(via Rabble Writer)
Ouch. A sarcastic but painful video that reminds you of exactly what leadership does, and does not, look like, the Digitas Daily short above is the kind of funnysad that is all too easy to find in Obama’s world.
On Sunday, marchers rallied in Paris by the hundreds of thousands. This march was not a photo-op, as desperate Obama hagiographer Chris Hayes argues. It was an opportunity. If by now a person cannot yet understand the significance of public display in the War on Terror then nothing I write here can sway them. It is so plain as to be entirely self-evident. I cannot make a person believe the sky is up and the ground is down. Especially when they are transparently frantic fanbois.
Amazing that less than week after the attacks, we're gonna have newscycle devoted to a debate about participation in a photo-op.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 12, 2015
In the Middle East especially, but in the Islamic faith generally, and particularly among the active and susceptible-to-“radicalization” brand of Islam, the propaganda machines are ever-present and amazingly effective. This is why the social media mastery of ISIS has become such a dangerous recruiting tool. It is why their PR machine has become a story of its own in the western press. And it is why it should be obvious, even to the terminally dim-witted like Christopher Hayes, that the spectacle of over million people standing in the streets of Paris rejecting fascism and terrorism, and joined by their leaders, is a powerful tool in our war against the enemy. This should be obvious.
Obama’s crack team of infantile millennials and millennial-wanna-bes, though, think that the endless blathering about “true” Islam is the key message in the war on terror. The end goal, (if one generously grants there may be some strategy involved) being, presumably, that by not alienating the entire faith, they therefore gain allies from it. Aside from this being poor reasoning (absence of enmity does not make common cause), it fails to understand the very nature of conflict. To wit: you must actually engage the enemy on the field of combat. One of our fields of combat is perception. Public relations. Image, dear friends. Hubba hubba hubba, money money money, who do you love?
Which is more valuable then? Failing to offend a group of people who, we are constantly assured, are A) non-violent B) the true representation of Islam and C) the vast majority, by constantly telling them they are not to blame?
Or rather is it raising the specter of millions standing and marching together under the flags and leadership of over 40 nations in rejection, opposition, and common purpose that is of some strategic value? Which is waging a real war?
To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. – Sun Tzu
We have said to the Muslim world for over a decade- indeed decades- a thousand times a day: it’s not you, it’s them. In many cases we have taken it much farther and said: it is neither you, nor them, it is us. We have said that. We have had leaders say that, we have had thinkers and pundits and columnists say that. We have had childlike, privileged, white, bespectacled laughingstocks say that. After all that saying, do you feel like we are making a dent? Because we aren’t. ISIS numbers continue to swell. And the death toll rises daily.
No, it is time for the new message. The message the people in Paris sent. The message Winston Churchill sent in the speech clipped in the above video.
What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?
A photo op? Sunday was an opportunity. It was a wasted opportunity perhaps, drowned in Obama’s indifference and more than a little duplicity. But an opportunity nevertheless, and one that certainly meant something different to the people in the streets of France, and to the storied ‘Arab street” than to our pundits here at home.
Because it was a chance to send a message to the enemy, and to our friends as well. Sometimes, a gesture is just a gesture. But sometimes, a “photo op” moment stands powerful against the tide of history, stronger than an Army, or defiant in the face of tragedy and terror. The Paris March was a chance for that. But President Obama can’t seem to tell the difference. And so he wasn’t there. He was at home. It is past time we the underrepresented had at long last leadership against terror. We have known it in our lifetimes.
I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!
Would that we could know it again.