George Orwell wrote in his 1946 essay “In Front of Your Nose” that “we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.” A clearer illustration of Orwell’s observation than the current administration’s handling of radical Islam would be hard to find.
In his 2011 Cairo speech, President Obama said that his goal is “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims.” The subtext, of course, was the common criticism from the Left that George W. Bush had unnecessarily ratcheted up tensions with the Muslim world through his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the September 11, 2001, attacks by Islamist extremists. Our actions, critics said, were creating more terrorists than our military was killing.
Overnight, following the inauguration of Barack Obama, problematic phrasing such as the “global war on terror” (itself a euphemism) and “Muslim extremism” were expunged from the national lexicon in favor of generic terms such as “man-caused disasters.” Explained Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, “We want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”
Last month, in seeking to lay down a refined national security strategy, President Obama came close to declaring victory over al Qaeda. “Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants,” Obama said. “There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.”
However, events on the ground continue to belie the administration’s euphemisms, parsings, and happy talk. The grisly murder of a British soldier in broad daylight by two machete- and knife-wielding Muslims in London came within mere days. Yet the Obama administration remains committed to its narrative, which it knows to be untrue, and is more than willing to twist the facts to keep it going. Worse, the administration has done all this at the risk of American lives and security. Let’s go down the short list:
Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in his 2009 rampage. Hasan, who shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) during the attack against his unarmed fellow soldiers, now says he was defending the Taliban. U.S. prosecutors are treating the bloodletting as an incident of “workplace violence,” denying victims both Purple Hearts and certain combat-related medical benefits. Hasan, meanwhile, is preparing to defend himself in a court of law.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev scribbled a message on the boat in which he was captured that said the Americans killed were collateral damage in U.S. wars in Muslim lands, and that an attack on one Muslim is an attack on all. The FBI, of course, failed to prevent his butchery, which killed three people and wounded 275, even after a warning from Russian intelligence about the Tsarnaev brothers.
Then of course there is Benghazi. Seeking to maintain the pre-election fiction that the drone-happy President Obama had al Qaeda on the run (“The tide of war is receding,” the president told the U.N.), the administration ignored months of warnings from Ambassador Chris Stevens and others about inadequate security at the U.S. consulate and the strengthening of Islamist forces in Libya. On September 11, Islamists linked to al Qaeda launched a coordinated assault on the consulate, killing four Americans, including Stevens. (Many more would have died if two former Navy SEALs had not disobeyed orders and rescued consulate staff.) Despite repeated calls to Washington for help and a rescue team that was ready to intervene, that night administration officials did nothing.
And in the following weeks, they promulgated the lie that the assault was not an attack of Islamist terror but a “spontaneous demonstration” in response to a YouTube video. Adding insult to injury, Barack Obama has just selected the discredited U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, who repeated the administration lie on numerous Sunday morning talk shows, to be his next national security adviser. Why not, since the bigger lie about the threat we face from radicalized Islam continues?
This is not a partisan screed. Muslim extremists are not concerned about whether their victims are Republicans or Democrats, and they don’t particularly care who sits in the Oval Office. It is, instead, a call for us to stop lying to ourselves and face the enemy before it is too late. As Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and former counterterrorism prosecutor, has said, “You cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to acknowledge.”
Let us pray that we stop denying what’s right in front of our collective nose—sooner rather than later. George Orwell knew that such obfuscation eventually carries a price. “Intellectually,” he noted, “it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.”
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Stan Guthrie is author of All That Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and coauthor of The Sacrament of Evangelism. His latest book, A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy: 60 Predictions Everyone Should Know, is scheduled for release in July. Stan blogs at http://stanguthrie.com.