May 18, 2009
Barack's Epistle to the EgyptiansBy James Lewis
Ahhh, he does love those grand gestures. Obama culminated his campaign with two of them, the famous styrofoam Greek temple charade in Denver, and his Citizens of the World! speech in Berlin. Not many Americans were told by our media about the Prussian Victory Monument that graced the background of 200,000 cheering (and some puzzled) Germans, among them thousands of nude gay sunbathers celebrating a Prussian Victory of their very own.
Now, after misusing a trillion bucks in TARP money to bully formerly free banks and car makers, after telling us he is about to abolish 5,000 schools and start them again from scratch, and after threatening to do the same to insurance companies; after proclaiming that he is on a mission to remake the American Republic from top to bottom, and while he is in the very act of (secretly) taking over one-seventh of the economy devoted to medicine, to make sure that all health care will be rationed fairly -- Obama is Ready for his Grandest Gesture, his Peace Outreach to A Billion Muslims.
Such a thing has never been done before in human history -- except by Mohammed's letters to the Emperors of Persia and Byzantium in the 7th century, and more recently, by Ahmadinejad's letter to the Infidels. (That's us, folks!).
The trouble is that the love of grand gestures is old, old, old -- not new and revolutionary at all. The ancient world of tyrannical empires is stuffed with grand gestures.
We are told that Mr. Obama will speak from Cairo, because Mecca and Jerusalem were booked. But Mr. Obama has been invited to speak from the Mosque of Al Azhar in Cairo, a famous mosque at a famous Islamic university, which also happens to be a center for Islamist propaganda and for issuing Sunni fatwas about infidels such as Mr. Obama. Al-Azhar is a great center of Muslim anti-Semitism and medieval scholasticism. But, to be fair, it is just as tough on Christians, especially the Christian Copts of Egypt, who are routinely persecuted in the House of Peace on the Nile.
That's the problem with grand gestures.
The Germans loved Mr. Obama's electrifying speech at the Prussian Victory Monument in Berlin, and responded by making no concessions at all -- none whatsoever -- on matters like taking Gitmo terror killers into Germany. They did nothing -- not a single thing -- to help with their own national defense, having sucked off Uncle's teat for sixty years, and doing very well by it. They didn't even respond to Mr. Obama's request to send "trainers" to Afghanistan. And they never helped the American effort to protect Gulf oil supplies, which constantly go to keep Europe's carbon-based prosperity alive.
So Mr. O got zilch for his grand gesture in Berlin. Giving the Queen an iPod and the Prime Minister a set of DVDs of his own speeches wasn't much better. Bowing low in the ancient gesture of slavish submission to the King of Arabia hasn't gotten Obama a thing.
So far, the success of all those grand gestures is not impressive. Except maybe for ego gratification. But history is being made! -- even if it is the history of empty gestures.
Reading his Epistle to the Muslims from a glittering center of Sunni learning in Cairo will annoy Ahmadinejad and the Twelver cultists in Tehran, who sincerely believe that their brand of Islam is the only true tradition. Egypt just had a major spat with the Iranians, after arresting about 50 Hezbollah terror types trying to stage a coup against Mubarak. Mubarak is getting old, and the Egyptians are afraid of Iran meddling in the succession. All the Arab countries are deathly afraid of Iranian nukes, and have no faith whatsoever that Obama will solve that little problem for them. So they are all shopping around for their own. The Egyptians and Saudis are shaking in their Gucci loafers because an Iranian nuke would mean either surrender to Tehran, a degrading submission, or war.
Everybody in the Middle East is hoping that somebody else will take on the Armageddon cult in Tehran. But Obama hasn't shown himself to have any foreign policy skills at all. His biggest military accomplishment has been to allow the local Navy commander of a destroyer off Somalia to order his Navy Seals to shoot three pirates who had kidnapped a US Merchant Marine Captain. There's no other record of successful performance. Obama's biggest power play has been to fire the President of General Motors. Ahmadinejad, who has seen people shot and tortured, is not impressed by that.
Instead, we see one foreign PR stunt after another. Leon Panetta just went to Israel to stop the IDF from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. But the Arabs have been hoping Israel would take care of their little problem with Iran, the way it took care of Saddam's nuclear reactor in 1981. That's why the Saudi King okayed a peace initiative with Israel, after all.
As usual Rahm Emmanuel has it completely backwards, and says the US won't help Israel with Iran unless it surrenders the West Bank and half of Jerusalem to the corrupt and violent Palestinian Authority. But the US has demonstrated its utter impotence in dealing with Iran --- just like the Europeans. So Israel is supposed to surrender its only security buffer in return for a promise -- of what? Jimmy Carter II?
Everybody in the Muslim world wants something. Everybody has been at each others' throats. If you think Iraq was bad, with all its internecine conflicts, just think about more than a billion people in dozens of countries like Iraq. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is teetering; next door, the Afghan government is losing support. India is concerned with Islamist terrorism -- just having seen a massacre in Mumbai -- Sri Lanka has just been told to lay off the Islamist Tamil Tigers when it finally has them beaten -- the Philippines is fighting off an Islamist rebellion, as usual -- Hamas and Hezbollah have rebuilt their missile inventories to keep hitting Israel -- the Saudis are scared by Shiites in their oil provinces -- Iraq itself is just recovering from three decades of horrors and five years of war, and now, somebody is exploding car bombs in their markets again.
All that sea of troubles is going to be solved by our man Obama in a single stroke. You just watch. It'll be brilliant. All the Muslims in the world are going to love him. And they will make peace on earth, good will to all men -- and maybe even women -- thanks to Barack Hussein Obama.
The right words will do wonders, coming from a black man blessed with infinite credibility. They will heal the wounds of centuries. His words will finally convince all the Muslims that the United States is really, really sorry. Those styrofoam Greek columns will be transformed into styrofoam Muslim minarets.
"Oh, believers, know there is One God, and Mohammed is his Prophet!"
Oops, better not do that. They might expect Obama to start worshipping like a Muslim. Can you imagine Michelle in a niqab? Or walking six paces behind her man? Nu-uh.
Well, how about George W. Bush's line, "Islam Means Peace?"
That's not too good either. Islam means the peace of surrender and submission, not the peace of a nice day on the beach at Waikiki. Everybody knows that by now, and the Christians in Muslim lands, and the Hindus in India, and the new Confucians in China, and the Jews in Israel, and all the atheists in Europe, they are all running scared of Islamist aggression. You see, for them Islam doesn't mean peace. They've got that figured out.
Ask Vladimir Putin what he did to Chechnya after the Moscow Theater massacre and you'll get the Russian answer about "Islam means peace."
Hmmm. This is getting hard.
But this guy is brilliant. He'll think of a way.