Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Obama: Whose Side Is He On?

 

10776157_GWhole doctoral dissertations could be devoted to the question of what makes President Obama angry and what does not. His Tuesday broadside against Donald Trump stood in marked contrast to Sunday’s somewhat cold response to the Orlando massacre. This is a pattern.

Mr. Obama did not name Trump, referring to him only as a “politician who tweets and appears on cable news shows.” I’m not inclined to defend Trump, and will not do so now – his notion that we bar all Muslims from traveling to the United States is laden with unintended consequences. But President Obama’s studied refusal to acknowledge the reality of Islamic-inspired violence has helped to create the Trump phenomenon. In fact, it may well be the greatest contribution to Trump’s success. Some say that presidential elections are often referenda on the last guy: Carter was the anti-Nixon, Reagan was the anti-Carter, Clinton was the anti-Bush, and Obama was the anti-Bush. Thus, Trump is the anti-Obama.

Mr. Obama fumed at those who criticize his administration for refusing to use the words “radical Islam.” He mocked the idea that language matters: “Not once has an adviser of mine said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around,’ not once.” He never tires of slaying straw men. It’s not a matter of intoning magic words. The critique of Obama is that he has so often projected the image of Islam’s defense counsel instead of America’s commander-in-chief.

In fairness (though Obama is rarely fair to those he differs with), it should be noted that George W. Bush was also at pains to shun the impression that the US was at war with Islam. But here’s the difference: Bush never gave the impression that he wasn’t on America’s side, and Obama consistently does. Moreover, when Obama or members of his administration stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what everyone knows to be true, it makes people feel unsafe.

In 2009, Col. Nidal Hasan, marinated in the writings of Islamic extremists, jumped on a table shouting “Allahu Akbar” and opened fire on 45 soldiers, killing 13. Mr. Obama was unsure of his motive and warned Americans not to “jump to conclusions.” Until late 2015, the administration declined to call Fort Hood a terrorist attack, preferring the Newspeakish “workplace violence.”

When ISIS-linked terrorists decapitated their American captive, James Foley, and released the video on the internet, Obama went golfing. He later said he regretted this, but that couldn’t erase the signal of indifference.

After Islamic extremists in Paris attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015, Mr. Obama spoke of vicious killers who “randomly shoot a bunch of folks at a deli in Paris.” But the attacks could not have been more pointed – a satirical magazine that had caricatured Mohammed and a Jewish store. Did Obama misspeak, or was he downplaying the Islamic extremist element? When 50 world leaders, including those of Great Britain, France, Germany, Israel, and Russia marched in Paris to show solidarity against terrorism, Mr. Obama skipped the event and failed to send a high-ranking surrogate.

After Muslim terrorists turned the Brussels airport into an abattoir in March, Mr. Obama attended a baseball game in Cuba. Before the bodies had all been buried, he danced the tango in Argentina.

It’s not that Mr. Obama is soft on religiously inspired violence. At the National Prayer Breakfast, he cautioned Americans against “getting on our high horse,” because during the Crusades and the Inquisition, terrible deeds were committed “in the name of Christ.” While Obama played historical tit for tat, terrorists were plotting their next strike.

The pattern has recurred throughout his presidency – from the Boston marathon bombing, to the Paris attacks, to “clock boy,” to the San Bernardino shootings and now the Orlando attack, Obama has downplayed Islamist motivations and dismissed American fears. He reminded The Atlantic magazine that you were more likely to die in your bathtub than in a terror attack.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed the administration’s view succinctly when, after San Bernardino, she confided that her “greatest fear” was of an anti-Muslim violent backlash in the United States. That has ever been the president’s chief worry as well, though there has been precious little justification for it. Ironically, Obama has helped to make such a backlash more likely in the future. By steadfastly refusing to make distinctions among Muslims based upon ideology and conduct – by insisting that Muslims are no more plagued by violent extremism than, say, Presbyterians – he has opened the door to Trump, who also makes no distinctions.

