What to the more discerning observers was evident from the outset of Barack Obama’s White House tenure in 2009 is now openly touted by him as unassailable dogma. He and his mouthpieces never tire of inculcating the notion that there is nothing Islamist about the atrocities perpetrated all around this planet in Islam’s name.
The leader of the free world loses no opportunity to declare that what we see is no more than a law and order issue, a crime-fighting concern, bedevilment by individual wrongdoers. It is not, Obama claims, a global war with distinct ideological battle lines.
The democracies, he would have us believe, aren’t bullied by conquest-oriented Jihadists. At most we’re beset by a bunch of armed gangs rampaging because they are aggrieved, poor, disadvantaged and chronically unhappy. It’s a matter for police and social workers rather than for armies and statesmen.
In all, Obama recycles “a touching good story,” to borrow a phrase from West Side Story.
Wittingly or not, Obama had cast himself in the role of the ineffectual Officer Krupke whom the street-wise juvenile delinquents seek to impress with their hard-luck spoof. “Gee officer Krupke,” they chant, “we’re depraved on account we’re deprived.”
And opportunely Obama is only too eager to regurgitate the line that:
”We ain't no delinquents,
Deep down inside us there is good!”
The trouble is that no jihadist ever made excuses for his choices because he couldn’t get “a good honest job,” because
“Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick!”
Yet that’s precisely the hackneyed excuse which Obama tenders on behalf of those who label us all infidel sinners and depict themselves as Allah’s righteous warriors. They don’t make a fool of him; he makes a fool of himself.
The notion that recruits to Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL) are nothing more than misfits with “a social disease” is both ludicrous and odious to the zealots themselves. They know what they are about even if Obama forbids the truth because of its inherent political incorrectness.
To be sure, political correctness isn’t a new-fangled warp, although by now its provocative promoters – Obama foremost – have assumed the powers of a universalist thought police. Woe to anyone who dares not to toe their line. Voicing opposition has become not the legitimate expression of divergent views but heresy – the willful and persistent rejection of all that’s purportedly good, moral and proper.
Hence, anyone who takes issue with the high priests of progressivism risks damnation as a regressive renegade. This is the lot of the heedless sorts who suggest that there’s a smidge of an Islamist threat to the Western way of life. Merely insinuating so defines one as a dyed-in-the-wool reactionary – personally irredeemable and socially a danger to the ideals of tolerance and evenhandedness.
In Obamaesque parlance it has long been considered a grave faux-pas to natter about Muslim terrorists. The term terrorism was suffered only on condition that the identity of the terrorists in question remains ambiguous and expediently open-ended.
Now the presidentially approved vocabulary seems to have been further laundered. Obama had recently hosted the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism. It was attended, inter alia, by such enlightened guests as Salam al-Marayati, founder of America’s Muslim Public Affairs Council, who gained notoriety for suggesting that Muslims didn’t bring down NY’s Twin Towers – Israel did.
Indeed the dictated bon ton among summit participants was to substitute “violent” for “Muslim” and “extremism” for “terrorism.”Obama set the tone with his assertion that the “violent extremism” that plagues the world today is essentially the bitter harvest of poverty and oppression. These, he omnisciently argued, become grievances which unnamed villains then exploit.
“When people are oppressed and human rights are denied, particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines, when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism," Obama confidently lectured. "Nations need to break the cycles of conflict, especially sectarian conflicts that have become magnets for violent extremism.”
And if Obama’s delicate distinctions weren’t sufficiently intelligible, his National Security Adviser Susan Rice helped elucidate the infallible president’s operational recommendations. For those who forget, she’s the one who obstinately resonated the falsehood that the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a “heinous and offensive video.”
Concluding the summit, Rice urged that governments and civil society everywhere “tap the talents” of those she warned might otherwise feel marginalized. Solicitously she emphasized the role of "women and girls, who are some of the most effective voices in countering violent extremism. Who is better than a mother to spot unusual behavior in her child and intervene?"
It’s at this point that we must wonder aloud just how far Rice’s penchant for videos extends. Has she really never been exposed to the numerous taped appearances by elated mothers of Arab suicide-bombers? Has she never heard them express pride in their shaheed (martyr) offspring and exhort others to follow in the same homicidal footsteps?
Rice’s selective recollection might have kept her from mentioning the exploits of Hanadi Jaradat, who blew herself up next to a baby in her buggy at Haifa’s Maxim Restaurant in 2003 (murdering 21, among them three generations of two separate Israeli families). Jaradat, moreover, wasn’t the only female mass-murderer but why allow unpleasant facts to spoil the seductive saccharine kitsch about the maternal force for goodness?
