Tags: Barack Obama | War on Terrorism | david frum | barack obama | paris | attacks | random

David Frum: Why Obama's 'Randomgate' Matters

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 06:42 PM

President Barack Obama's reference to the attack at the Kosher market in Paris as random and his refusal to refer to terrorist attacks as Islamic extremism is significant, says conservative commentator David Frum.

While some have defended Obama's remarks he made during an interview with Vox, Frum, in an opinion piece for DefenseOne.com, contends that his "choice of words . . . in no way constituted a gaffe." 

"He spoke about the Charlie Hebdo attack in a way consistent with the way he has spoken in the past — and for reasons integral to his administration’s distinctive approach to terrorism," he explains.

"President Obama described the Paris attack as random not in order to conceal the Jewishness of the victims. He described the attack as random because, for deeply considered reasons, he did not wish to acknowledge the anti-Jewish ideology of the assailants," Frum wrote.

"The refusal to acknowledge the aims and direction of Islamic terrorism is central to the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policy," he argues. "They don’t often defend that refusal, but they systematically and self-consciously practice it."

According to the former speech writer for former President George W. Bush, "the Obama people, not being idiots, understand very well that international terrorism possesses an overwhelmingly Muslim character.

"The huge effort made to deny this truth is its most ironic confirmation," he contends.

The Obama administration is trying to reach out to those in the Muslim community "to take the lead against the violence," and because of this, Frum explains, "the government and the larger society must refrain from actions that alienate or offend community leaders."

Toward this end "the Obama administration has established an office within the FBI whose mission is 'Countering Violent Extremism,'" and "as part of the partnership-building, the Obama administration has opened its doors to foreign and domestic individuals and groups who might have been unwelcome in the prior administration, including supporters of the overthrown Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt," Frum explains.

The conservative commentator says the approach is similar to what was tried by the Kennedy administration in the 1960s when it tried to use the leaders in the ghetto to organize those living in poverty.

"What began as a farcical element of the antipoverty programs of the 1960s, has ended in the tragedy of American national security policy in the 2010s," he argues.

"'Randomgate' is a real story that brings to light a central, urgently important, and massively under-discussed element of this administration’s national-security policy," he concluded.

"It's not receiving too much air-time, but rather, entirely too little."

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President Barack Obama's reference to the attack at the Kosher market in Paris as random and his refusal to refer to terrorist attacks as Islamic extremism is significant, says conservative commentator David Frum.
david frum, barack obama, paris, attacks, random, comment, muslim, extremism, war, terror
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Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 06:42 PM
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