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  1. Scott Wilmot Member

    Mona Charen: Mr. Obama fumed at those who criticize his administration for refusing to use the words “radical Islam.” He mocked the idea that language matters: “Not once has an adviser of mine said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around,’ not once.” He never tires of slaying straw men. It’s not a matter of intoning magic words. The critique of Obama is that he has so often projected the image of Islam’s defense counsel instead of America’s commander-in-chief.

    The man is insufferable. His DHS chief Jeh Johnson also has his head in the sand – on Special Report tonight he repeated the trope that Islam is a religion of peace. One does wonder whose side these people are on.

    • #1
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:30 PM PDT
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  2. Front Seat Cat Member

    There is a serious disconnect with how our president talks about the tragedies (attacks) that have occurred on his watch. You highlight them by the pause, then he gets back to his entertainment – its disturbing. It does make you feel unsafe – he has after 8 years, still no foreign policy experience nor does his staff. You feel like you are on your own – so does most of the world, including our allies.

    The people of Florida have surrounded the gay community of Orlando with support and help – I saw on the news that many monuments around the world are draped in rainbow colors. An attack on humanity and freedom is felt by everyone. We are counting the days until this administration exits.

    • #2
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:50 PM PDT
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  3. Cato Rand Coolidge

    He does get a lot more exercised about his political opponents than about his countries enemies, doesn’t he?

    • #3
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:50 PM PDT
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  4. Bob Wainwright Member

    Saying that it’s wrong or unfair to stop all immigration from Muslim countries is like saying it was wrong or unfair to stop gay men from donating blood. Is it discriminatory? Yes. Is it wrong or unfair? No. Because in neither case are you violating anyone’s rights or hurting anyone etc. You’re just weighing the risk/ reward. The refusal to call the terrorists what they are is borne of the same self righteousness that leads Obama, many Democrats and Paul Ryan to condemn a ban on Muslim immigration. What specific good is achieved by allowing Muslim immigration? How does it help America to allow it, given the inherent risks? How is the risk/reward not totally lopsided?

    • #4
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:50 PM PDT
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  5. civil westman Inactive

    Answer: Not On Our Side!

    His administration has instituted an open border, delivering illegal immigrants (who knows from where) from the border throughout the country and freeing criminal aliens.

    He is allowing in un-vetted thousands of Middle Easterners, mostly young males. Surveys of such so-called refugees, as by Pew clearly indicate that they wish (99%) to live under Sharia, not US law. Forget “racial profiling.” This desire on the part of anyone should be disqualifying for anyone wanting to immigrate. Period. Sharia is not remotely consistent with life here. There are lots of other places to go to live under it. Not here.

    Obama’s answer to a growing likelihood of lone- wolf and, in the most recent cases “known wolf ” attacks: disarm those of us who just might possibly be able to respond to mass killers by being armed ourselves. The police always arrive in time to precisely document the blood splatter after most of the killing is over.

    As to more gun control laws – this guy had a special state license in Florida to act as private security, for an outfit which contracts to the TSA! The FBI, ever politically correct, interviewed him several times after he made threats and two trips to Saudi Arabia. So much for enforcement of existing laws. No matter. Disarm everyone else.

    • #5
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:54 PM PDT
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  6. Scott Wilmot Member

    Mona Charen: I’m not inclined to defend Trump, and will not do so now – his notion that we bar all Muslims from traveling to the United States is laden with unintended consequences.

    Perhaps we can learn from others about some unintended consequences:

    We already have the results. Even in limiting ourselves to the officially declared entries of 2014 and 2015, there are around 240 thousand illegal immigrants in Italy who have vanished into thin air. We know literally nothing of them as they weren’t identified. Nevertheless, we have the certainty that they are young males between the age of 20 and 30 years old, they are Muslim and they come from the Libyan coasts controlled by bands of Islamic terrorists. It is not surprising then that some of them had travelled through Italy and blew themselves up in Paris on November 13th 2015 and in Brussels on March 22 of this year.

    Further, it is precisely for the reason that Italy has lent itself as the free port to this “auto-invasion” of illegal immigrants, this infiltration of “dormant cells” of Islamic terrorism and this strategy of the demographic Islamization of Europe, that until now there hasn’t been any attack in our homeland. For in reality – it is becoming less and less our home and more and more a land of Islamic conquest. We had better wake up!

