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Keith Naughton


President Obama's Propaganda Problem

by Keith Naughton
 

After nearly seven years on the job one of the most remarkable things about Barack Obama is his inability to get better at being President. The fact is that Obama has shown no understanding of how to fight back against any of America's enemies. He is not our Commander-In-Chief, but rather our Appeaser-In-Chief.

Nowhere is this more evident than in his handling of ISIS.


Obama cannot get anything right fighting ISIS. As if his colossal mistake of considering ISIS a "Junior Varsity" operation was not foolish enough, he followed with the absurd pre-Paris attack claim that ISIS was "geographically" contained. Perhaps by "geographically" he meant contained on Planet Earth. Thankfully the International Space Station is safe.

Obama has been obsessed with trying to defeat ISIS via a war of words. But it is a war he is fighting badly. His strategy is to try to placate and show multicultural understanding of what he believes to be legitimate grievances. He notoriously assailed those who engage in free speech when he condemned those who "insult the Prophet." He studiously avoids the term "crusade." He has been quick to identify with those who nurture any grudge against the West.

Yet, in spite of Obama's earnest appeasement, ISIS and jihadist radicalism has only grown and become more dangerous.

This is not at all surprising. Like all propaganda, the propaganda from ISIS has no interest in debate or fact. Anything and everything will be twisted to fit the pre-established narrative. When Obama admonishes those who "insult the Prophet," it is viewed by ISIS as weakness and a concession. Avoid saying "crusade" — so what? That won't change ISIS calling the West "crusaders."

The whole ridiculous spectacle is evocative of when Jimmy Carter asked Saturday Night Live to avoid lampooning the Ayatollah Khomeini after Iranian radicals took our diplomats hostage. That sure worked, didn't it?

Adopting policies and rhetoric simply to avoid giving ISIS propaganda points is futile. If we don't give them fodder, they will just create it.


The worst thing about Obama's strategy is that it conceded the initiative to ISIS. By worrying first and foremost about how ISIS will act, he gives them control of the agenda.

The best way to combat ISIS is to take the initiative on both the battlefield and in the war of ideas. We should be arguing unabashedly for our ideals of individual rights and freedom. Any President of the United States must stand for freedom of speech, not apologize for it. And, enough with the Crusades — the Arabs won that fight. Obama ought to point out that the Crusades ended over 600 years ago — get over it.

American policy, both foreign and domestic, should be to pursue and defend our interests. Whether those interests are economic or ideological, we must be proactive, not reactive. That does not mean willfully provoking others or bulldozing our way around the planet. But it does mean that we should not be timid or apologize for our ideals.

Unfortunately, we have a president who does not understand this. The only thing Obama understands is that the critics of America always have a point and the critics of his administration never do.


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