Monday, February 09, 2009

Obama surrenders to jihadists
Exclusive: Joseph Farah exposes fatal flaws in president's perception of war

Posted: February 09, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

By Joseph Farah


"Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we're going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds."

Does that statement from Barack Obama about the conduct of the so-called "war on terrorism" on CNN last week sound familiar?

For those old enough to remember or smart enough to learn the lessons of history, they should sound familiar – very familiar.

I remember another undeclared war fought against a vague enemy, without any definition of victory and rules of engagement that ensured defeat. It became a serious conflict, eventually costing the lives of 58,209 U.S. military servicemen under the leadership of two Democratic presidents – John F. Kennedy and, especially, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Here's what Johnson said about Vietnam: "The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there."

Some lessons are just never learned.

And, maybe, that's why some wars can never be won.

Obama apparently believes, like Johnson did, that wars are about changing people's hearts and minds. Unfortunately, they are not. They are about vanquishing adversaries, bringing them to their knees, persuading them that they can never prevail. Then, and only then, is it possible to change their hearts and minds.

War is not a tool of social engineers who want to change human nature and reshape people's values. It is a life-and-death struggle for victory and survival.

If you're not willing or able to recognize that, you have no business fighting a war because you have little chance to win. You might as well get it over with and surrender.

Both Johnson and, now, Obama apparently never learned this lesson.

Johnson didn't allow the U.S. military to defeat the enemy in Vietnam.

Obama has signaled he will take the same approach in the war against Islamic jihadists. In fact, he probably won't even use the name of the enemy – preferring, instead, to define the adversary as those belonging to certain terrorist groups and pretending the death-cult ideology behind those groups can somehow be reasoned with.

Who does Obama see as the enemy?

He told us when he characterized the conflict as one of "enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism." Extremism? Obama thinks I'm an extremist. He thinks Rush Limbaugh is an extremist. He thinks Sean Hannity is an extremist. For heaven's sake, he thought George W. Bush was an extremist.

And I'm convinced he still thinks of those people as his real adversaries – and Iran as a mere nuisance.

"I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations," he said. "But that those organizations aren't representative of a broader Arab community, Muslim community."

So now this war is on certain "organizations"? Or is it even a war? Perhaps it's just a battle. And how has Obama determined that these "organizations aren't representative of a broader Arab community, Muslim community"? Is that a fact? Or is that wishful thinking? If it's a fact, this "war" or "battle" should be easy to win. Maybe it can just be handled by law enforcement agencies, the way Bill Clinton conducted it so successfully.

If you can handle some more naiveté, consider this: Obama said he believes the U.S. can persuade the Muslim world "that we should be working together to make sure that everybody has got a better life."

Are there, indeed, Muslims who think like this? Of course. Not all Muslims want to be suicide bombers. Not all Muslims are jihadists. Not all Muslims sympathize with violence and terrorism. Not all Muslims seek to destroy the United States.

But does he really believe that hundreds of millions do not strongly identify with Islam's mission to rule the world? Does he not recognize that Osama bin Laden is a hero throughout much of the Islamic world? Is this the big idea he wants to take to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other jihadist fanatics in the Muslim world? Is he merely going to sell the Rodney King "can't we all just get along" message?

I have news for Obama – he's wasting his time.

Worse yet, he is signaling profound weakness to our enemies.


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