    We had better wake up too. This administration continues to prove they are still asleep.

    • #6
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:55 PM PDT
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  7. Marion Evans Inactive

    Actions speak louder than words. Some errors were made with the disintegration of Libya and Syria but now ISIS is losing territory and it will probably lose both Mosul and Raqqa before the election. Too bad for the Republican candidate. Oh wait, it is Trump.

    • #7
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:56 PM PDT
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  8. Flapjack Member

    We have everything to fear from both radical Islam and those who think like our dear president. After pushing halfway through Walsh’s The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I’m more and more inclined to no longer try to make sense of their thinking – both lead to nowhere, which is where each would take us.

    • #8
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:58 PM PDT
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  9. Flapjack Member

    Cato Rand:He does get a lot more exercised about his political opponents than about his countries enemies, doesn’t he?

    His political opponents are his country’s enemies it would seem, IMHO.

    • #9
    • June 14, 2016, at 4:59 PM PDT
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  10. Rick Poach Inactive

    Obama is playing a dual game:

    1. His allegiance is to the Globalist Left. Despite the clear trend, he and they can not admit that they’ve been played for dupes by the Manifest-Destiny Islamists. Doing so would only validate opposition movements such as Trump supporters and Brexit.
    2. Obama is a committed Marxist whose administration’s stated policy is, “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.” As such, I believe that his administration will tolerate a certain level of Islamist terror and violence so long that such terror and violence can be spun to vilify the Second Amendment and diminish the world standing of the United States.
    • #10
    • June 14, 2016, at 5:04 PM PDT
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  11. Cantankerous Homebody Inactive

    Flapjack:We have everything to fear from both radical Islam and those who think like our dear president. After pushing halfway through Walsh’s The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I’m more and more inclined to no longer try to make sense of their thinking – both lead to nowhere, which is where each would take us.

    What did you think of what you read so far? I put down the book I don’t recall how far I made it. I was expecting a discussion of their theories and instead I got music criticism and a forced quasi-eschatological narrative.

    • #11
    • June 14, 2016, at 6:04 PM PDT
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  12. Scott Wilmot Member

    Caroline Glick has a good article on this mess:

    Trump’s supporters understand that the Pulse nightclub in Orlando didn’t become slaughterhouse because Americans disagree on gun control or gay rights. They know that it became the scene of the largest mass murder in US history because Mateen, like his fellow jihadists believed that Allah wants his followers to kill innocents to advance the cause of Islamic world domination.

    Trump’s supporters are angry that Obama has made stating the obvious illegitimate. And they are right to be angry.

    America must not become Europe. And the most urgent step that must be taken to preserve America as America is to make discussing reality legitimate again.

    • #12
    • June 14, 2016, at 6:11 PM PDT
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  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mona,

    I am not at all thrilled by the prospect. However, it is becoming obvious that our resistance to Trump will be worn down by Obama’s intransigent cultural Marxist ideology and Hillary’s sickening corrupt duplicity.

    I did not choose Trump but if Trump is what it takes to free us from these fools & parasites then so be it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
    • June 14, 2016, at 6:13 PM PDT
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  14. Flapjack Member

    Cantankerous Homebody:

    Flapjack:We have everything to fear from both radical Islam and those who think like our dear president. After pushing halfway through Walsh’s The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I’m more and more inclined to no longer try to make sense of their thinking – both lead to nowhere, which is where each would take u

    What did you think of what you read so far? I put down the book I don’t recall how far I made it. I was expecting a discussion of their theories and instead I got music criticism and a forced quasi-eschatological narrative.

    Some of the music discussion goes right by me, and I do wish he would spend a bit more time providing examples of Critical Theory in motion, so to speak, but I get the general thrust — and that reinforces, I think, his neglect of providing examples of Critical Theory, since the end point of its arguments lead to nothing (nihil). But I could be very wrong.

    • #14
    • June 14, 2016, at 6:37 PM PDT
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  15. Sleepywhiner Inactive

    I’m so sick of this guy. Whether Trump wins or Hillary wins, I do think they’re both on our side. At least Hillary nominally is, as long as being on our side can continue to enrich her and Bill.

