Obamateurism of the Day
posted at 8:05 am on July 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
They killed 3,000 people on 9/11. They have committed multiple acts of terrorism before and since, killing thousands of more people around the world. They propped up a brutal dictatorship in Afghanistan, and are trying to impose another in Somalia. They routinely kill more Muslims through indiscriminate acts of terror than so-called infidels, and they brainwash teenagers into committing suicide while their leaders cower in caves.
Speaking about the Uganda bombings, the president said, “What you’ve seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself. They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains.”…
Explaining the president’s comment, an administration official said Mr. Obama “references the fact that both U.S. intelligence and past al Qaeda actions make clear that al Qaeda — and the groups like al Shabaab that they inspire — do not value African life. The actions of al Qaeda and the groups that it has inspired show a willingness to sacrifice innocent African life to reach their targets.”…
“Additionally, U.S. intelligence has indicated that al Qaeda leadership specifically targets and recruits black Africans to become suicide bombers because they believe that poor economic and social conditions make them more susceptible to recruitment than Arabs,” the official said. “Al Qaeda recruits have said that al Qaeda is racist against black members from West Africa because they are only used in lower level operations.”
“In short,” the official said, “al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder and does not value human life.”
Yes, never mind the murders and the tyranny. The real problem with AQ is its racism. It’s an absurdity, something that would have made a great satire of this supposedly post-racial administration had it not actually offered this statement seriously.
What’s this supposed to say to AQ? We went to war with you over 9/11, but now your racism has us in a real snit? If the idea was to impress Africans enough to get them to reject AQ, Andy McCarthy has a pretty good explanation of why this is not only useless, but counterproductive, in the conclusion of a colloquy with Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:
Insofar as more general information may bear on this: at a time when Islamist ideology is the dynamic ideology in Islam, dominating the leadership of about 75 percent of American mosques, it is notable that fully a third of American Muslims are black, including a whopping 90 percent of new converts to Islam. Al Qaeda, meantime, has aggressively recruited blacks since its origins in the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, and it has been thriving in black Africa since the early 1990s — the very time-frame when bin Laden found a soft place to land in Sudan because Saudi pressure had made things to[o] perilous for him in Afghanistan.
In sum, a culturally based argument for anti-black racism on the part of al Qaeda is one Obama would never make, and no one knows that better than black Africans. On the other hand, an ideologically based argument for anti-black racism on the part of al Qaeda is patently meritless. Since the latter is the one Obama was positing, it just makes him look foolish. I agree wholeheartedly with your observations about the value in pointing out Islamist political incorrectness, and encouraging lefties like Obama to do the same. But I think it hurts the cause to make implausible claims that make us look like we either don’t know what we’re talking about or think so little of our target audience that we assume pandering will win them over.
Exactly — and that makes us look impotent and desperate, two qualities that will not convince anyone on the fence to suddenly oppose AQ.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
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