The Appeaser-In-Chief

The Appeaser-In-Chief

Posted By Rich Trzupek On June 23, 2010 @ 12:05 am In FrontPage | 14 Comments

The Islamist movement that threatens Judeo-Christian western culture can be viewed in one of two ways: as a fundamentalist, misguidedly pious religious phenomenon that appeals to a wide swath of the Muslim masses, or as a calculated, cynical attempt to grab both the power and wealth that the West holds — orchestrated by an Islamic elite who don’t actually care about the finer points of the Quran or Sharia law, except when either might serve to further their overall purpose. The important difference between the way that George W. Bush approached the problem of radical Islam and the manner in which Barack Obama deals with the issue – or claims to be trying to deal it – involves these two different points of view.

At various instances during his terms in office Bush tried, mostly in vain, to find and deal with moderates among Islamic leadership, hoping to thus isolate extremist leaders and their radical, fundamentalist followers. It was a flawed vision, but an appealing one, for it attacked the problem at a grass roots level. If radical Islam is primarily a political phenomenon then it should be possible to separate radical organizations like the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hamas from ordinary moderate Muslims who reject fundamentalist dogma and instead blend secular values in with their theology in the western style. That’s a tough road to take, especially given the lack of any meaningful educational system in the modern sense in the Muslim world. Yet, in Iraq the majority of a relatively educated populace (by Islamic-state standards anyway) did indeed reject the radicals in their midst once coalition forces provided the kind of security needed to allow the Iraqi people to take charge of their lives in safety.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has effectively abandoned any hope of cultivating a moderate, secularlist Islam that might counterbalance the fundamentalist, radical variety. Given the ever-increasing power and influence of the extremists, even in a nation like Turkey that we once thought of as the model of a “moderate Muslim” state, the president’s approach is more realistic than Bush’s utopian visions. Moderate Muslims, cowed by the murderous fanatics who infect Islam throughout the globe, were never of much use in the war on terror anyway and aren’t likely to be in the future. In a practical sense, Obama’s policies reflect the reality that Islam cannot be reformed in any meaningful sense. But his reaction to that reality has been to try to appease the extremists rather than rendering them harmless. It’s a strategy that merely emboldens radical Muslims, who are thus convinced more than ever that the West lacks the stomach to see this war through.

Obama’s counter-terrorism czar, John Brennan provided an example of the Obama administration’s approach in a speech he gave a few weeks ago [1]. Utilizing the kind of Orwellian newspeak that has become a hallmark of this administration, Brennan said that “…we need to try to build up the more moderate elements” within Hezbollah. It’s at least the second time that Brennan has referred to “moderate elements” within the radical Shia militia, but Brennan surely knows that there are no moderate elements within Hezbollah, just as though there are no moderates within Hamas, the Taliban or al Qaeda. So, why use such a term? There’s only one rational answer: if this administration is going to negotiate with terrorists – in effect trying to find a way to buy them off – it cannot appear to be doing so. While America remains a house divided when it comes to pressing forward war against the jihadis, the “millions for defense, but not a penny for tribute” spirit still resonates among Americans of every political stripe. Obama would face intense criticism on both sides of the aisle if he announced that he was going to negotiate a settlement with terrorists, but when the administration packages that strategy as an attempt to nurture so-called moderates, it sounds much more palatable, so that’s how his counter-terrorism czar is going to sell it.

This is of course the same John Brennan [2] who said: “Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.” Unfortunately, to the radicals that this administration is trying to court, it is both legitimate and Islamic to murder innocent men, women and children in the course of this “holy struggle.” Again, Brennan knows that. He was in the CIA [3] long enough to understand the realities of Islam, but his current assignment involves papering-over those inconvenient facts, not confronting the cold truth.

Some commentators have accused Obama of sympathizing with the radicals, or possibly being a “closet Muslim” himself. That kind of reaction is understandable, given the president’s poorly-concealed hostility towards Israel and his attempts to curry favor from Islamic states. Yet, the more likely reason that Obama chooses to trod down this dangerous path is because he’s an academic and, like most academics, believes that the right combination of words and concessions can soothe the most savage beasts. It’s a naïve strategy, of the sort that only a smug intellectual can embrace. Appeasement is also a forlorn hope, one that delays an inevitable conflict rather than preventing it, as western leaders from Jefferson [4] through Chamberlain [5] painfully learned. Barack Obama seems determined to take America down that doomed path once more. The inevitable consequences of the president’s policy are obvious to even casual students of history and Islam: America and Israel will surely pay for Obama’s naiveté in blood. The only real questions are when and how much.

Obama’s invisible Islam–Democrats refuse to admit who the jihadist enemy is

EDITORIAL: Obama’s invisible Islam

Democrats refuse to admit who the jihadist enemy is

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

During questioning before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, a visibly nervous Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. tried valiantly not to utter the expression “radical Islam.” The twisting began when Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, asked whether the men behind three recent terrorist incidents – the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day bombing attempt and the Time Square bombing attempt – “might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam.”

Mr. Holder said there are a “variety of reasons” why people commit terror attacks. That can be true, but in these cases there was one reason: radical Islam. The attorney general said you have to look at each case individually. That’s fine, but when that is done, one comes face to face with radical Islam every time. He said that of the variety of reasons people might commit terror, “some of them are potentially religious.” Yes, like radical Islam. When pressed, what Mr. Holder would finally allow is, “I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like [Times Square bomber Faisal] Shahzad.”

