Was it really meaningless coincidence that just as an alarmed American
administration closed down some 20 embassies and consulates throughout the
Mideast – including the one in hardly unfriendly Tel Aviv – Fort Hood shooter
Nidal Hasan delivered his opening court-martial statement?
unconnected, these events are inextricably linked. Both expose the shoddy sham
that US President Barack Obama struts out as enlightened policy. This should
send cold shivers down the spines of those hoodwinked Israelis who still think
Obama deserves even a modicum of our trust, to say nothing of actual
Hasan’s cold-blooded murder in 2009 of 13 and his wounding of
a further 32 underscores Obama’s obsessive obfuscation.
callously mowed down fellow servicemen, he yelled “Allahu akhbar” (“God is
It later transpired that long before Hasan launched his attack,
the Joint Terrorism Task Force was aware that he maintained steady contact with
terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, inquiring, among other things, about
religious martyrdom. But forewarned isn’t necessarily forearmed. Following
whatever logic, the authorities preferred to do nothing.
It gets worse.
Self-deception didn’t only precede the bloodshed; it also incredibly followed
it. And so the official line was that what took place in Fort Hood wasn’t
terrorism but “workplace violence.”
Nonetheless, Hasan, who’s
representing himself in court, didn’t subscribe to the “disgruntled employee”
scenario. He told it like it was, even if the president and all his mouthpieces
desire to claim otherwise.
“We the mujahideen are imperfect Muslims
trying to establish the perfect religion in the land of the Supreme God,” he
unhesitatingly proclaimed, identifying himself without a hint of equivocation as
a jihadist warrior. But the truth is immaterial. The shooting is still not
labeled as an act of terror.
This is no trifling slipup. It’s the product
of a mindset that cripples America’s position in the world, harms its interests
and – inter alia – could mean disaster for Israel.
The embassy closures
are part and parcel of the bamboozlement that parades as sober strategy. One of
Obama’s more striking fiascos was the attack on the US’s Benghazi consulate a
year ago. As in Fort Hood, the administration strove its darndest to convince
the gullible public that what looks like a terrorism and kills like terrorism
And so the mind-blowing official line was that the
American ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staffers were slain because
of a stupid, obscure YouTube video. This was just as patently false as the
“workplace violence” Fort Hood cover-up. Now, fearful of a rerun of the
Benghazi-style non-terrorist event (on the anniversary of the original
non-terrorist event), Obama preferred to run and hide from the enemy he said he
had already defeated.
After having heard Obama’s crow triumphantly that
“bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the ropes,” we encounter a reality in
which clearly al-Qaida has extended its reach, attracts lots more recruits,
pockets lots more lucre, is lots more menacing and now frightens the world’s
sole superpower into ignominious cowering. Al-Qaida is the bully who chases the
wimp out of the schoolyard.
Does Obama come off looking like the winner
in the war against terror? Hardly. But oops, hasn’t Obama consistently denied
that such a war is at all waged?
Early in his first presidential term, when
addressing Turkey’s parliament, Obama expressed profuse appreciation “for the
Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world
for the better, including in my own country.”
This is Obama’s recurrent
and persistent theme.
“We are not at war with Islam,” he has declaimed
repetitively on numerous occasions. By inference, neither is Islam at war with
America, or, for that matter with Israel – to say nothing of any other democracy
where Muslim terrorists have set off an explosive device or
Suicide-bombing, we learn from the leader of the Free World, is a
disagreeable felony of which anyone anywhere is capable – without ideology,
infrastructure, broad backing, financial wherewithal etc. Thus Obama has
variously described the perpetrators of 9/11 as “a sorry band of men” or “some
small band of murderers.”
Accordingly, what’s needed to counteract them
isn’t resolute and rigorous self-defense – certainly not war – but something
more akin to pinpointed police action. That’s the rationale for trying Hasan as
an irate workman rather than a jihadist terrorist and why the Benghazi slaughter
was presented as comeuppance for an insult.
This indeed was the message
Obama assiduously honed even when announcing Osama bin Laden’s demise. Even then
he, significantly, made it his mission to remind the world that “we are not –
and never will be – at war with Islam.”
On the narrowest pragmatic plane
the sentiment isn’t entirely without merit. Why would America, Israel or any
democracy desire to portray itself as taking on the whole Muslim world? The last
thing we wish or need – or ever wished or needed – is a clash of
But complicating our wishful thinking is the not-so-negligible matter of whether this is also how militant Islam interprets things.
(For the purposes of this deliberation we can justifiably dispense with the
travesty called “moderate Islam.” At best – if it’s at all real – Islamic
moderation cringes abjectly in a murky twilight zone, mute and
The issue is whether vehement Islam, whose inflammatory
rhetoric resonates worldwide, doesn’t regard itself as being in a war with us.
