A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
September 26th, 2012
By Dan Miller
If you like presidential policy speeches based on fantasy.
President Obama’s address yesterday to the United Nations is presented here in it’s entirety.
Many quotations and a few comments are provided here. Here are my comments after watching the address.
It was literate, well delivered and had a touch of eloquence. It had many high sounding phrases lauding peace, understanding and the need for all people everywhere to behave in humane, freedom loving democratic ways. Were the Islamist world as receptive as he seemed to think it is to the values he claims to hold dear, it would be a better place for all. If it were, his speech would have served little purpose beyond demonstrating his eloquence, mainly for his domestic audience as the November election approaches. Many if not most in the Islamist world neither hold those values dear nor will they become receptive to them because of President Obama’s eloquence. His address neither created nor marked the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
Many, possibly most, in the Islamist lands are little removed from stone age savagery and are prepared to defend the sacred honor of their prophet against all insult, intentional, inadvertent or merely perceived. They claim to cherish and to fight for democracy, yet their visions of democracy reject any place for the freedom of those with whom they disagree religiously, ideologically or politically. They do as they are instructed by their powerful clerics, thought to be the fonts of all truth, beauty and wisdom. Even the youth are widely indoctrinated.
How about some Islamist “honor killings,” courtesy of the Religion of Peace?
Notice how the killer is stabbing the woman while she is turtled on the floor with a small blade. Honor killings are becoming more and more common in Egypt, since the toppling of Mubarak.
Killed in broad daylight while women in Egypt suffer from post-Mubarak insanity and with Sharia Housewife killed in Hariri’s manor in eastern province while the crowds stand by and watch. A cellphone was available to film the gory details.
On April of this year it was reported by Emirates24 that an Egyptian man murdered his three daughters with two cobras. These killings will increase with the Muslim Brotherhood bringing Sharia law back to Egypt.
Strangely, that sort of behavior is not often referred to as an Islamist War on Women.
But can’t we at least hope for change for the better in those lands? Isn’t it “racist” to do otherwise? After all, President Obama killed Osama bin Laden. Unfortunately, al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations are still alive and healthy, as are other popular terrorist groups. Violent Islamism in other guises is as well. The Muslim Brotherhood? Why, that’s our friend, isn’t it? We can entertain such hopes, but we had better not base our foreign policies on them. Rather than hope that they will come to understand, love and seek to adopt our values of freedom and democracy because we are understanding of them and show respect for their ancient cultures, we had better seek their respect. Giving them money does not breed respect and is more likely to enhance existing jealousy over the prosperity that permits us to give it and their lack of prosperity that makes them seek it. Neither does equating the morality and justice of those who defend Israel against the “Palestinians” and others who promise to, and if they can will, destroy her and her people. Iran presents an immediate and even greater threat not only to Israel but to the entire region — and thereby to the United States as well. Wisdom can engender respect, but not when it is grossly inconsistent with the strongly held perceptions of wisdom of those within the culture whose respect we desire. Strength breeds respect. Yielding, accepting and apologizing are seen as weakness and weakness breeds contempt rather than respect; it diminishes what little respect there may be.
It would be wonderful were the entire world a happier, more hopeful, more democratic and more free place than it is. Pretending that such a situation exists or is on the cusp of existing, and that we can deal with all others, particularly those in the Islamist lands, on that basis is folly. It is likely to bring us more to resemble their worst features than it is to bring them to resemble our best features.
If President Obama were serious in his pleas for tolerance and healthy exchanges of ideas by others he might want to review, introspectively, some of his own actions thus far during his presidency. When he assumed office in January of 2009, he took the position that “I Won!” and that the destiny of the nation had therefore come under his control; it had to be his way or the highway. Dissent even within his own party was rebuffed or paid off with pork and that from outside his party was ridiculed. If they were paying attention (they probably were not) that could hardly have set sterling examples for the Shia, Sunni and other sects, encouraging them to discuss and try to resolve their differences amicably through compromise.
A couple of years later, when the House of Representatives ceased to be controlled by his party and failed in “bipartisan” fashion to agree with him, he said that he “could not wait” to take actions that should have been taken, if at all, jointly with the Congress. He instead took those actions by Executive Order. When caught on an open microphone asking the then President of the Russian Federation not to press him until after the election to do what the Federation wanted him to do because only after reelected would he have sufficient flexibility to do it, he at least appeared to be seeking and expecting far greater power post-reelection than he now has — regardless of what the voters, then no longer able to vote for or against him, might say or think. That was a dangerous statement to make, and is an even more dangerous view for the President to hold. It set a poor example for any Arab leader who claims to intend to rule democratically and suggested that once in control he too should be free to do as he pleased.
