Time and Action Do Not Heal All Wounds
To paraphrase the first Republican president, the world will little note nor long remember what the Democrats said at Charlotte last week. Yet on the eleventh anniversary of the most egregious attack against these United States, we should note and remember the words of vice president Joe Biden.
During his speech before the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, Biden said the following in reference to the operation to kill al-Qaeda fugitive Osama bin Laden:
In 2008, Barack Obama made a promise to the American people. He said 'If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights, we will take him out. That has to be our biggest national security priority.' Barack understood that the search for bin Laden was about a lot more than taking a monstrous leader off the battlefield. It was about righting an unspeakable wrong, healing a nearly unbearable wound in America's heart. He also knew the message we had to send to terrorists around the world -- if you attack innocent Americans, we will follow you to the ends of the earth.
There is much to unpack in such an insulting group of phrases. Had not bin Laden been "off the battlefield" for almost a decade? Do "the ends of the earth" exclude Iraq? Is the implication that the previous administration -- or any administration -- would not have taken out bin Laden? Why does Biden insist on the patronizing and paternalistic use of "Barack" instead of "President Obama" during his public appearances? Each of these Bidenisms could fill a column of its own.
Yet the most insulting idea within this passage is Biden's assertion that the implied masterful orchestration of the death of bin Laden by president Obama healed the wound of September 11, 2001. That's it. It's all better now. The wound has been cleaned, closed, and healed. Time to move "forward."
No individual, nor the death of any individual -- even an individual as prominent as Osama bin Laden - can heal the wound of September 11, 2001. The horror of that day, the slaughtering of over 3,000 innocents, can never be healed, even with the passage of time. Families were ripped apart. Children were orphaned and can never be made whole. Friends of the pilots and crews of the airplanes that were hijacked grieve deeply. Courageous patriots who volunteered to serve in the military gave their lives to hunt down the perpetrators of the outrage.
The wound flares up when one sees a film made prior to 9/11 that shows the Trade Center towers amid the New York skyline. The wound aches when flying into the city and looking down on lower Manhattan. Do Barack Obama and Joe Biden really believe that the killing of one individual healed those wounds?
Worse than Biden's myopic psychobabble and careless use of the English language is this administration's coddling and encouragement of the very forces that would jump at the chance to replicate September 11, 2001 by an order of magnitude. Despite its self-depiction as brave jihad-destroyers, the Obama administration's version of "Forward" is jihad outreach and permitting the enemy into our gates with an engraved invitation.
As Andrew C. McCarthy points out in the September 10, 2012 issue of National Review, president Obama was among the first world leaders to send congratulations to Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on his election to the presidency of Egypt, despite the U.S. Department of Justice proving in 2008 that the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization." The Muslim Brotherhood's chief jurist, Yusuf Qaradawi, has stated that Islam will "conquer America" and issued a fatwa that endorsed jihad against U.S. military personnel. For his part, Morsi has called for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of the first attack against the World Trade Center in 1993, and the man bin Laden credited with issuing the fatwa for 9/11.
McCarthy also states that the Obama administration welcomed Hani Nour Eldin, a member of the Gama'at-Islamia (the Islamic Group) jihadist group to Washington, D.C., along with Muslim Brotherhood members and fellow Egyptian Islamists. Rahman is emir of the Islamic Group. This cabal was afforded audiences with the Obama's highest-ranking national security advisers. As McCarthy argues, "[t]hrough the alchemy of 'democratic' elections, they're somehow not Islamic supremacists anymore. The Obama administration would have us see them as 'parliamentarians.'"
Indeed, McCarthy notes that when the Muslim Brotherhood began winning elections in Egypt, the administration's national intelligence director, James Clapper, testified to Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular." Pay no attention to the Brotherhood's motto, which reads in part, "Allah is our objective ... the Koran is our law, jihad is our way." McCarthy asserts that the Obama administration consults with the Muslim Brotherhood's U.S. affiliates on counterterrorism policy, and that the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Homeland Security Department have removed references to Islam from training manuals.
This is of a piece with the administration's reaction, or non-reaction, to the mass murder perpetrated by U.S. Army major Nidal Hasan at Ft. Hood in 2009. Hasan, who had the abbreviation SoA (Soldier of Allah) on his business card, was afforded the benefit of the doubt, the incident classified as an unfortunate incident of workplace violence. Obama's Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano fretted about "anti-Muslim backlash" rather than call the incident what it was: a clear-cut act of Islamic terrorism.
All of that is to say nothing of the administration's weakness concerning Iran's nuclear development, our dithering in Afghanistan as our "friends" continue to murder U.S. military personnel, and the appalling, politically motivated leaks of details concerning the mission that felled bin Laden.
As this presidential campaign continues, it is well to keep Biden's words at the DNC and the contradictory actions of the Obama administration in mind. They want us to believe that Obama made everything all better -- that his bravery alone in the elimination of one man healed the wound of September 11, 2001, and that everything is okay. Given the actions of the Obama administration before and after this amazing feat of mass closure, it is well to ask eleven years on: who will heal this administration's deliberate wounds to the security and honor of our country?
Matthew May welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.