An upside of the Obama presidency

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After watching Obama’s speech at the Fort Hood memorial
yesterday, I feel I do owe him an apology. That was the first speech I ever saw
him give that wasn’t all about him. And for this he should be commended. And Michelle was appropriately dressed and coiffed.


But still, there was something missing from his
speech. Obama never mentioned the word “Islam.” As has been the wont of American
leaders since 9/11, at yesterday’s memorial, the President, the Army Chief of
Staff, the post commander, etc., all gave their speeches, all extolled the victims and all ignored
the assailant. To a man, they refused to acknowledge Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan’s
name, his ideology, or his religion.

This ridiculous policy of refraining from noting that
jihadists are at war against the US or that all jihadists are Muslim or that
the ideology of jihad is propagated at most mosques in America and Europe is
not new. In his eight years in office, George Bush – who I miss on an emotional level – only mentioned
the issue of jihad or used the term Islamofascist once as far as I can
remember. It was at a speech he gave before the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies in March 2006.

After watching the memorial ceremony yesterday on TV, it
occurred to me that there is a certain advantage to having Obama in office.  Throughout Bush’s tenure in office, his
refusal to acknowledge the identity of America’s Islamic enemy was debilitating
to the war effort. His early characterization of the war as a war against
terror obfuscated the real issue at hand. The US and its allies throughout the
free world are not at war against terror. Terror is a tactic. The US and the
rest of the free world are at war against totalitarian, fascist Islam. And by
not very clearly declaring war against the real enemy, the US and its allies
have allowed the threat of this type of Islam to grow.


Indeed, buoyed by the
West’s refusal to state clearly that they are the true enemy, the forces of
this type of Islam have grown stronger and have been emboldened. They now
control the majority of mosques in the US and Europe. They now “own” Middle
East studies departments at top universities in the US and in Europe. And,
through their lobbies in Washington and London and Paris, they control the
international discourse on Islam and so have made it politically costly for
people to properly identify them and their ideology as the foes of liberty and
freedom and of states and societies governed by liberal, democratic rules of

Due to the fact that Bush is at heart a patriotic American,
and because he did wage significant campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was
nearly impossible for the correct claim that he was ignoring the true enemy to
gain much traction. Republicans had no enthusiasm for criticizing their
president even when they felt that his policies — or non-policies – on radical
Islam were misguided.


Members of his administration led by Vice President Dick
Cheney who tried to move Bush in the direction of strategic clarity about the
nature of the enemy were castigated as “neo-con warmongers.” And of course, the
Left demonized Bush himself as a war criminal located somewhere to the right of
Ghengis Khan on the political spectrum.

Then too, the public didn’t take offense when Bush ignored
radical Islam. After all, his supporters and critics alike perceived him as a
credible war president. His embrace of the Saudis and jihadist Islamic leaders
in the US like Muzzammil Siddiqi and Abdurahman Alamoudi did not raise concerns
about his loyalty to the US or his dedication to the war effort.

In stark contrast, Obama has no credibility whatsoever as a
war president. Both his supporters and his critics are convinced that he does
not seek victory for the US over its enemies but rather wishes to appease US
enemies – often at the expense of US allies. The Democrats as a party are
similarly perceived as weaker than Republicans on national security issues and
the loudest criticism Obama has received so far from his base relates to his
decision not to pull US forces out of Iraq immediately and his willingness to
consider increasing US troop strength in Afghanistan.


The Republicans on the
other hand, no longer feel shy about attacking the President for being soft on
national security or – specifically – for refusing to acknowledge the nature
and identity of the enemy.


In short because Obama is increasingly recognized as a radical,
far leftist who is hostile to the very notion of US power projection abroad,
for the first time since 9/11 it is becoming possible to wage a battle of ideas
about the nature of the jihadist threat to America and to the free world as a
whole. And this is important.


What remains to be seen however is whether this
discussion is starting too late to make a difference.  



