The White House is holding a three-day “summit” on “countering violent extremism.” If there was ever need of more evidence that Barack Obama just doesn’t understand the problem, one need look no further than his op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times on the subject. Let’s look at this rather amazing literary effort section by section.
The United States has made significant gains against terrorism. We’ve decimated the core al Qaeda leadership, strengthened homeland security and worked to prevent another large-scale attack like 9/11.
At the same time, the threat has evolved. The al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen actively plots against us. Since 9/11, terrorists have murdered U.S. citizens overseas, including in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Here in the United States, Americans have been killed at Ft. Hood and during the Boston Marathon.
Significant gains since when? Note that the terror incidents he mentions have all taken place since January 2009. Two of those incidents, the sacking of our Benghazi consulate and the Fort Hood shootings he resisted even calling terrorism. Benghazi was labeled a spontaneous uprising and Fort Hood was called “workplace violence.” In the article he goes on for two additional paagraphs about terrorism abroad. Again, the unifying feature is that this litany of horrors has taken place on his watch and largely because of his failures.
Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.
To a great extent, the problem of violent extremism in the world is not “groups like al Qaeda and ISIL” it is al Qaeda and ISIL. If these two components were eliminated the international nature of “violent extremism” would actually be reduced to a police problem outside a handful of nations. And here we go back to Obama holding forth as if he were an Islamic Pope. Even if he’s correct, and there is really no evidence that the al Qaeda and ISIS of Islam is anything but literal and enthusiastic, it is really a meaningless non sequitur.
More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better.
Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism 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.
In a lengthy article in The Atlantic this thesis was thoroughly demolished. The steady flow of young Europeans to ISIS controlled territories and the propensity of Europeans of Islamic extraction to randomly kill people who they don’t like (Jews, for instance) or who do things that piss them off (like drawing cartoons). Again, if al Qaeda and ISIS were eliminated then Europe would go back to worrying about a few IRA hold outs or some German anarchists with a Baader-Meinhof fetish or Basque separatists.
And we get the obligatory but veiled “crazy white guy” warning:
That pluralism has at times been threatened by hateful ideologies and individuals from various religions. We’ve seen tragic killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 and at a Jewish community center in Kansas last year.
We do not yet know why three young people, who were Muslim Americans, were brutally killed in Chapel Hill, N.C. But we know that many Muslim Americans across our country are worried and afraid. Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must continue to stand united with a community in mourning and insist that no one should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.
This is just the worst sort of nonsense. I Obama really claiming that he’s presiding over a nation of “injustice,” “corruption,” “festers?” That he has destroyed “economic, educational and entrepreneurial development?” (I know you and I don’t have a real issue with that premise but I doubt that Obama agrees.) He notably omits the woman beheaded by a muslim co-worker in Oklahoma. He also ignores the clear and present danger represented by radical atheists — the Chapel Hill shooter and the killer at the Sikh Temple both fall in that category though the attacker at the Jewish community center was a self-identified “Odinist.” trolollolol
Obama finishes off by demonstrating how his lack of understanding of the problem is not only not going to solve anything but is actually going to make matters worse:
Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds. With this week’s summit, we’ll show once more that — unlike terrorists who only offer misery and death — it is our free societies and diverse communities that offer the true path to opportunity, justice and dignity.
None of this explains while thousands of young Europeans are traveling to join ISIS. Were this prescription actually true then that would not be the case. Unless and until the national leadership of this nation wakes up and declares what is obvious to most everyone in the world, that the problem lies within Islam itself and that our role in fixing that problem is killing and imprisoning them in vast numbers, we are doomed to lose the war that is being waged against us.