Obama’s agenda for the Islamic world is the focus of my column in Human Events this week:
At last the triumphant day has come, and Barack Obama is President of the United States. Few presidents have taken office burdened with such high expectations — and one of the chief items on the new Chief Executive’s to-do list is, as he himself put it, to “reboot America’s image in the world and also in the Muslim world in particular.”
Obama thinks of himself as uniquely equipped to do this. He explained early in his presidential campaign that “I think the world would see me as a different kind of President, somebody who could see the world through their eyes”¦.If I convened a meeting with Muslim leaders around the world, to discuss how they can align themselves in our battle against terrorism, but also put our, the relationship between the West and the Islamic world on a more productive footing, I do so with the credibility of somebody who actually lived in a Muslim country for a number of years.”
He has remained consistent in this belief. The Times of London reported Sunday that Obama “believes a personal initiative will dramatise his wish to reassure Muslims, and intends to give a speech in an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office as a sign of his engagement.”
Reassure Muslims? But who will seek to reassure non-Muslims alienated by jihad aggression and Islamic supremacism? Why, no one, of course. That would be “Islamophobic.”
Nevertheless, Muslims are already feeling less than reassured by Obama’s backpedaling on his pledge to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center for jihadis: now he is saying that it may take up to four years for him to do so. Of course, it would have been hard for him not to back away from this promise after the Pentagon’s revelation last week that 61 former Gitmo inmates have now returned to the jihad. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since over the years nothing has been done at Guantanamo to disabuse inmates of their beliefs about the responsibility of Muslims to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. The prevailing PC “Islam Is A Religion of Peace” line prevents that — and makes for this recidivism.
Will Obama address that omission as he prepares to close down Guantanamo (however slowly), so as to ensure that those who are ultimately released don’t return to their murderous ways as well? Unlikely. Rather than confront the doctrines of jihad and Islamic supremacism that fuel jihad activity worldwide, Obama seems prepared to play Let’s Make A Deal with the Islamic world: “Very early on in the administration,” he has declared, “I will announce a team and an approach that allows us to get engaged in the Middle East on day one.
The American people and the players in the region are going to know that we are serious about dealing with the Middle East, dealing with Iran, dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan on the diplomatic front and not just on the military front.”
Does Obama really believe that Afghanistan and Pakistan, if not Iran, haven’t been dealt with successfully on the diplomatic front? The U.S. has showered billions in foreign aid on Pakistan over the last seven years — while (as even the New York Times has recently documented) Pakistani officials at the highest levels have engaged in a full-scale double game, doing just enough to impede jihad terrorism to placate Washington and aiding jihad terror groups while Washington was looking the other way.
But the only solution to this that Obama has hinted at so far has been to”¦shower still more money upon Pakistan. And Pakistan is unlikely to be the only one: last May Obama declared that the jihad terrorist groups Hizballah and Hamas are “going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims.” Will President Obama, then, try to assuage what he thinks of as the “legitimate claims” of these groups? Will he do so by showering even more of the American taxpayers” money upon them?
Barack Obama was elected promising change, and a new direction in both domestic and foreign policies. His statements about meeting the challenge of the global jihad, however, so far seem more like warmed-over Carterism than anything new. One wonders how many times the foreign policy establishment will beat its head against this particular wall before it realizes just how self-defeating it is.