President Obama’s national security speech two weeks ago likely will be remembered, if it’s remembered at all, for its being repeatedly heckled.
What it should be remembered for is being a transparent, but tone-deaf, attempt to change the subject from the scandals swirling around him.
Tone-deaf? He basically came out against the drone strikes he’s been presiding over, and in favor of closing Guantanamo, which he hasn’t done.
And most outrageously, on the heels of the Boston bombing – not to mention attacks on other Westerners in London and Paris – our president claimed that “America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion.”
Really? Let’s hear the rest of the discussion, Mr. President.
He almost seemed to be declaring the war on terror over.
“All but declaring V-T (Victory Over Terror) Day,” is how a Yahoo News headline put it.
He decried “keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing” – but he ignores the fact that we just keep on getting attacked. Wars end, as you say, Mr. President. But it takes both sides to end it.
Fuzzy and intangible, his speech failed to change the subject for long – and only has stepped the White House back from any clarity on the war on terror, which we all know his heart has rarely been in except for one fateful night which we’re constantly reminded of. With attacks continuing on his watch – and the Fort Hood shooter still not facing justice while pulling down a cool quarter-million in salary – it seems an odd time to be insinuating “Mission Accomplished.”
“Stunningly, breathtakingly naïve” is how former House Speaker Newt Gingrich characterized the president’s speech in a television debate. “Right after you have somebody beheaded in England, you have a bomb go off in Boston … and the president announces cheerfully that ‘the war is going to end because I’m not happy being a war president.’”
As this president calls a rhetorical retreat, the British – not exactly your shoot-from-the-hip gang – are headed the opposite direction: setting up a terrorism task force to go after radical preachers and other flashpoints of Islamic fanaticism.
Truth be told, Britain and much of the rest of Western Europe have an even taller task – that of reforming their immigration laws. The London killers – who basically beheaded a British soldier in the streets in broad daylight, one of them defending it to a camera while waving his blood-red hands – were apparently homegrown. But it’s no secret that much of Western Europe is besieged by large, unhappy and often restive Muslim immigrants who have failed utterly to assimilate to their new homes and cultures.
Swedish Immigration Minister Tobias Billstrom stood out recently by calling his country’s intake of immigrants “not sustainable.”
“Riots put Sweden’s open-door immigration policy in spotlight,” read a recent Reuters headline, after days of car- and building-torching riots touched off by a
police shooting of a machete-
“This has shaken Sweden,” one Swedish journalist said.
Perhaps Sweden, and the whole of Western Europe, needed shaking. Its immigration policies are a disaster. They’ve allowed in huge immigrant populations that have assimilated poorly or not at all, creating ghettoes and powder kegs across the continent.
This is not a matter of being “intolerant” toward the immigrants; fact is, policies have been far too tolerant.
Immigrant populations necessarily take their own cultures with them – and that can be a beautiful, edifying thing. Different music, food and other wisps of unique cultures breathe new life into an immigrant’s new nation.
But assimilation is not only not a bad thing, it’s a necessary thing.
And the onus is on the immigrant to fit in, not on the host nation to recast itself in the immigrant’s image.
This is especially true when some immigrants are as malodorously overbearing and violent as they have shown themselves to be.