The other day put up a blog. Misspelled ‘Libya’ in the title. Misspelled my own name twice in the email.
Worst of all, I published the blog without first running it by my severest critic. The missus, God bless her, said she didn’t like it. All over the place, she said.
Couldn’t figure out what I was trying to say.
So, in the spirit of dogged perseverance, I’ll try again.
I began with this quote from the President’s speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009:
I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
I was trying to connect the dots. I was trying to make a point about President Obama’s foreign policy that would help explain the inexplicable.
Why did the White House cling to the ‘offensive video’ explanation of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi despite the proven fact that they knew there was no spontaneous demonstration?
They had to know it was an organized terrorist attack. Still, they sent U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice out to do the Sunday morning TV talk shows four days after the event.
Her mission: keep insisting that the slaughter in Benghazi was an offshoot of the demonstrations in Cairo, a natural reaction to a scurrilous video.
Our President is a Christian. I take him at his word. He joined Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church when he was in Chicago working with inner city churches to organize the neighborhoods.
His mother and maternal grandparents were not church going folk. He idolized his father, who was a Muslim. He has spoken often about his knowledge of and respect for, the Islamic faith and traditions.
His speech in Cairo described a Utopian dream. A world in which every nation was at peace with every other nation, where historic feuds and conflicting cultures would be smothered in an atmosphere of good will and understanding.
I think he expects Muslims to see him as their friend, their champion in a hostile world of Christianity.
And I think he really believes that his presence in the White House will keep the peace in the Middle East.
Unhappily, the world is messy and life is more complicated than can be untangled in a single speech.
The President is at pains to declare that the vast majority of Muslims are good people. They don’t riot. They don’t kill.
But good people don’t like their homeland to be invaded by foreigners. Which might explain why the Afghans we have trained and equipped to corral Al-Qaeda have started shooting our soldiers.
Good people don’t like to see their religion mocked and desecrated by negative stereotypes. And when the promise to “fight negative stereotypes” is no more effective than the promise to close Guantanamo, good people are unhappy.
I don’t think that the Nation of Islam feels any more kindly toward the Pax Americana today than it did when President Obama took the oath of office.
His claim that the killing of Osama Ben Laden was anything other than a symbolic victory rings hollow.
His promise to send more billions to finance social programs in the Middle East is no more effective in placating ancient hostilities than was the tribute our nation paid to the Barbary pirates before Thomas Jefferson sent the United States navy into the Mediterranean.
Neville Chamberlain proved the folly of appeasement three quarters of a century ago. Ronald Reagan proved that peace is better preserved through strength and determination.
Nations which permit their people to invade our embassies and kill our diplomats are not friendly. We should treat them as such.