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The Obama Borg
How “man-caused disasters” replaced Islamist terrorism in the Obama lexicon


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Victor Davis Hanson

In Star Trek lore, the Borg was a collective of servile drone operatives that sought to assimilate other species into its “hive mind.”

Something akin to that creepy groupthink arose when the Obama administration took power and sought to reformulate the so-called war on terror. Almost immediately, Obama operatives suggested that radical Islamists were no more likely than any other group to commit acts of terrorism. In fact, the very idea of terrorism — not to mention a war against it — was supposedly a Bush-administration construct unfairly aimed at Muslims.

Obama apparently sincerely believed that there was no intrinsic connection between Islamism and terror; or, if there was, Islamic radicalism was no more dangerous than right-wing or supposedly Christian-inspired terror. Or if Islamic radicalism did arise, it might be mitigated by multicultural sympathy and outreach, mostly by contextualizing the violence as an inevitable result of prior Western culpability.

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Precisely because the Bush-Cheney protocols had thwarted over 40 post-9/11 Islamist plots, Senator Obama had the latitude, in 2008, to campaign for the presidency on the premise that these measures were both unlawful and superfluous. After he became president and learned of their utility — and assumed the political responsibility for the consequences of abandoning his effective anti-terrorism inheritance — Obama squared the circle of embracing or expanding all the elements of the war against terror by politically correct euphemism.

The result has been that ever since 2009, various members of the administration collective have sought, each according to his station, to bring us into the network of not associating Islamism with terror. And the Borg have certainly been diverse, as all sorts of political appointees, opportunists, and career officers plugged themselves into the hive. Obama may have killed ten times as many suspected Muslim terrorists by drone as did Bush, but we were to assume that the fact that there were no Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist victims of Hellfire missiles was irrelevant.

Shortly after assuming office as the head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano associated the prior “war on terror” with a “politics of fear”: “In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” Again, one wishes to ask her how many Christians have been targeted by Obama-administration Predator drones.

Various members of the Defense Department soon were plugged into the new narrative of “this administration” and, as good automatons, were eager to spread the Borg directives. A memo sent by the Defense Department’s security office to Pentagon staff members read, “This administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror.’ Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”

After the Fort Hood shootings, the Defense Department characterized the murders as “workplace violence,” despite the known fact that Major Hasan had been interviewed by the FBI because of his correspondence with the radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, and even though he yelled “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed twelve soldiers and one civilian and wounded more than 30 others. The military was absorbed into the non-Islamic groupthink to such a degree that Army Chief of Staff George Casey editorialized of the mass murder of his soldiers: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Dismantling the “diversity program” would be worse than the slaughter at Fort Hood? These days our martyrs are to die not on the altar of freedom, but on the altar of diversity?



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