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April 7, 2010: Naming the Enemy

August 1, 2010

I think it was anti-terrorist Steve Emerson who said this (and possibly Daniel Pipes as well): You cannot defeat the enemy if you cannot even name him.

This was with reference to Obama policies, which have just taken a turn for the worse with regard to naming the enemy.  All religious terms such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism” will now be removed from a central US document outlining America’s national security strategy. 

That document, which was established during the Bush years, currently states: “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.”  It will be rewritten so that Muslim nations know that the US does not view them within the context of terrorism.  How the strategy for establishing security will be described without reference to the ideology of radical Islam beats me.

An inability to recognize and confront the ideology of the leaders of such nations as Iran, an unwillingness to grasp the fact that they are serious about world domination and a new Islamic caliphate, puts the US at a severe disadvantage.

I want to say, “Heaven help the US.”  But in truth, because what the US does impacts internationally, it’s “Heaven help all of us.”


And Heaven help us for another reason, as well.

According to David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post, Obama is “‘seriously considering’ proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict, according to two top administration officials.”

According to one of the senior officials, “an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that ’90 percent of the map would look the same’ as what has been agreed in previous bargaining.”

This is the first place where there is a serious problem. Obama and company are assuming that we have to pick up where previous negotiations left off. But we do not and we must not.  

Does no one comprehend that the offers made previously by Israeli governments were turned down, every single time? There is no obligation to keep offering what wasn’t wanted.  And there is no commitment to what we haven’t signed on to, in writing.

The tenor of the times is different, as the Israeli population has woken up to the fallacy of the “land for peace” concept.  Most people understand quite clearly that what would be received in return for the land that is our heritage would be violence. It is broadly recognized that the Palestinian Arabs don’t want a state, they want us gone.


But it gets worse. Much worse:

“The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel’s top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: ‘We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region,’ as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.

“‘Incrementalism hasn’t worked,’ continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering — providing fodder for Iran and other extremists. ‘As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something.'”


That canard again?? Linking “peace with the Palestinians” to the “issue of confronting Iran.”  There is no link, except in certain American heads.  If the Palestinians were (G-d forbid) to get their state, do the officials quoted here imagine that it would encourage the Iranians to abandon that aspiration for a new caliphate (the aspiration that does exist even though Americans are not supposed to talk about it)? Or that they’d stop trying to go nuclear?

I choke when I read, “As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something.”  Obama has renounced his genuine global responsibilities where it truly matters: with regard to stopping Iran. 


What I see is an arrogant Obama, flush from his victory on health care.  He sees here the possibility of another “victory,” and there is no doubt but that, were he to advance a proposal, he would indulge in strong-arm tactics the likes of which we haven’t seen yet.  He would be determined to see it through, no matter the cost to us, acting with a conviction that he can make what he wants to happen become a reality

Dear friends in the US, now is the time to let your elected representatives in Congress know that you are absolutely opposed to imposition of a “peace plan” by Obama.  Let them know that the two parties must work things out themselves. 

For your Congresspersons:


For your Senators:



Now is a good time for Netanyahu and his coalition to practice saying “NO!”

Once again, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has shown that he understands this.  In a radio interview he said the following:

“The pressure is growing. Because pressure always grows, whenever they feel our weakness…Over the last year, we have made many concessions – actually acts of good will – to create a more favorable atmosphere…

“On the other hand, the Palestinian authorities are only intensifying their pressure by creating a designated anti-Israel boycott fund in the West Bank, organizing various anti-Israeli actions in the Human Rights Council in Geneva and in the United Nations, and so on. So we only feel growing pressure instead of any positive signs from the world community, and that’s all because of our weakness. That’s why we have to make it clear: ‘No more acts of good will.’ It’s time for the Palestinians to perform acts of good will…

“…I believe that we have to make our position crystal clear. We cannot agree to freeze construction in Jerusalem, either west or east. In the context of our sovereignty, this simply means a waiver of independence. There is no other country in the world which would stop construction in its own capital.”


In the interests of professional clarity, I would like to return just briefly to two items I dealt with yesterday:

[] I had alluded to how distressing it has been to read descriptions of the way in which Obama walked out on Netanyahu and his advisors in order to go have dinner with his family.

Subsequently reader Doris M. sent me a clip, citing the White House, which explained that this clearly had not happened, as Michelle Obama and the girls were in New York City at the time.

OK. This, however, does not give Obama a free pass. Nowhere, to the best of my knowledge, has there been a denial of the fact that the president walked out on our prime minister.  And I believe that indeed he did.  My information came from Israelis — and included very solid sources, who presumably were in touch with members of the Netanyahu contingent. My guess is that Obama said he was going out to have dinner, and somewhere along the line the assumption was made that this meant dinner with family even if he didn’t actually say so.

Without wishing to belabor this, I ask only that if you, as well, see a report that says the president was falsely accused because his family was away: keep the larger context in mind.

[] Then there is the matter of those roses from supportive Christians, who were eager to make a gesture to counter the rudeness Netanyahu suffered at the hands of Obama.  Yesterday I lamented the fact that the prime minister was not going to receive them, so as not to offend Obama.

Lo and behold!  Today the news carried a report that said certainly the roses could be sent, and they would be distributed to hospitals.

I double-checked sources after reading this.  My original information — that the flowers were going to be refused — was not wrong, except possibly in one particular: the decision was likely made in the prime minister’s office and not by Netanyahu himself.  Clearly, I was hardly the only one lamenting what had been decided, and so there was an “uh oh” moment, and then a reversal in an attempt to contain damage.

Fair enough.  And I think it perhaps important for caring Christians to know they were not being rebuffed by the prime minister.




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