Of all of President Obama’s policies, none is more misguided than using politically correct euphemisms to refer to radical Muslim terrorists. Can you imagine Winston Churchill referring to the Nazis as “violent extremists” or to the London Blitz as a “man-caused disaster”?
Now we know the result of that policy. Instead of improving America’s image in the minds of Muslims, Obama actually has made things worse. Since Obama became president, the popularity of the United States in Muslim countries has declined, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Survey.
In Egypt, only 17 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of the United States. That is the lowest rating in the five years Egyptians have been polled. Last year, 27 percent said they had a favorable view.
The same trend was evident in other Muslim countries. In Turkey, the number of Muslims who had confidence in Obama slipped by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010. In Lebanon, the number also declined by 10 percent. In Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Nigeria, the decline ranged from 4 percent to 5 percent.
Along with tip-toeing around radical Muslim terrorists, Obama has proposed, as ways to signal that we are good guys, holding a civilian trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City and closing the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
Those policy initiatives also have not worked. Instead, they threaten to put Americans at risk. Although calling radical Muslim terrorist acts “man-caused disasters” may be bizarre, it also signals to those fighting the war on terror that we really are not serious about taking on terrorism.
There is a right way to diminish recruitment of terrorists, and there is a wrong way. The wrong way is to compromise our security by proposing to try the architect of the 9/11 attack in New York. The wrong way is to release CIA interrogation memos that fuel recruitment of terrorists and undermine the morale of the CIA officers and FBI agents who are trying to protect us.
The wrong way is to close the prison camp at Guantánamo, where terrorists are housed safely away from the American population. The wrong way is to telegraph weakness by apologizing to the world for America’s imagined sins, as Obama routinely does when going overseas.
The right way is for the president to give the kind of speech Obama gave in Cairo. Obama pointed out that al-Qaida attacks actually kill more Muslims than non-Muslims and that Islam is a largely peaceful religion. In similar fashion, a week after 9/11, President Bush visited the Islamic Center of Washington, where he said that the acts of violence against innocents at the World Trade Center violate the tenets of the Islamic faith.
But the majority of Obama’s efforts to reach out to the Muslim world have been not only ill-conceived but also, as it turns out, counterproductive. Muslims are no more impressed by a leader who is afraid to name the enemy than Americans are.
From the Nazis to al-Qaida, placating those who are intent on wiping us out has never worked and never will. As a Rolling Stone article based on interviews with Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his aides concludes, the real problem is the “wimps in the White House.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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