Much as we abhor conflict, the choice isn’t exclusively ours.
Islamists incite to battle, can we make do with sitting back, trying to see
their point of view, making nice and attempting to sooth their frenzy with
This precisely is Obama’s advice. He won the Nobel
Peace Prize for the hype that his righteous posture and personable traits can
soothe all adversity. Everything boils down to persuasion. And so Obama expected
an assortment of the worst international baddies to reward his reasonableness
with gentleness and justice.
The Muslim world is seething with its own
self-generated turmoil, but Obama’s agenda stays immutable. In our arena he’s
still intent on removing the presumed triggers for Muslim rage. This is where
Israel comes in – the much-demonized fly in the Arab/Muslim ointment and the
regional-scale counterpart to Hasan’s workplace disenchantment or to the YouTube
To judge from Obama’s glib patter, all which kindles Arab/Muslim
volatility are the territories Israel won in the Six Day War (when a beleaguered
small nation, openly threatened with genocide, was forced to defend
Browbeaten, we play along, in the desperate hope that we’ll
thereby gain a morsel of approval. Hence Netanyahu acquiesced, despite himself,
to the two-state cliché instead of exclaiming that it’s nothing but a red-herring
– a propaganda ploy geared to divert world attention from much more sinister
ultimate objectives vis-à-vis the Jewish state. Little Israel’s very existence
ignites Arab passions, not its size.
This hankering after the morsel
compelled Netanyahu to restart negotiations based (admit it or not) on the
Obama’s implicit diktat – a return to the pre-1967 Green Line (the 1949
In essence, Obama demands we cede 95 percent of
everything beyond 1949 lines, and offer giveaways for the remaining 5%. These
are capitulation terms rather than the victor’s magnanimity. We often forget
that we were forced to defend ourselves in 1967 and that we
Wholesale retreat would mean the wholesale need to re-house hundreds
of thousands of uprooted Israelis, the encirclement of re-divided Jerusalem and
the rise of a new Hamastan – on the direct doorstep of most us in densely packed
Hamas will triumph in judenrein Judea and Samaria just as
it had in judenrein Gaza. Just as Jimmy Carter’s credulity bequeathed us the
ayatollahs’ theocracy and spawned a belligerent Iran with nuclear ambitions, so
Obama will leave us an Iranian proxy atop Israel’s soft underbelly.
just to facilitate placing our collective national head in the noose, Israel was
obliged to pay an entry fee to the gallows via the release of some of the worst
convicted terrorist mass murderers behind bars.
Rumor is that Netanyahu
was lured by promises of American participation in stymieing Iran’s nukes
project. Though thoroughly unsubstantiated, the implied trade-off is that Israel
must mount the Palestinian gallows in order to dodge the Iranian
Proponents of this narrative maintain that Israel is helpless
against Iran and depends for its survival on American anti-Iranian action. The
only way Obama will rescue us from one existential peril is if we exacerbate
another existential peril.
We can choose between being threatened by
Tehran’s nukes or by Ramallah’s terrorists – after we’re squeezed back into a
9-mile-wide state, within borders that ultra-dove Abba Eban dubbed “the
This is Obama’s monstrously magnified version of
Hobson’s comparatively innocuous choice. Thomas Hobson (1544-1631) was a
notorious English liveryman who pretended to offer his customers the pick of his
horses but in fact gave them no option. Obama seemingly offers Israel a
free choice but in fact aims to leave it with no viable alternative. In so many
words he tells us that it’s his way or the highway.
Yet is no price too
high to pay for the hazy hypothetical that Obama would free us from Iranian
danger? Are we indeed as impotent as some spin-meisters would have us believe? If
we can help ourselves even a little, is the further compromising of our
self-preservation prospects sane?
The buzz about Obama’s alleged variation on
Hobson’s choice might be altogether unfounded. In that case all we’d supposedly
gain from going to the gallows is the hope that we can at the last moment avoid
execution but in the meanwhile diminish our excruciating delegitimization
Our delegitimization, though, is inextricably bound with Obama’s
perception that there’s no conflict with Islam and that peace on earth and
goodwill to all men would be at hand... if Israel weren’t in the
With that in mind, can anyone seriously count on Obama to fight
Israel’s fight? He hasn’t exactly been eager to fight America’s own fight. Hence
the panicky evacuation of US embassies. Hence the preposterous resort to the
YouTube pretext and the workplace violence charade.
Debunking the Bull,
Sarah Honig’s book, was published this year by Gefen.