Saturday, July 23, 2016
Victor Davis Hanson
Read the whole thing.When President Obama entered office, he dreamed that his hope-and-change messaging and his references to his familial Islamic roots would win over the Muslim world. The soon-to-be Nobel Peace Prize laureate would make the U.S. liked in the Middle East. Then, terrorism would decrease.But, as with his approach to racial relations, Obama's remedies proved worse than the original illness....In apology tours and mythological speeches, Obama exaggerated Islamic history as often as he critiqued America. He backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He pushed America away from Israel, appeased Iran, and tried to piggyback on the Arab Spring by bombing Libya. He even lectured Christians on their past pathologies dating back to the Crusades.Yet Obama's outreach was still interpreted by Islamists as guilt and weakness to be exploited rather than magnanimity to be reciprocated. Terrorist attacks increased. Obama blamed them on a lack of gun control or generic "violent extremism."Careerist toadies in government parroted the party-line message and even tried to outdo their politically correct boss.Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano focused on returning veterans as terrorist risks. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said that global warming, not the Islamic State, was the real threat. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the president asked him to make Muslim outreach a top priority for the agency. CIA Director John Brennan said that jihad "is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper opined that the Muslim Brotherhood was largely secular...The real problem is that Islamic terrorism feeds off the self-induced failures of the Middle East. Jihadists try to convince the Arab street that returning to religious fundamentalism and exporting jihad will empower Muslims to recapture lost primacy over a decadent and guilty West, just as in the mythical glory days of the caliphate.In truth, religious intolerance, gender apartheid, illiteracy, autocracy, statism, tribalism and religious fundamentalism all guarantee poverty, economic stagnation and scapegoating. While much of Asia and Latin America progressed through reform, the Middle East blame-gamed its miseries on affluent Western nations and on Israel.More disturbing, millions of Middle Easterners fled to the safety of Europe and the United States -- but on occasion, only to resist assimilation and show ingratitude once they got there.In short, the dreamy Obama approach to terrorism has proved a nightmare -- and it is not over yet.