January 9, 2015
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A massacre occurs at a satirical French publication, Charlie Hebdo. Its sin had been satirizing the Prophet Mohammed.
The shooters yelled, “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) and, “We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed.”
What could the attack mean?
The White House spokesman Josh Earnest interpreted this event as a sign the United States has to “be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are. And we’re going to redouble those efforts in the days and weeks ahead.”
So the Obama White House is now a propaganda center for what Earnest described as “peaceful” Islam.
This is either madness or cowardice.
It could be madness because President Obama and his team are so out of touch with reality that they see themselves as the definers of a 1,500-year-old religion.
It could be cowardice because our national elite in both parties (it was true in the Bush State Department as much as the Obama State Department) is afraid to face the reality that millions of people around the world, many of them motivated by religion, hate the West and want sincerely to destroy it.
I first encountered this cowardice in December 2001. Already, only three months after the horrible attacks of 9/11, the gap between reality and the elites was growing.
I was in a briefing at what was then the CIA counter-terrorism center. The group had been tasked with hunting down an estimated 5,000 members and allies of Al Qaeda.
“Wait a second,” I asked them. As an historian who had been studying insurgencies for over 50 years I knew the key question was not the current number of activists but the size of the recruiting pool. “How many people are potential recruits?”
“Oh, about 3 to 5 percent of Islam,” a CIA analyst responded.
“That would be 39 million to 65 million people,” I replied.
Every analyst in the room nodded yes and smiled. That was what they had been trying to tell the Bush White House, they said. No one would listen.
This was the moment in the movie Jaws where the police chief says “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
Every element of the bipartisan national establishment rejected this message about the scale of the threat. This self-delusion is what led the Obama administration two years ago to declare that Al Qaeda was “decimated”.
But today, after more than 13 years of war, thousands of dead Americans, tens of thousands of wounded Americans, vastly more dead and wounded people in the Middle East, and trillions of dollars, we are losing the war we are afraid to fight.
Callista and I made a documentary in 2010, “America at Risk,” to define the scale of the threat and the desperation of our elites to avoid reality. Sadly the film is still accurate.
When, following the Benghazi attack, the Obama Administration apologized for a movie insulting Islam, it encouraged the intolerant and the killers. President Obama and Secretary Clinton were so desperate to appease these haters that they paid for TV commercials in Pakistan apologizing for any offense people might have taken to free speech the U.S. government had nothing to do with.
When the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, printed cartoons about Islam two years ago, the Obama White House said, “We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this.”
President Obama went to the United Nations in 2012 and said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
As a Christian who over the course of his career has been lectured routinely by the left about free speech and the obligation for taxpayers to fund anti-Christian art like the Piss Christ, I am deeply offended that an American president feels compelled to defend one religion from insult above all others–particularly one in whose name fanatics are seeking to destroy Western Civilization.
Whether these actions are madness or cowardice, the time has come to stand up to the intellectually dishonest cowering of our elites.
Congress should hold hearings on the scale and nature of the threat radical Islamism poses.
The United States and its allies should drive radical Islamists off the web to impede their ability to recruit and spread their hated over the internet.
Congress should pass a law making it illegal to advocate or recruit for radical Islamism.
Some mosques will have to be monitored and radical Imams who incite violence will have to be deported or jailed.
The era of allowing our enemies to use our freedom and our institutions to destroy us must end. President Lincoln warned, to use a phrase now popular, that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. It is as true today, faced with mortal enemies from abroad, as it was in the Civil War.
If 9/11 wasn’t adequate warning, maybe Paris will be.
Call your Congressman and Senators today.
Is the Obama White House Crazy or Cowardly?
- on January 9, 2015