Obama’s Unfortunate National Prayer Breakfast Speech

Barack Obama appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday and his speech there, delivered in a somnolent, and desultory way, called out the horribly cruel burning of a Jordanian pilot and other barbaric Islamic acts.  He then turned, and where he has been unable to mention that these barbaric acts were done in the name of Muhammed, he mentioned that horrible acts during the crusades, the inquisition, and then leaped forward to slavery and Jim Crow laws in the US were done in the name of Christ.   So, according to Obama, who was raised in a Muslim country and attended an Islamic Madrassa (religious school) when young and impressionable, makes the case that Islamic barbarity is done by a fringe element and is not done in the name of Muhammed, but he claims the Crusades, Inquisition, slavery and Jim Crow were done in the name of Christ! There is a difference here and it is disturbing. Obama is giving us the Islamic version of history!!

Obama’s version of history is also wrong. The Crusades were a Christian response to the Ottoman conquest of the Holy Land. When one mentions Ottoman Conquest, Ottoman desecration is also included as Christians were slaughtered, churches were burned, artifacts destroyed, art defaced, literally. The Holy Land had been Christian since Roman times and were overrun by Muslims in the seventh century and the Crusades were several hundred years later, from 1095 to about 1350. They were undertaken in the name of Christ, obviously, to recover historically Christian lands. As we know all too well today, the Crusades failed. 

The Inquisiton is an interesting subject for Obama to raise.  This is as close to Muslim orthodoxy as Catholicism has ever been. The major crime in the Inquisition was apostasy, or leaving the religion, That is a capital offense under Islam and, at times, under the Inquisition. The deaths caused by the Inquisiton over hundreds of years would rise to a slow Tuesday for Boko Haram.
 
This leads to Obama’s most outrageous comment which was that Slavery and Jim Crow were undertaken in the name of Christ. Obama cites a vague reference in the Old Testament about “slaves obeying their masters.”  for his claim, he forgets that was not Christ. He has shown that he has little knowledge of history, but this shows him to be ignorant of the anti-slavery and civil rights movement, as slavery was not undertaken in the name of Christ, it was ended in the name of Christ, as William WIlberforce in England and the Abolitionists in the US were deeply Christian in their fervent hatred of Slavery. John Brown carried Christ’s words in the bible as he attacked the slave establishment in Harper’s Ferry.

The most contemporary and egregious claim is that Jim Crow laws were instituted in the name of Christ. Even a person as unaware of History as Obama should recognize that it was Christ’s followers who lead the fight to eliminate Jim Crow laws. Reverends Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr were men of the church,  lead a religious movement to eliminate Jim Crow under the banner of the Southern Christian Leadership Council. How could Obama miss this fact?

Obama, as stated above, is poorly educated in history, but he is politically clever.  By attempting to equate terror now with the Crusades and Inquisition and blaming Christ he is delving into the realm of the progressive movements belief in Moral Relativism, the idea that there is no universal truth, and, if you think Muslims are bad now, you should have seen the Crusaders in 1100.  Yes, it is absurd, but remember what Professor Gruber said about Obama voters!.The politically adept Obama is speaking to his flock.
   

Bombing Won’t Stop the Islamic State

So we sent planes and cruise missiles to create photo ops that show our resolve in stopping ISIS. All it did was create the false image that we actually did something important. We didn’t. At the same time the 47 cruise missles were flying, ISIS troops over ran and annihilated an Iraqi infantry brigade, and made further territorial gains against the Kurdish Peshmerga, the best hope we have there.

After the intensive bombing of German industry in WWII, a survey after the war discovered that German industrial output, the target of the bombing, peaked in late 1944, less than six months before the end of the war. By contrast, the Russians did not engage in strategic bombing, or the bombing of industry, as they focused their considerable airpower on German troops in a tactical bombing effort. They followed the tactical bombing by placing boots on the recently bombed areas.

That’s what works, boots on the ground. The belief that strategic bombing via atomic bombs caused Japan’s surrender has been debunked as Japanese records show that there was no panic to surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as our strategic bombing had actually done more damage to other Japanese cities. What triggered the Japansese surrender was the Russian declaration of war and invasion of the Northern Japanese Islands at the end of the war. The Russians seizure of Sakhalin Island, the northern most, former Japanese Island, and the Kuril Islands, where there is still dispute as to the ownership, caused the Japanese surrender. Sakhalin is part of Russia today.  The Japanese government made a decision that bombs were ok, but that Russian boots in Tokyo were not. The same rule will apply to ISIS (ISIL?). (for an ISIS/ISIL distinction, look Here)

Boots on the ground will win, but 40 cruise missiles will not. We need to get this right.  Obama’s generals know what to do, but he seems to be photo op oriented, we’ll see how it turns out.

ISIS versus ISIL, There Is A Difference And It Is Critical

I noted over the last several weeks that various politicians and commentators have been using the terms ISIS and ISIL in what seemed to be an interchangeable way. An investigation of the origins and meaning of the two terms, however,  proved to be enlightening as there is a considerable difference as  ISIL involves anti-Israeli sentiments.

When the Islamic State first emerged, in say, 2012, it was in Iraq and when it expanded later into Syria, it added the letters to reflect that it was the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, if you will. The organization’s military operations remain in Iraq and Syria today, but its aspirations are much broader.
The thought that this organization noted for its cruelty and genocidal tendencies that include murdering Christians and Shiite Muslims, beheading enemies and having children watch the beheadings, the mass murder of Syrian soldiers, and killing those suspected of being non-Sunni or resisting forced conversion to Islam, has a broader view that  is frightening.

This world view is the creation of the Caliphate, or region controlled by Sharia law, over Iraq, Syria, and the Levant. This leads to the term ISIL, or Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The Levant, a term Churchill used, refers to the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and includes Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, and by implication the Saudi Peninsula. The Islamic view of the Levant, however, includes Palestine and not Israel.

We must be careful when we use ISIS or ISIL as the distinction is clear between ISIS, or the limited view of the Caliphate, or of ISIL, which refers to the  geographically and politically expansive Islamist view of the Levant. The definition of Levant I gave earlier is the modern, European, post-1948, version. The ISIL version omits Israel for Palestine and that indicates the speaker’s mind set as being anti-Israeli.  That is something to think about!!