Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obama and the Wahhabists

'Barack Obama has spent the past year doing big-time Islamoschmoozing, from his announcement of Gitmo's closure and his investigation of Bush officials, to his bow before the Saudi king and a speech in Cairo to "the Muslim world" with far too many rhetorical concessions and equivocations. And at the end of it the jihad sent America a thank-you note by way of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear: Hey, thanks for all the outreach! But we're still gonna kill you.'

I wish people would stop using the argument 'Obama can't say who we're at war with'. Mainly because it is wrong, and the true situation is if anything worse because it is wrong. Obama has stated clearly both as a candidate and as president who the enemy is- Wahhabist Islam in the form of Al Qaeda and its many affiliates, offshoots and wannabee copycats. I believe that intellectually, Obama understands this perfectly well. But his world view contains a great fault line.

While understanding that Wahhabist jihadis are currently Americas enemies, I believe that Obama sees that as a justifiable position; I also believe he thinks it is within Americas gift to 'fix' the situation and placate them. In the political circles Obama was weaned in, there is a fixed construct of a mighty white colonial America smashing and looting its way around the world, mashing indigenous peoples underfoot like cockroaches. These poor virtuous sweet indigenous people have occasionally risen in their righteous anger and smote the mighty white man. Good for them! Cry the marxists and enviro-fascists!

This view only works if you are prepared to wipe all signs of colonial, imperial and racist behaviour of Arabs, Turks and Mongols from the pages of history. Today's 'indigenous victims' are yesterdays brutal empire-builders, slave-traders and military conquerors. Just three hundred and twenty seven years ago (last week for a historian), the Turks were at the gates of Vienna with a huge muslim army intent on conquest. Where were the muslim protesters then, protesting against colonialism and militarism? Or do they only have a problem with those things when other people do them?

The fact is, there has almost certainly never been a more gentle and placative world power in history than the United States. But unless you are psychologically deranged, you don't sit around while your enemies kill you. And the crucial fact is, Wahhabist Islams primary reason for wanting to kill Americans has nothing to do with the assissination of Salvador Allende or the imposition of the Shah of Iran on the Persians. They want Islam to rule the planet, and the United States is the greatest impediment to that. There is no squaring that circle. America will continue to exist, continue to not be muslim, and Wahhabists will continue to try to destroy it. They will not be negotiated out of that position. You just have to kill them.

And unpalatable stubborn facts like that are not Obamas forte. I am sure that every fibre of his being tells him that somehow, somewhere there is a button to push, a nuance to proffer, a form of words to speechify, a policy of such sublime beauty and perfection that the Wahhabists will stand down and go away. There MUST be. George W Bush can't be RIGHT. His caveman response of killing America's enemies cannot be the only resort. Can it?

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