Another week, another Islamic State slaughter and another Orwellian White House “conference” orchestrated for maximum “newspeak” effect.
Just days after the Islamic State beheaded 21 Christians in Libya, the White House welcomed domestic and foreign representatives from law enforcement, government and religious groups (including the extremist Islamic Society of Boston) to a glorified coffee klatch called the “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.”
Announced after the Islamic terror attacks in and around Paris last month that left 17 people dead, the “summit” was designed “to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney and Paris,” according to the White House.
Islam? Islam? Anyone? Bueller?
Team Obama classifies an array of folks as “violent extremists,” and they’re all apparently equivalent to the Islamic armies of the global jihad.
In the spring of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report that warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing government power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. It also identified returning war veterans as particular threats, ominously suggesting that “facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
The report singled out combat veterans as threats, but not the jihadi enemy whom they were fighting.
It’s this kind of sick thinking that gave us this week’s latest Orwellian exercise, a talk-fest in which the widespread, organized and systematic violence of the global jihadi movement was minimized and put on par with the acts of random crazies, such as gunman who shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012.
If all crimes are terrorism, then none of them are.
This suicidal unwillingness to call the enemy what it is — never mind do something concrete to defeat it — comes straight from the top. The Obama administration has engaged in all kinds of politically correct gymnastics to avoid making the connection between Islam and terror, going so far as to term acts of terror “man-made disasters,” the fight against terrorism “combating violent extremism,” missions fought abroad “overseas contingency operations” and the wars themselves “kinetic military actions.” And who can forget the classic “workplace violence” designation for the Islamic terror attack at Fort Hood?
Tea party folks were often smeared as violent, crazed maniacs, but actual violent, crazed maniacs are still getting a free pass.
For Mr. Obama, it’s all about the facade as a way to distract from his real actions and agenda. He maintains an illusion of “activity,” so it looks like he’s actually doing something to combat our most vexing problems, while he either has no intention of doing anything meaningful or is stealthily pursuing a quite different course.
Watching his phony “summit” this week, I’m reminded of another Potemkin conference he hosted in the summer of 2011.
That one was called the “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness,” which was meant to signal Mr. Obama’s seriousness in tackling high unemployment. Of course, it was in Mr. Obama’s and the left’s interest to maintain high unemployment to justify ever-growing government and dependency on it, so the “council” was simple window-dressing. As General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and the other “jobs council” puppets surrounded Mr. Obama, there was no discussion of the fact that Mr. Obama’s own policies, primarily Obamacare, were smothering the economy.
Instead, they were more interested in yuks. At one point, Mr. Obama was asked about the epic waste of nearly $1 trillion of our money on the failed “stimulus.” He smirked: “Shovel-ready was not as uh shovel-ready as we expected,” he replied, chuckling as Mr. Immelt and “job council” advisers, including Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, whose company later went bankrupt, joined in the laughter. The joke’s on you, America.
This week’s “conference” was a similar setup: It was all about the photo-op while devouring White House pastries and avoiding the elephant in the room.
In the end, while using correct, honest terminology is critical to defeating the enemy, no one would mind if Mr. Obama called Islamic jihadis “pink tutu-wearing teddy bears” if he were actually doing real things to smash them. Instead, we’re getting the worst of both worlds: fuzzy Orwellian language and inaction that has the effect of supporting the enemy.
We need real leadership — and fast. In the wake of the Islamic State murders of a Jordanian pilot and the Egyptian Christians, Jordanian King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi have led a stepped-up air campaign against Islamic State targets. Meanwhile, the American president is busy convening bogus “summits” and running around the White House in his sunglasses.
On the other hand, global violence and anarchy are critical to the Alinskyesque takedown of American superpower, so it all seems to be going according to his plan.
• Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.