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  • Marcel 11/11/2009 at 7:37

    One of the first things Obama’s head of Homeland Skulduggery Janet Napolitano did when she took the reins was defining the enemy America faced.
    Returning America veterans,those opposed to a one world government,patriotic American’s, those opposed to abortions,those who stood for AMerican sovereignty,those opposed to the UN and it’s agenda and of course the real threat,bible believing Christian’s.
    There was no mention of their cherished and protected Islamic terrorists.
    The evidence continues to mount of the incompetence and stupidity of the FBI,CIA,NSA,Army CIS as they gave Major Moslem Hasan a green light to accomplish his open jihad goal against American’s.
    The government contiunes to import this dangerous Islamic element for the cause of national suicide also known as diversity.
    They are now a highly protected species in the US as Janet Napolitano said from the United Arab Emirates this past week where she was speaking while US soldiers were dying under the gun of a muslim in service to his false god allah.
    Was it incompetence and stupidity oe something much worse ?
    We’re going to see much more of this because this is the plan of those who are now firmly entrenched in power.
    Let us remember it was Bush who kept the borders wide open to flood this nation with illegals to swamp and break down the system and he was the first president to call for a Palestinian state as well as the first to celebrate Ramadan at the White House 3 years in a row.The truth is he destroyed the conservative voice and prepared the way for his pal Obama whom he always defends.
    If there was some accountability with those who have failed so often to protect us I would say we had hope but there is no accountability whatsoever.The system is so corrupt and the rot irreversible.
    We are already in free fall over the edge.
    Israel had best be prepared to lead and no longer follow the terminally ill Uncle Sam.

  • NormanF 11/11/2009 at 8:59

    The downside is Obama’s Under Secretary Of State William J. Burns calling for the ethnic cleansing of Judea and Samaria of Jews to make way for a Palestinian state. And it manifests itself in the US ignorance of Iran’s increasing belligerence and extremism.
    US policy has not adjusted to the realities of the post-Goldstone world or to the looming Iranian nuclear threat that may be a few months away from being realized.
    Israel is in great danger as never before and America seems dismissive too of the dangers on its own soil.
    We have a long way to go until both Israel and the West realize the key to peace is not appeasing their enemies but in achieving victory over them and completely destroying them. In the entire history of world, no peace has ever lasted with those seeking one’s destruction.
    That is a lesson forgotten to Israeli and American peril.

  • Ron Grandinetti 11/11/2009 at 10:07

    Caroline you are right as usual.
    Time has come to recognize the enemy by name, radical Islam. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, you can rest assure it’s a duck.
    Radical Islam is attempting to take over the world, little by little and by not identifying their mission we are in fact supporting their efforts.
    We need to stop this political correctness and tell the ACLU to go pound sand.
    I have yet to hear Muslims condemning the actions of the radicals, they claim they renounce radicals but remain silent. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    I don’t expect Mr. Obama the Acorn community organizer to identify the radicals, just maybe being a Muslim at heart has something to do with it. He claims to be a Christian and we all know that was for political convenience.

  • Perfected Democrat 11/11/2009 at 11:54

    “I feel I do owe him an apology.”
    Not really Caroline, Obama wouldn’t have dared step out of line for this particular speech; but you’re right that there was definitely “something missing”, as has been the case all along concerning this latest jihadi assault, and as you keenly detailed; otherwise called the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s too late to make a difference for those already lost, it’s not too late to make a difference in the future…

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 11/11/2009 at 12:48

    The President did his duty by visiting Fort Hood, but is not acquainted with military culture. Unfortunately, there is no “upside” by having a left-wing liberal in the White House. The “upside” will be when President Obama is replaced by a conservative, who supports Israel, on January 20, 2013.

  • John B 11/11/2009 at 14:46

    Oh Israel you have been deceived. The time to stop this was some time ago, before the flames began to lick at your heart. Why can’t we see the obvious but wait until it bites?