    • #15
    • June 14, 2016, at 6:59 PM PDT
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  16. Buckpasser Member
    BuckpasserJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sleepywhiner: Whether Trump wins or Hillary wins, I do think they’re both on our side. At least Hillary nominally is, as long as being on our side can continue to enrich her and Bill.

    I wonder if Ty Woods would agree with you.

    • #16
    • June 14, 2016, at 7:14 PM PDT
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  17. Annefy Member

    Buckpasser:

    Sleepywhiner: Whether Trump wins or Hillary wins, I do think they’re both on our side. At least Hillary nominally is, as long as being on our side can continue to enrich her and Bill.

    I wonder if Ty Woods would agree with you.

    My first thought as well.

    • #17
    • June 14, 2016, at 7:42 PM PDT
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  18. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    There’s nothing we can do about Obama now. All we can do now is make Hillary either embrace him or throw him under the bus. Either will hurt her, but she must be forced to choose.

    • #18
    • June 14, 2016, at 7:52 PM PDT
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  19. Doctor Robert Member

    Mr Obama is clearly on the side of America’s enemies, especially the Islamists. Every action he takes, especially in foreign policy, diminishes America or Americans and supports our enemies. Ask your self, if he *were* an avowed Islamist, how would he behave any differently?

    This has been obvious since the 2008 campaign. That Mona and Jay and Rich are finally getting around to realizing that the POTUS is not on our side speaks for the foolishness of the commentariat class.

    There are many things I dislike about Mr Trump. But unlike Mr Obama, Mrs Clinton, Mr Romney, Mr McCain and so many others, he is willing to get peed off to show his love of and support for America. If the 2012 Republicans had more Trump in their attitude and less fear of giving offense to the PC left, Mr Romney would be cruising to re-election.

    • #19
    • June 14, 2016, at 8:07 PM PDT
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  20. GrannyDude Member

    Mona Charen: Moreover, when Obama or members of his administration stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what everyone knows to be true, it makes people feel unsafe.

    This.

    Let’s assume Obama et al have good reason to believe that what everyone knows to be true isn’t true. It remains impolitic as well as impolite to assume a supercilious “don’t be an idiot” tone while explaining how stupid Americans are to be worried about Islamic murderers a mere three days after one of them killed fifty vulnerable fellow Americans.

    • #20
    • June 14, 2016, at 8:14 PM PDT
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  21. Profile Photo Member

    I wish I had read this before I posted something similar on the member feed. Obama’s unwillingness to confront the Islamic motivations of terrorists unnecessarily hampers our efforts to defeat global Islamic terrorism.

    • #21
    • June 14, 2016, at 10:09 PM PDT
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  22. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Has it only been eight short years since allegations that Obama was an Islamist usurper were kook rants fit only for the viscera-brained talk radio morons?

    Time flies.

    • #22
    • June 15, 2016, at 2:54 AM PDT
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  23. Marion Evans Inactive

    Absurd headline and thread. Donald Trump, what have you wrought?

    • #23
    • June 15, 2016, at 3:27 AM PDT
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  24. HVTs Inactive

    Scott Wilmot: One does wonder whose side these people are on.

    But there’s no wondering about whose side they are not on. They are not on the side of those who want safety instead of knee-jerk bromides and ludicrous strawman arguments that leave us all more vulnerable to mass murderers. What Clinton and Obama ultimately depend upon is their ability to shame voters out of their innate commonsense about the world as it really is.

    • #24
    • June 15, 2016, at 4:06 AM PDT
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  25. I Walton Member

    In a week the 24hr coverage will be over and Orlando will be history. The propaganda will resume and folks open to it, mostly Democrats, but not exclusively, will soon be parroting that we can’t go to war against millions of Muslims, it’s a religion of peace, we can’t discriminate in visas against Muslims. We have to be open and fair. Knowledge by osmosis, punishment by the digital mob.

