The Tell

The President’s consistent reference to the ‘video’ has delivered a clear message to the Islamic world.

What is the message? It is, that the long standing campaign by Islamist organizations to ‘sensitize’ America to Islamic goals, priorities and their ever so tender sensitivities is working very nicely, thank you. As the President reeled between consistent addressment of the video and suggesting that we ignore it, the Islamic world got the message. An American President has ignored the actual motivations for the fires in the Middle East to take great pains to distance the American government from a crappy video trailer.

The message is simple from an Islamist point of view; the American President is on board!

Instead of taking the position that free speech sometimes results in insult and discomfort, that free speech is a critical part of the American culture, we ran ads distancing ourselves from the video. Instead of slapping down requests from Islamists both foreign and domestic to limit free speech in the interests of the Islamic world, we have remained essentially silent. Instead of telling the Islamic world that the strength of their faith should vacate the need for random violence we sympathized with their irrational behaviors by accepting the supposed motivation for those behaviors.

Limiting free speech or generating sufficient intimidation so that self censorship occurs is critical to the creation of the false narrative that serves as the context of Islamist strategy. Our right of free speech was not vigorously defended by our government; it was defended by YouTube who refused the request for self censorship; YouTube!!!

The President fails to understand that ‘getting on board’ with Islamic sensitivities results in only one thing; more demands for more of the same. Apologies, appeasement or weak policy only encourage additional pressure for more apologies and appeasement. If you figure out the ‘tell’ you ride it for all it’s worth.

Middle Eastern leaders know that the American government had nothing to do with the video, they don’t care! It’s another opportunity to demand that we accommodate their belief system at the cost of our own. President Morsi of Egypt, educated in the U.S., sees the ‘tell’’. He is saying that the video demands “reflection”; that “freedom of expression must be linked with responsibility, especially when it comes with serious implications for international peace and stability.” This manner of veiled threat is nothing new and the absence of a strong response is, in essence, yet another message.

It was reported three years ago that the Brotherhood, serving as the strategic epicenter of Islamist strategic thinking, put out the word that terrorism against the United States was counterproductive. The reasoning behind the analysis was that Islamist political progress was such that terrorism was counterproductive. The analysis was that the giant was falling asleep again and it should not be awoken to rage.

  • This morning the Presidents of Pakistan and Indonesia joiined Slate Magazine in calling for limitations on free speech…………….more demands. They call for International law criminalizing ‘blasphony’. Stay tuned, more demands to come.

  • Mike

    The president made it perfectly clear in his speech before the UN yesterday that we would defend free speech. You can ignore what he actually says and continue to portray him as a weak kneed compromiser if you wish, but anyone who takes the trouble to research knows better. The video is pornographic garbage which deserves condemnation, but it is speech so we must defend it against violence. Show us where the president has said anything different.

  • Landreaux

    Mike,

    As an analysist (in my professional life) I always look for the absence of things as well as there presence. By constant allusion to the video as the source of all the troubles, by not slapping down folks calling for restrictions on free speech for two weeks before he appeared at the UN is the basis for my opinion. Messages are delivered in a variety of ways, inaction being one of them. The Middle East is all about ‘messages’ and their interpertation. I would also add that it took pressure for the President to say what he said yesterday. Yes he said it, but it was clearly not a first instinct.

  • Bones

    Frankly, I approve better of silent denial of these requests than I would of a defiant response. When others ask for something, and they don’t get it, it doesn’t make them ask more. Obama and Secretary Clinton have both said firmly and eloquently that they disapprove of the video, most of America disapproves of the video, and we will not censor it all the same. That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t see where the problem is.

    We don’t need to react to anger with anger. That doesn’t help anyone.

  • Shirley

    Huh? But that is exactly what Obama laid out very clearly in his UN speech, and partially in earlier statements. Can’t you Obama haters tell the truth even once in a while?

    “Instead of taking the position that free speech sometimes results in insult and discomfort, that free speech is a critical part of the American culture,…” exactly as Obama did say.

    “we ran ads distancing ourselves from the video.” Well, yeah. Are you proud of that garbage?

    “Instead of slapping down requests from Islamists both foreign and domestic to limit free speech in the interests of the Islamic world, we have remained essentially silent.”
    Nope, not at all!

    “Instead of telling the Islamic world that the strength of their faith should vacate the need for random violence we sympathized with their irrational behaviors by accepting the supposed motivation for those behaviors.”
    That is exactly what Obama said.

  • Mike

    Right Bones. Is the problem here that the president doesn’t talk fast enough or loud enough? I prefer people who think before they speak and then speak in a civil way. I think he was pretty eloquent on the subject at the UN. No unnecessary anger, but perfect clarity. Fundamentalist muslims do more than enough shouting and tantrum throwing; we don’t need to play the game their way. The strength of our faith in our principles should vacate the need for random bellicosity.