Stung by criticism that he has no strategy for confronting ISIS, President Obama told his hastily convened “summit on violent extremism” that what these young men need is jobs.
Presumably, there are shovel-ready jobs these young terrorists could readily perform. Like grave-digging?
Has there ever been a more fatuous response to murderous savagery? Yes. At the beginning of World War II, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain ordered the Royal Air Force (RAF) to bomb Nazy Germany — with leaflets. He ordered young RAF flight crews to risk their lives in order to drop German-language appeals to the people in Hitler’s Reich. When one bombardier failed to cut the strings tying up one of these propaganda bundles, he was sharply rebuked: “That bundle could have killed someone on the ground!”
Chamberlain has gone down in history as the arch-appeaser. He seemed utterly blind to the rising storm of Nazi fury, and to the mortal threat it posed to England. Sixty thousand Britons died in the Blitz. The Luftwafffe didn’t fool around with dropping leaflets. Hitler’s air force dropped deadly bombs, including an especially cruel kind — those with delayed action fuses. These insidious weapons were designed to terrorize quiet English villages and demoralize the British population.
These terror weapons called for a new, more manly response. By the time the bombs rained down, the hapless Chamberlain had been tossed out of office and replaced by Winston Churchill. It was Churchill who had been warning all through the 1930s that hate-filled killers like the Nazis could not be appeased. Churchill responded to the devilish ingenuity of the Germans’ delayed fuse bombs by creating the Bomb Disposal Unit of the Royal Engineers. Their story of heroism in the face of death was dramatized in the BBC series, “Danger: UXB.” (Unexploded Bomb). Danger UXB signs cropped up all over London and many a British city and town.
Perhaps we should put a Danger UXB sign up outside the State Department. President Obama’s violent extremism summit included members of Muslim Brotherhood front groups. The Muslim Brotherhood was a twin of the Nazis. It survived WWII, and it has brought forward into our time the Nazis’ violent Jew hatred. They called it Judenhass and it was the propellant for those bombs and rockets.
President Obama told the summit participants that ISIS murderers “crave legitimacy.” So what does he do? He calls them ISIL — their preferred term for themselves — meaning Islamic State in the Levant. The Levant includes all of Lebanon, most of Syria, much of Iraq, and, of course, all of Israel. By using that term, President Obama has given ISIS the legitimacy he says they must not have.
Only the President of the United States has the power to extend or deny diplomatic recognition to foreign states. Harry Truman used that power to recognize Israel just eleven minutes after the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948. Dwight Eisenhower used that power to withdraw U.S. recognition of the murderous Castro regime in Cuba in 1961. Ike said memorably: “There is a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached.” Ike believed in American exceptionalism. And he kept this nation safe at home and respected abroad.
Under President Obama, there seems no limit to what we must endure. Under President Obama, the United States is daily humiliated. He bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia — the same Abdullah who refused us access to the al-Qaeda finance chief, Madani al Tayyib in 1998.
If we had been allowed to question al Tayyib, might we have unraveled the 9/11 plot and prevented it? Or might we have found Saudi subsidies to those “violent extremists,” as the president says we must call them?
President Obama thinks we have to do a better job of showing respect for Muslims around the world. It’s not enough that he thinks NASA’s real job is to shore up Muslim self-esteem. It’s not enough that he holds Muslim dinners at the White House, but scolds Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Perhaps President Obama himself should go to Duke University and recite the Shahada — the Muslim call to prayer — from the belltower of that famous, once Christian, temple of learning. He boasts that he can still recall the words he learned as a boy in Indonesia. Pity he didn’t also learn the Pledge of Allegiance.
It’s not enough that he meets with Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO boss, on every occasion while stiff-arming Israel’s elected prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu in the only democratically chosen leader in the Middle East.
The PLO was for decades listed as a terrorist organization by our State Department. They invented airline hijacking for terror purposes. But in 1989, they were declared a partner for peace. We’ve given them billions of dollars in foreign aid since and are no closer to peace.
The “Roadmap” for Middle East peace is studded with Danger UXB signs. This administration has put us in jeopardy everywhere in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Whether it’s in the Middle East (another term Churchill invented) or in Communist Cuba, there is no limit to what we, as Americans must endure. He openly trades the worst of their terrorists for the worst of our soldiers.
He gives Fidel Castro everything he demanded for for fifty years and got nothing in return. Not even a modicum of respect. The Castros displayed their greatest trophy in a half-century conflict. They paraded a brainwashed Eliàn Gonzalez at a celebratory victory rally. Eliàn was the six-year old Cuban refugee whose mother died trying to get him to freedom. The Clintons seized at gunpoint and tossed back onto that island of tyranny.
This is what the Obama administration calls smart power. This is their mantra: Don’t do stupid stuff. But to us it seems they do nothing else.
Ken Blackwell is the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Bob Morrison is a senior fellow at Family Research Council.