“For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism,” he said, but steadfastly refrained throughout his speech from explaining the source of that terrorism threat, much less its ideological foundation or goal. This is, of course, the President who in October 2011 placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists, overseeing the scrubbing of all counter-terror training materials of all mention of Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared at that time that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” removed all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity.
At the same time, Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”
Holton said that he had spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI training materials that Holton claimed were “egregiously false,” and that Holder was “firmly committed to making sure that this is over….we’re going to fix it.” Holton said that this “fix” was particularly urgent because the rejected training materials posed “a significant threat to national security, because they play into the false narrative propagated by terrorists that the United States is at war with Islam.”
Cole declared: “We must never allow our sorrow and anger at the senseless attack of 9/11 to blind us to the great gift of our diversity.” And this, he said, must involve a rejection of the stereotyping of Muslims: “All of us must reject any suggestion that every Muslim is a terrorist or that every terrorist is a Muslim. As we have seen time and again – from the Oklahoma City bombing to the recent attacks in Oslo, Norway – no religion or ethnicity has a monopoly on terror.”
Of course, the controversial training materials did not really claim that all Muslims are terrorists or that all terrorists are Muslims, and it is noteworthy that Cole had to resort to dismissive caricatures to make his point. And the end result of this whitewashing effort, three years later, is that the President of the United States has to acknowledge that “the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism,” but cannot bring himself to explain where that terrorism is coming from.
And the remedy he offered was no more realistic and showed no signs of being developed by people who were prepared to deal with harsh realities. “Today,” he announced at West Point, “…I am calling on Congress to support a new counterterrorism partnerships fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines.”
There is such a comic opera feel to all this, it’s a shame that Gilbert and Sullivan aren’t around. The U.S. is forking over another $5 billion to fight against those whom Obama referred to only as “terrorists” and “extremists” — that is, $5 billion to fight against a foe that U.S. officials are afraid to name, and officially forbidden to name.
Meanwhile, this radical new solution that Obama is proposing – spending money to help other countries fight against jihad terrorists (not that he ever called them that) – is nothing really new at all. It has been done for years. Right after 9/11, George W. Bush made a deal with then-President Parvez Musharraf of Pakistan, under which the U.S. gave billions to Pakistan every year to fight these shadowy “extremists,” only for the Pakistani government (which also affected high dudgeon at the killing of Osama bin Laden) to funnel a good bit of that money to those very same “extremists” — with no consequences from the U.S., of course.
Barack Obama is the very model of a modern U.S. President.
Also, if al Qaeda is “on the ropes” and all that, why do we need to spend another $5 billion to fight them?
Obama’s speech was full of the dissimulations and half-truths one would expect from someone who has steadfastly tried to ignore and deny reality, only to have it keep breaking in on his fantasies. He desperately hopes that with a few small adjustments to allow for undeniable realities, he could maintain the principal substance of his fantasies – but reality will keep breaking in, and chipping away at these cherished falsehoods, until there is nothing left of them at all. We may only hope that by the time that happens, there is something still left of us.
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