“Who are ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
That Chico Marx line from the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup” could well sum up President Barack Obama’s reaction to the slaughter of innocents.
Before the shock of a radical Muslim attack that killed 14 people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino wore off, Obama was blaming guns despite what the killers had to say: They swore allegiance to ISIS.
“Just after the shooting began, Malik went on Facebook and pledged her allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the militant group that says it has established a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, according to law enforcement officials. A Facebook official confirmed the posting, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.”
– The Washington Post; December 4, 2015
Straight from the horse’s mouth, as we used to say.
But never mind what the radicalized Islamists told us. Here’s what the president wanted to talk about.
Not only was San Bernardino all about guns and the end of due process to the president, Attorney General Loretta Lynch carried his message even further. Lynch saw fit to stifle free speech. Is there something about the Bill of Rights this administration hates?
In the middle of his murder spree inside the Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen couldn’t wait to tell us why he was bent on killing as many Americans as possible. So he called 911.
When it was announced that Mateen made the call, the Obama administration’s first reaction was to try to block the public from seeing his true motives. The “most transparent administration,” as the president likes to tout, finally relented to political and media pressure. Like the massacre in San Bernardino, Obama would rather the terrorist’s motives for killing 49 people remain unknown.
Here is Mateen’s response when the police dispatcher had asked for his name: “My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.” Sound familiar?
Faster than a speeding bullet, Obama blamed guns. Once again, sound familiar?
To admit Mateen’s act was ISIS inspired, a group he once called the “JV squad,” wasn’t politically palatable for the president.
Admitting that adherence to the principles of radical Islam was at the root of the worst terror attack on the United States since 9/11, destroys Obama’s ISIS narrative.
And now we come to Dallas. For the past eight years, Obama’s surrogates like Black Lives Matter and Al Sharpton have been telling black people the police are the enemy. Police deaths are up this year. Is it a coincidence?
In New York, attendees of a Black Lives Matters march chanted for “dead cops.”
Why did Micah Johnson shoot 12 police officers and two civilians? He wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”
Finally, under the intense weight of a narrative he helped create, Obama tried to dial it back.
But the damage has already been done in so many ways.
The cynical use of the Ferguson fantasy as well as the use of people of color being shot by police as political hammers have served only to divide the nation along hard racial lines. Especially when those stories don’t turn out to be what’s been pushed.
Yet, in an election year, dead cops and ISIS inspired attacks are not a good narrative for the president’s legacy.
So Obama goes back to old, reliable, “The guns made him do it.”
Radical Islam and race relations are both important subjects the nation must discuss. Both will be uncomfortable conversations for each side if an honest talk is to take place. The president’s insistence on seeing these issues through his preferred political lens is dangerous and non- productive.
Three times now, murderers have told the nation why they committed the atrocities they did. And three times Barack Obama has asked, “Who are ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
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