Hillary Clinton has not uttered a word to distance herself from her husband’s insensate courtship of Yasir Arafat, or his unshakeable determination to misunderstand the Islamic basis of Arab opposition to Israel — a misunderstanding that explains not only his failure at “peacemaking” but all the failures before his tenure, including that at Camp David, which resulted not so much a “peace treaty” as a gang-up on Israel, with Carter and Brzezinski outdoing even Sadat (that’s Saint Sadat), in making demands on a hapless, hopeless, sentimental, uncomprehending Begin.
There is the matter of the huge Saudi contributions to Bill Clinton, of his offer to defend the Dubai deal, of his fantastic payments for lectures either in the Gulf (as in Qatar), or in Arab-funded lecture series (the Fares Lectures at the Fletcher School). There is the matter of that Saudi girl who has in the last month or two disappeared from view. There is the matter of the Turkish financier who paid for the movie “Valley of the Wolves” — a movie depicting American soldiers in Iraq as Nazis, and with a piquant “Jewish doctor” who, Mengele-like, cuts out the organs of dead Iraqis to sell them in New York and Tel Aviv. That movie is equivalent to “Jud Suss.” Would we support a candidate who had as one of his delegates to some convention in the 1930s someone akin to Joseph Goebbels? No? Then why do we pass by, without a word, such a Clinton delegate as the Turkish(-American?) movie-financier in question?
Obama? He’s missing a trick. If he were to announce that he was raised, or was considered by some to be, a Muslim, but never accepted the faith, and openly demonstrated his Christianity just as soon as he safely could, that could gain him support. If he could depict himself, perhaps correctly, as an apostate, that would be even better: it would put him in the company of Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Ali Sina, Nonie Darwish, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (He should start seeing her, start learning from her, and make sure those photographs of him with her are widely distributed, if he knows what’s morally and intellectually good for him.) When it comes to totalitarian belief-systems, always learn from, in depth, those who were born into societies ruled or suffused with that belief-system, and who mentally fought their way out. They should be the guides.
It’s up to Barack Obama whether or not he shows himself to be able to recognize this, and to express his opposition to the war in Iraq not as an act of appeasement, but because he abhors the “squandering” of men, money, materiel, and morale, and wishes to husband our resources in order to better defeat what he can call, for now, the “forces of Jihad.” He can also talk, for a start, about how the “more than one trillion dollars spent or committed in Iraq might better have been spent on energy projects that would deprive the worldwide Jihad of the money weapon.”
Just say it. Just get those words out. And then all the other candidates will have to follow. And then the debate, and the comprehension of things by the public, will change. The dam will have burst.
As for John McCain, he is not tough-minded. Rather, he is a sentimentalist. That sentimentalism can be seen in his failure to comprehend why some might think cultural continuity for this country, as for other countries, is important, and is threatened by unchecked legal, and illegal immigration. He might be sympathetic. He might have a sense of what cultural continuity means. But he has given no signs of it.
And he is sentimental, in the Bush mold, about “ordinary moms and dads in the Middle East.” The Iraq War is a fiasco, a disaster, a huge distraction from the war of self-defense against the Jihad. He, McCain, does not know that. If he doesn’t learn that, and come to realize that the trillion or more spent in Iraq, and the 4,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, were expended largely for a goal that is not only unattainable, but that makes no sense, then he will lose the election to someone else, possibly less worthy in other respects, if that someone else is opposed to the hideously expensive (and the “war in Iraq” and “the economy” are not two issues but one issue) war in Iraq, and can appeal to those who see it, rightly, as a tremendous waste.
McCain will have to jettison, or get beyond, the kagans — “Hero of Baghdad” — and others whose careers are tied up with the crazed venture in Iraq.
Will he begin to understand Islam? Will he begin to talk, using such words as “Jihad” and “dhimmi”? Will he meet with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, and listen to them carefully? Will he consider the other, more effective, instruments of Jihad — the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, demographic conquest?
Will he? Or will his opponents? Or will any of them come to their senses, individually or collectively, and start studying the matter, as they should have started long ago?