Obama at the U.N.: Emboldening the Barbarians at the Gate
Less than four years after President Obama's first apology tour, the chickens are coming home to roost from the power vacuum created in the Middle East by the "nuanced" decisions of the president's failed foreign policy. His "Cairo outreach" is in flames. And after years of Obama's extending an open hand to Iran's mad mullahs, their President Ahmadinejad just repeated his promise to eliminate Israel as he addressed the United Nations.
On the very next day, the president's surreal speech at the U.N. on September 25, 2012 made things worse. Only you would never know it from the mainstream media's reporting. The New York Times story said he made a strong defense of free speech and that he renewed his vow to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The next day, an editorial at the paper applauded the president's strong "push back" against anti-American Muslim violence. If only that were true.
The president rightly decried the killing of our ambassador but wrongly omitted the other three victims and the fact that this was pre-meditated murder in an Islamist attack by pro-al-Qaeda terrorists against our Benghazi consulate on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Nor did he highlight the desecration of our embassies, the raising of the jihadist flag over sovereign American territory, and the rioters' ubiquitous chants in praise of the martyred Islamist terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Obama's omissions evaded the essence of the disaster confronting us: the dramatic spread of anti-American Islamists across North Africa on his watch.
He then said that the nameless "killers" would be "relentlessly" brought to "justice." This isolated boast was sandwiched between startling expressions of "thanks" to the governments of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen for their "steps to secure our diplomatic facilities." He tendered this undeserved gratitude even after the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt openly admitted to The New York Times that he had deliberately delayed protecting our embassy from the rioters who he knew were climbing its walls and burning our American flag. Thank you for nothing.
The president claimed that "merely" putting more guards at our embassies was "insufficient." (If only he had done so in the face of advance warnings!) He said the world must also "declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations," as if such platitudes on the eve of Yom Kippur atoned for the apparent substandard security for our diplomats and staff.
In the wake of this carnage, the president nevertheless took pride in the fact that this has been a "season of progress" in the Middle East because new Arab leaders had been elected in fair elections with his help and encouragement. He omitted that they were almost all dictatorial, radical Islamists with contempt for America, Israel, and Western civilization. Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt taking pride in Herr Hitler winning a fair election in 1933 because the "moderate" Fuehrer would lead Germany to democracy. This is progress?
Obama actually implied that the situation was normal. There are always those who reject "human progress" on the road from dictatorship to democracy. "Convulsions" that accompany "transitions" to a "new political order" are to be expected. So the murders of our ambassador and his staff were just "bumps in the road," Mr. President?
Obama adopted the pretext of the Muslim radicals, the very propaganda they used to justify their attacks, as the truth. He made their anger his, and thus ours. He blamed the violence, just as they did, on a single, tiny, private American citizen's "disgusting video" whose message was an "insult" to Islam and to America. He said that all must reject it for our "common humanity." His clear message: focus on the petty scapegoat, not the president himself or his massive failure.
Yes, he did explain that America has a Constitution that protects free speech. He said that words never justify killing. But what good was his mouthing a fancy theory when, in practice, he threw a free American to the Islamic wolves by tarring and feathering him in front of the world? The subtext is clear. He will not defend any American's free speech in the face of Muslim outrage.
He then "honest[ly] address[ed]" the tensions between the Arabs and the West by asserting that "Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism." Tell that to the victims of 9/11 and to thousands more murdered or maimed by Muslim terrorists each year.
He said we need to "marginalize" hatred. He gave examples regarding to whom that should apply. In one he proclaimed that "the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." Excuse me! That's a jihadist battle cry, not America's! The right to offend the prophet of any religion, let alone of Islam, is the essence of our liberty and secular Constitution. If we cannot do so, we are subservient to religious law, here sharia. Such pandering makes us second-class citizens to Islam, or dhimmis. This olive branch to Islam was not the president's to give. It was a betrayal of our Constitution, a fundamental abandonment of our core principles.
The president claimed we would do "what we must" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but jusst not right now. While the time for diplomacy is "not unlimited," he "believes there is still time and space to" negotiate. This feckless bromide was made even in the face of Ahmadinejad's latest vile threat to Israel from the same podium. How much longer before our president "believes" that he "must" do something more than dither? He won't say. On the contrary, he recently told 60 Minutes that Israel's existential worries are just "noise" to him. Why didn't he personally condemn the wannabe Holocaust-maker, Ahmadinejad, or demand a "come to Jesus meeting" at the U.N. with him? Instead, he wasted precious time playing a reality TV celebrity on a talk show rather than performing his job as president, commander-in-chief, leader of the free world, and ally of Israel. Why should Iran take him seriously? Or Israel?
Finally, he claimed great "progress" as president because the war in Iraq is "over" and the one in Afghanistan will end "on schedule" in 2014. Unfortunately, that does not mean victory, or even leaving honorably and responsibly as promised. Nor does it mean that our enemies will stop waging war against us across the globe simply because Obama quit two battlefields in an ongoing conflict. Equally incredibly, in the wake of a brazen, murderous, al-Qaeda-style attack in Libya, with our embassies still smoldering, and with radical Islamists concentrating political power as never before throughout North Africa with his encouragement, Obama claimed that al-Qaeda has been "weakened." Then he spiked the bin Laden football for the umpteenth time, reminding the world that "[he] is no more." But what about the metastasis of his terror network and his millions of Islamist supporters, Mr. President?
This was truly an "empty chair" speech by a leader desperate to mask his own ineptitude for another forty days until election time. He hid the elephant in the room: that the Islamists and their supporters are gaining dangerous ground in their war against America and Israel. He obfuscated both the scope of America's humiliation and his dereliction of duty. He thanked those who deserve scorn. He offered platitudes instead of resolve. He adopted our enemies' propaganda as his own, scapegoated the weak, and pandered to Muslim extremists. He abandoned our Constitution and left Israel and her Jews twisting in the stormy winds of a monstrous, blustering foe. On the world's center stage, he emboldened the barbarians at the gate.
After 9/11 of '12, the president's fancy speeches can't hide the truth. He owns the disastrous "Arab Spring" now. We are much weaker. Our enemies are much stronger. After almost four years on his dismal path of apologies, appeasement, pandering, retreat, and defeatism from Iraq to Afghanistan to almost all of North Africa, we are flailing and failing. Is Jordan the next domino to fall?
It will only get worse with this president. He's actually guaranteed it. We know, only by accident, what he confided in secret to the Russians. He will be even more "flexible" with our adversaries when he is no longer accountable to the people after re-election to a second term. "Tell Mr. Putin for me, Dmitry," is what he said. Those are his words that he whispered when he thought that we, the people, could not hear him.
Thankfully we did. Now we know that he doesn't trust us. So why should we trust him? After four years, we've heard enough, and we've had enough. Take your flexibility and shove it, Mr. President. You're fired!
Hyatt Seligman is a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney with over three decades of experience and a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Chapman University Law School in Orange, CA. These views are his own and not of his office.