Although I’m in a very pessimistic mood tonight, I’m not in complete agreement with Ben Shapiro’s conclusion that we lost the war on terror when Obama was elected.
But Shapiro has captured a lot of what I would have wanted to say about how things look for me after the President of the United States made his groveling performance on Arab TV the other night.
I’m not ready to say the war’s over, even if Obama has signaled our enemies that we’re back in the Democratic business of spreading American apologies in the Muslim world instead of American freedom. I do think we've lost an awful lot that we've fought for the past eight years.
Here’s Shapiro’s reaction:
The Day America Lost the War on Terror
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
On Nov. 4, 2008, America lost the war on terror. President Barack Obama’s feckless, pathetically apologetic perspective on foreign policy spells the end of the quest for liberty in the Middle East. It spells the end of America’s moral leadership in the global war for freedom. And it spells the end of a hard-fought campaign to protect America. Our enemies must be happily celebrating their great good fortune in America’s election of this platitudinous, morally relativistic, Jimmy Carter carbon copy in the midst of battle.
On Jan. 26, 2009, Obama granted his first television interview as president of the United States to Al Arabiya, the Dubai-based television network part-owned by the Saudi government. In the interview, he demonstrated with the utmost clarity that his understanding is inversely proportional to his arrogance.
He started by humbling America before the world. “(A)ll too often the United States starts by dictating,” Obama said, shame for his country dripping from his lips. “So let’s listen.” There was no call for the Muslim world, which has sponsored genocide after genocide, terrorist group upon terrorist group, to listen.
Obama apologized for President Bush’s “Islamic fascism” terminology, equating Muslim terrorism with nonexistent terrorism by Jews and Christians: “the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.” There was no call for the Muslim world to actively fight terrorism -- honesty is not the Obama administration’s policy.
Obama repeated the Clintonian line that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict could be solved by pressing Israel into negotiations with terrorists -- a foolish conceit that has cost Israeli and Palestinian lives. He talked about getting rid of “preconceptions” regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict -- code for embracing negotiations with Hamas. He pledged to talk with Iran -- on the same day that Iran’s government spokesman branded the Holocaust “a big lie.” He bought into the Muslim-sponsored notion that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict lies at the heart of all trouble in the Middle East. He praised the one-sided Saudi peace plan as an act of “great courage.”
Most sickeningly, Obama openly jettisoned his constitutional role as the caretaker for America’s national interest. Instead, Obama posed himself as an honest broker between America and the Muslim world. “(T)he United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect,” he said. “I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.” Obama didn’t stop there. He stated that his job is to speak for the Muslim world, defending them from Americans’ negative perceptions: “And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.”
No, Mr. President. Your job is not to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world harbors us no ill will. That is their job. The Muslim world must demonstrate with its words and actions that they do not wish America replaced with an Islamic state. They must demonstrate that they do not support terrorism against America and our allies.
Your job is to protect and defend the United States of America. That is your sworn duty.
And you abrogate your sworn duty every time you go on Arab television stations and apologize for America’s foreign policy. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you force American allies to negotiate with terrorists. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you pledge to protect the interests “not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity” -- the same ordinary people who elect Hamas, prop up the Ayatollahs, supported the Taliban, recruit for al-Qaida, and live off of the beneficence of Hezbollah. Not all Muslims are “extraordinary people,” and the interests of suffering Muslims do not always align with American interests.
On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans elected their first international president. They elected a man who does not seek to preserve American values. Leftists perceived George W. Bush as an imperialist for American interests; by the same token, Obama is an imperialist for “global interests.” In a war to save America from implacable foes, Obama’s Global Interest Imperialism dooms American exceptionalism to the ash heap of history. With it may go the last, best hope of Earth.