A Firm Hand and Patience Needed
Frankly folks, I do recognize our country anymore. Is it an age or generational thing? Just last week I did a few radio interviews for national Spanish radio. The commentary from some of the listeners baffled me. It was as if we were in two totally different parts of the world. I wish I could have answered some of the questions but our segment did not allow for listener call in.
One of the interviews focused on President Obama’s counter-terrorism speech last week at the National Defense University (NDU). The speech was more of the same. It is an erroneous narrative and a tired message that battle against radical Islam is over. It is not over. Far from it. In this age of Twitter and rapidly changing news cycles, however, our society tends to lose focus of context. But context matters. A lot.
If you listened to the President’s speech without knowing how we arrived at this point, you may think that the 09.11.01 terror attack by radical Islamists was the start of the matter and on 05.02.11, the day Osama bin Laden was killed, the end. This is foolish thinking, but it is exactly what the Obama Administration and the Left wants us all to believe. What they are doing is creating a false sense of security and many other bad things too numerous to post in one blog.
In recent history, radical Islamists have been waging war on the western world since at least the 1972 Munich Olympic games. We could go back at least eight more years, however, I was not alive then and the earlier attacks did not directly involve the U.S. or closely-aligned interests. Why am I using my age as a reference? Bear with me and read on.
For the United States, 1979 is a good starting point to try to begin to understand the evil that we are up against. For you younger ones, 1979 was the year when Iranian religious radicals, with the support of students and others, stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and held American hostages for 444 days. I was nine years old and, unlike other boys my age in the neighborhood, for some reason I was fascinated by the entire matter. This incident, as well as the Cold War, helped shaped my early views of the world and the people in it.
When it comes to radical Islam, not much has changed since 1979. It is still a poisonous ideology that has distorted one of the world’s great religions. However, the movement is stronger and growing. It has become a lot more brutal. Technology has made it possible for these people to spread their vicious propaganda in an instant. And after 09.11.01, it succeeded forcing the United States more directly into the struggle against it. So why can’t folks relate to these timelines?
For starters, crack open any high school-level history book and you’ll start to see the problem. Our politically correct education school system has failed students when it comes to history, foreign policy, and national security issues. Most texts pay short shrift to the Iranian hostage crisis or the U.S. role in Middle East politics. We have generation after generation of Americans that has very little understanding about about the Cold War or, even much less, radicalized Islam. When they arrive in college, their minds are unable to soak in the data and liberals begin to fill the gaps.
The Obama Administration knows this and politically exploits it. They are more interested in winning elections and writing false historical narratives. Look no further than the President’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech to university students in Cairo, Egypt. This entire speech is mostly historical revisionism and wishful thinking. Underpinning the speech is yet another false narrative about America’s role in the world and the greater Middle East, one that we should all be ashamed of. The speech emboldened the enemy, the disciples of radical Islam. Look at the region today …
Radical Islamists are not going to stop until we stop them. The process will require patience. There will be more attacks, maybe even bigger and deadlier ones than 09.11.01. And these people are not operating on their own without any nation-state support, they are receiving it from powers large and small. On this latter point, any policymaker or national security bureaucrat who does not think that is so has no business being in that business.
The good news is that there are more of us than there are of them and that, in the end, freedom will win. The road ahead will be a long one. Maybe in our attention-deficited society it will be tough to sell, but it must be done. Anything less will only lead to disappointment, frustration, as well as bad and myopic policy. Kind of like the content of the President’s speech this past week.