The thing you have to admire about the Obama administration is its ability to fight furiously on several fronts at once. The economy. Individual liberty. The rule of law. National security. In his pursuit of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” (as he promised his followers in October 2008), Barack Obama has managed to undermine them all. It’s been an impressive, if also a depressing, performance.
Just a few reminders: On the hustings, Obama lambasted George Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt over the course of eight years. That was, I readily acknowledge, profligate behavior. But Obama has vastly outstripped George Bush, adding more than $6 trillion to the national debt in just under 3 years. $4 trillion, $6 trillion: if only there were some means of making it as gargantuan a task to write or read those words as it is to comprehend what such numbers portend. There is no way, so I hesitate to remind you that Obama is set to ask for another $1.2 trillion in spending money. When that happens, the federal debt will clock in at more than $16 trillion. Thanks for the hope, Barack!
What else has Obama accomplished on the economic front? There are big things like soaring unemployment — the administration admits to something approaching 9 percent; really it is 11 percent — and S&P’s downgrade of U.S. credit, the first in history. And don’t forget “the staggering decline” of household wealth in the U.S. In the third quarter of 2011 alone, total U.S. household wealth declined by 4.1 percent: that’s $2.2 trillion in three months. Look at the value of your house and your retirement funds: you’ll see what I mean. Thanks for the change, Barack! Then there are the myriad ham-handed initiatives like the government takeover of GM and its subsidizing a movable electrical machine to toast marshmallows. There is his energy policy, which, as the Washington Post put it, is “infused with politics at every level” (h/t Powerline). Under Obama, the effect of the Environmental Protection Agency is not to safeguard the environment but to make it more difficult and more expensive to create or conduct business in the United States.
Then there is the rule of law. Start at the top, with Attorney General Eric Holder, whom Charles Krauthammer called “one of the worst attorneys general in U.S. history.” Voter intimidation by the Black Panthers? You must be racist. “Fast and Furious,” a clandestine program that funneled scores of weapons to Mexican drug thugs, one of which was used to kill Brian Terry, a U.S. Border Patrol agent (to say nothing of the hundreds of Mexicans killed with the guns)? AG Holder said he didn’t know about it, but ABC reported that he was briefed on the program in July 2010.
The list goes on. But let’s leave the domestic side of things to one side and consider the issue of national security. There are a host of issues there, too, from the gutting of military budgets on down. (Don’t miss Patrick Poole’s “Obama’s National Security ‘Not Top 10’ of 2011.”) But this week’s most sensational news concerns one Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Doha-based jihadist. On December 29, The Hindu reported that the Obama administration had turned to al-Qaradawi to help broker a deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Some data points:
* In 2003, Qaradawi issued a fatwa calling for and applauding the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
* He gleefully predicts that Islam will “conquer” Europe and America.
* He extols the terrorist activities of Hamas as “martyrdom operations.”
* He eagerly abets hatred of Jews and the state of Israel (“Oh Allah,” he preached in 2009, “take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one”).
So why is the Obama administration turning to this man to negotiate with the Taliban? (Why are we “negotiating” with the Taliban at all?) Is it more “smart diplomacy”? The Hindu opines that the deal, which reportedly provides for the release of terrorists in Gitmo, lifting of UN sanctions on its leadership, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group, is an effort to give the U.S. “a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014.”
This story has not been corroborated by the Obama administration; neither have they denied it. If true, it would be a stunning act — one in a series — of capitulation to the forces of radical Islam. And that is doubtless why The New York Times devoted a long front page story to the report, detailing Qaradawi’s hate-filled pronouncements and providing a history of his efforts to advance the cause of Sharia law. If the report is accurate, noted the Times, “It would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.”
WAIT! Sorry, that wasn’t The New York Times. Somehow, our former paper of record hasn’t got around to this story yet. Leave aside the front page: there’s nary a mention of it by the Gray Lady. No, the analysis I quoted comes from Andy McCarthy at NRO, who begins by somberly observing that “the surrender is now complete” and ends with that sentence about “one of the most shameful chapters in American history.”
After thousands of young Americans have laid down their lives to protect the United States from jihadist terror, President Obama apparently seeks to end the war by asking Qaradawi, a jihad-stoking enemy of the United States, to help him strike a deal that will install our Taliban enemies as part of the sharia state we have been building in Afghanistan. . . . In return, the Taliban will pretend to forswear violence, to sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to cooperate with the rival Karzai regime.
Depressing, isn’t it?