As can be readily expected, Obama’s Secretary of State spends his energies exuding as much reformist ardor as his chief. Thus John Kerry helpfully reminded all and sundry via an op-ed he published in the Wall Street Journal that “violent extremism” represents the biggest challenge in the 21st century and success in foiling it “requires showing the world the power of peaceful communities instead of extremist violence. Success requires offering a vision that is positive and proactive: a world with more concrete alternatives to the nihilistic worldview of violent extremists.”
What does all that blather mean? Fortunately State Department spokesperson Marie Harf clued us in. Apocalyptic jihadists, she explained, run amok because nobody helped set them up in business. That may be the “concrete alternative” to which her boss alluded. What the Arab beheaders obviously need is a career change.
Speaking on the MSNBC’s Hardball program, Harf cogitated about Jihad’s allure for young Muslims. “We're killing a lot of them, and we're going to keep killing more of them. ... But we cannot win this war by killing them,” she intoned.
Simpletons like us may believe that this is how wars are won so thankfully Harf sets us straight: “we need ... to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it's lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…” Even Harf’s indulgent interviewer, Chris Matthews, couldn’t quite take the jibber-jabber and interjected: “There's always going to be poor people. There's always going to be poor Muslims."
But Harf wasn’t about to concede the point: America, she slogged on, should “help countries work at the root causes of this – what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business."
Still, we mustn’t be too hard on Harf. She was only mouthing her employers’ official line, which is what they pay her to do. She only parroted Obama’s own op-ed in the Los Angeles Times:
“Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”
These are words that doubtless befit a Chicago community organizer, which Obama was (and which was the only job experience listed on his CV before his meteoric political rise). These are hardly the words of a Commander in Chief.
It’s difficult to imagine Franklin Delano Roosevelt (despite his having been the New Deal’s daddy) dwelling upon the socioeconomic frustrations that induced young Japanese boys to become kamikaze pilots over Pearl Harbor.
Obama, however, presumes to delve into the psyches of jihadists to account for their medieval hankering after world-domination. Worse yet, Obama does so by resorting to naive sociological postulates. Poverty may lead to crime but not all crime is poverty-generated. Besides, jihad is war – not “senseless violence,” as Obama invariably prefers to portray it.
And Jihad attracts some of the cream of the Muslim crop rather than just the dregs of Muslim society.
Osama bin-Laden was a Saudi billionaire scion to “the wealthiest non-royal family in the kingdom.” Mohamed Atta, who led the 9/11 atrocity, was a prosperous Egyptian architect. Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was a military psychiatrist, trained at the U.S. taxpayers’ expense.
Beheader extraordinaire “Jihadi John,” has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, an affluent Holocaust-lauding London-educated computer programmer.
American journalist Daniel Pearl was murdered by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh who grew up in the lap of luxury in north London. He regarded the spilling of Jewish blood as morally justified and had Pearl identify himself as the son of Jewish parents before decapitating him.
Two British Muslims, who paid a lethal visit to Israel in April, 2003, came from moneyed families. Asif Muhammad Hanif, the suicide-bomber who took three innocent lives at Mike’s Place on Tel Aviv’s sea front, was a well-heeled London lad. His absconded accomplice, Omar Khan Sharif, came from Derby, where he attended posh private schools and enjoyed all the best that the UK could offer.
Among recent IS volunteers are British medical students and interns – hardly desperate punks without prospects.
Reciting platitudes about economic woes isn’t an antidote to the escalating jihad. Our growing suspicion is that it’s not really meant to be. Obama isn’t seriously looking for that elusive “untapped good” in the hearts of would-be jihadists. It’s all a whitewash.
It’s as much a whitewash as his burgeoning deal with Iran is. Sadly, the current American administration strives to instill complacency about what threatens the West’s safety and, most acutely, Israel’s very existence.
That’s why we Israelis aren’t even supposed to be privy to the sellout being concocted behind our backs, never mind that it may critically compromise our continued survival. That’s why Obama didn’t want Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress. Scraping off the whitewash might surely upset those who laid it on with a trowel.
Before the jihadists of whatever ilk – IS Sunnis in Syria or Shiite ayatollahs in Iran – contemptuously mock the latter-day Officer Krupke with an Islamic version of “Krup You,” Officer Obama might do well to consider that:“It ain't just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside them, they’re no good!”
‘Debunking the Bull,’ Sarah Honig’s book, was recently published by Gefen.