The president’s refusal to either attend the anti-terrorist rally in Paris, or send a high-level representative of the U.S. government to attend in his stead, is almost inexplicable except in terms that are unflattering to his intelligence, his honesty and his fidelity to western principles of personal freedom.
He seems congenitally incapable of seeing the links between Islam and terrorism. To admit the existence of these links would undermine his professed belief that terrorist violence is somehow not “genuinely” Islamic. Refusing to accept that there is a strain of Islam, rooted in history, that is and has always been militant and triumphalist (and decidedly retrograde in a modern historical context) is perhaps the only way that he can mentally justify to himself that his defining view of history - to wit, the illegitimate ascendancy of western privilege - is correct.
This is the infantile view of a deeply ignorant man whose depths of alienation from his own country and civilization have made him the most temperamentally unsuitable American president, and western leader, of modern times. Indeed, one is hard pressed not to come to the uncomfortable conclusion that Obama’s presidential aspirations were driven more by a thirst for revenge than by mere personal ambition or even by an egotistical belief in his own vision and competence.
He may yet succeed in undoing the greatness of the American experiment; however, I remain of good cheer, and pray that, when his presidency is done, he will have turned out to be little more than the equivalent of some pigeon shit on a statue of George Washington. Nothing that a little vigorous elbow grease in his successor can’t remove.
Why, yes, I have occasionally been accused of being overly optimistic; why do you ask?