Pandering 24

 Before he did anything else, newly elected President Barack Hussein Obama reached out to Islam.

His first phone call as President of the United States to a foreign leader was to Ahmoud Abbas, head of the impotent and kleptocratic ‘Palestinian Authority’ (and of the terrorist organization Fatah).

His first executive order was to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay where Islamic terrorists are held.

His first dispatch of a diplomatic mission was the sending of George Mitchell to the Middle East to reprise his tired old act of trying to broker peace between Israel and its Arab attackers while the fighting rages. What can Mitchell possibly say to Hamas that will stop that gang of murderous criminals trying to kill as many civilians as possible on both sides of the Gazan border, or induce them to abandon their aim of annihilating the State of Israel? What can be said to the Israelis that would persuade them to give up defending themselves?    

His first TV interview was with Dubai’s al-Arabiya. He offered it to them as the medium of his choice. In it he announced to the Muslim world that he was going to ‘restore’ the ‘respect’ and ‘partnership’ that America had with the Muslim world ‘20 0r 30 years ago’ – displaying not just abysmal ignorance, but surely also a breathtaking lack of loyalty to the country of which he is now supreme leader.    

Charles Krauthammer comments justly:    

‘Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years – the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world – America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved – and resulted in – the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Balkan interventions – as well as the failed 1992-93 Somali intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) – were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on earth. Why are we apologizing?

And what of that happy U.S.-Muslim relationship that Obama imagines existed "as recently as 20 or 30 years ago" that he has now come to restore? Thirty years ago, 1979, saw the greatest U.S.-Muslim rupture in our 233-year history: Iran’s radical Islamic revolution, the seizure of the U.S. embassy, the 14 months of America held hostage.

Which came just a few years after the Arab oil embargo that sent the United States into a long and punishing recession. Which, in turn, was preceded by the kidnapping and cold-blooded execution by Arab terrorists of the U.S. ambassador in Sudan and his charge d’affaires. This is to say nothing of the Marine barracks massacre of 1983, and the innumerable  attacks on U.S. embassies and installations around the world during what Obama now characterizes as the halcyon days of U.S.-Islamic relations.

Look. If Barack Obama wants to say, as he said to al-Arabiya, I have Muslim roots, Muslim family members, have lived in a Muslim country – implying a special affinity that uniquely positions him to establish good relations – that’s fine. But it is both false and deeply injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized… Every president has the right to portray himself as ushering in a new era of this or that. Obama wants to pursue new ties with Muslim nations, drawing on his own identity and associations. Good. But when his self-inflation as redeemer of U.S.- Muslim relations leads him to suggest that pre-Obama America was disrespectful or insensitive or uncaring of Muslims, he is engaging not just in fiction but in gratuitous disparagement of the country he  is now privileged to lead.’

Just as astonishing is his saying on al-Arabiya that his job as President of the United States is ‘to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language has to be the language of respect’; and ‘to communicate that the Americans [notice he does not say ‘we’] are not your enemy.’


It was also his job, he said, ‘to promote the interests of the Arab world’ as well as the interests of the United States. Interests that are mostly in opposition to each other? How? And above all, why?

And was he not positively denigrating the country of which he is president when he said in the interview that ‘all too often’ the United States ‘starts by dictating’? 

A few hours after Obama made these remarks, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the half-mad and altogether evil President of Iran, demanded a formal apology for ‘US crimes’ against Iran and the Islamic world.

Obama never mentioned the oppression in Iran and other Islamic regimes; the imprisonment, torture, stoning, hanging of women, homosexuals, dissidents, converts, Christians and other non-Muslims. He had no word for the Lebanese being crushed between Iran’s Hizbullah and Syrian expansion; no word for the African Muslims of Darfur being systematically murdered by the Arab Muslims. 

Twenty or thirty years ago? In addition to the horrors being enacted in the Muslim world that Krauthammer lists, Iran was training Hizbullah; the Muslim Brotherhood was founding Hamas; Saudi Arabia was (and still is) financing institutions all over the Western world that train rising generations to spread Islam and its fearsome sharia law; Libya was murdering American soldiers in Europe and bombing American commercial aircraft; Iraq and Iran were waging a war in which millions died, including young children who were sent walking through minefields to explode the mines and clear the way for the armies; Saddam Hussein gassed Iraqi Kurds, and invaded Kuwait;  Syria was taking over Lebanon; President Sadat of Egypt was  assassinated; Islamists were slaughtering Algerian civilians; military rule was imposed in Pakistan; a CIA chief was kidnapped in Beirut and tortured to death in Iran. Where is cause for respect in all this?     

In the period that Obama apparently regards as shameful for his country, Bush senior liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Bush junior freed the whole Iraqi nation from his tyranny, lifted the cruel hand of the Taliban from the necks of Afghans and gave them schools that even their downtrodden women could attend. As a result of his policies and actions, a number of Arab states began to introduce democratic practices. Libya disarmed and abandoned its nuclear program. Were these negligible achievements? Should George W Bush’s successor apologize for them to the Muslims?  

It is the American people who are owed apologies and gratitude by the Muslims. As they are never likely to get either, one may ask:  was America right, politically or morally, to have expended blood and treasure for the Muslims?

With what have they actually been repaid? It looks very much as if the more Americans give to Islam, the more Islam hates and attacks them. Is there no connection between America’s benevolence and the rise of jihad violence? Did the Muslims interpret American compassion as weakness? If so, isn’t it clear that weakness is provocative to Islam? Isn’t the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay also likely to be interpreted by the Islamic terrorists as weakness? Is it not probable that this will invite more terrorist violence against America?

What, we must wonder, does all this immediate and urgent wooing of Islam by President Obama mean?

It would be too farfetched, wouldn’t it, to suspect that Obama wants to promote the ambitions of militant Islam? That deep in the part of him that is proud to be Muslim he wants the jihad to succeed? Wants Islam to realize its goal of world conquest?  Wants an Islamic world ruled by a Caliph? Wants – how absurd! – to be that Caliph?

No, no. Perish the thought! It’s bad enough that at present he has cast himself in the role of  broker between the country he has been elected to lead and its worst enemy.  

Yes, that is what the President of the United States has said he is. A broker. A go-between. A pander! 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 31, 2009

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