[VIDEO] Obama’s Poker Skillz: Bad Bet? Double Down! President Barack Obama Doubles Down on Bizarre Refusal to Call Islamic Terrorists Islamic TerroristsPosted: February 19, 2015
Holding a Losing Hand, The President Goes All In
President Barack Obama affirmed on Wednesday his administration’s belief that the religion of violent extremists savaging Iraq and Syria is not relevant and should not matter.
There is ‘no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist,’ Obama said at the White House’s summit on counter-terror measures. ‘There is no way to predict who will come radicalized.’
‘We are not at war with Islam,’ Obama asserted. ‘We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.’
The White House on Wednesday was blitzed by reporters demanding to know when it believes that religion is meaningful in violent attacks.
The Obama administration has been loathe to refer to ISIS as ‘Islamic radicals,’ arguing that the terrorist group’s religion doesn’t matter.
Furthermore, it has at times failed to mention the religion of victims of barbaric assaults while at other times featuring it front and center.
As foreign officials descended on Washington for the White House summit taking place next door, new life was given to the controversy and it threatened to overshadow the administration’s confab.
A statement sent to reporters on Sunday evening in which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned the ‘despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists’ jump started the debate.
Notably, Earnest did not mention that the 21 Egyptians were Christians and were killed by terrorist because of their faith.
But two days before, after three, Muslim students were murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, reportedly over an altercation involving a parking space, Obama said in a statement, ‘No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.’
The statement implied that the students’ religion and the assault were linked, even though local authorities had not yet come to that conclusion.
At Wednesday’s press briefing Fox News correspondent Ed Henry implored Earnest to explain why he did not say in his statement that the slaughtered Egyptians were also Christians and asked if the White House doesn’t believe that information is ‘relevant’ to the crime.
‘It sure is,’ Earnest replied, ‘because the ISIL extremists who carried out this attack indicated that the reason that they were killing them, wasn’t just because they were Egyptian, but also because they were Christian.’
Then why not say that? pressed Henry.
‘I can’t account for that specific line in the statement,’ Earnest said, but we’ve been clear ‘that we condemn the outrageous murder of these Egyptian citizens because of their Christian faith.’
He pointed to an op-ed from the president that ran in the Los Angeles Times today as proof of the administration’s position.
In it Obama specifically states that ‘the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians.’
But why, Henry asked, did the White House feel it was necessary to immediately invoke religion when it came to the Muslim students even though the case is still under investigation.
The White House has a principle, Earnest said that ‘regardless of the faith of the individual in question, that people should not be targeted because of their religion, and what they look like or what their last name is or how they worship.’
Obama said that last Friday, Earnest said, to articulate its own believes – and one the White House believes ‘the vast majority of Americans should be able to support.’
“It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here.”
— CNN’s Jim Acosta
‘I think we’ve been very clear about what we call it and why we approach it in this way,’ he said before moving on.
Obama’s spokesman was forced to revisit the topic of radical Islamism several times throughout the briefing, with CNN’s Jim Acosta at one point saying to him, ‘It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here’ during a back and forth about the religious undertones of the White House’s counterterrorism summit.
‘Well I don’t think I’m tiptoeing anywhere,’ Earnest remarked. ‘I think we’ve been pretty clear about exactly what we’re trying to fight here. This is the summit on countering violent extremism.’
‘And there is no question that radical ideologues around the globe have sought, and in some cases succeeded, in infiltrating some elements of the Muslim world to propagate their ideology and to try to distort that religion to justify their terrible acts of violence,’ he acknowledged.
He then bought up deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, taken out by the U.S. in 2011.
Earnest contended that the United States’ refusal to declare a religious war between the West and Islam, according to bin Laden’s writings, ‘was frustrating his efforts to advance his radical agenda, it was frustrating the efforts of that organization to recruit new members, and it even prompted him to even contemplate changing the name of his organization to try to get people to identify them as a religious organization, as opposed to what they are, which is a terrorist organization.’
That revelation, made after bin Laden’s death, is a ‘pretty clear indication’ that the White House’s strategy is working, Earnest said.
Expressing his desire ‘put an end to the tiptoeing – to the extent that there’s been any,’ Earnest said ‘there is no doubt about the motivation of the individual who carried out this attack against a Kosher market in Paris.
‘He was motivated by anti-Semitism, and he was targeting them because they were Jewish,’ Earnest said, referring to another incident in which the White House muddied the waters with its changing stance on religion.
Continuing, Earnest said, ‘Public statements of ISIS in Libya indicated that they were killed because of their Christian faith.
Demonstrating the administration’s respect for religion, Earnest noted that…(read more)
- ‘Trusted lieutenant’ of bin Laden on trial for U.S. embassy bombs (firstpost.com)
- Bin Laden Shooter on ISIL: ‘I Don’t Think a Change in Career Path is What’s Going To Stop Them’ (MinutemenNews.com)
- Iran can prove Bin Laden was dead long before US raid – Iranian minister (wearechange.org)
- Ex-ISI Chief: Pakistan Probably Knew About Bin Laden (drudge.com)
- Former Head of ISI Says Pakistan Likely Knew Where Bin Laden Was Hiding (muftah.org)