While some Americans are busy swooning over the “news” that Johnny Depp is only the fourth man in history to receive the highly coveted endorsement of “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine twice (joining this exclusive club with luminaries George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Richard Gere), others are focusing on the extremely serious security situation that our nation faces with regard to Islamic terrorism.
In recent news, there was the grisly attack at Fort Hood by a psychiatrist and Army major who, by all accounts, was an out-and-out jihadist. As Americans struggled to face the reality, the media tried to sideline the conversation with talk of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even though Maj. Hasan had never been deployed overseas, and depression – basically doing everything they could to avoid talking about the fact that he was a – wait for it – Muslim.
In times of crisis and strife, we look to our Commander in Chief for words of wisdom, direction, and reassurance. But the words coming out of President Obama’s mouth in the direct aftermath of Fort Hood were jarring, to put it mildly. During televised remarks from a Tribal Nations Conference, Obama started off by thanking everyone who helped make the conference a success. He then gave a “shout out” to Dr. Joe Medicine Crow, to whom he referred as a “Medal of Honor winner.” First of all, Dr. Crow did not receive the Medal of Honor – the highest award for valor in action bestowed to a member of the military – rather, he received the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian. And to refer to him as a “winner” rather than a “recipient” reduces the status of either award to the top prize in a Monopoly tournament. And Obama himself was the one who awarded Dr. Crow the Medal of Freedom – did he not remember? Perhaps his teleprompter was on the fritz.
It took Obama several minutes to get around to mentioning the horrific act of Maj. Hasan at Fort Hood, which he then termed as a “tragic shooting” and “horrific outburst of violence.” Interestingly enough, he was not “shocked and outraged,” although he expressed those sentiments after the murder of an abortion doctor.
News also leaked out that former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura made a clandestine trip to Fort Hood the evening following the attack to commiserate with the families and comrades of those slain and wounded. The Bushes eschewed all press coverage, preferring to keep the event as private and intimate as possible. Meanwhile, President Obama and First Lady Michelle went to Camp David for the weekend, and did not make an appearance at Fort Hood until the following Tuesday for the memorial service.
The comparison is breathtaking.
But beyond that, there are a number of troubling things about this administration’s reaction to Islam-related events:
- The decision to bring the 9/11 trials to a civilian court. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others will be tried in federal court in Manhattan, just blocks away from where the Twin Towers collapsed. Even after a lengthy explanation by Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the decision-making process, we still don’t know exactly why federal court is the better venue. And speaking in China, President Obama made a statement to the Chinese press that KSM would be “convicted” and had “the death penalty applied to him;” backing off from his comment after NBC correspondent Chuck Todd pointed out that the statement looked as though he were trying to interfere in the trial process. As Andrew McCarthy points out, “He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the president himself, is tainting the jury pool.”
- The administration also asked Congress to delay its inquiry into the Fort Hood incident, and House Democrats agreed to honor that request. One can’t help but wonder why.
- Finally, it’s been more than 80 days since the administration has been asked to make a decision regarding Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s August 30th request for 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, although we are told that the administration is “very close” to a decision. Again, why the delay? The more we wait, the worse the situation becomes, and the more troops are shortchanged.
What does all of this mean? Does the administration truly understand the threat we face or … what? Dare we ask what the alternative is?