    • #25
    • June 15, 2016, at 4:32 AM PDT
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  26. HVTs Inactive

    Eudaimonia Rick:Obama is playing a dual game:

    1. … they’ve been played for dupes by the Manifest-Destiny Islamists.
    2. Obama is a committed Marxist whose administration’s stated policy is, “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.” … terror and violence can be spun to vilify the Second Amendment and diminish the world standing of the United States.

    In my opinion, your formulation requires two adjustments:

    They’re not played for dupes . . . they desire and promote the notion Islam must be accommodated because it’s a useful tool in their struggle against their main enemy (which you correctly identify as the U.S.—also radical Islam’s main enemy, BTW).

    Obama is a committed Alinskyite, which is why your Rahm Emanuel quote is so pertinent. That’s textbook Alinsky. Marxism is like Islamism to an Alinskyite—a weapon to use in their struggle against their main enemy, the force that’s far more powerful than Marxism or Islamism: small ‘l’ liberalism—liberal in its 18th century sense, as reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the 1787 Constitution (as opposed to the Constitution we live under today, massively amended by SCOTUS rulings and Executive Branch dictates). Related, they turn every Islamist attack into an anti-2nd Amendment talking point because that amendment enables their main enemies to be armed. They, indeed, never let a crisis go to waste.

    • #26
    • June 15, 2016, at 4:50 AM PDT
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  27. Larry3435 Member

    Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

    [Rewritten for Obama]

    Yesterday, some folks in Hawaii had, uh, a tough time. In the coming weeks and months, and probably years and decades, the FBI will be investigating this incident. At this point, the motivation for the incident is unclear, and I caution all Americans to avoid any rush to judgment. The incident seems to have involved a small number of naval aviators, some of whom may have had some sort of affiliation with the peace-loving Empire of Japan.

    What America must not do is blame the Japanese people for this incident. The peace-loving Empire of Japan is a very old and wise culture – much older and wiser than our own. We look forward to working closely with our Japanese friends to determine the reason for this incident. Meanwhile, I urge all Americans to remain calm and, in fact, oblivious. Whoever was involved in this incident was clearly the JV Team, and pose no existential threat. We will degrade and ultimately destroy any threat which, if any such threat existed, would have nothing to do with the peace-loving Empire of Japan.

    • #27
    • June 15, 2016, at 5:19 AM PDT
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  28. Lily Bart Inactive

    Sleepywhiner:I’m so sick of this guy. Whether Trump wins or Hillary wins, I do think they’re both on our side. At least Hillary nominally is, as long as being on our side can continue to enrich her and Bill.

    Hillary is on her own side, always and forever. She doesn’t give a darn about us. Trump – – he’s mostly for himself.

    • #28
    • June 15, 2016, at 6:59 AM PDT
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  29. Lily Bart Inactive

    Extremist Islam is an unwelcome distraction. Obama is not interested in protecting us – his efforts are all directed at ‘fundamentally changing” us.

    • #29
    • June 15, 2016, at 8:05 AM PDT
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  30. Freesmith Inactive

    Larry3435:Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

    [Rewritten for Obama]

    Yesterday, some folks in Hawaii had, uh, a tough time. In the coming weeks and months, and probably years and decades, the FBI will be investigating this incident. At this point, the motivation for the incident is unclear, and I caution all Americans to avoid any rush to judgment. The incident seems to have involved a small number of naval aviators, some of whom may have had some sort of affiliation with the peace-loving Empire of Japan.

    What America must not do is blame the Japanese people for this incident. The peace-loving Empire of Japan is a very old and wise culture – much older and wiser than our own. We look forward to working closely with our Japanese friends to determine the reason for this incident. Meanwhile, I urge all Americans to remain calm and, in fact, oblivious. Whoever was involved in this incident was clearly the JV Team, and pose no existential threat. We will degrade and ultimately destroy any threat which, if any such threat existed, would have nothing to do with the peace-loving Empire of Japan.

    “Therefore, we can continue to allow the immigration of Japanese people into the United States by the hundreds of thousands and must refuse the un-American inclination to discriminate against the Shinto religion.”

    • #30
    • June 15, 2016, at 8:11 AM PDT
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