President Obama’s final foreign policy speech: Self-deception or illusion?
SAN JOSE, CA, Dec. 12, 2016 — President Barack Obama made his final foreign policy speech the day before Pearl Harbor Day, and attempted to defend his overall efforts in fighting the War on Terror that was initiated by President George W. Bush after the joint attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Obama seemed to be offering a case for the defense of his legacy as he told the audience at McDill Air Force Base that he learned he “…will become the first President of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war.” The speech may have been delivered by the president because he may believe that the image of his foreign policy legacy may have been undermined by continual attack from Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Certainly, the speech given one day before Pearl Harbor Day seemed timely and appropriate, but Obama’s impassioned defense of his policies, may have been prompted by his concerns regarding the intensity of Trump’s attacks. Obama touted his claims of success against the international terrorist groups as he boldly stated that “…No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland. And it’s not because they didn’t try. Plots have been disrupted. Terrorists have been taken off the battlefield…” In stating this, the president did take issue with Donald Trump, even though he did not name him specifically.
Despite Obama’s attempt to defray criticism of his counterterrorism policies, the claims ring hollow in light of the several terrorist attacks that have taken the lives of quite a number of innocent Americans at home. It is almost a matter of semantics as the president claimed that “no foreign terrorist organization” had successfully planned and executed an attack on American soil. The simple fact that innocent Americans died in such terrorist attacks on Obama’s watch diminish his words. It was Trump who took to the stump to challenge the fundamental notion that not all immigrants coming into the United States were seeking refuge or a foundation where they could start a better life to become a more productive human being.
President-elect Trump’s claims contained the audacious attack against Obama’s own previously unfounded claims that ISIS was simply a “JV” player in the Middle East, or insignificant on the world stage, or “on the run,” as he had claimed repeatedly when he was campaigning, or as he held the office of Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military. Trump had the audacity to fire at Obama’s self-proclaimed success against ISIS, and in failing to keep America safe during his presidency with the terrorist attacks in Fort Hood, the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C., San Bernadino, California, Orlando, Florida, and more recently Columbus, Ohio in addition to other terrorist initiated attacks.
Obama’s claims that “no foreign terrorist organization” had successfully planned and executed an attack on American soil is anemic in light of the historical perspective of the War on Terror. First of all, the most obvious example of this is the attack on the premises of the mission and the diplomatic compound of the United States in Benghazi, Libya. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations agreed upon in 1961, such territory is sovereign territory of the guest nation. In other words, recognizable as American soil. The attack against the US mission in Benghazi was attacked and burned the Islamic militant group, Ansar al-Sharia.
Such a technicality regarding sovereign soil could be considered a minor point by the president, but the fundamental reality is that Obama, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State at the time, and other Democrats in the Obama Administration clearly were publicly caught in the act of lying about the intent and source of the attacks, and ultimately played down the significance of the attacks. “What difference did it make?” Would President Obama ever want to own this failure? Apparently, he and his minions are still in denial – possibly. Yet, if the deaths of the American Ambassador Christopher Stevens, IT expert Sean Smith, and the former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods can be cast off as insignificant, what message does that send to normal American citizens?
The obvious word play in Obama’s final foreign policy speech dealt more with technicalities of terms as opposed to the realities of the loss of American lives. In the president’s attempt to defend his policies and actions, he betrays what is important to him. Yet, does he accept the attacks on American soil perpetrated by militants with obvious terrorist motives as insignificant? Again, the true haunting question should be considered: “What difference does it make?”
Conversely, one of Obama’s claims to fame in his counterterrorism successes is the destruction of Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist mastermind; but, consider that it was bin Laden himself who advised American citizens to rise up against their own government in his letter to the American people. Is this fundamental declaration insignificant? Americans should read Osama bin Laden’s letter to the American people – it is online for all to read. And, the letter would significant within the context of Obama’s speech.
Osama bin Laden’s letter to the American people is a scathing attack on all that the Muslim world could find fault with America, but the letter is not only an indictment of all that America represents, it is bin Laden call to Americans, and essentially all Muslims in America to fight against and kill American “infidels.” Osama bin Laden stated emphatically: “… the American people cannot be innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.”
Therefore, if one wants to get technical, any of the militant Islamist terrorist attacks upon American soil could be traced to Osama bin Laden’s manifesto against America, which truly reflects the Old Testament “eye for an eye” justification for revenge, and with respect to the primary objective, it is a call for a type of “cleansing” process of ridding the world of the “disease” of American infidels:
Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to take revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right to attack back. Whoever has destroyed our villages and towns, then we have the right to destroy their villages and towns. Whoever has stolen our wealth, then we have the right to destroy their economy. And whoever has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs.
Osama bin Laden’s letter to the American people was fundamentally a call to arms – or jihad – for all faithful Muslims to kill Americans anywhere – especially on American soil. True believers (and there are many) in Osama bin Laden’s fundamental revision of the pillars of Islam have drank his Islamist Kool Aid, and are willing to die for the jihad, and in the process, take out as many American citizens or Western infidels as possible whenever and wherever. There is no prerequisite that a “foreign terrorist organization” exist to successfully plan and execute an attack. Obviously, the notion that some central planning committee is necessary to kill any Americans on U.S soil is ludicrous.
Additionally, beyond Osama bin Laden’s fundamental directive, ISIS exits as one of the most formidable foreign terrorist organizations, and they have actually claimed credit for some attacks such as the horror at the Orlando night club. It is also important to note that ISIS does not normally take responsibility for terrorist attacks when not involved. Nonetheless, regardless of whether any incidents of domestic terror could be proven to originate abroad, much hard evidence exists showing “homegrown” or “lone-wolf” attacks against Americans have been inspired and applauded by Al Qaeda and ISIS as well as other groups. In an information age enhanced exponentially by social media, such terrorist organizations not only use websites and various communication methods to not only recruit, but to propagandize, and to incite minions to action.
In light of current history, is utterly absurd for President Obama to perpetuate an illusion that he has protected citizens in America from terrorism originating from foreign terrorist organizations. Such feeble claims can be taken as an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Yet, a practiced attorney or a polished politician can maneuver language and manipulate mush minds into believing an alternate version of reality. It is the ones who buy the illusion who are fools.
Despite the appearance of a disconnect from reality, an important lesson from Obama’s view of the threat from international terrorism is that it resonates with the appeal in Osama bin Laden’s letter, which attempts to persuade Americans to agree with bin Laden’s assessment that the United States was the “worst civilization witnessed by history of mankind.” The irony is that Obama and the contemporary Democrat leaders may share similar views. Protestors and rioters demonstrating against Trump and his supporters also want to tear down or destroy America, and a clear appraisal of such shared perceptions is of definite value in deciphering Obama’s rhetoric, and in realizing his words are hollow.
Additionally, Obama’s actions as president have often been discordant with the fundamental values of the founding of the United States, and it shows up in his artificial view of how his counterterrorism efforts have succeeded in preventing Americans from dying at the hands of Islamist militants in our terrorist-scarred cities. Whether it is self-deception, or intended deception, the case does not ring true with the reality.
If the government is sympathetic to Islamist terrorists, one does not need to utilize domestic terrorists like those in Black Lives Matter, or the New Black Panther Party to create chaos inside the nation’s borders.