There was a point in the 2008 campaign when the then Senator Barack Obama had stopped at a diner in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was with his entourage, had glad handed people, then sat down for breakfast. Some reporter approached to ask him about Jimmy Carter talking to Hamas. Rather than stop a minute, Obama turned around and peevishly asked, “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”
Now all of us can sympathize with interruptions, but when it comes to a candidate, that’s a big no no. No matter how tired or exasperated they are, the best ones always comply with a personal question.
Not Obama. No happy warrior he. You got the feeling he looked down on everyone and could hardly tolerate having to press the flesh of flyover country Americans. His question was remarkable and hung in the air like a dead fish at a tea party.
His irritability and refusal to answer questions didn’t end that day. It’s a pattern. You could see it on full play yesterday with his pathetic comments on ISIS and the beheading of American Jim Foley. He obviously doesn’t like interrupting his Martha’s Vineyard vacay anymore than he likes interrupting breakfast. He made a beeline to the golf course five minutes after delivering a rather pointless speech.
In case you missed it, here’s the transcript:
Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away.
He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world. He was 40 years old, one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release. Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.
Now, Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers. Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.
They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.
People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him. The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others. The people of Iraq, who with our support are taking the fight to ISIL must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their community. The people of Syria, whose story Jim Foley told, do not deserve to live under the shadow of a tyrant or terrorists. They have our support in their pursuit of a future rooted in dignity.
From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century. Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday. And we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.
And that’s what Jim Foley stood for, a man who lived his word, who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings, who was liked and loved by friends and family. Today, the American people will all say a prayer for those who loved Jim. All of us feel the ache of his absence. All of us morn his loss. We keep in our prayers those other Americans who are separated from their families. And we will do everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for. May God bless and keep Jim’s memory. And may God bless the United States of America.
Who is this speech addressed to? If it’s the Foleys, he certainly dismisses the barbarism of what the terrorists did. In fact, he seems more concerned about the Muslim deaths than that of an American, so it’s not really for Americans either. Disagree? What about the Marine he has let rot in Mexico because he took a wrong turn. Obama’s not in any hurry to help that American.
Is it addressed to ISIL or ISIS? If so, Obama just scolds the terrorists and says they will ultimately be defeated. So were the Nazis, but it not by words. The only threat to them Obama makes is that we will be relentless and vigilant. Relentless maybe against racists or perceived racists here; relentless against Republicans, but not much against these people. As for vigilance, the government is vigilant about monitoring our phone calls, but weren’t so vigilant at Fort Hood or for our troops overseas.
They may not have a place in his 21st century, but that’s not the century Islamic radicals care about anyhow. His scorn is pathetic. Also pathetic is Obama’s foisting off on other countries the duty to remove this group. “Friends and allies” he says, will fight with “hope and civility.”
That’ll do it, all right.
I doubt this speech did much more than energize ISIL to come after us. Why not? Obama will be on the golf course and if he gets lucky, eating a waffle afterwards.