By Ralph Peters
Salaam aleikum, dudes!
I thought I knew a little bit about the Middle East. Boy, was I wrong. Last week, President Obama set me straight. Here’s what our president taught me during his Middle-Eastern pilgrimage:
There is no more terrorism.
Wow, cool! No more security checks at airports, right? Its unclear which side won, but it’s all over. Obama didn’t mention terrorism a single time in his star-turn speech in Cairo. Only a few “violent extremists” (our own troops?) remain at large.
I thought there was still a debate about that, but I guess not. And no regime in the Middle East tortures anybody, ever. Our bad.
Churches and synagogues are about to open in Saudi Arabia. Since “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance” and there are “over 1,200 mosques within our borders,” I can’t wait for the first Baptist hymn-sing in Riyadh. Sign me up!
Behind closed doors with Saudi King Abdullah, our president must’ve mentioned the many hundreds of churches and synagogues that thrived on the Arabian Peninsula during the Prophet’s lifetime. Muslims zealots destroyed them. Time to get the bin Laden family’s construction firm on the job re-building!
And stoning converts who leave Islam to death is a no-no, right?
Women can dress any way they want in Saudi Arabia. Just my analysis, based on Obama’s insistence that Islam recognizes “the dignity of all human beings” and that Muslim women must be free to make their own decisions about what to wear. Surely, fashion choices extend to Mecca and Medina, not just Detroit and Paris?
“Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” Guess the Founding Fathers missed that one. But I’m assured that George Washington turned to his mullah in the dark days at Valley Forge, that Daniel Boone read the Koran around the campfire, and that al Qaeda stood by us at the Alamo.
Yeah, there was that misunderstanding with the Muslim Barbary Pirates, when they killed, kidnapped and enslaved American citizens for years – but who’s perfect?
There are “nearly seven million American Muslims.” Who knew? We all thought there were three or four million, max. Is this a preview of the predetermined results of our upcoming census? [Note to editor: Confirm numbers with ACORN.]
“It was not violence that won full and equal rights” for black Americans. So much for the Civil War and my ancestor, who volunteered to wear Union blue and paid for it with his life. I thought a half-million Americans died fighting to end slavery. Silly me. Still, it was brave of our president to highlight slavery’s “lash of the whip” in his speech, since his own ancestors, as Muslims along Africa’s Swahili Coast, would have been complicit – if not actively engaged – in enslaving their fellow black Africans for Arab masters. As a self-proclaimed “student of history,” Obama surely knows that.
Aren’t those pesky Jews ever going to go away? Yes, denying the Holocaust is “hateful.” But let’s get a grip. Palestinians “endure . . . daily humiliations.” Their lot’s “intolerable.” Israel “devastates Palestinian families.” No wonder our president shunned wicked Israel during his trip – sending a clear, if unspoken, message that Jews are now fair game.
“America’s strong bonds with Israel are . . . unbreakable.” Yup. And they’re issued by Chrysler.
Hamas is a legitimate, recognized voice of the Palestinians. Rocket attacks against civilians, suicide bombings and kidnappings really work.
Iran can have nukes.
Our president’s acceptance of “peaceful nuclear power” for Tehran was coded language for “no pre-emptive military action.”
Jordan doesn’t matter.
So much for one Arab country’s attempts at human decency. If you want attention from our president, you’ve got to be a desert gangbanger.
My wife wondered why Obama didn’t make his speech in Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim state, where he would’ve been welcomed proudly as a home-boy. Obama just reinforced the stereotype that Muslim equals Arab.
Democracy isn’t for everybody.
We’re done peddling that particular drug.
Of course, our president didn’t mention al Qaeda’s catastrophic defeat in Iraq, where millions of Sunni Arabs rejected the terror organization. Iraq was Bush’s war, so it’s all bad.
And forget junk like modern medicine, telecommunications or even the internal combustion engine. Islam’s been the source of real progress. Like “calligraphy.” Medieval Islam’s ballyhooed contributions actually were due to Greek-speaking Christians (including slaves) employed as court officials, to Armenian architects and Jewish physicians. But, yeah, Arabs had really good penmanship.
Our president’s breakthrough message to the Muslim world was that America overthrew democratic regimes, slavery was our history’s central feature, and we invaded people on a whim – but we’re sorry now.
His crowd-pleasing speech sanitized and romanticized Islam, letting the disgruntled populations of the Middle East off the hook for their own self-wrought failures, their monstrous oppression of women (our president’s women’s-right-to-wear-hijab remarks were aimed at Europe), and the violent aggression toward others they often celebrated and generally tolerated.
To Arab ears, especially, the Cairo speech made America the guilty party in our confrontations, as if, on 9/11, crazed Presbyterians had attacked Mecca. Yet, the historical facts are that Islam’s remorseless assault on the West lasted for more than one thousand years, its cruel occupation of Christian lands lasted into the 20th century, and the dream of an all-conquering caliphate remains very much with us.
The last mass slaughter of Christians in Iraq wasn’t a millennium ago, but in 1933. Al Qaeda isn’t an aberration. It’s a manifestation.
Our president may or may not be a student of history, but he can’t just make it up.