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.