“It is the greatest truth of our age: information is not knowledge.”
– Caleb Carr
Barack Obama is a facile and Machiavellian intriguer of the highest order. I will leave to others in the commentariat to discuss his bona fides for President, his abhorrent collectivist notions of governing and all the other platitudes that point to a creature that has provided the planetary if not historical model for the dangers of the Peter Principle. He is a man out of his depth, which may be anything beyond a minor city council position, and even that would be a stretch.
His keen narcissism keeps him wandering through ironic swamps without realizing he is soaked through. Recently, his teleprompters gave yet another interminable and meandering speech on “violent extremism,” rich in historical ignorance and laced with rhetorical nonsense befitting a man who can speak for hours and not say a word of any consequence. The National Socialist and Communist bloviators of old don’t hold a candle to the verbal hypocrisy and magniloquence this man spews without communicating anything but the status quo.
I have insisted this is Bush’s fourth term and this latest milquetoast broadside does nothing more than confirm that. I suffer through these speeches and, thanks the Gods, I never had such a feckless and talent-less professor chain me to a classroom to listen to such drivel for a semester much less four years.
If Obama does anything morally right, it will usually be by mistake and not design.
In his usual doublespeak, he continuously weaves over the line but never reaches the target.
“By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people. We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists –the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence. We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized. Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It’s not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.”
His protestations ring hollow; fine words and empty promises. The faiths are irrelevant and the modes of operation are the key. Ask any aboriginal American.
This is much like Hitler criticizing the brutality of the communist regime in the USSR or vice versa. This is the same administration that complains about the incineration of a Jordanian pilot and then glibly justifies the drone attacks and indiscriminate bombings that have characterized aspects of the robot war in the conflicts in the Middle East. Apparently, the drones are equipped with water balloons and party hats that they drop as a deadly payload instead of incendiary devices.
The international community and the West has wrestled with the definition of terrorism for decades because it just tread a very delicate path. Simply, terrorism is politically motivated violence against innocents and combatants. The US Department of Defense (an ironic sobriquet in itself) defines it as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.” You’ll note the graybeards in the DoD are very specific in the use of the term lawful because government is the self-satisfied arbiter of lawful terrorism. Absent the terrorist methodology, no government on earth or in history would last a day. Governments and the state invest themselves with right to initiate, threaten and commit violence against the entire populace in their respective tax jurisdictions.
Let’s conduct a thought experiment: if IS (or ISIS or whatever today’s new version is) wore US police uniforms and conducted their daily savagery in that mufti, would they be the subject of the White House broadsides and misdirection? If the IS wore Western style military uniforms and gave lip service to the laws of land warfare and international codes of conduct yet proceeded apace with this barbarism, would the Offal Office be up in arms, as it were?
IS is brutal and murderous by any standard but this staged revulsion on the part of the Western media sycophants and their political betters is heart-warming but they don’t like the messiness and untidiness of the violence in the conflict. They much prefer the antiseptic bombing and gunship campaigns that level communities and incinerate human beings in the name of whatever agenda they are following at the moment. IS is a direct result of these behaviors by the West in the Middle East since 1526. IS is both a direct and indirect creation of meddling in the calamitous region. The US urged the formation of these elements to fight the Syrian government and like the unintended consequences of Noriega, the Shah of Iran, Osama bin Laden and countless other former Federal satraps planet-wide. I’ll let others bicker about the degree of US and Western meddling, if not support given to the formation of IS and its behavior since, but the fact is a former revolutionary movement built on a terror and guerrilla infrastructure has matured into a regional military powerhouse toppling the very expensive Iraqi army like dominoes before its progress forward.
A Jordanian combat aircraft pilot is burned in a cage in an eerie fashion similar to what happens to countless human torches lit on the ground by Western aircraft sorties against surface targets through these combat theaters. Much like the chest-thumping by US church-goers who brag that we should simply glass the entire Middle East in a nuclear conflagration as they sip their sweet teas and praise Jesus. IS serves an up close and personal version of the violence and bloodlust that these non-military cherubs nonchalantly champion and they are aghast. Cognitive dissonance anyone?
Yet for all the media noise of Islamic terror, the EU and the US have seen a downturn in domestic incidents.
Not all European terrorists are Muslim either. According to the Center for American Progress’s analysis of data from Europol, the European Union’s equivalent of the FBI, less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks in the EU between 2009 and 2013 were religiously inspired. Separatist or ultra-nationalist groups committed the majority of the violent acts. Of course, jihadists have perpetrated some of the most horrific attacks in Europe in recent memory: the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the 2005 attacks in the London subway, and, of course, last month’s murders at Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher. But there have been gruesome attacks by non-Muslims too. Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 assault on a summer camp near Oslo, for instance, killed far more people than the recent, awful attacks in France.
This may be the latest desperate act of the statist money-laundering interests of the Western military-industrial complex to start another broader conflict. Trillions of both existing and funded debt dumped into the Middle East conflicts with no end in sight nor improvement on the ground.
The whole mess in the Middle East is a brutal combination of Western meddling and persistent internecine conflict that cannot be disposed of with the flick of a pen or the jogging of an arming switch.
The dirty little secret is that effete bumblers like Obama possess neither the sophistication nor maturity to determine the fate of millions at home much less abroad. He is not alone, for no single human could do so. That may be the great irony of politics in this case: the stumbler in the Offal Office thinks a few casual platitudes can hide the very apparent fact that terrorism is bad in the hands of non-state actors but the absence of the institution would render ANY political power on earth moot if it couldn’t be practiced at home on a daily basis.
Terrorism in the broader sense is the basis of the state, for fear and obedience are the brick and mortar of all government edifices.
One can take the morally enfeebled speech that Obama delivered, substitute some words, and it may be a serviceable jeremiad against the Western police state but that is the subject of another essay.
One singular lesson stands out: mind your own business.
Persist and resist.
“…it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.(…) …voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked…”
– Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg Trials