Words can have consequences, even those addressed to an international farce as ineffectual and corrupt as the United Nations. Words that people want to hear are interpreted as they want to interpret them, those they don’t want to hear are disputed, rejected or ignored; they are not taken to heart. Words not said and actions not taken also have consequences. Were President Obama’s words of hope for world harmony, democracy and freedom to have had any realistic chance of yielding the fruits for which the rest of us hope, he should have met one-on-one with the leaders he needed to convince and backed up his words to the extent necessary with actions commanding respect for our nation.
He declined to do either, and instead delivered something difficult not to view as a campaign speech to the United Nations but intended principally for domestic consumption. He did, of course, also make time to appear on a popular television show.
So he goes and plops down on the couch with the ladies of “The View” and says things like: “I told folks I’m supposed to be the eye candy here for you guys.”
I would never claim to know how women think, but I do know how men think women think. And this man thought it would be really appealing to women everywhere if he made a joke about just being an object to be looked at. That’s because “enlightened” men worry that women feel objectified.
He also brought a basket of birthday gifts for the old lady in charge on the show. Because we men always know the hell to pay if you forget a birthday or anniversary.
And most cloying of all, he brought his wife along so he could display all of his best giggle and banter that makes him such a swell man around the house.
All this happy sofa banter is fine, except that into the vacuum of his Empty Chair Diplomacy, on full display down the street at the U.N., races an enemy hellbent on violent mayhem and quashing freedom.
What is particularly sick about watching him ham it up for female voters is that this particular breed of evil that he so cavalierly assuages has a special twist of hatred for women. It is women who bear the cruelest scars, blood and repression when America retreats and radical Islam surges in.
Assuming that the Presidents of Iran, Egypt and other Islamic nations bothered to watch, or even heard reports of his appearance, would their views of the importance to them of President Obama and of our nation have changed for the better?
Here are some additional criticisms of President Obama’s United Nations address from the Heritage Organization’s Foundry.
An historical perspective
As it usually does, history provides insights into the present. Here is an example from Barbara Tuchman’s excellent account of the period leading up to the beginning of World War I in August of 1914, The Guns of August.
On a morning in May of 1910 the state funeral was held for King Edward VII of England. Nine kings rode in his funeral procession.
In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens — four dowager and three regnant — and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last….
In the center of the front row rode the new King, George V, flanked on his left by the Duke of Connaught, the late king’s only surviving brother, and on his right by a personage to whom, acknowledged The Times, “belongs the first place among all the foreign mourners,” who “even when relations are most strained has never lost his popularity amongst us” – William II, the German Emperor. Mounted on a gray horse, wearing the scarlet uniform of a British Field Marshal, carrying the baton of that rank, the Kaiser had composed his features behind his famous upturned mustache in an expression “grave even to severity.” Of the several emotions churning his susceptible breast, some hints exist in his letters. “I am proud to call this place my home and to be a member of this royal family,” he wrote home after spending the night in Windsor Caste in the former apartments of his mother. Sentiment and nostalgia induced by these melancholy occasions with his English relatives jostled with pride in his supremacy among the assembled potentates and with a fierce relish in the disappearance of his uncle from the European scene. He had come to bury Edward his bane; Edward the arch plotter, as William conceived it, of Germany’s encirclement; Edward his mother’s brother whom he could neither bully nor impress, whose fat figure cast a shadow between Germany and the sun. “He is Satan. You cannot imagine what a Satan he is!” (Emphasis added.)
Kaiser William II detested King Edward VII, because due to the latter’s charm he had been extraordinarily well received in European nations, particularly France, while the Kaiser had never even received an invitation to visit that country.
Meanwhile, the German military spirit was flourishing.
Pulsing with energy and ambition, conscious of strength, fed upon Nietzsche and Treitschke, they felt entitled to rule, and cheated that the world did not acknowledge their title. “We must, wrote Friedrich von Bernhardi, the spokesman of militarism, “secure to German nationality and German spirit throughout the globe that high esteem which is due them … and has hitherto been withheld from them.” … In German practice, Mr. Roosevelt’s current precept for getting on with your neighbors was Teutonized to “Speak loudly and brandish a big gun.” … [W]hen Pan-German Societies and Navy Leagues multiplied and met in congresses to demand that other nations recognize their “legitimate aims” toward expansion, the other nations answered with alliances and when they did, Germany screamed Einkreisung! Encirclement! The refrain Deutschland ganzlich einsukreigsen grated over the decade.
