Obama has stepped into an unnecessary public relations disaster, once again. Last summer, he got involved in the Officer Crowley and Professor Gates event, and ended up permanently alienating many people who saw him transform from the post-racial healer into an old school, race-hustling politician. He acted like a bully, and it was very clear where his loyalties lay.
Then he weighed in on the planned Ground Zero Mosque, stating he was supportive to a group of Muslims, then he said he was neutral but supported the Constitution, then he went back and forth a few more times and appeared altogether weak. One thing he never acknowledged in his journey through these positions was that this was an incredibly bad idea to build the Mosque there and that critics had a legitimate point. Now, it turns out, we’re told by the self-promoting Imam Rauf that there is no going back on the Mosque, because such backing down would be seen as an insult to Islam and lead to violence. Always the violence, just waiting in the wings, from the “religion of peace.”
Finally, Obama has condemned the Koran-burning Florida pastor, Terry Jones, with no genuflection to his constitutional rights, and instead, acted against him with a full court press. The Secretary of Defense, the Pope, the Secretary of State, plus countless media schills have piled on this guy. And, in the most development to date, FBI agents visited the Church, ostensibly to warn Pastor Jones of death threats. Jones, to his discredit, has backed down in the face of this massive public pressure, without any apparent change of ideas. In other words, he was not persuaded, but cowed. Pathetic.
At one point Obama stated “This kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm’s way. And it’s also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.” I have no doubt there is some small truth to that, not least because Muslims are incredibly quick to anger. But why is all of his passion and all of his rhetoric addressed to an insignificant Florida pastor? Why not also say something to the other side of this transaction: the demented, hollering, wild eyed crazy people making these veiled threats in Afghanistan and elsewhere? After all, Jones is threatening to burn a book, but these Muslim crazies are threatening to kill Americans in response.
If Obama really believed in and understood America, he would say something like this: “Anyone that engages in violence or judges the US because of the act of a small town preacher is despicable. There is no right to resort to violence just because your feelings are hurt or your religion is insulted. There is no moral equivalence whatsoever between burning a book and killing a human being. Americans learned long ago that killing each other over religion, over speech, and over much else both weakens our society and also is wrong. You people need to learn this as well, and while I do not support Pastor Jones’ disrespect for the Koran, I am sensible of my duty to protect his rights as an American, and so I’m not going to give into the veiled threats coming out of the Muslim world in response to his actions. It’s his right as an American to burn a Koran and have any opinion he wants about Islam, and I will not bow to threats of violence in defending the rights of Americans.”
One thing we saw with Officer Crowley last summer was that standing up for yourself does more to slow down violent threats than the craven weakness. After Crowley stood up for himself, Obama was a little shaken; he was used to the old white guilt shuffle. Obama learned to play white guilt like a violin growing up among his white single mom and his old school white liberal grandparents. He was shaken by Crowley’s self-respect; it’s not something he has ever had much experience with. Obama ultimately retreated from his initial remarks that the officer acted “stupidly.”
In spite of the value of self-respect–which everyone from King David to General MacArthur demonstrate–weakness in the face of Islamic threats is displayed all the time by nearly all of our leaders and large institutions. The defense of ourselves and our culture is absent in the face of repeated Muslim blackmail. And, predictably, this feeds on itself, as Muslim incivility and violence is constantly being rewarded. It’s analogous to the lavish public funds bestowed on cities beset by race rioting in the 1960s; as a result, we have perrenial threats of a “long, hot summer” from the Al Sharptons of the world ever since if payoffs of various kinds are not given to the right shakedown artists.
Islam has become the only religion in the western world protected from blasphemy due to a combination of threats, actual violence (such as the killing of Theo van Gogh), and series of weak-kneed responses by our leaders. I recognize, frankly, that some of these elected officials don’t love America and want to see it brought low by the Third Worlders. They identify with the outsiders and want to see the traditional American culture and people destroyed. I believe Obama is off this ilk. Some, however, clearly are just confused. For these that do love America and want to see it made stronger, they could learn from Officer Crowley and similar episodes that a little self-respect and defiance go a long way.