Culture

When Is a Religion not a Religion?

Hillary Clinton has managed to stay out of the limelight these last four years. Her image and approval rating had been pretty high. The media and most of the public have assumed she has been doing a good job. It is not clear why, as it is difficult to state what she has accomplished. It is just a mantra that is regurgitated. The too-clever-by-half people even accorded to her extra political gamesmanship and skill for not being overly linked with any of the more controversial Obama proposals. Many believed she could be a serious candidate for president in 2016.

The woman who warned about the 3 a.m. call in her critique of Obama in 2008 has succumbed to a complete intellectual breakdown, oddly enough at about 3 a.m. At least she actually seems to feel a certain moral responsibility for what is happening in the Middle East, even as she insanely deflects blame to a publicly released opinion video by a single U.S. citizen. As if tens of millions of people did not at least empathize with his views. Her facial expressions reveal shock and cognitive dissonance; she appears truly dazed and confused.

Obama, on the other hand, can hardly take the effort to fake concern. Nor does he have enough knowledge to even fake having knowledge about what is going on. On the other hand, he seems genuinely excited about his road show and money-raising activities. This has always been what turns him on. Great practice for his post-presidency (I predict he becomes the first ex-president billionaire). The man who would be king, but cannot even submit budgets, clearly has no calling for governance or learning the details about who wants to destroy the U.S. Even his ever-repeated and absurd self-promotion over the Osama bin laden killing has all the appearance of a bad Wizard of Oz production. That picture of him sitting in the back of the room, intently watching as if it had been a post-production review of the Last House on Main Street 8, makes him look like a director’s assistant who received a last-second invitation. That is the best picture they have of him “leading” the charge? I assume it must be.

Back to now. With the exception of Kirsten Powers, I cannot think of one media liberal who does not see how utterly delusional the administration’s response to these riots has been. This may be going out on a limb, but my guess is this had been in the planning for a long time. I wonder what other Muslim deaths movie man was responsible for in the last week? How about the 92 people killed in 13 separate bombings in Iraq on the conviction in absentia of former VP Tarique Hashemi; or the 12 people killed in a car bombing in a public market in Pakistan near the Afghan border; or the assassination attempt on 9/11 of the Yemeni foreign minister which killed about 12; or, on his second day in office, the suicide bombers’ killing of 12 while failing to assassinate Somalia’s new president; or perhaps the suicide bombers’ attempt to blow up a police station in Istanbul?

Besides an incomprehensible lack of normal human common sense, the core of this administration’s failure is one of semantical confusion, particularly in the use of the term “religion” to describe various movements within the Middle East. When is a religion not a religion? When it is a political movement?

The Islamist movement, whose most recent revival is close to 40 years old, is the largest and so-called most moderate of these political movements. The Muslim Brotherhood is an example. They want to impose Sharia law throughout the region as part of their political structure. This group is also making headway in Turkey to reverse a 90-year period in which the visionary leader Mustafa Ataturk separated church and state for the first time in Turkey. The fundamentalist-style movements, like that which leads Saudi Arabia, tend to be more radical in punishments and lack of civil rights. Finally, we have the extremists like al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and a variety of other groups who want to destroy not only the West, but also other elements of the Middle East who they believe empathize with the West.

These are all political movements driven by a philosophy or religion called Islam in which church and state are not separated. But it is the political aspect which matters. This is who attacked us, not otherwise innocent people whose feelings were hurt by a YouTube video. What fool can believe this? Would we have empathized with Nazis (of course heavily supported by the Middle East) or communists if they called themselves religions? But even this form of argument feels insufficient to me.

If Mitt Romney wants to be president, he needs to see how borderline insane this administration has become. He should also watch Reagan’s 1964 convention speech about 1000 times to really pick up the required gestalt. For Obama, there can be no failure. Regardless of outcomes, it would have been worse had he not been there. The economy would have even been worse, the deficit would have been worse, unemployment would have been worse.


So much blame to go around: Bush (of course), Europe, tsunamis, Republicans, Bain Capital, the 1% (doesn’t there always have to be a 1%?). Romney should also read Saul Alinsky on tactics. He is quite good. Ridicule is the highest form of political attack. When a president cannot wait to take the fast plane to Vegas soon after al-Qaeda successfully pulls off a murder of an ambassador (on 9/11!) who was in hiding, and when his shell-shocked secretary of State points her first finger to a YouTube video and speaks non-sequiturs about religious respect to modern Nazis, a descriptive attack is called for.

These people are corrupt, lost in the weeds and the clouds — quite a trick — and appear to have no one in charge. They are dangerous for America. Stop being polite, Mitt. The world feels like it’s teetering.

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