You Can Sense the Pundits’ Frustration
September 14, 2012
The self-righteous indignation that the punditry directed at Mitt Romney this week shows that he touched a nerve in his statements on the events in Egypt. You can sense the frustration. The elites are vaguely aware that their ‘enlightened’ posture toward the threat of Islamism is out of step with the views of the American people. Hence the outrage with Romney, totally out of proportion to the real world, as he said what most Americans were thinking.
With an angry mob at the gates of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks—ostensibly inflamed by an obscure, anti-Islamic film, the embassy released a groveling statement apologizing for “continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” The “protesters” proceeded to breach the embassy walls, tear down the American flag, and raise an Al Qaeda banner. The embassy then reiterated its earlier statement, all before anything was known about the Libyan consulate. The White House and the State Department later condemned the attacks but also tripped over themselves to denounce the obscure, stupid film they had nothing to do with and of which no one had ever heard.
Two American embassies are attacked on September 11 – and, we later learned, the four Americans killed – and the immediate reaction of our leaders and the press is to cast blame on a ridiculous film for inciting the violence.
Thus while condemning the violence, they give legitimacy to the grievance.
As I wrote in an op-ed at Politico yesterday, our elites are determined to analyze each outbreak of Islamist aggression in isolation – as though they’re inexplicable acts of random violence.
The fact is, if it wasn’t the film, it would have been something else.
That’s because it is not “senseless violence,” as President Obama and Secretary Clinton described in their statements. They are attacks in a war that our enemies openly confess to waging. And as accounts of the assault on the Benghazi consulate make clear, they are sophisticated and highly coordinated.
Eleven years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, it’s a tragedy that our leaders refuse to treat seriously our enemies’ motives.
This is nothing new.
Attributing the attacks in Libya and Egypt to a proximate excuse (such as this hateful film) rather than confronting the true nature of our enemies is nothing new for the Obama administration.
Major Nidal Hassan was the Army psychiatrist who shot dozens of people at Fort Hood in 2009 while screaming “Allahu Akbar,” handed out business cards describing himself as a “soldier of Allah,” and sent emails to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American later killed by a drone attack in Yemen as an Al Qaeda member. President Obama after the shooting warning Americans against “jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.”
Following the attempted Times Square car bombing, the administration jumped to the conclusion that the would-be bomber acted alone. Press reports speculated that the young man had simply cracked under financial pressures. Mayor Michael Bloomberg even suggested the bomber could be an American upset with Obamacare. The administration later admitted that the Pakistani Taliban was responsible for the attack.
In his first statement after the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2009, President Obama jumped to the conclusion that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was an “isolated extremist” – only to find later that the attack was organized by Al Qaeda in Yemen.
This intellectual dishonesty is par for the course for an administration that upon entering the White House declared that the “War on Terror” would now be called an “overseas contingency operation,” and whose Secretary of Homeland Security made a point to refer to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”
This is the mindset, the lead from the top down throughout this administration, that causes an American embassy in Egypt to issue a statement apologizing for the free speech of an irrelevant, unknown filmmaker as a mob outside prepares to breach the walls and hoist an Al Qaeda flag. Mitt Romney was right: it is disgraceful.