The Corner

Of Obama and Strawmen

America is not and has never been at war with Islam. So says Barack Obama. Indeed. Bush never said we were at war with Islam. As Bush stated on September 20, 2001 before a Joint Session of Congress:

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.  The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.

The only ones who said we were at war with Islam were some irresponsible politicians and pundits, engaged in a strawman argument for domestic political reasons, completely oblivious to the cost of misrepresenting the president in terms of prestige, blood, and treasure.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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