Mr. Holder mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical cleric now holed up in Yemen who has been mentioned in connection with all three attacks. Mr. Holder said that Mr. al-Awlaki “has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of [the faith].” Mr. Holder did not go into details to back up his assertion that Mr. al-Awlaki, an Islamic scholar, is somehow at odds with his own faith, nor did he pinpoint exactly what Muslim teachings he was referring to.

The Obama administration seems to have issued an internal gag order that forbids any official statements that might cast even the most extreme interpretations of the Islamic religion in a negative light. The “force protection review” of the Fort Hood massacre omitted any mention of shooter Nidal Malik Hasan’s openly radical Islamic worldview or the fact that he made the jihadist war cry “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire. Initially, the Obama administration refused to even call the massacre an act of terrorism, much less radical Islamic terrorism.

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled out of circulation in the wake of controversy with other department publications, listed Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism as threats but made no mention of any form of Muslim extremism. The Feb. 1, 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review discusses terrorism and violent extremism but does not mention radical Islam as a motivator, or in any context. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review likewise avoids any terminology related to Islam.

The Obama administration may not like to think of being at war with radical Islam, but the jihadists are definitely at war with the United States. Rather than running from the expression “radical Islam,” the administration should be openly discussing the ideological motives of the terrorists and finding ways to delegitimize them. Instead of hedging, obfuscating and ignoring, these Democrats should confront the challenge frankly, openly and honestly. Pretending that a radical, violent strain of Islam does not exist will not make it go away. To the contrary, it will make the situation much worse.

President Obama’s continuing solicitude toward the faith of Muhammad is inexplicable, and as these acts of denial continue, it is becoming dangerous. The United States will not defeat an enemy it is afraid to identify.

Denying Jihad — Again

Denying Jihad — Again

Posted By Robert Spencer On May 5, 2010 @ 12:39 am In FrontPage | 75 Comments

We know now that the car bomb in Times Square was an attempted Islamic jihad attack. But the mainstream media, following its usual pattern, is once again denying, minimizing, or obfuscating this fact.

Writing in The Nation on Monday, Robert Dreyfuss epitomized the mainstream media’s hope that the car bomber would turn out to be a right-wing extremist: “It may be that the Pakistan-based Taliban, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has quietly established a Connecticut franchise while we weren’t looking. That’s possible. But it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone wolf or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right. Which actually exists in Connecticut, where, it seems, the car’s licence plates were stolen.”

In reality, according to Pakistani authorities, Faisal Shahzad, the would-be car bomber, attended a jihad training camp in that country. He spent five months in Pakistan recently, including some time in Peshawar, a center of Al-Qaeda and Taliban activity. A Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for the attack — a claim that American authorities immediately dismissed, but which gained a new claim to serious consideration when Shahzad’s Pakistani connections were revealed.

Shahzad parked his explosives-laden SUV outside the offices of Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, which presents South Park, the cartoon whose creators were just threatened with death by Islamic supremacists in New York for daring to lampoon Muhammad. The Muslim group that issued the threat, Revolution Muslim, was proselytizing in Times Square just hours before Shahzad’s car bomb was discovered.

Yet for all this, virtually no media reports are saying anything about Shahzad being a Muslim. Such a reference, however, would hardly be gratuitous: Islamic jihad theology and the death penalty enshrined in Islamic law for anyone who insults Allah or Muhammad are the most likely keys to Shahzad’s motivation. But the politically correct, multiculturalist imperative demands that Islam and Muslims, being (at least in this addled view) non-white and non-Western, must always be portrayed as victims, no matter how imaginative the lengths to which analysts must go in order to find something, anything, to blame for the carnage other than Islam’s doctrines of hatred of and violence against unbelievers.

Ezra Klein in the Washington Post led the way in the imaginative department. Observing that Shahzad defaulted on the mortgage on his home in Connecticut and that the property is now in foreclosure, Klein discovered a hitherto-unnoticed motivation for violent jihad: “foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors that don’t make headlines but do ruin lives. And for all that we’ve done to save the financial sector, we’ve not done nearly enough to help struggling homeowners.” Help struggling homeowners, or they’ll try to set off car bombs in Times Square!

MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, meanwhile, may not have had to face the heartbreak of foreclosure, but she had her own reason to feel “an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression”: what got Brewer down was that Shahzad turned out to be a Muslim. “There was a part of me,” lamented Brewer once the perpetrator was identified, “that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country.”

Brewer explained that she hoped that Shahzad’s action would not give rise to a resurgence of what she called “outdated bigotry” – voicing the common mainstream media preoccupation with a “backlash” against innocent Muslims. This preoccupation manifests itself in a flood of articles about Muslims fears of this “backlash” every time there is an attempted or successful jihad terror attack in America or Europe; the only thing that never appears is the backlash itself, which remains more a figment of the Leftist media’s imagination than an actual threat against innocent Muslims.  

Nonetheless, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was likewise preoccupied with this phantom threat of a backlash, warning New Yorkers several times that any action against Muslims or Pakistanis. Bloomberg ought to be ashamed of himself. He should have been making statements about protecting Americans of all creeds, and calling the Muslim community in America to account for its tolerance of jihadists. There has never been a backlash against innocent Muslims in the U.S. It is a fiction that we only hear about when a Muslim plots mass murder of Americans. And then we hear about it endlessly, as if Muslims were the victims rather than the perpetrators.

Faisal Shahzad and his car bomb is yet another indication of the tenacity and persistence of the jihad against the United States – and of the continuing and even hardening resistance of American officials to the elementary step of even admitting that that jihad is being waged.