In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels yesterday, President Obama gave a previously scheduled speech in Havana “To the People of Cuba.” The speech contrasts rather starkly with the speech suggested by Professor Carlos Eire in “The speech never given,” to the detriment of Obama’s speech.
Obama’s speech wasn’t all bad. Though full of nauseating palaver, it had a good paragraph or two. To the mostly nauseating palaver and gratuitous autobiographical reflections in the prepared text of the speech, Obama tacked on formulaic vacuities to acknowledge the morning’s events in Brussels:
Before I begin, please indulge me. I want to comment on the terrorist attacks that have taken place in Brussels. The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium. We stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, Belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible. And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together, regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can — and will — defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.
That’s it. The White House posted video of Obama’s remarks on the attacks here. The video runs for 51 seconds.
Having given the speech, President Obama kept his previously scheduled date with Raul Castro to attend the Rays-Cuba baseball game in Havana. At the game Obama schmoozed with Castro. What a sickening sight. On the plus side, however, Obama didn’t throw out the opening pitch.
Obama commented on the attacks in Brussels to ESPN during the game (video below, about ten minutes). He didn’t appear to be to broken up about them.
“This is just one more example of why the entire world needs to unite against these terrorists,” Obama said. “The notion that any political agenda would justify the killing of innocent people like this is something that’s beyond the pale.” Obama imputes a simply “political agenda” to the attack. Their religious inspiration has been drained from them.
Obama explained why he attended the game as planned: “It’s always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24/7 news coverage, you wanna be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation but the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives.”
One of the illuminating passages in Jeffrey Goldberg’s compilation of the wit and wisdom of Barack Obama addresses the subject of terrorism. When it comes to terrorism, this is “the Obama doctrine.” Cool out and learn to live with it. His attitude is complacent. His take on ISIS to Valerie Jarrett represents it: “They’re not coming here to chop our heads off.”
Goldberg adds: “Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do. Several years ago, he expressed to me his admiration for Israelis’ ‘resilience’ in the face of constant terrorism, and it is clear that he would like to see resilience replace panic in American society. Nevertheless, his advisers are fighting a constant rearguard action to keep Obama from placing terrorism in what he considers its ‘proper’ perspective, out of concern that he will seem insensitive to the fears of the American people.”
Islam must of course be kept out of the equation. Obama hesitates to confide in us regarding the contribution of Islam to the jihad with which we are contending. We can’t be trusted to deal fairly with it. Goldberg reports that those who speak with Obama about jihadist thought say that he possesses a no-illusions understanding of the forces that drive apocalyptic violence among radical Muslims, but he has been careful about articulating that publicly, out of concern that he will exacerbate anti-Muslim xenophobia (i.e., “Islamophobia”).
The ESPN interview adds Obama’s irritated observation on the role of cable news in aggravating our concerns about terrorism. Taken together, his comments to the ESPN interviewers perfectly represent the application of the Obama doctrine on terrorism to the Brussel attacks.
Race is never far from Obama’s mind. He doesn’t have an original thought on the subject and yet he loves to expound on it. Let me insert here this stray quotable quote from the ESPN interview (my transcription): “Now we still have a long way to go. You know, that’s true in everyday life; it’s true in our sports. You know, if you look at the number of African-American managers, if you look at the number of Latino managers, in baseball, or owners, obviously there’s still a carryover from the past.”