President Obama’s address to the nation was impressive in that, for once, he finally admitted San Bernardino was in fact a terrorist attack. That it took him nearly a week to come to that conclusion, not so much. It went downhill from there.
Beyond that, it was bitter clinger rhetoric through and through.
He said we’ve been at war with Al-Qaeda since they attacked us on Sept 11, 2001. The more salient question, “how long has radical Islam been at war with us?” wasn’t touched. New York’s twin towers were first attacked on February 26, 1993 after all. Following that, U.S. embassies, a military barracks, and a warship were bombed.
A see-no-evil-hear-no-evil approach to the existential nature of the threat doesn’t mean it’s not there.
There was the curiosity of a cease fire to help end the Syrian civil war. There are essentially six sides involved in Syria right now: the Assad regime, anti-Assad militias, ISIS, Russia, Iran, and the Coalition. Maybe he had his Nobel Peace Prize in the back of his mind when he made this suggestion. Is the expectation that all six sides will meet and peace will then follow? Or is the plan to do as he did in Iraq and presume that if we say we’re done with the war, ISIS will agree and will stop fighting too?
Bitterly clinging to war-shaming doesn’t seem to have worked out all that well over the past seven years.
Even more curious was his admission that we aren’t adequately screening those coming into the United States. As he spoke, Syrian refugee resettlement was proceeding apace. How many refugees have already been admitted without being adequately screened? How many more will go through an inadequate screening before the appropriate agencies correct their deficient processes?
Just a thought but, if screenings are currently inadequate according to the President, maybe the smart thing to do would be to take a pause and fix what we’re dong before we allow any more people to come in?
Oh, that’s right, we can’t do that. It might lead to a backlash.
That’s right. It was inevitable being the bitter clinger that he is, that some form of blame America first had to find it’s way on to his teleprompter. Enter the anti-Muslim backlash. Where this anti-Muslim backlash is occurring no one seems to know – if there’s so much of it that it warrants White House attention, shouldn’t it be readily evident and easy to find?
Statistically speaking, according to the FBI each year between 100 and 150 hate crimes are perpetrated against Muslims in America – all of them inexcusable events. That number doesn’t fluctuate much year after year. By contrast, Jews in America experience five to six times the number of hate crimes that Muslims do. But don’t get lost in the facts. The bitter clinger thought it necessary to lecture the nation about backlashes — where ever it is they’re occurring –- to remind us of the blame we collectively own in all this.
That wasn’t the only bit of blame-America-first in his address. Gun control was in there too.
As if more gun control would have derailed Syed Farook’s and Tashfeen Malik’s murderous designs. California already has some of the most – if not the most – restrictive gun control laws in America. None stopped Farook and Malik. Nor do they stop gangs in south-central Los Angeles from acquiring guns. And what about the pipe bombs found in Farook’s home? Pipe bombs are illegal yet the terrorists had them. Would it have lessened the tragic nature of San Bernardino if Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had used other means to perform their attack? If Syed Farook had wielded a machete would that have somehow made things better simply because it wasn’t a gun that killed fourteen Americans?
That he advocated more gun control AFTER he reminded us that we must not let terror cause us to forfeit our freedoms and liberties seemed nonsensical. Except that he clings bitterly to the view of our Constitution as a “charter of negative liberties” – negative because it empowers the individual citizen while limiting what government can do.
To the bitter clinger, gun control and individual rights are two mutually exclusive things. The New York Times, in the first front page opinion piece they’ve run since 1920, advocated gun confiscation “for the greater good of their citizens”. Those that view the Constitution as a charter of negative liberties are those willing to limit individual rights and broaden the reach of the state in the name of “the greater good”.
Seventy-four years ago on Dec 7, the worst attack of any kind on American soil occurred. The core of the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii was destroyed by Imperial Japan. In the wake of that, President Franklin Roosevelt inspired our nation to persevere through a difficult war effort, and then craft an enduring peace.
There was nothing inspiring in Obama’s address. Speaking for seven minutes, one wonders, did he feel that it was beneath him to have to explain anything at all to a nation he believes is populated by bitter clingers?