Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fitzgerald: What is worrisome about Obama

There are many things to worry about Barack Obama in his view of the Middle East and in his view of Islam, including his being opposed to the war in Iraq for all the wrong, and none of the right, reasons, and his dreamy belief that Afghanistan is the "central front" in the war -- when if one understood things better one would recognize that there is no "central front" in the war of self-defense against the Jihad that is being conducted worldwide. The Jihad is being waged both against Infidel nation-states, and against regimes in Muslim countries deemed insufficiently Muslim, as well as against non-Muslims in Dar al-Islam -- to push them back into submission, as with the Copts in Egypt, or to push them out altogether, as with Hindus and Christians in Pakistan.

There are many worrisome things about Barack Obama and those upon whom he has relied for information in the past (Rashid Khalidi), and at least some of whom he relies on in the present. He has shown no great understanding -- none at all, in fact -- of Islam. Most of his new, more "acceptable" (because mainstream) advisers, such as some taken over from Clinton -- including the egregious Albright and Dennis Ross -- are limited. They are wedded to the formulas and understandings and nostrums of the past, the past that was devoid of an understanding of the meaning, and menace, of Islam, and of the various instruments and manifestations of the Jihad -- from the killings of non-Muslims in Thailand and the Philippines to the persecution even within already Muslim-ruled lands of Christians, Hindus, and others (see Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Sudan).

And that is not the only problem. As discussed here, Obama's view of Islam is based on childhood memories, and seen through the prism of that childhood. He attended a school that contained Muslim children from the most tolerant Muslim families (or else they would not have sent their children to school with Christians) in Indonesia forty years ago, at a time when the largely secular nationalists (Sukarno, Suharto) of the early post-war period were still in control. They are no longer, and many in Indonesia appear to be reverting to the full-bodied Islam. He has acquired a skewed view -- as skewed as the view acquired by Paul Wolfowitz when he was the naive American ambassador to Indonesia. Furthermore, Obama's Search For His Roots -- meaning his absentee father -- introduced him to Islam in Kenya, again mild-mannered: given the Christian majority, it has to be. And forty or fifty years ago, before the Saudi and other Arab money transformed so many mosques even in black Africa, an "Islamic identity" in Kenya might have meant something milder than what it means today.

This is a problem. Unlike the defectors from Islam -- Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq -- who have experienced the real and undiluted thing, Obama has not. Yet he thinks he knows something about it, and others presume that he does.

Obama may harbor the illusion -- he certainly gives that impression -- that the mixture as before will do. He thinks we need to "explain" ourselves better. We don't. We need to understand the meaning of Islam better, and work to identify the various means used to further Jihad -- Jihad being the "struggle" to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam, everywhere. We need to exploit pre-existing fissures -- sectarian, ethnic, economic -- within the Camp of Islam and Jihad. We need to identify, and then undo, the main weapons of Jihad in the West -- the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, demographic conquest. We need to find a clever way to discuss this.

But Obama, like McCain, is still in this area one of Yesterday's Men. And unlike McCain, there are few signs that he senses the threat. McCain's problem is that he continues to misunderstand the nature of that threat from Islam, and so believes that a "victory" in Iraq -- that is, a stable, unified Iraq -- is better for us, for some reason, than an unstable source of permanent Sunni-Shi'a friction that would distract the jihadists away from attacking the West. And were an independent Kurdistan to come into existence, it would be a conceivable cynosure for non-Arab Muslim eyes of non-Arab Muslims throwing off the Arab yoke -- and thus would emphatically underline the Arab supremacism that accompanies Islam, and is a natural part of it.

Obama has surrounded himself with the old guard, the weary yet constantly hopeful and misguided peace-processers of the "Arab-Israeli dispute." In reality, the Jihad against Israel that has no end. There is no solution for it save that of deterrence, or of forcing the Arab side to invoke Darura, Necessity, the necessity of recognizing Israel's permanent military superiority -- or at least its ability to inflict such counter-damage as should end or dampen widespread Arab enthusiasm, so costly to the Arabs themselves, for attempts to undo the Infidel nation-state of Israel. Just look at the names: Dennis Ross, whose entire professional life has been spent ignoring Islam, ignoring the real nature of the war being made on Israel. He can't admit to that, can't admit he has missed the main point, and so he continues as before. His amour-proper is at stake. His reason for being is at risk.

And it is no different with Madeleine Albright or other Clinton inheritances. They all have failed to make Islam the center of their study. They have sturdily refused to consult the texts, the tenets, the history of Islam. They are willfully unable to connect the dots between what happens when Christian children are decapitated in Indonesia, Buddhist teachers and monks are killed in southern Thailand, two million Christians are killed in southern Sudan, Copts are persecuted in Egypt, Maronites are on the run in Lebanon, and Assyrians and Chaldeans (their Ba'athist -- therefore "secular" -- protector Saddam Hussein gone) are either being killed or threatened into fleeing Iraq. And then of course there are the bombs in London and Madrid, the killings and threats in Amsterdam, the hundreds and hundreds of plots uncovered, one after the other, all across Europe, and the ceaseless demands everywhere in the Infidel world by what are at this point already very aggressive Muslim groups and spokesmen. They are engaged in a simultaneous well-financed propaganda effort to convince some (George Bush is a believer) that Islam is a "religion of peace" or, at the very least, is no different from, is just like, "all other religions." And at the same time, they are pursuing a deadly strategy to everywhere remove obstacles to the spread and dominance of Islam, little by little by little, to force Infidels to accommodate Islam at every step -- and what's more, to become acclimated to this sudden new irruption of Islam into their lives, and to make them feel that there is something disreputable, something not quite right, even about inquiring into the nature of Islam, into the figure of Muhammad. In this way the habit of mental submission that Islam encourages in its own Believers is in turn being encouraged in Unbelievers by Muslims who are determined at all costs to defend Islam from free inquiry, and thus from possible critical analysis.

That is what is so worrisome about Obama. His naivete, combined with the conviction that he "knows" about Islam because of his experiences in Indonesia between the ages of 6 and 10, or because he "knows" about his father, a nominal Muslim, in Kenya, or because he "knows" -- how could such a person not know? -- that Everyone Wants The Same Thing, All Religions Are Exactly Alike, and The Whole World Is Kin. These are Articles of Faith. They are remarkably like the Articles of Faith of Karen Hughes and George Bush. The main difference is that Bush and Hughes are also defenders of economic privilege. And Obama is a defender of other kinds, more specific kinds, of privilege -- including that enshrined in the immoral policy of affirmative action.

When it comes to Barack Obama, there is plenty to worry about.

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