One doesn’t have to be psychic to predict what Obama will say. It’s always the same old Leftist pabulum. Although finally forced to acknowledge that the San Bernardino attack was terrorism, he worked desperately hard to stick to that old “lone wolf” narrative. (I won’t repeat my take on the “lone wolf” issue. Instead, if you want, you can read it here.)
While the FBI is “still gathering the facts about what happened” in the attack on a county holiday party at the Inland Regional Center by Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, Obama said that “so far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.”
“But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs,” he said. “So this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”
Please note, too, how Obama worked hard when he discussed San Bernardino to keep the words “Islam” or “Muslim” from appearing anywhere in connection with “terrorist” or “terrorism.” God forbid the two should be conflated. You can see the same pattern when he finally acknowledged other, prior Islamic terrorist acts:
Obama noted that under his tenure Osama bin Laden was killed and he claimed that the U.S. has been “decimating al-Qaeda’s leadership.”
“Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. As we’ve become better at preventing complex multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turn to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society. It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009, in Chattanooga earlier this year, and now in San Bernardino,” he said.
“And as groups like ISIL grew stronger amidst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria, and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.”
If you listened to Obama, you’d never realize that “ISIL,” bin Laden, or al Qaeda have anything whatsoever to do with Islam. They could be feral knitting clubs or Bible study groups. In Obama’s world, terrorists’ actions are mystical things that arise for no reason and will be overcome by doing more of the same things he’s been doing: targeted strikes and getting local groups and nations to fight.
At this point, I’m going to say something shocking: I think Obama is correct that, as a matter of principle and practicality, local powers need to lead the fight against ISIS. America cannot possible police every village in the Middle East, especially because the region’s tribalism makes it appalling difficult to separate friend from foe.
The problem with this principled approach, though, is threefold. First, most of the regional players are too scared, too incompetent, too un- or under-trained, or too complicit to do much good in the short term. Worse, we know that the US has been piddling away money in the region, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in five or ten hometown troops at a time.
Second, for the reasons set forth above, ISIS’s foes don’t have a quick response force and ISIS, unfortunately, is a virus that metastasizes quickly. (Speaking of spreading diseases, ISIS is having some metastasizing problems of its own. Apparently AIDS is ripping through it, in part because the ISIS fighters are sharing sex slaves (poor girls, poor, poor, girls . . . and boys too, I’d bet), and in part because ISIS fighters are getting attacked from within by Leishmaniasis, a grotesque, flesh-eating disease.)
Third, as long as America is not leading the fight and, indeed, is in denial about ISIS’s existence anywhere but in Syria and Iraq, America is bin Laden’s famous weak horse. Until Obama acknowledges that the fight against Islamic terrorism in all its forms is at home, and not just abroad, and until he starts showing America’s ferocious side, radical Islamists sees themselves as the hyena and America as the downed gazelle (or zebra, or whatever) just waiting to be savaged.
In other words, as he always does, Obama assured us that everything is under control.
Having failed to address reasonable American concerns about Islamic terrorism, Obama shifted to his generic lectures about ISIS not being Islamic, about his own overwrought fear that Americans will go all terrorist against law-abiding domestic Muslims, and about the need to “get rid of guns.” The gun shtick, of course, was moronic. The terrorists got their guns legally, and would certainly have obtained their guns illegally too (see, e.g., Chicago). The only ones affected by the gun laws are law-abiding American citizens, also known as sitting ducks. Let me say again that Israel’s daily experiences reveal that the single fastest, best way to down a terrorist is with a gun in a good guy’s hands:
(If the embed doesn’t load, go here.)
Obama’s stale speech did nothing to address the legitimate fears Americans have about Islamic terrorism within our borders, about the American-based mosques in which this hatred is spread, or about the risks of taking in Syrian refugees who can’t be vetted (although that’s kind of moot, since we now know that vetting doesn’t work anyway). Instead, as before, he basically said you, the American people, are paranoid, stupid, racist, and prejudiced, and you just have to trust me to do the right thing on your behalf, since I can’t trust you to do the right thing.