Barack Obama could have learned something from French president Francois Hollande. Alas, he did not.
Thus we are obliged to contrast Hollande’s strong reaction to the Islamist terrorist attack on Paris on November 13 with Obama’s breathtaking display of weakness after the Islamist terrorist attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday.
Hollande called an act of war an act of war. He named the terrorists as Islamists. He began a bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He would have invoked article 5 of the NATO charter, declaring that an act of war against one member nation was an act of war against all other NATO nations, but Barack Obama, we assume, rejected the idea.
And al Jazeera has reported that the French government is shutting down radical mosques, mosques that are in the business of inciting violence:
France is likely to close up to 160 mosques in the coming months as part of a nationwide police operation under the state of emergency which allows places of worship that promote radical views to be shut down, one of the country's chief imams has said.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told journalists on Wednesday that three mosques had been closed over the past two weeks during the state of emergency - marking the first time France had taken such action against places of worship.
On Wednesday, police shut down a suspected radical mosque east of Paris and arrested the owner of a revolver found in related raids as part of the crackdown, Cazeneuve said.
While some French citizens, in the aftermath of the massacre, did say that they thought that their nation had provoked the otherwise peace-loving Muslims to attack them, their voices were soon forgotten as the nation mobilized to fight Islamist terror.
Good leadership beings a nation together, to fight a foreign enemy or even to address national problems. Bad leadership divides the nation against itself, making it functionally ineffective.
I have covered the French government response in some detail because it has been an object lesson in political leadership. More so when compared with the Obama administration’s default to craven submission towards all things Muslim. Compared with Barack Obama, Francois Hollande has looked like Churchill.
Keep in mind, a couple of weeks ago Barack Obama told the American people that there was no chance of there being a terrorist attack on our nation. Thus, when the terrorist attack took place he refused to admit that he was wrong and took the coward’s way out. First, he indulged in some legalistic double talk and declared the ISIL was not an existential threat to America. Second, he refused to say that the terrorist attack was terrorism. His spokesman called it “a terrible act of violence.”
Now, he has just barely been dragged kicking and screaming into saying that it was an act of terror—because his FBI said that it was—but he still cannot pronounce the word Islamist.
The Obama administration’s craven response shows why people resort to terrorism. After all, the purpose of terrorism is first to show that America’s freedoms make it weak and ineffective, and second to garner respect for Islam. And also, terrorists want Americans to think that they had it coming, that they deserved it, that they are being punished for their sins.
Given the Obama administration attitude, no one should have been surprised to see the family of the terrorists hire a representative from CAIR, the American affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, to explain that it was all America’s fault.
This shows that the Obama administration attitude has provided fertile ground for the Muslim Brotherhood to present its message and to guilt-trip America.
Of course, Obama does not think that Islam is the problem. Nor for that matter does Hillary Clinton. Following their lead, Democratic politicians and their media enablers are pushing their own divisive narrative: the problem is the second amendment and the NRA.
Today the New York Times led the march with a front page editorial—the first one, we are told, in 90 years—calling for nothing less than unilateral disarmament. Now the Islamists see that the more they commit acts of terrorism, the more the American left will call on Americans to lay down their arms. What better sign of a successful action.
The New York Times also agrees with the Obama administration that the real enemy is Islamophobia. It declares that the true problem is ignorance. This assumes that the solution is education. And yet, when your position makes no sense education will never work. If you allow people to consider all sides of the argument they will likely conclude that you are living an illusion. The Times really wants brainwashing and indoctrination, so that you think what it wants you to think.
The Times pays lip service to the horrors of terrorism, and then adopts its naturally supine submissive pose. Thus do the terrorists win. After all, the purpose of the attacks is to garner respect for a failing civilization called Islam. When your first reaction is to declare your great respect for all Muslims, you are part of the problem, not the solution.
Unfortunately for the administration, when people commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam, the reputation of all Muslims will suffer. It is a normal human reaction. Also, large numbers of Muslims sympathize with ISIS. Large numbers of Muslims support ISIS. Muslims voted for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They voted for Hamas in Gaza. We are not talking about a couple of crazies. We are talking about a major international movement, one that has gotten stronger by preying on the perception of American weakness.
For the zealots and ideologues, the only thing that matters is the narrative.
According to the narrative, the problem is not the crazed Islamist terrorists who enter the country without having been adequately screened. It is not the pipe bombs that they were assembling in their living room. It is not their willingness to gun down innocent civilians at a Christmas party, taking special care to kill the one Jew in the room.
No, the problem is your hearts and minds. You need to show love and care for your Muslim neighbors. And let’s not forget that the fear of being called a racist prevented one of Syed Farook’s neighbors from alerting the police about the strange happenings in Farook’s place. People died because good Americans are more afraid of being called racists than in defending the homeland.
And then, speaking for the administration, the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, declared yesterday that the true enemy was bad speech and bad thoughts. Lynch declared war against Islamophobia. In particular, she wants to take up arms against bad language, nasty rhetoric … especially when directed against Muslims.
In stark contrast to her French counterpart (see above) Lynch has nothing to say about the radical imams who are preaching violence in American mosques.
The Daily Wire quotes her remarks:
“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence," she said.
"Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric—or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much—when we see that we will take action," said Lynch.
After touting the numbers of "investigations into acts of anti-Muslim hatred" and "bigoted actions" against Muslims launched by her DOJ, Lynch suggested the Constitution does not protect "actions predicated on violent talk" and pledged to prosecute those responsible for such actions.
When did anyone believe that the constitution protects criminal acts? Attorney General Lynch is calling for a crackdown on what she considers to be hate speech because she believes that it leads to criminal actions. She has nothing to say about those imams who are fomenting violence by radicalizing your Muslims. And, where was she when the Black Lives Matter movement was calling for the murder of police officers?
The sad story here is that America was attacked by Islamist terrorists on Wednesday and the Obama administration has refused to step forward to lead. It has indulged in its typically divisive politics, trying to blame the attack on Republicans and the NRA. So, we have a nation divided and the root cause of the division lies in the White House.
You cannot fight a common enemy when you are fighting against yourself.