  • epaminondas 11/12/2009 at 5:52

    Obama, like many who now define the democratic left believe there is no truth which does not adhere to their dialectic.
    Unfortunately that means they can never recognize that ‘they hate us’ because we rule ourselves, which is another way to say, we usurp the authority of a god which they find it is their individual moral responsibility to uphold.
    That is they hate us for our freedoms. Our freedom to rule ourselves and make up laws right out of our own heads is an affront to god.
    It’s the Quran. The ‘perfect’ and immutable Quran. (Or the ‘ogre’, as Wafa Sultan most eloquently characterizes the situation)
    The same Quran which makes Israel a waqf consecrated to muslims until judgment day, yadda yadda.
    None of this is a political dispute and that is why all political efforts have failed and will continue to fail.
    That is the ugly and disturbing truth and it is one which the Democratic left MUST ignore. Otherwise it all falls apart.
    That is why only the most surface gloss of a mention was made by Obama at Fort Hood.

  • TBogg 11/13/2009 at 0:05

    “The “upside” will be when President Obama is replaced by a conservative, who supports Israel, on January 20, 2013.”
    Isn’t that what this blog is entirely about? Let us know when you want to discuss what is good for America.

  • G.K. 11/13/2009 at 5:05

    Dear Mrs Glick,
    already for a long time I read your columns with satisfaction but I know only now why I value these so much. In a reader answer I found the key: Your columns touch my heart.

  • Charles Smyth 11/15/2009 at 10:45

    I’m not entirely convinced that Obama, in effect, must roll out the red carpet and a brass band in order to conduct business with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. After all, he also snubbed Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a bag of region 1 DVDs, and iPods for the boys, loaded with his speeches. And that in spite of the much trumpeted ‘special relationship’.
    At this time of economic turbulence, Obama is also preoccupied with his own version of Borscht Belt schmooze, to the extent that he and his cohort are frantically schmoozing the Japanese and Chinese, so that they do not bail out of propping up the US-Dollar.
    The suggestion with regard to Judea and Samaria is soundly argued.

