President Barack Obama made two appalling statements recently. First, he characterized the Jewish victims of Islamo-terrorism in the Parisian Kosher market as merely victims “… of violent, vicious zealots who … randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” Then he chastised Americans for hastily condemning Islamic terrorism by comparing Islamist violence to “terrible deeds” perpetrated by Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition.
I suppose that Obama figures the six million Jews who went into Hitler’s ovens were also selected randomly. And perhaps he is willing to overlook the fact that Germany invaded France in 1940 since, after all, the French invaded the British Isles in 1066.
In truth, Obama’s comments were outrageous by any measure. They reflect at worst a callous indifference to wanton and violent anti-Semitism, as well as to the barbarously heinous murders being perpetrated by Islamic terrorists. At best, they reveal merely ignorance, willful blindness and gross insensitivity.
That these statements were uttered by the President of the United States, and that they were not roundly condemned from all quarters of American society is a sad reflection on the sorry state of the morals and sense of justice of too many Americans.
The blind and seething hatred that motivates the warriors of Islamic State, al Qaeda and the other practitioners of world-wide Islamic Jihad is painfully evident to any with eyes to see. Their hatred is on full display in their barbaric deeds. That hatred encompasses all who profess faith in any religion save Islam; but it seems to hold a special animus for Christians and Jews. Furthermore, it extends to the peoples of all societies organized in any fashion other than a Muslim totalitarian system. It reserves paramount disgust for Western Civilization and liberal democracy, especially as practiced in the United States of America.
So let us focus on the main object of the Islamists’ hatred: Western Civilization. It is mind-boggling to imagine that anyone in the West cannot see the hatred for what it is. And yet, blindness to the hatred is all around us. It is apparent in the leftists who excuse Islamic Jihad in the name of Western Civilization’s supposed oppression of third world culture — especially Islam — which they see as the root cause of Muslim rage. It is transparent among the elites of Western Europe who are busy disarming their countries, committing demographic suicide, opening their doors to Jihadist radicals and totally abrogating the ideals, customs and traditions of their own civilization. Finally, it is manifest among Obama and his minions who — in the face of the most heinous Islamic terror — cannot bring themselves to name the flame that is torching the people whom Obama is sworn to protect.
How can they not see the hatred? Because, it would appear, they hate themselves as much as, if not more than the Jihadists hate them. There is an illness in the body of Western Civilization that fosters the unwillingness to recognize the hatred that Islamic radicals bear toward that civilization. That illness is self-hatred. The illness began in Western Europe a century ago when socialism replaced capitalism as the modus operandi for most European countries.
But it was the carnage of two world wars that delivered the knockout punch. The Europeans surveyed the self-inflicted wreckage, and decided that its civilization was the cause. In addition to the devastation the Europeans saw around themselves, they also came to the conclusion that their colonial empires had inflicted horrible pain on the peoples of the third world. They decided that these egregious crimes against humanity required them to cast aside their more than thousand year-old civilization. They have succeeded rather well in that endeavor. Now in its place, we see a burgeoning, authoritarian and collectivist system (the EU), amalgamating totally areligious, amoral, economically depressed, increasingly defenseless societies that are being swallowed up by an ascendant, Islamic, foreign parasite.
The US has begun to travel the same path. Apparently America has its own crimes to answer for. The evil of slavery, maltreatment of American Indians, discrimination against women and minorities, and internment of Japanese American citizens more than counterweigh saving the world twice from totalitarian evil, not to mention creating the most free, tolerant, multicultural and prosperous nation in the history of the world. While the percentage of the American people that have bought into this dirge is not commensurate with the number of self-haters in Europe, they seem to be sufficiently numerous to elect and reelect a man who is ready to ditch the ideals and mores of Western Civilization.
Thus we see that blind hatred is abetted and trumped by self-hatred. This manifestation is certainly evident in the coterie that surrounds Obama and which populates the Democratic Party. From them emanates a constant drumbeat about all that is wrong with America, how it has mistreated certain segments of society and how it must atone for its past sins by granting special privileges to those who were formerly oppressed. They hold no particular affection for the classical bedrocks of American society — the Constitution, the Christian religion, the capitalist system, the power of the American military, American Exceptionalism, individual liberty.
But I believe that although self-hatred is rampant throughout the corridors of Western Civilization, in the case of Barack Obama specifically, something even deeper is going on – namely, alienation. I suspect that Obama detests Western Civilization, but he does not detest himself. Why? Because he doesn’t see himself as part of Western Civilization. Personally, he has nothing to atone for. All the apologies and bowing to foreign despots is purely on behalf of America — the America which bears the guilt outlined above. But Barack Obama himself bears no guilt.
Obama was raised and mentored by self-hating leftist radicals who saw themselves as not part of America. He spent his formative years outside of the US. His path to his present exalted position was engineered without his having to taint himself with any beliefs in the trappings of the classical American creed. He is unstained by Western Civilization. It is alien to him. Thus he feels not self-hatred, but alienation from the civilization that he despises — but which, in an act of monstrous stupidity, the America people entrusted unto him to uphold and protect.
And so it easy for him to sympathize — without any self-guilt — with those who want to destroy Western Civilization. He rejected it long ago. Oh yes, he likes the money, the fame, the access and the golf. But he has no real allegiance to America or sympathy for the American Constitution, American enterprise, American Exceptionalism or American might.
In his eyes, Western Civilization has brought misery, corruption and poverty to the peoples outside of its boundaries. Moreover, it has brutalized and subjugated those inside its boundaries who had the misfortune to lie outside its self-declared inner components — namely, women, people of color and the lower socioeconomic classes. But Obama and the enlightened ones he has chosen to populate his exalted neighborhood are innocent of these charges. In fact they take it as their life’s work to publicize and popularize the accusations, punish the offenders and reorient the country (if not the planet) so that the victims become the overlords of their former prosecutors.
That is, Obama is alienated from the founding ideals and ethos to which, alas, a diminishing number of Americans cling. Therefore ripping it apart comes natural to him. And that is how he could easily make those awful remarks with a clear conscience.
Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, writes about politics, culture, education, science and sports at http://ronlipsman.com. Follow him on Twitter @rlipsman