech, the jihadists had legitimate grievances against the satirical cartoon artists for depicting their prophet. In other words, the pluralistic society of the West bore the brunt of responsibility by practicing freedom of speech that dared slander the “prophet Muhammad” and thus provoked the attack.
This response by the Adminstration was seen before in the events surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Obama’s response was not to condemn or even label those who had committed the attack as jihadists. He instead placed the blame on an American who had created a YouTube video that slandered Muhammad.
Taking to the floor at the U.N. in New York City only two weeks after the attack Obama stated, “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity”.
Obama capped off his speech by declaring “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam“.
This epitomizes Obama’s conception of Muslim discontent while also rejecting the ideological component that drives these “violent extremists” to commit terrorism. Without this ideological catalyst, grievances remain merely grievances. They are dull and banal. “They only transform into acts of transcendental violence when ignited by Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”, notes Katharine Gorka.
It is the narrative of Holy War that gives value to local grievances, not the other way around. Time after time, Islamic jihadists invoke Islam as they insist they’re acting on Islamic imperatives embedded within the Qur’an and Muhammad’s teaching.
Nonetheless, Obama continues to insist that this is not the case, that Islamic teaching is peaceful, benign, and even beneficial for society, and that violence in the name of Islam is committed only by those who misunderstand its true teachings. Belief that Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion and that Islamic terrorists have “hijacked that faith to extremes” is a cornerstone of not only American foreign policy, but that of the entire Western world. This blind faith in peaceful Islam was proclaimed by Obama in his Cairo speech as he concluded that, “America and Islam are not exclusive and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings”.
If this is a fair summation of Islamic teaching, notes Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch, then it would be hard to explain how people such as Nidal Hassan, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, Alton Nolen, Martin Couture-Rouleau, Cherif and Said Kouachi, and a litany of other jihadists who have invoked Islam, could possibly have come to misunderstand their own religion so drastically.
“Contrary to the conventional wisdom that all religions are equally capable of inciting their adherents to violence, Muslims committing violence in the name of Islam are a daily feature of life in many parts of the world, and armed Islamic movements exist in numerous countries while Christians committing violence quoting the New Testament to justify it exist today largely in Hollywood movies”, writes Spencer.
The narrative today has all but rejected the fact that those who have accepted the radical Islamic ideology have also accepted a religious-political worldview that justifies, legitimizes, encourages, and supports violence against anything Kafir, or un-Islamic. This includes the West, its citizens, its allies, or other Muslims whose opinions are contrary to the extremist agenda. The United States can no longer ignore the fact that Obama’s counterterrorism campaign is a complete and utter failure regardless of what the President believes.
In his State of the Union address Obama declared that we have “stopped” and “contained” the spread of the terrorist group known as ISIS. In reality though, ISIS has nearly doubled the amount of territory it controls since airstrikes began last year. That newly acquired terrain allows ISIS troops to target and threaten more valuable areas such as northern Lebanon and southern Damascus.
In Yemen, our embassy is currently preparing to evacuate as Iran-backed Shia rebels have successfully staged a coup and have seized control of the government by forcing an allied backed president and his entire cabinet to resign. This was a country Obama referenced only four months ago as being an example to his “successful” foreign policy. Today it serves as just another vacuum in the Middle East that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is ready and eager to fill while at the same time the Islamic State is gaining its own Sunni foothold in the Muslim terror-breeding ground.
The chaos that Obama has created within the Middle East was further magnified on Wednesday during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran nuclear negotiations.
Sen. Bob Mendez, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, condemned Obama’s State of the Union talking points on Iran that threatened to veto new sanctions from Congress on Iran’s nuclear program. Mendez characterized Obama’s talking points threat as coming “straight out of Tehran”. In an exchange between Mendez and Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Mendez asked if the agreement the administration was working to achieve with Iran wasn’t really an attempt to limit Iran’s “breakout” capability, rather than halting its nuclear program in its tracks.
“Is that a fair statement, yes or no?” Menendez asked. Blinken responded that it was; thus the administration’s Deputy Secretary of State confirmed that our President has adopted a policy on Iran that will not prevent them from creating a nuclear weapon.
In fact, Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is an integral part of its nuclear weapons program, is moving forward at full throttle.
The proof came late Wednesday in the form of imagery produced by Israel’s Eros-B satellite that captured images showing new missile-related sites that Iran recently constructed just outside Tehran with one image depicting an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.
On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Obama’s hostility as he threatened Congress against imposing new sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
“If someone comes to torpedo (the agreement), I believe (the person or entity) should be isolated by the international community, whether it’s the US Congress or anybody else”, stated Zarif.
Zarif then issued a direct threat to the United States, warning that Iran’s President “will adopt something requiring the government… to increase our (uranium) enrichment” if new sanctions were adopted.
“The problem for American lawmakers”, writes Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, “is that the diplomatic course that Obama has chosen makes it impossible for the US to use the tools of diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons”.
In short, Obama is pursuing a policy of containment of an Iranian nuclear bomb by actively conceding to their demands while treating them as a rational state actor even though they are designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
The nuclear “negotiations” with Iran epitomize Obama’s view of America and moreover that of our enemies. We have reverted to a defensive condition in which Islamic terrorists and countries that support them set the terms of conflict and negotiations. It is a policy of outright appeasement to our enemies and betrayal of our allies that will inevitably result in our own self defeat.
If we treat the War on Terror in the way Barack Obama has the past 6 years, we accept the impossibility of winning as we adapt to a European mindset of managing the fallout from the latest terrorist attack. Under the European mindset “Terrorism becomes no different than crime; a threat we try to live through without hope of ever seeing it end”, writes Daniel Greenfield.
We can only defeat Islamic terrorism by treating it as a foreign element; an outside force that must be destroyed rather than accommodated. In the words of Greenfield, “Unlike Islamic countries, we cannot accommodate it without destroying what we are. And we cannot make use of it without destroying ourselves”.