February 20, 2015
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President Obama’s oped in the Los Angeles Times this week made clear why his administration is hopelessly losing ground to radical Islamists.
“Efforts to counter violent extremism,” the President asserted, “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.”
This is so profound a misunderstanding of radical Islamists and what motivates them that it is frightening for the security of the United States over the next two years.
Secretary of State John Kerry reinforced the President’s totally false analysis of Radical Islamism in his own bizarre remarks.
“The most basic issue is good governance,” he said. “It may not sound exciting, but it is vital. People who feel that their government will provide for their needs, not just its own, and give them a chance at a better life are far less likely to strap on an AK-47 or a suicide vest, or to aid those who do.”
So in the Obama-Kerry worldview, “legitimate grievances,” “good governance,” and “the democratic process” are at the heart of our problem with radical Islamists.
Let’s check this analysis against the clear statements of our enemies about what they want and believe.
ISIS wants us to convert to a strict interpretation of Islam or be beheaded, burned alive, or killed in some other grisly manner. They recently beheaded 21 Egyptians for being Christian. Presumably we could alleviate their grievances if we all became Sunni (not Shia) Muslims.
Hamas is clear that its grievance is the existence of Jews. It wants every Jew to leave Israel or be killed. A Hamas imam in Gaza said in a sermon last year, “Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries.”
The Hamas Charter says that “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”
What does “eliminate” mean? More from the charter:
“…[T]he Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
Maybe we could satisfy Hamas by allowing every Israeli Jew to migrate to the United States, thus creating a Jewish-free zone for Hamas to ruin, and thus reducing Tel Aviv to the standard of living in Gaza.
In 2006, by the way, Palestinians had the chance to “address their grievances through the democratic process” (to use President Obama’s phrase). They voted-in Hamas.
Boko Haram in Nigeria is even clearer about its grievance. The term “Boko Haram” means “Western Education is a sin”. So presumably if we closed every Western school and especially quit educating women, we would address some of their grievances.
Radical Islamists are consistently hateful and violent to women, gays, and anyone who is not a Muslim. Their core grievance is the very existence of the Western world with its freedom to live in ways not defined by sharia law.
Ayatollah Khomeini described America as the Great Satan precisely because the attractiveness of our open, consumer culture threatened to attract Iranians away from his austere religious theocracy.
Secretary Kerry’s notion of “good governance” as the fundamental problem is equally as bizarre as the President’s idea that the Islamists have “legitimate grievances”.
How would Kerry explain the radical Islamists in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Denmark, Australia, and almost every other Western country in the world? Does he really believe that Minneapolis, Denver, London, and Paris lack good governance? If so, why aren’t other demographics in those places strapping on suicide vests?
And if the problem is economic and educational opportunity, as President Obama suggests, how does he explain “Lady al Qaeda,” the “MIT-educated neuroscientist” in prison for planning a terrorist attack on the United States?
The Obama doctrine is tragically and dangerously wrong.
We are not faced with addressable grievances.
We are faced with mortal enemies who want to destroy our way of life.
Congress has to become much more aggressive in filling the gap in leadership which is increasing the threat to our country and our civilization.
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