Monday, May 10, 2010

False Choices

Posted the title of this post before I wrote the text. Oh well.

My subject is Allen Hunt's latest article in which he invokes ol' Neville Chamberlain to suggest that President Obama is an appeaser.
Relying solely on one's supernatural powers of persuasion usually leads to delusion, failure, or worse, collapse. In fact, this tall task of confronting evil requires a strategy of strength rather than a policy of appeasement. Regrettably, the latter seems to be the bailiwick of Mr. Obama.
This subject has, of course, come up before (Most notably during the run up to the Iraq War). And it always strikes me as a foolish argument; because the argument boils down to any attempt at diplomacy is, essentially, appeasement. Rather than trying to avoid war through negotiation, we should be seeking war - presumably what Hunt means by a strategy of strength. This becomes more apparent when you read through the mistakes he accuses Obama of.
We have now witnessed a supposed “re-booting of America's image” in the Muslim world as inaugurated by President Obama's much ballyhooed Cairo speech. He and the First Lady have treated us to Muslim celebrations and declarations in the White House for Ramadan. The president has hosted an “Entrepreneur Summit” for Muslim leaders. He has issued paeans on the inspiring splendors of Islam, “one of the world's great religions.” Mr. Obama has even gone to great lengths to praise an Islamic cartoonist for creating pretend superheroes skilled in the art of collaboration and peace, skills supposedly rooted in the Koran.
The implication of Mr. Hunts argument is that rather than defending America from Islamic Extremists, Obama is instead choosing to appease them (by treating them as human beings and showing respect to their faith). But of course this is a false choice (indicated by my title). President Obama can fight terrorists while also appealing to the Muslim world.

Unless of course you see Islam as a terrorist religion and really do want us to be at war with it. That may be what Hunt wants; that's not what the President wants. And in this case, I think I stand with the President.

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