  • Susan Heitler 11/15/2009 at 23:08

    The following option would take the moderate Palestinians’ ideas for a one-state solution and fine-tune them so that they become responsive as well to Israeli concerns.
    For Israel and the Palestinians
    With the Hamas takeover of Gaza there are now two Palestinian states. There are three states in the region if you include Israel.
    In the new peace arrangement, there would be two states: an Islamic state of Gaza and a democratic state of Israel.
    To end West Bank occupation, the majority of residents–Jewish and Arab–of the West Bank, would agree to integrate the West Bank into the current country of Israel. Joining Israel would eliminate occupation. There is no occupation if the West Bank and the existing Israeli land are all one country.
    That is, Judea and Samaria, like the North, the Negev, the coastal plain, and Jerusalem and its hills, would become official membership regions of the one state of Israel.
    The exact political format integrating the regions would be determined in a process that would respect the concerns of all the resident populations of both Israel and the West Bank. Possibilities might include a two-region solution, a six-region solution, or anything in between. The relationship of the regions to Israel could be analogous to the relationship of European countries to the European Union, or of American states to the US. The specific economic and governance arrangements however would be worked out by representatives of the relevant populations, and then approved by a popular vote.
    As prior to 1993’s Oslo agreement, Israel would encourage local control of government, provided that this control follows principles of democratic governance. From 1967 to 1993 the West Bank was the fastest growing Arab economy in the Middle East. Israel would again provide the region with intensive development of infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.).
    Where Israel controls the land, there is peace.
    The experiment in offering the PA control of the West Bank brought thugocracy, with rampant corruption and violence that has denied its citizens basic peace and security. At the same time, governance by the PA has fostered hostility toward Israel.
    The majority of Israeli citizens, West Bank Arab residents, and West Bank Jewish residents would agree that neither Fatah nor Hamas are acceptable governing organizations, and that the PA should be disbanded.
    The majority of West Bank citizens would like to live in peace and prosperity.
    Jewish so-called “settlers” are a boon to the area. They are a stabilizing influence and bring development to the economy. Asking them to leave is self-defeating racism. Cultural diversity brings a thriving economy and society.
    The majority of Arabs who lived under the Palestinian Authority now live in Gaza. Eliminating this population from the Palestinian entity that would join Israel significantly reduces the deomographic threat to Israel.
    A significant number of West Bank Arabs, because of its bad governance, have exited the country, further reducing the number of Arabs living there who would become a part of the new larger state of Israel.
    § The Palestinian birth rate, according to recent studies, has been steadily decreasing. The Israeli birthrate has been increasing. The gap is closing.
    Most importantly, however, Israel would require that Jewish, Arab, and West Bank schools, mosques and media put an absolute end to the incitement of violence against any population, Jewish, Christian or Muslim, in the country. Any violations of strict anti-hate propaganda laws would be punished with immediate shut-down of the institution. Without incitement to hatred and violence, Arabs could become cooperative neighbors.
    Israel would allocate major economic resources to building excellent schools in Arab areas. These schools would be charged with
    o teaching Arab children peaceful coexistence instead of hatred and dominance vis a vis their Christian and Jewish neighbors.
    o enabling Arab children to become comfortably tri-lingual (in Arabic, Hebrew, and the world economic language, English), and
    o giving Arab children the kind of excellent education that would enable them to participate fully and successfully in the modern world economy.
    The modern state of Israel was founded by Jews, as a homeland for Jews from around the world. It will continue to welcome as potential citizens Jews from anywhere in the world (right of return), a right which will not be extended to members of any other cultures or religions.
    Its governance, laws, and culture are based on Jewish religious principles, its calendar recognizes Jewish holidays as national holidays, and it values its Jewish historical heritage.
    At the same time, the country is a modern democracy, not a theocracy, with a government chosen by elections and with commitment to offering equal protections and rights to all of its citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs.
    Non-Jews, such as Druze citizens, have always been able to become citizens by meeting specified citizenship requirements. This privilege would extended as well to West Bank Arabs who meet specified citizenship requirements such as learning Hebrew and declaring agreement with democratic principles.
    Arab residents of the West Bank would have the option of earning full Israeli citizenship over time (five to ten years) by accomplishing stipulated signs of willingness to become peaceful law-abiding citizens.
    Israel’s citizenship requirements would include a period of residence in the country, knowledge of “civics” or the principles of democratic government, demonstrated ability to speak the national language (Hebrew), and willingness to take an oath of loyalty to the country. This list is based on the requirements that exist currently for immigrants to American who want to become citizens.
    Arab residents of the West Bank could, if Jordan agrees, be offered the alternative option of carrying Jordanian passports instead of, or prior to, becoming Israeli citizens.
    Israeli citizenship would be offered only to Arabs currently residing in Israel or the West Bank. That is, just as Saudis or Japanese citizens own much land in America but are not entitled to American citizenship, current residence plus the above-stipulated requirements, not land-ownership or prior residence, would be the basis for citizenship.
    Palestinians and Israelis all would commit to live side by side as friendly neighbors. No concessions are necessary for neighbors to live side by side in a civilized way.
    Hatred and genocidal intent are pathological. When these stances have ceased to be accepted by either Palestinians and Jews as legitimate and have been replaced by willingness to interact with mutual respect, there will be peace.
    Each time Palestinians commit an act of war, as in firing missiles on Sederot or the north, Israel will annex an area of Palestinian land. In response to the past several years of hostilities from Gaza, Israel might start by annexing a swath of land along the Gaza-Israel border, pushing back Gazans to create a security zone. Or, Israel could chose to annex Israeli settlement areas from the West Bank to Israel proper.
    With this plan, Palestinians in Gaza could choose to continue to commit acts of war, but there would be consequences. These consequences would be directed at the Palestinians’ concern of who controls the land, which is a true concern of Palestinians, without requiring Israelis to kill people, an activity that is anathema to Jewish values but useful to Palestinians, Iran, and Islamic radicals for propaganda purposes.
    The outcome of this peace plan would be a full and realistic governance plan for Jews, Arabs and other Israeli citizens, yielding peaceful coexistence with safety and prosperity for all.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Dr. H, Ph.D., psychologist specializing in conflict resolution


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