President Obama, stop blaming the victim for Mideast violence
By Kirsten Powers
Published September 14, 2012
"Disgusting and reprehensible." said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Truly abhorrent," an outraged White House official told an international conference. Were they talking about the murder of four Americans in Libya? Or perhaps the hoisting of an Islamist flag over the U.S. Embassy in Cairo?
No. For that they stuck to diplomatic speak. For the president, the harshest language was: "I strongly condemn the outrageous attack." For Clinton it was that the US is heartbroken and she condemned "this senseless act of violence." But "disgusting and reprehensible" and "truly abhorrent " were reserved for an amateurish and silly film by someone nobody has ever heard of.
In fact, what is "disgusting and reprehensible" is that there are people in the world who think they are justified in attacking and killing people because someone hurt their feelings or offended their sensibilities. The US government should not act as a validator or enabler of this upside down worldview, which is exactly what the Obama administration has done repeatedly as they have responded to these abhorrent attacks against the United States.
I have defended the Obama administration against the complaints from the right that they have run an "apology tour" in the Middle East because I believe the US should admit when we make mistakes, such as the accidental burning of Korans. But what we shouldn't do is affirm the wrongheaded view that people should be protected from the free speech of others.
Worse, our leaders shouldn't let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the US Government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband. Wake up: we weren't attacked because of a movie made by an American. We were attacked because there are crazy religious fanatics who hate the United States. We didn't ask for it.
Egypt's President Morsi reportedly asked Obama "to put an end to such behavior"—presumably freedom, constitutional rights and the like -- as it led to the making of, in his eyes, the offensive movie.
Obama has no legal recourse but our president seems to be acquiescing to Morsi’s request by trying to silence the movie-maker through verbal intimidation, including a call from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey who asked Pastor Terry Jones to withdraw his support for the film. Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the FBI was dispatched to Hollywood to uncover the identity of the filmmaker. (Don't they have real terrorists to catch? I'll be looking for the administration's condemnations next for the selling of the DVD of “The Da Vinci Code,” the blockbuster American movie that claims Jesus had sex with Mary Magdalene.)
Team Obama’s unseemly groveling to violent extremists has been cloaked in a newfound concern on the left for respecting religious sensibilities. Tuesday, a liberal professor argued in USA Today that the maker of the Mohammed film should be arrested.
President Obama said in the Rose Garden: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others" and Clinton asserted that, "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others." Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough endorsed efforts to create "a world where the dignity of all people—and all faiths—is respected."
Apparently our foreign policy is now being run by Dr. Phil. Someone needs to explain to the White House that our Constitution protects freedom of religion from government interference, not the protection from people who say mean, critical or offensive things about one's religion.
But if this is truly their new position, then they have a lot to be outraged about right here at home. Remember Amanda Marcotte, one of the left's top bloggers and a columnist for the left-wing Guardian who chose last Easter -- the holiest day of the Christian calendar -- to chime "Happy Jeebus Day"? She once asked: "What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? [Answer]: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology."
Then there was the tweet last year by Bill Maher about Tim Tebow during a particularly bad game: "Wow, Jesus just f----- #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is Tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo's killing them." This was so offensive that President Obama's PAC still managed to take a million dollars from this man to help finance his reelection.
If Christians had burned down Maher's house in response, would the administration put out a statement condemning the violence but pointing out that he should have respected the religious beliefs of others?
Of course not. Nor would anyone want that.
But that is what the administration keeps doing with their responses to the attacks in the Middle East. The condemnations are paired in with claims about respecting religious beliefs, which is implicit sympathy for the claims of some of the attackers and rioters.
It’s time for the Obama administration to stop blaming the victim.
Kirsten A. Powers is an American columnist, blogger, pundit, and political commentator. Powers, a Democratic political analyst on Fox News, appears regularly on shows such as The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Sunday, Special Report with Bret Baier and Freedom Watch. She is a regular guest host on the morning Fox News Radio show Kilmeade & Friends and a columnist for the New York Post and the Daily Beast. She is a regular guest host on Hannity and was rumored to be one of the top contenders to replace Alan Colmes when he left the Hannity & Colmes show in December, 2008.
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