Speaking in Code
Vol: 88 Issue: 28 Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I was pleased to see I wasn’t the only one who was stunned in the wake of President Barack Hussein Obama’s interview with the Muslim world via al Arabiya.
It means (at best) that I’m not mad after all — and at worst I find I’m not alone in my ‘delusion’. Obama really did sell us out to the Muslim world during his first week in office.
It wasn’t my imagination. Obama kicked off his Islamic foreign policy initiative by slamming America as a force for good and agreeing with those Muslims who call America a global dictatorship.
“Too often the United States starts by dictating,” he shamefacedly told the Muslim world, while the self-loathing Americans at MSNBC howled with glee.
So instead of “dictating” Obama proposes America do something radical: “So, let’s llsten,” he said, (as if the alleged failure to communicate was America’s fault.)
It immediately put me in mind of the time actor/activist/idiot Tim Robbins summoned the world press corps to the National Press Club in Washington to complain that his freedom of speech was being stifled.
No nation in the history of the world pays more attention to external voices of dissent than does the United States.
Sometimes it listens and acquiesces to the dissenters — usually to its regret, as when Bush 41 stopped short of killing Saddam in the first Gulf War.
Sometimes the United States listens — and then does what it deems necessary, as when Bush 43 rectified Bush 41’s error during the 2nd Gulf War.
There is a difference between listening to dissent and surrendering to it. It appeared to my astonished ears as if the new president were unaware of such nuances.
It certainly sounded that way to his Muslim audience. Obama apologized to his Muslim audience for his predecessor’s use of terms like ‘Islamic fascism’ saying “the language we use matters” — as if this were a new revelation.
‘Fascism’ denotes the political worldview that advocates dealing with dissenters by either reeducating them or liquidating them. Islamofascism describes the school of thought that demands either submission to Islam or death.
The term ‘Islamic fascism’ was coined to distinguish between so-called ‘moderate Islam’ and the fascist kind. By his comments to al Arabiya, President Obama erases that distinction while simultaneously elevating terrorism to the status of a religious element:
“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.”
Language ALSO has meaning. This is music to the Islamic ear. Islamic terrorism is no different than Jewish terrorism or Christian terrorism. It has a moral equivalent. At last, it seems, a US president that understands the jihad!
However, from my perch in the cheap seats, it offers a different vision. That of a President who doesn’t understand anything about fundamental Christianity or Judaism.
There is nothing in either the Old or New Testament that justifies terrorism under any circumstances. There is no doctrine in either faith that is even remotely equivalent to that of the Islamic jihad.
There cannot be Christian or Jewish terrorism or even Christian or Jewish terrorist groups, since the concept is foreign to either faith. At most, there might be terrorists who claim to be either Christians or Jews. That isn’t the same thing.
Now, I know that we addressed Obama’s appearance on al Arabiya yesterday and that there are a number of other issues that we could have looked at.
Instead of commenting on the president’s oblique promise to the Muslim world that he’s their guy more than our guy, we could have focused on some other aspect of the new New Normal. We could have focused on the coming censorship of the Right in America.
Like Obama’s admonition to Republicans to ‘quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if you want to get things done’. Or we could have focused on the expression of liberal tolerance exemplified by the Democrats’ online petition against Rush Limbaugh for having the temerity to say he hopes that Obama’s liberal agenda fails.
Or the reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine. Or the US embrace of the UN General Assembly’s recent Defamation of Religion ban that makes it a crime to insult religion.
(‘Religion’ of course, meaning ‘Islam’. Insulting Christianity is a Constitutionally protected right.)
But this is too important. What this all revealed to me was a president that understands how to speak ‘islamic’ the way he understands how to speak ‘black’.
He knows his audience, knows the code, and knows exactly what he was saying to the Arab world, even if most of the Western world didn’t.
As I said in my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us,” he said. It is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of US power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.”
Ahmadinejad reacted to Obama’s extension of an olive branch via the interview with a demand that Obama apologize to the Iranian people first — “and try to repair their past bad acts and the crimes they committed against Iran”.
The Islamic world heard the US president talk about ‘getting rid of preconceptions’ in the Arab-Israeli conflict — code for embracing the concept of opening a dialogue with Hamas.
His comments to Iran were given on the same day that Iran’s government issued a statement branding the Holocaust a big lie.
He signaled his willingness to ‘look beyond’ America’s interests, offering himself as the first 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.”
(You can trust me. I know the code.)
And in case any in his audience didn’t Obama then openly admitted his intention to be an apologist 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.”
That is hardly news to anybody. Neither does it present a problem. What does is that living among, and indistinguishable from them are extraordinarily vicious killers who would willingly give up their own lives in exchange for a chance to take yours from you.
But the code for discussing Islam doesn’t permit negative images of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage, even if true.
Ahmadinejad was indeed listening closely. He understood the code and understands that Obama does, too. He immediately singled out Obama’s expression of shame and admission of US wrongdoing, telling a rally in western Iran broadcast live on state television:
“We welcome change but on condition that change is fundamental and on the right track,” he said, before outlining the conditions under which he might accept the US offer of dhimmitude:
When they say we want to make changes , change can happen in two ways. First is a fundamental and effective change… The second … is a change of tactics. It is very clear that, if the meaning of change is the second one, this will soon be revealed.”
Ahamdinejad told the rally that the proof of Obama’s sincerity will come when the US withdraws its troops from conflict zones around the world and “stops supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals.”
As I said earlier, there were other topics we could have discussed, but none that seemed quite so important to me this morning as this one. In our very first glimpse into Obama’s foreign policy plans we find confirmed all of our worst fears.
We also find that the Islamofacists in Iran and elsewhere heard a confirmation of their wildest dreams. Their war may soon be over.
All that remains is for their new guy in Washington to sell the slogan back to the xenophobic rednecks in American flyover country. (Once their death grip on God and guns is pried loose – first things first).
“Dhimmitude with Honor” — it has a ring to it.