Barack Obama, Interventionist and Ultimate Jihadi Hero

In his less-than-fifteen-minute, 28 December statement on the Detroit airliner attack and Iran, President Obama exhilarated America’s Islamist foes and neatly encapsulated the U.S. governing elite’s absolute inability to see that its full-bore interventionism is leading America to ruin.

In his response to the al-Qaeda attack in Detroit, Obama echoed the identical analytic path blazed by his fellow interventionists George W. Bush and Bill Clinton:  

    –The would-be bomber was a lone, extremist Muslim who was acting outside the tenets of his Islamic faith — the religion of peace — and was intent on slaughtering the innocent.  

    –We — with our allies — will track down the bomber’s colleagues wherever they are and bring them to justice. 

    –We will do the tracking-down gently so as not to undermine our most deeply held values. (And instead of being an adult and quietly firing those who failed to stop the Detroit attacker, I will blame my subordinates, publicly humiliate U.S. intelligence services, terrorize Americans by alleging "catastrophic" and "systemic" failure, and publicly detail the holes in our security system.) 

Obama’s prescription for defeating al-Qaeda and like-minded groups maintains continuity with the failed and stubbornly ignorant approach Washington has adhered to since bin Laden declared war on the United States in August, 1996. (Yes, August 1996 — we have been unsuccessfully fighting this enemy for 13.5 years.)  If the history of America’s al-Qaeda-fight proves anything, it is that 

    –Al-Qaeda-ism is not outside the parameters of the Islamic faith.  While not mainstream, the religious justification for fighting U.S. interventionism in the Islamic world is growing in acceptance among the 80 percent of the world’s Muslims who deem U.S. foreign  policy an attack on their faith. In addition, bin Laden’s jihad has an extraordinarily strong positive resonance among always historically minded Muslims. Al-Qaeda’s victories remind them of battles fought by the Prophet and Saladin which produced miraculous victories over far more powerful enemies — like a barely trained kid from Nigeria beating the greatest power the world has ever seen. 

    –An obviously failing fight that is now approaching 14-year duration ought to be irrefutable evidence that Clinton’s law-and-order-based strategy — even with Bush’s spasms of vigorously applied military power — has not a prayer of succeeding.  

    –Whether we do our tracking/arresting/killing ethically or brutally is irrelevant.  Each al-Qaeda attack on the United States — successful or not — strengthens the hands of those politicians and bureaucrats who will curtail the civil liberties of Americans. The next successful al-Qaeda attack in the United States — because the U.S. military has no telling enemy targets left overseas — will yield civil-rights curtailments that will make President Bush look like Clarence Darrow. 

Besides flogging this dog-eared and bankrupt response to al-Qaeda, Obama likewise followed his predecessors’ refusal to explain our Islamist enemies’ motivation to Americans. This failure is completely attributable to the fact that Obama has aligned himself fully the Bush-Clinton-Bush legacy of interventionism in the Muslim world. 

    –By bowing to the Saudi king, accepting the jailer Mubarak’s hospitality, putting U.S. arms at the disposal of the dictator of Yemen (where, by the way, Senator Lieberman is panting for another U.S.-waged war to defend Israel), Obama has reinforced Muslim perceptions that America wants them governed by tyrannical police states that will keep oil flowing to the west. 

    –By making an IDF veteran his chief of staff, acquiescing to Israeli settlement expansion, and authorizing billions more in arms for Israel, Obama is convincing Muslims he intends to keep warbling that old American standard:  "Israel, Israel Uber Alles."

    –By augmenting the U.S. military force in Afghanistan — in numbers sufficient to tread water and bleed but not to win — and sending the first new forces to southern Afghanistan where al-Qaeda forces are minimal, Obama has reinforced both the general Muslim belief that U.S. policy is meant to destroy Islam, not al-Qaeda, and bin Laden’s certainty that the U.S. military is a paper tiger. 

Then there is Iran.  Listening to Obama as he spoke gave the impression that he was eager to get the Detroit-attack stuff out of the way so he could rhetorically intervene in Iran’s internal affairs.  Joining with our allies — read other Western interventionists and pawns of Israel — Obama said he wanted to condemn the Tehran regime’s at-times-lethal crackdown on opposition demonstrators. He said that Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics were trampling on the "universal rights" of Iranians, and that such actions must stop. There are, of course, no universal political rights; this idea is the pipedream of Western secular intellectuals and interventionists, and is part and parcel of the interventionist nonsense Obama included in his Nobel speech about the "perfectibility" of the human condition through the efforts of "enlightened" men and women. 

Obama’s mind is emerging as a mind filled with war-causing secular theology of the French Revolution. That revolution was all about enlightened leaders "perfecting" the common man for what the revolutionary elite deemed to be his own good, and using the vehicles of government edict, fanatic secularism, and force to do so. (Sounds a bit like the universal health-care plan, doesn’t it?) The French Revolution went on to father Hitler, Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, and other mass-murdering regimes.  In the American context, the revolution’s impact has been the slow but increasingly complete replacement of the Founders’ sturdy non-interventionism — which recognized the pivotal and necessary role religion plays in all polities — by our current bipartisan elite’s obsession with interfering in other peoples’ internal affairs, especially if those internal affairs are interwoven with religion. For Obama and most members of our governing elite, today’s Iran fairly screams for Western intervention to break the mullahs’ backs and install secularism; to destroy an Israeli foe and ensure AIPAC funds to continue to flow into their pockets; and to make them feel good about themselves, no matter the cost to Americans and their children. 

In a statement of less than a quarter-hour, then, Obama demonstrated how thoroughly he slicked Americans in the last presidential election. The "hope" he offered turns out to be not less but more war-causing interventionism framed by a secularist "moral compass" alien to most non-elite Americans; the "Yes we can" slogan has proven to refer to making Obama’s Washington the agent of forced Westernization from the Congo to Afghanistan, and from Burma to Iran; and the president’s much-touted "audacity" seems nothing more than Obama’s brass in continuing to reassuringly chant the Bush-Clinton-Bush lie to Americans that Islamists attack us because of our way of life not because of our interventionism.  

And thus is how a great republic is being ruined by the littlest of arrogant and willful men.

Author: Michael Scheuer

Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror.