There has been a lot of commentary on President Obama’s label–“random”–for the terror attack on the kosher grocer in France. Certainly, people make mistakes when speaking extemporaneously. But this kind of “mistake” is a chronic feature of Obamian commentary. In short, he refuses to name the enemy. And if you don’t name the enemy, this “non-existent” enemy, of course, cannot have tactical and strategic targets.
Even as the president petitions the Legislative Branch for a new AUMF against ISIS, we can see his pattern. The president has claimed that ISIS isn’t really Islamic, its name and the foundational references for its actions notwithstanding. Therefore, to send the US military against ISIS would not be a new “Crusade.” (Separating concepts—including groups of people–from traditional—even self-definition—is an old and effective strategy. It’s part of the Big Lie concept.)
Right now, I am, for the first time, reading a copy of Elie Wiesel’s Night. Wiesel and his family arrived at Auschwitz relatively late in the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution: 1943. I’m not that far along in the book, but the following passage speaks to the consequences of ignoring an enemy and that enemy’s stated goal.
At their arrival, a fellow inmate harangues them as follows:
“…You should have hanged yourselves rather than come here. Didn’t you know what was in store for you here in Auschwitz? You didn’t know? In 1944?”
True. We didn’t know. Nobody had told us. He couldn’t believe his ears. His tone became even harsher:
“Over there. Do you see the chimney over there? Do you see it? And the flames, do you see them?” (Yes, we saw the flames.) “Over there, that’s where they will take you. Over there will be your grave. You still don’t understand? You sons of bitches. Don’t you understand anything? You will be burned! Burned to a cinder! Turned into ashes!”
But Wiesel and those around him were not paying attention. They had a bit of an excuse: they lived in an isolated village in 1940s Transylvania.
No one in the Internet-connected world of 2015, however, has an excuse to ignore avowing enemies, especially when that enemy is continually on the attack. Fear produces blindness of this type.
Don’t forget: God hates cowards.