The Corner

National Security & Defense

The Scope of Our Problem

President Obama has sat for several interviews with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. Goldberg has written them up superbly. The interviews dealt with Obama’s worldview, basically: his foreign policy, his conception of America’s place in the world.

I’m going to comment on all this, in two sets of notes. The first is here. And I’d like to excerpt something — pardon the length — and then quote from a news story. Here’s the item I close today’s notes with:

Nowhere is Obama more misguided, I think, than in his understanding of the scope of the Muslim problem. Listen to him: “There is a violent, radical, fanatical, nihilistic interpretation of Islam by a faction — a tiny faction — within the Muslim community that is our enemy, and that has to be defeated.”

I grant you that a tiny portion — a teeny-tiny portion — of Muslims carry out atrocities: fly planes into buildings and so on. If that were the extent of our problem, we would have a happily manageable problem.

But a huge portion of Muslims either cheer on, defend, excuse, or don’t mind the tiny portion. And that is our problem.

After 9/11, on television, I saw those hijab-wearing women, all over the Muslim world, ululating their lungs out, more thrilled than they would be if their son won the Nobel Peace Prize.

There are a lot of those women (not to mention the men). They would probably never murder anyone, with their own hands. But when others do — they ululate their brains out. Or quietly approve. Or don’t mind terribly.

You get the picture.

Why was Salah Abdeslam, from the Paris attacks, able to hide out for so long in that Brussels suburb? Because his neighbors were his fellow terrorists and murderers? No. Because they sympathized.

That is our problem.

Here is a line from an Associated Press report: “The Belgian government said it realizes that support for Abdeslam may have been more widespread than initially thought.”

Oh, come on. It’s a little late in the day for that, y’all.

Anyway, see what you think, both of Goldberg’s piece and of my notes.

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