Roger L. Simon

Midnight in Obama's Garden of Good and Evil


Increasingly, I am thinking that Barack Obama does not know the difference between good and evil.  Now I realize implying that someone can’t make that distinction, really the difference between right and wrong, is a harsh condemnation indeed, but I think it is something that should be examined in Obama’s case since it would explain many of  the extraordinary missteps of his presidency.  Those missteps are only escalating at the present moment as evil stalks the globe at an ever rising pace.

In fact, before looking very far backwards, consider this:  Would the United States today be doing anything at all about the Islamic State — now for the first time  waving its black flag above Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border, on the brink of a massacre of its Kurdish population, while still besieging Baghdad — had ISIS not bothered to behead publicly a few Westerners?

Let’s be honest — not a chance with this president, although 99.9 percent of the horrific activities of the Islamic State had nothing to do with the beheading of a handful of Americans and Brits.  ISIS had already provided us with more than enough examples of mass murder and other Holocaust-like actions to last several lifetimes.  In two videos I saw, dozens of Middle Eastern men were decapitated, their severed heads placed on poles while others were shot through the back of the neck and dumped unceremoniously into pits they had dug for themselves.  It was unclear whether they were alive or dead, probably a little of each.  Those videos, one of them almost an hour long, were like recruiting films for an Islamic version of the Khmer Rouge or the Wehrmacht.  Straight from Hell.

But they were largely ignored by our president, who had proclaimed these people the JV or wanted to believe as much in order not to disrupt his post-modern, morality-free weltanschauung. It was not until the American public was aroused by the beheadings of the Westerners that Obama did  much of anything – and even that was, and still is, as  little as possible.  Evil does not interest him, especially if it has nothing to do with votes.  Evil does not even exist for him. Only fairness.  If only those ISIS people could be “fair” — hence his dopey remarks about what people do or do not do in the 21st century, as opposed, I suppose, to the bloodthirsty 20th.  (Ironically, the worst mistake — from their point of view — the Islamic State made was to behead the Westerners.  It may be have been good for recruiting, but had they avoided it, they might be in Baghdad by now… even more powerful for recruiting.)

At the same time as IS is rampaging, Obama’s equally morality-challenged crew at the State Department is busy criticizing (what else?) Israel, yet again for Jewish construction and apartment purchase in  Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods. (At least this time it wasn’t for murdering civilians, one of the more hypocritical accusations of recent years, considering who made it.) Netanyahu, a man with a moral center a tad larger than Obama’s, struck back on CBS’ Face the Nation but (surprise, surprise) the court eunuchs at CBS removed the Israeli PM’s criticism from the broadcast.  Nevertheless, by then the State Department’s Jen Psaki had already taken umbrage at Netanyahu for daring to question His Majesty.  The Times of Israel summed up the ensuing brouhaha:

When asked about Netanyahu’s allegations that the US was telling Jews that they could not buy houses in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, which several Jewish families moved into earlier the week, Psaki did not clarify Washington’s position regarding the Ir David group’s independent purchase of Arab-owned houses there.

Instead, Psaki said that there were questions involving building permits and construction — an answer that seemed to address the municipality’s involvement in Givat Hamatos rather than the private initiative in Silwan.

Commentary’s Seth Mandel continued: “It wasn’t clear that Jen Psaki even knew what she was being asked about. The degree to which this administration’s advisors and spokesmen are uninformed about issues on which they pronounce judgment is simply incredible.”

Well, it’s not incredible if you don’t know the difference between something as elemental as good and evil.  Without that, there’s nothing to pronounce judgment on.  Pick on Israel while allowing the entire Middle East to turn into a veritable Islamist sea of beheadings, rapes, sexual slavery and mass murder. It’s all a power game.  You pick on someone who is sane and will therefore listen to you.  Never mind that the only ones genuinely trying to help anybody in the region are the Israelis,  who are actually treating Syrian ISIS victims and spending Israel’s money to do it.  As the old saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished,” particularly when you don’t know what a good deed is. (A distillation of Obama’s moral deficit is that he would prefer Islamists like Egypt’s Morsi and Turkey’s Erdogan to Netanyahu.)

At its basis, the problem is cultural relativism, the tawdry mother philosophy of political correctness that suffused the academy when Obama was  going to school and still does. Under CR, all cultures are equal, ours and the Islamic State. We are imperialist to think otherwise. Morality is a thing of the distant past, some artifact of St. Anselm or Maimonides.  Not cool, even if it protects us from murdering each other.

Speaking of moral absurdity, I couldn’t resist having a grim laugh at the extraordinary naiveté of Ben Affleck on the subject of Islam. It took Bill Maher to straighten him out — or try — that Islam’s ideology just might have something to do with its actions. Who knew?

Good and evil are difficult concepts for everybody, especially we products of the modernist educational system.  But we ignore them at our peril. Otherwise, we really are at Midnight.