When Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to the crime, he declared: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi."
There is no real ambiguity here. We have a hate crime, committed by a leading Islamic terrorist, against a man who is identified as both an American and a Jew.
To commemorate the event the terrorists produced what Mark Steyn aptly called a "snuff film" and distributed it as evidence of their power and righteousness. Clearly, the film was intended as a recruitment tool. Link here.
However clear the point, Congress seemed to miss it. It just decided to commemorate Daniel Pearl's murder by making him a martyr for press freedom. Thus, it passed The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.
The bill requires the State Department to monitor press freedoms as part of its annual human rights review.
That'll show them. Does anyone really believe that when Usama bin Laden hears about this law he is going to turn to Ayman el Zawahiri and declare: all is lost; the jihad is over; America has come to its senses and has asserted its abiding belief in freedom of the press!
But Daniel Pearl did not die because he published a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed or because he dared to translate Salmon Rushdie's Satanic Verses. He was murdered because he was an American and a Jew.
And how do you think bin Laden reacted when he heard our president confirm, in Daniel Pearl's name, surrounded by Daniel Pearl's son and father, his own take on the situation: "Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is."
Hasn't Obama just missed the point completely. Steyn expresses the outrage we should all feel at hearing Obama's verbal pabulum: "... he's talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore the deceased's family is standing all around him. And, even for a busy president it's the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving, and true."
In other words, Obama's slight was deliberate; he was articulating policy, not commemorating the death of a man who was murdered because he was an American and a Jew.
A president who has expressed outrage against the indignity of asking an illegal immigrant to show his papers when caught speeding has nothing to say about the decapitation of an American Jew.
Effectively, Obama infused the moment with one of what Steyn calls: " ... the all-purpose bromides of therapeutic seduction."
Offered an opportunity to articulate the nature of the struggle against Islamic extremism, Obama's rhetoric was weak, irresolute, and mealy-mouthed. He talked in absurd circumlocutions, as though he was afraid to offend anyone by naming the problem.
All the while he still clings to the idea that he can try Daniel Pearl's assassin in a civilian court in lower Manhattan.
[For further remarks and discussion, thanks to Neo-neocon, follow this link.]