On the morning after the deadliest instance of Islamist terrorism in the United States since 9/11, President Barack Obama warned the American public not to “jump to conclusions” about the motives that impelled Nidal Hasan’s rampage of mass murder at Fort Hood.
By the time Obama issued this warning, it had already been reported that Hasan yelled, “Allahu Akbar,” before he opened fire. This assertion of the supremacy of Allah is invoked by Islamic terrorists worldwide before they kill.
It was also known that Hasan’s fellow participants in an Army program on public health had complained to military authorities about Hasan’s anti-American propaganda. Hasan had made a presentation that justified suicide bombing and argued that the war on terror is a war against Islam.
Obama has not always been cautious about jumping to conclusions. When a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., arrested an African-American Harvard professor, the president was quick to proclaim that the officer had “acted stupidly.” Obama was soon forced to back away from that statement, which was based on ignorance of the facts.
There is no underlying inconsistency between these seemingly divergent responses. Both are founded on the same antipathy Obama harbors towards America.
Obama prematurely concluded that the professor’s arrest was improper because this conclusion comported with his view that American law enforcement officers habitually harass African-Americans. In Hasan’s case, it was imperative to resist the obvious connection between Islamism and the killings because, in Obama’s view, Americans habitually are on the verge of persecuting Muslims.
Our malevolence is not confined to relations with our own minority groups, either. In our president’s opinion, we are global miscreants.
For example, Obama has insisted that to compensate for our past arrogance, we need to negotiate, even absent any preconditions, with our worst enemies, including Iran. Applied to Russia, this has meant going hat-in-hand to the Kremlin and agreeing, among other concessions, to abandon missile defense for Russia’s Eastern European neighbors in the hope of demonstrating that we have turned over a new leaf.
It might be argued in our defense that the U.S. faced down the Soviet Union, paving the way for the triumph of freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. But this fact apparently does not impress Obama. When heads of state gathered in Berlin last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Obama was absent.
Obama did appear in Berlin via video. But the president omitted from his remarks any mention of the Soviet Union or communism, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan.
Obama’s antipathy towards America should come as no surprise. Although he has lived a rich and varied life, there has been one constant — exposure to the left’s disparaging narrative about America.
Obama grew up in a radically left-wing household, attended elite colleges where a jaundiced view of America is orthodox, and spent the remainder of his formative years as a community organizer alongside the likes of former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the “God damn America” ranting Jeremiah Wright.
What will be the consequences of that presidency? Domestically, we can expect the president to continue trying to remodel the American economy along radical lines. And given his mistrust of his countrymen’s instincts, we can expect attempts to curb personal freedom.
Fortunately, in the domestic realm, Obama cannot implement very much of this agenda without the “consent of the governed,” as expressed through their elected representatives. Thus, Obama can be constrained. If the electorate chooses not to constrain him, he will have earned the right to work his radical transformation.
In the area of foreign and national-security policy, however, Obama can operate largely unchecked. And a weak, guilt-ridden policy towards our foreign adversaries is almost certain to produce grave consequences.
It seems that, in Obama’s view, all we have to offer the world is our noninterference in its affairs, except perhaps when it comes to bullying our allies.
In the past, we have offered much more. We defeated fascism and communism, liberated Europe in two World Wars, and took the lead in fighting back against Islamist extremism.
A country burdened by a battered self-image will be incapable of any such achievements. We will suffer for it, and so will the world.
Paul Mirengoff is a lawyer in Washington and a principal author of Powerlineblog.com.