During the funeral procession, Kaiser William’s
behavior was exemplary. He kept his horse reigned in, a head behind King George’s and, to Conan Doyle, a special correspondent for the occasion, looked so “noble that England has lost something of her old kindness if she does not take him back into her heart today.” When the procession reached Westminster Hall he was the first to dismount and, as Queen Alexandra’s carriage drew up, “he ran to the door with such alacrity that he reached it before the royal servants,” only to find that the Queen was about to descend on the other side. William scampered nimbly around, still ahead of the servants, reached the door first, handed out the widow, and kissed her hand with the affection of a bereaved nephew. Fortunately, King George came up at this moment to rescue his mother and to escort her himself, for she loathed the Kaiser, both personally and for the sake of Schleswig-Holstein. Though he had been but eight years old when Germany seized the duchies from Denmark, she had never forgiven him or his country.
There was something for everyone, as King Edward’s
horse with empty saddle and boots with reversed in the stirrups led by two grooms and, trotting along behind, his wire-haired terrier, Caesar, added a pang of personal sentiment.
Germany had been planning her attack on France through Belgium, the neutrality of which Germany along with many other nations had guaranteed for decades. Count Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of The German General Staff from 1891 to 1906, firmly agreed with the precept of Clausewitz, “The heart of France lies between Brussels and Paris.”
Believing that war was a certainty and that Germany must enter it under conditions that gave her the most promise of success, Schlieffen determined not to allow the Belgian difficulty to stand in Germany’s way.
Why have I typed these lengthy quotations in the hope that you might read them? Not only because Barbara Tuchman’s writings are extraordinarily clear and expressive of the emotions of the day, but because she provides one of many examples of where, on state occasions (the recent United Nations assembly addressed by President Obama, while far less grand, was such an occasion) fine words and grandly flowing sentiments can mask reality. Kaiser William probably was not as bright as President Obama is seen as being, but he did an admirable job of masking his real feelings and intentions during King Edward’s funeral. I would be less concerned for our own Nation if I thought that President Obama’s United Nations address was intended to mask his own feelings and intentions and that he intended to apply far more pressure to the Islamists than his address suggested. Unfortunately, I think instead that President Obama has long been deluded by the force of his own fine words eloquently expressed (as he perceives them to be) to the point that he believes them himself — despite all of the evidence that he is sadly mistaken in thinking that most in Islamist lands desire freedom coupled with democracy and, to the extent that they do not yet, will come (with his help) to share our own love of both.
Perhaps this sort of stuff, consistent with the sentiments President Obama expressed at the United Nations, has helped to sway Islamists in our favor; I think it has done the opposite. Here are a few of the many examples of Islamist appeasement the article provides:
[T]he Fort Hood shooting was classified as “work place violence” and American officials did not want to say that Arid Uka, the 21-year-old Albanian Kosovar who screamed “Allahu Akbar” before he shot four and killed two U.S. servicemen on a bus in Frankfurt, Germany, was a terrorist.
In December of 2011 Congressman Dan Lungren, California Republican, questioned Paul N. Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, at a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee. After much back and forth, Stockton would not say the United States was “at war with violent Islamist extremism.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, had a similar experience in May of 2010, when he questioned Attorney General Eric Holder at a House judiciary hearing about the issue of radical Islam.
The FBI training manual changed. Nearly 900 pages of training that was considered offensive were deleted. Members like Congressman Allen West, Florida Republican, and Congressman Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, were critical of the purge.
Gohmert questioned FBI director Robert Mueller in May 2012 about the deleting of FBI material. Rep. Gohmert went to the House floor and compared the number of times certain terms (at 22:40) were used in the 9/11 Commission report as opposed to the now purged FBI training manual. For example, according to Gohmert, the 9/11 report mentioned the word “Islam” 322 times. However, Gohmert discusses that the FBI training manual can no longer mention the terms: Islam, Muslim, jihad, enemy, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, caliphate, Shariah law.
If we do not know the enemy, or knowing it are afraid even to utter its name, we are in deep trouble. President Obama should by now have learned that our current most dangerous enemy is virulent Islamism and have sought to disable it. Referring to things as they are, rather than as we hope to see them, has become decreasingly popular in our multicultural land of political correctness. Yet we still realize that suicide vests and IEDs are tools for murdering people and we do not generally consider them as things of beauty, suitable replacements for vases of flowers as centerpieces for our dining tables. Taking the position that since many in Islamist lands see them as things of beauty we should as well lest we give offense would be unlikely to lead to “peace in our time.” The only “peace” it might bring would lie in submission, death or both.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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