CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 11, 2016 — Which is it: “Life imitates art” or “Art imitates life”?
Showtime’s popular series “Homeland,” currently on hiatus, deals with the Middle East and global terrorism; in the process, the program proves that its writers understand more about Islam than President Obama does.
That is frightening.
After five seasons, of which the fifth was the best, “Homeland’s” depictions of the troubled Middle East and global terrorism are about as accurate as a television fiction series can make them. Though the episodes are filmed months before they are broadcast, the stories are amazingly current and topical when they air.
In the first episode of the most recent season, CIA operative Peter Quinn nails the situation in Syria during an exchange with bureaucrats.
An administration official asks Quinn, “is our strategy working?”
To which Quinn replies with two terse sentences: “What strategy? Tell me what the strategy is and I’ll tell you if it’s working.”
Just a few years ago, al-Qaeda was the “big bad” in the Middle East. It was a major campaign issue in 2012, leading to Obama’s pronouncement that “General Motors is alive and al-Qaeda is dead” during the campaign.
The man now sitting in the White House, who is briefed daily on global terrorist activity, called lesser known terror organization ISIS “a JV team.” This from the highest level of the government.
When George Washington visited Charlotte in 1791, he called it “a trifling place.” Last week the entire world knew where Charlotte is during the Super Bowl. Charlotte is trifling no more. Obama referred to ISIS as “trifling,” and the world has quickly learned about them, too.
The way Obama sees it, climate change is a far greater threat to homeland security than ISIS. The way “Homeland” sees it is far more accurate.
Writing in The Federalist, Jay Caruso notes, “It takes a remarkable amount of ignorance or a complete lack of awareness to say a terrorist organization is the equivalent of a JV team while they’re actually growing at a rate of 4,000 percent.”
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh disagrees that Obama is “ignorant” or “lacks awareness.” In Limbaugh’s perspective, Barack and Michelle go to bed at night and laugh hysterically at how easy it has been to bring about those “fundamental changes” in America they so desperately desire.
The confounding thing is that television producers, who probably lean politically closer to Obama than to Limbaugh, present a more accurate representation of terrorism and the Middle East crisis to the American people than the president of the United States.
According to Caruso, “Homeland” producers actually discussed ideas that “ISIS might simply be ‘too evil’ to successfully dramatize in a television show.”
Another producer, David Nivens, argued that “the show will go there. ‘It’s a show that reflects the world that we live in.’”
Nivens recognizes the evil better than our own president. Like those three monkeys, Obama neither sees evil, hears evil or speaks evil when it comes to Islam. He downplays the idea that ISIS will launch a significant strike in the United States, even in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings.
In Obama’s world, it is simply a matter that “he hasn’t explained it (terrorism) well enough to the American people.” Did we not hear that about Obamacare as well? What’s to explain? Does he not understand that when innocent people are killed by masked terrorists shouting “Allahu akbar,” that requires no further clarification?
How sad that a sitting president can be so arrogant as to believe his constituents cannot grasp the reality of terrorist attacks throughout the world. Therein lies his ignorance.
At least the creators of “Homeland,” liberal though they may be, have the guts to present a truer picture of threats we face from global terrorism than our own president.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod.