The reaction to Islamic terrorists killing 17 people in Paris in the name of their radical creed has been greeted with a very strange perceived need to deflect or just dismiss it in liberal political and media circles.
Most journalists tried to downplay or ignore President Obama’s failure to attend the huge Sunday “unity” rally in Paris, where 40 world leaders gathered in a show of support for France. While the New York tabloids mocked Obama, most national newspapers mentioned “World leaders link arms” and barely noticed the leader of the free world had stayed home to watch football games.
Even after the White House spokesman admitted it was an error for top American officials to skip the event, obviously in reaction to national and international outrage, still some newspapers buried it inside their papers like it was no big deal.
There were other distressing signs of liberal deflection. CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour called the terrorists mere “activists” in her reporting on the shootings at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo: “On this day, these activists found their targets, and their targets were journalists.”
Amanpour was quoting one of the dead cartoonists, who said, “When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it.” Words matter, especially to journalists, and this was the wrong word. Activists write letters to the editor, join a community organization or protest, volunteer for a political campaign, man a phone bank.
Men who terrorize by slaughtering innocent men, women and children are terrorists.
The absence of President Obama or a senior U.S. representative in Paris Sunday at history’s largest anti-terrorism march was an instant embarrassment of major international proportions. And a snub to European allies who’ve gone along with the Democrat’s pleas for cooperation against ISIS and other causes.
But what’s emerged in subsequent hours is even more revealing of a serious ongoing problem for Obama that helps explain why in the last quarter of his presidential tenure so many Americans simply do not trust him.
To its credit, the White House almost admitted it made a mistake by not sending an American participant more important than Obama campaign bundler and Amb. Jane Hartley to march arm-in-arm with nearly four dozen world leaders. “I think,” Josh Earnest said Monday, “it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.”
That’s less a sincere statement of contrition and more a strategic admission attempting to take the wind out of the sails of a bad news story.
Press secretary Earnest declined to use the word “mistake.” He refused to say what Obama was doing during the march, just as the White House refused to reveal what Obama was doing during the long deadly night of Benghazi. And he refused publicly to name the responsible staffer.
Earnest suggested security was a concern. But Joe Biden wasn’t busy. Security was already in Paris for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. And the Secret Service says no one ever asked about a Paris trip.
In a story that fits the familiar White House pattern of protecting the president, Politico fingered Obama’s notoriously sloppy communications staff as missing the march’s importance and failing even to ask Obama if he wanted to go. Yes, the NFL playoffs were all over weekend TV.
But if you believe the president of the United States could be unaware that nearly 50 world leaders, including David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Benjamin Netanyahu from Europe, the Middle East and Africa were gathering in Paris, then we’ve got an Intercontinental Railroad to sell you.
It’s the same “Gee, I didn’t know” cover story that Obama used when the IRS scandal broke. His attorney just four doors from the Oval Office knew agents were caught harassing Obama’s political opponents, but she never thought to tell him? Uh-huh.
And when the roll-out of the president’s namesake ObamaCare blew up, Kathleen Sebelius told CNN the president was unaware of the troubles for days. Because? SportsCenter must not have covered it.
Like Benghazi, such fictions make any passerby wonder, what in the world could Obama have been doing at those times that is so evil and/or embarrassing that the commander-in-chief would rather his countrymen see him as clueless?
Which brings us to this “radical Islam” issue. In his ostentatious oration to the Muslim world from Cairo in June of 2009 Obama described “violent extremists” in “a small but potent minority of Muslims.” But ever since, he and his crowd have gone awkwardly out of their way to avoid labeling radical Islamists as radical Islamists.
Recall the Muslim Fort Hood shooter hailing Allah as he killed 13 fellow soldiers. That was inexplicably labeled “workplace violence.” Same for the Paris killers who are “terrorists,” true as far as it goes. But being al-Qaida alums, killing Jews and hailing Allah as you fire does add another dimension that Obama ignores.
Obama has also displayed serial sympathies for radical Muslims in appointments and snuffed investigations, as this newspaper’s editorial detailed the other day. And Earnest’s tortured circumlocutions to avoid saying “radical Islam” were painful to watch Tuesday.
Obama identifies himself as Christian. But much of his father’s family was Muslim. And Obama spent most of his formative youth in a step-father’s Muslim home in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It would be understandable if he felt a special kinship to that faith and its members.
But that requires transparency. In his arrogance and/or insecurity Obama has never felt moved to share those feelings candidly. So even Americans prepared to like the guy are left to wonder at best or suspect at worst that he’s not being honest with them about his sympathies or leanings. Maybe, one theory goes, Obama actually disagreed with the massive Paris anti-terrorism rally altogether, and his feigned ignorance is just a cover for that.
“In order to move forward,” Obama told the Muslim world from Cairo, “we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.” It would be a really good idea if Obama did the same with his own people.
But he won’t.
The left passionately attempts to inflame the world against such slow-emerging, life-threatening crises as “catastrophic global warming” or fast-food menus without calorie counts. But when it comes to Islamic jihad, they seem oddly incapable of outrage or alarm. They just deflect or dismiss. (IBD)
The Agenda is The Agenda, and “radical islam”/”islamic jihad” is a thoughtcrime and not on the Agenda so it’s not important thus they have to dismiss it as irrelevant to them (and you) as quickly as possible.
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