In what could have been a seminal wartime address to the nations of the world at the UN today, instead of rallying the West and her regional allies against the barbarity of the Global Jihadist Movement, President Obama chose to reinforce the administration narrative that America’s deadly enemies are a product of local injustices.
Since 2008, the Obama administration has promoted the argument that what we face in the guise of Al Qaeda, or ISIS, or any other part of the global Jihadi coalition, is simply “Violent Extremism” that grows out of “local grievances.”
This is Beltway speak for an academic idea called Social Movement Theory. (If you want the full history behind this idea and who pitched it to the White House, here is a piece on its origins).
In short, this view sees the violence of jihadi groups against Christians, Yazidis, or even fellow Muslims, as a reaction to the injustice endemic in their societies. Years of oppression by Saddam, Maliki, or the Assad family will inevitably lead to religious genocide and mass slaughter when circumstances allow (e.g. after US forces leave Iraq).
Today the President went even further by drawing the analogy that the violence here in Ferguson, Missouri is an example of the same injustices prevalent throughout the Middle East. The President of the United States appeared to equate the shooting of a thief by a sworn law enforcement officer with the mass slaughter of women and children based upon their religion.
In response to ISIS, the Commander-in-Chief called upon the “international community” to come together and improve said conditions and make “a better life” for all. Unfortunately history teaches another lesson.
ISIS, the Islamic State, the Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram are simply the various faces of a new totalitarianism. The commonality of Jihadism with Fascism and Communism is not an accident. In fact, key Jihadi authors such as Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood studied Mussolini, Lenin and Hitler when writing seminal Jihadist works such as Milestones.
Social Movement Theory denies the responsibility of the perpetrators of heinous acts such as the recent beheadings of innocents journalists. Jihadi John isn’t responsible. Taking seven minutes to cut of James Foley’s head while he is alive is just the natural response to years of “oppression.”
In reality, this fight is simply another war against a totalitarian enemy who truly believes that either they will win and we will be killed or we will win. Unfortunately, it will be impossible for us to be victorious if our plan is based upon solving all injustice in the world and especially if we believe that the enemy is the victim.
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