On Wednesday, on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he called for ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama attempted to rally support for his airstrikes against Assad’s terrorist opposition. Taking on issues ranging from Iran to Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, from global warming to Ebola, Obama pledged to utilize American might in service to the United Nations, speaking grandly of the beauty and power of the world’s least effective and most morally bankrupt international institution.
Obama opened with a Dickensian world of Manichean opposites:
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.
He then offered delegates a choice between paper and plastic.
Actually, he stated that the world has never been better off, praising the increase of member states at the UN and the decrease in poverty (neglecting, of course, that that decrease in poverty is a direct result of the rise of global capitalism), as well as the iPhone. “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams,” Obama said, apparently forgetting the last two decades of human history.
But, said Obama, there are a few problems with which we have to contend: Ebola, Russian aggression, “brutality of terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. And those problems, Obama continued, are “symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.” Incredibly enough, the rise of disease, Obama believes, is because we haven’t invested enough in the United Nations, not because incompetent regimes upheld by the UN have failed their people. In amazingly hypocritical fashion, Obama – a man elected on the basis of his undercutting of George W. Bush’s Iraq war, a war based almost entirely on enforcement of UN resolutions — said that terrorism has flourished because “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.”
Obama said America chooses “hope over fear.”
According to Obama, that choice entails standing up to Russia – presumably, by doing nothing. Obama stated that Russia’s worldview was that “might makes right,” that their vision was of a “world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.” Obama then contrasted that vision with America’s: America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.
Right, of course, does not make might. To believe in that vision is idiotic. Right must build might in order to enforce right. But Obama’s unceasing belief in the power of his own verbiage means that he thinks he can simply talk Russia into backing off: We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.
Obama went on to suggest that Russia should use “the path of diplomacy and peace,” citing our signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Russia has been routinely cheating. “That’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again,” Obama said.
To which Vladimir Putin has formally responded: “ROFLMAO.” Obama then turned to Ebola, stating that we’re sending troops to West Africa; he turned to Iran, where he said that “we can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”
To which the mullahs have formally responded: “LOLWUT.”
Obama next addressed China’s aggression in the South China Sea, suggesting that America will insist “that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.”
To which China has formally responded: “SMDH.”
Then Obama went on his world-beating rant: he said that America would help “eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.” Not through capitalism, mind you: through foreign aid. He said that America would cut our own carbon emissions. He spouted trite slogans: “On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. If we lift our eyes beyond our borders – if we think globally and act cooperatively – we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.”
Finally, he turned to the actual pressing issue of the day, Islamic terrorism. And he proceeded to explain that Islam is a religion of peace, no different from any other, and defend his reactive foreign policy as somehow proactive.
I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon. At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.
He stated that America rejected “any suggestion of a clash of civilization.” Our opponents have not done the same, of course. But Obama stated that we could fight those “religiously motivated fanatics” – fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam, of course, even if they are universally Muslim – by providing food and water and jobs. Obama’s Marxist foreign policy has never wavered: he believes that inequality, not religious conflict, lies at the root of Islamist enmity for the West.
Obama laid out a four-pronged plan for fighting terrorism. First, he said that ISIL had to be “degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” And once again, he emphasized that ISIL was not Islamic, and once again, he ruled out utilizing American troops.
Second, Obama said that Muslim communities had to “explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.” In the process, he praised Islam as part of a family of religions that “accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world,” and added that “All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.”
His solution: talking about how ISIL and al Qaeda and Boko Haram are bad. Obama’s faith in words is absolutely unshakeable, as he made clear: “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.” Hilariously, Obama explained that the UN Security Council would pass a resolution about combating “violent extremism,” but refused to explain what steps would actually be taken to do so, instead putting that discussion off for “next year.”
Third, Obama stated, sectarian conflict must end. How? Obama didn’t say. But he did pooh-pooh Muslim sectarian conflict as the religious norm: There is nothing new about wars within religions. Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict. Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery. It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife. Let’s be clear: this is a fight that no one is winning.
Flipping through his trusty rhetorical playbook, Obama neglected any realistic solution to these sectarian conflicts, but did come up with this hackneyed chestnut: Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is no other way for this madness to end – whether one year from now or ten. Indeed, it’s time for a broader negotiation in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies. I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.
Fourth, Obama proposed, Arab and Muslim countries had to focus on “the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.” He said that young Muslims “come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.” That is the same message Obama and his minions have been braying for years at this point. No one, apparently, is listening.
And then Obama dropped the other shoe. After spending fifteen minutes blabbering about the glories and wonders of Islam, even as he decried extremism and sectarianism, Obama proceeded to blame Israel for conflict in the Middle East:
Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.
The Israelis may not be the “main source of problems in the region,” but by pressuring Israel before the entire world just weeks after Hamas continuously fired rockets into Israel and shielded its own rockets with children, Obama demonstrates his distaste for the Jewish State, and his desire to cast them as a bleeding abscess leading to more violence. The moral equivalence here was stunning, unjustifiable, and purely disgusting.
As Obama moved toward his conclusion, he finally turned inward, apologizing for America yet again: I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.
Ferguson? Really? This is just the latest incident in which President Obama has condemned a private citizen before the world. In 2012, it was a filmmaker who guilty of provoking Islamic rage; today, it’s Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, who has provoked America’s racial conflict. The United Nations has become a wonderful place for President Obama to convict American citizens.
Obama concluded with his campaign stump speech: After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world. Because I’ve seen a longing for positive change – for peace and freedom and opportunity – in the eyes of young people I’ve met around the globe. They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.
America shares virtually nothing with the other member states at the UN. But President Obama shares a lot with them: a desire for America to take a secondary role in the world affairs, a desire for Israel to surrender in the face of its enemies, a desire for talk rather than action, a desire to demean the United States on the global stage.