Listening to the President’s State of the Union address last week, you might have come away convinced that, at least in the field of foreign policy, everything is coming up roses. Yet a look at the real world provides a jarring contrast to the complacency and unrealism of that speech—and of the Obama administration’s policies writ large.
A Further Perspective
The Supreme Court has decided in favor of religious liberty in several headliner cases in recent months — starting with Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and other challenges to Obamacare regulations. Last week, the Court ruled that a Muslim inmate in Arkansas can keep his beard. As I’ve said before, any triumph of liberty is reason for us all to celebrate. But, it’s not a good sign that the highest court in the land has to defend religious freedom again and again.
Someone isn’t getting the message.
Hollywood produces an endless stream of decadent and objectionable movies. Few of those generate any outrage on the Left. Often they inspire praise and spirited defenses. Clint Eastwood’s pro-euthanasia movie Million Dollar Baby won an Academy Award for best picture and best director. Eastwood was hailed for his “thoughtful” and “humane” treatment of a difficult subject.
But members of the Left feel less enthusiasm for his latest film, American Sniper. The Dr. Kevorkians can win their sympathy but not snipers, whom filmmaker Michael Moore calls cowards who “shoot people in the back.”
The Left reserves its moral anguish not for the killing of the unborn or the enfeebled but for the killing of terrorists and criminals, which Eastwood’s new film has the audacity to celebrate. There is no evidence that the film’s subject, the Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, targeted any innocent people, but that doesn’t stop the Left from viewing him dimly. That he killed an estimated 160 terrorists is suspicious enough. He is a “psychopath patriot,” say Moore and Bill Maher.
A few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher grocery store, terrorism expert Steve Emerson appeared on the Fox News Channel’s Justice with Judge Jeanine hosted by Jeanine Pirro to discuss Islamic extremism in Europe. During his appearance, Emerson spoke about Muslim “no-go zones” throughout Europe where countries like France, Germany, Sweden, and Britain have ceded sovereignty and non-Muslims are not permitted to enter. Emerson also stated that Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, is “totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go.”
“I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye,” House Speaker John Boehner asserted Wednesday. That was after His Speakership told the media that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress about “the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”
Of course it was a poke in the eye. Boehner admitted he did not consult with the White House before inviting Bibi. Netanyahu wants Congress to threaten tougher sanctions against Tehran. During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama warned Congress he would veto any such legislation.
Boehner’s gambit stunned the White House. Press secretary Josh Earnest called the move a breach of protocol. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the invitation was “out of order.” When she was speaker, Pelosi argued, she coordinated with GOP leaders before inviting heads of state. Netanyahu’s speech was moved to March 3, so Pelosi criticized Boehner for inviting a head of state within two weeks of Israel’s March 17 elections. “It’s hubris,” Pelosi charged.
Expecting it to be another campaign speech, I sent this to several friends ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address:
Recipe for Watching Obama’s State of the Union Speech Tonight:
1—Build and light a fire in the fireplace
2—Put some Mozart on the stereo
3—Pour a highball or a glass of wine
4—Open a good book
We spent a pleasant evening and, as it turned out, President Obama ran true to form.
After six years we know that the only thing he enjoys doing and at which he is good is making campaign speeches. When he gets restless dealing with issues that require statesmanship, he goes on a campaign swing, getting friendly audiences to smile and laugh at his jibes at Republicans, whom he despises.
The Arabist historian Bernard Lewis, who is considered safely mainstream by the media, didn’t receive much flak from it for saying several years back that the prospect of Eurabia was real. Lewis predicted that the continent would be majority-Muslim by the end of the century. They “seem to be about to take over Europe,” he said. The only question, he said, is, “Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?”
But the media isn’t interested in hearing such sober points raised these days. In the wake of the Paris attacks, it has been policing discussion of Europe’s obvious Islamic immigration problem. Woe to the politician who dares broach the subject, as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is learning.
CNN has been browbeating him for discussing de facto “no-go” zones in European cities that non-Muslims and police tend to avoid. Jindal’s remarks haven’t been refuted, but the media treats them as unhinged anyways and demands to know when he will “walk them back.” For the media, the existence of such places is of less alarm than that politicians would talk about them.
Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, and European governments’ counter-attacks are more than just a passing news story.
Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites’ Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word “diversity.”
Generations yet unborn will still be paying the price, whether in large or small installments, depending on how long it takes for the West to jettison Utopianism and come to grips with reality.
Meanwhile, in the United States, no one seems to be drawing any lessons about the dangers of importing millions of people from fundamentally different cultures across our open border. In America, “diversity” has still not yet lost its magical ability to stop thought in its tracks and banish facts into the outer darkness.
Perhaps here, as in Europe, that verbal magic can only be washed away in the blood of innocent victims, many of them yet unborn.
Eighty years ago, a Jew approached the saintly rabbi of the Gerer Hassidic dynasty and asked him for spiritual guidance. “Rabbi, where can I go to find true fear of sin?”
“Paris,” answered the rabbi.
“Because so many good people have left their fear behind in that city.”
Paris has earned a sleazy reputation over centuries. It represents the notion that luxury and style can be achieved without restraint. In many ways London and Paris were opposing symbols in this regard. The English capital stood for the principle that humanity achieves its greatness through limiting indulgent impulses while the French capital scoffed at that assertion. As a general rule, London emerged stronger in head-to-head battles and its empire ranged further and lasted longer.
Two events recently transpired that forced mainstream media to address a question they habitually dodge: Is Islam intrinsically violent? First, on New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—a world leader, and a Muslim—did the unthinkable when he publicly asserted that Islamic texts and thinking have made the Muslim world a scourge to humanity. The MSM ignored it until, as if to prove his point, Muslim gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed a dozen people in its attack on the offices of a satirical newspaper in Paris.
Two separate editorials—by the New York Times and CNN—responded by purportedly tackling the question of whether Islam is inherently violent in the context of the Paris attack and Sisi’s speech. Both quoted me as responding in the affirmative—and both instantly dismissed my partially presented views in “straw-man” fashion.