By David Meir-Levi | FrontPage Magazine
On April 27, former President George W. Bush delivered an uncharacteristically harsh public criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, accusing him of naiveté regarding Iran, losing the war against Islamic terrorism, contributing to the chaos in Iraq, and in general, lacking a clear strategy for the Middle East and placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world.
He forgot to mention one very important, revealing and recurring aspect of Obama’s failures as the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and as the leader of the free world: he plays front-man for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a dozen other Islamic terrorist organizations.
Back on February 17, The Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by President Obama, in which the president said:
“Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”
During that same week Obama hosted at the White House a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent terrorism. His message at that summit was essentially the same as his op-ed: violent extremists have legitimate grievances and their violence can best be prevented by promoting democratic economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so that terrorists and wannabe terrorists can have hope, dignity and jobs. His words came with an important caveat, a warning about whom and what not to blame:
“Al-Qaida and ISIL and groups like it (sic!) are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders .… We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.”
“The terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology… No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.”
This mendacious message was taken to its transparently ridiculous extreme by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf when interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC and later by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Expanding upon the President’s message, she asserted that the root cause of ISIS’s terrorism is unemployment and poverty.
“We cannot win the War on Terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS, by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism; and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.”
So here’s the administration’s logic: al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas and the dozens of other Muslim, hate-mongering, supremacist, jihadist, annihilationist terrorist armies busily at work slaughtering civilians, burning people alive, and beheading people, have legitimate grievances but still could be weaned away from their terrorist proclivities if only they had hope, dignity, and jobs.
Such tripe is truly worthy of unrestrained obloquy. There is a robust body of literature utilizing empirical analysis that incontrovertibly contradicts our president’s assertions. A recent Rand study has shown that terrorists are not particularly impoverished or uneducated. In fact, many terrorist leaders come from relatively privileged backgrounds. There is simply no link between poverty and terrorism.
The present writer has argued elsewhere in this journal that President Obama’s “don’t blame Islam” and “all they need is hope and jobs” doctrine is not the result of ignorance or misunderstanding, nor is it a desperate concern for the delicate sensibilities of Muslim minorities in our country, nor is it “naiveté” (pace George W. Bush), nor even an example of sheer stupidity. Rather, it is an intentional doctrine of pure treason against the USA and against the western world. It is an attempt to hamper America’s defensive actions against its Muslim terrorist attackers by redirecting or preventing our natural and legitimate responses to terrorist attacks. To paraphrase George Orwell: “If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other.”
By obfuscating the reality of the terrorists’ motivations and intentions, and minimizing the threat that they pose to the USA and to western civilization, Obama is helping the terrorists and hampering his own country. Helping the enemy in wartime is treason.
There is, however, one grain of truth in his benighted pronouncements about dignity, hope, and jobs: Isis et al do not speak for all Muslims. It is reasonable to assume that not every one of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today is actively or passively participatory or supportive of the Muslim jihadist terror organizations.
But for just how many Muslims does ISIS speak? To understand the enormity of Obama’s treason, we must first know the answer to this question.
Some indication of the size of the global Muslim population supportive of Muslim jihadist terrorism can be gleaned from a series of polls aptly summarized by Brietbart’s Ben Shapiro and Wikipedia. Polls of Muslims in France, Britain, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, Iraq, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the USA show a low of 10% and a high of 70% of respondents supporting terrorism, suicide bombings, ISIS, el-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah.
Results from the USA are perhaps the most hair-raising. In a Pew 2013 poll 13% of American Muslims said that violence against civilians is often, sometimes or rarely justified to defend Islam. A 2011 poll from Pew showed that 19 percent of American Muslims were either favorable toward Al Qaeda or didn’t know. Estimates place the Muslim population of the USA at about 6.7 million people. 13% of 6,700,000 is 871,000 people. 13% is a minority, but 871,000 is a frighteningly big number of people who think that targeting civilians is just fine, at least some times. That 1,273,000 (19% of 6.7 million) American Muslims admire Al Qaeda is even more terrifying.
And let’s keep in mind that Hamas is wildly popular in Israel’s West Bank, Hezbollah is growing in popularity and in political strength in Lebanon as a seemingly endless stream of volunteers flock to their ranks, ISIS enjoys a steady flow of new recruits lusting to do their share of the beheadings and mass murders, and Boko Haram is growing in strength as Nigerian Muslims enlist to kidnap more teen-aged Christian girls and behead more African Christians unwilling to convert. Moreover, in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, Islamist leaders who solidly and vociferously support terrorism against the west have been elected to office with overwhelming majorities. Clearly a large majority of those Muslim voters want a pro-terrorism leader in office.
There is some good news in these polls: in some countries support for Muslim terrorism is on the decline. But jubilation must be tempered with the recognition that this decline may be the result of the (probably accurate) belief that some Islamic terror organizations represent an existential threat to those Muslim countries in which the polls show a decline. And even more worrisome, even after that decline there is still double-digit support for el-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In short, a double-digit percentage of Muslims all over the world sympathize with terrorist groups.
Even if we take the lowest estimate, Dr. Pipes’ 10%, we must note that 10% of one billion six-hundred million Muslims world-wide is one hundred and sixty million (160,000,000) people; and some research supports numbers above 15%. So when we reduce the total by the approximately 50 % who are women, and again by the c. 25% who are too young or too old to be considered potential recruits for the terrorist minions, we are left with about 40,000,000 potentially active Muslim supporters of terrorism. Even if only 4% of those supporters become active terrorists, we are facing a terrorist army of 16,000,000 people.
So, indeed our president is correct that Isis does not speak for all Muslims. But the 10-15% of those for whom they most probably do speak confront us with an enormous terrorist army. The “tiny minority” of Muslims who want to see us either dead or dhimmi or Muslim is not so tiny. Unless our leadership gets us onto a war footing now, we may be looking at the end of western civilization.