Parsing Obamaspeak On Middle East

PMK is the nom de guerre. And here are a few comments he posted recently at Jihad Watch concerning candidate Barack Obama's most recent offerings with regard to the Iraqi situation (in italics):


President Barack Obama

NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY so many people swoon in Obama's presence. It IS his language! Pure Obamaspeak. He goes around and around in circles and he just makes people dizzy.

But what we also want to do is to shrink the pool of potential recruits. And that involves engaging the Islamic world rather than vilifying it, and making sure that we understand that not only are those in Islam who would resort to violence a tiny fraction of the Islamic world, but that also, the Islamic world itself is diverse.

How do we "engage" people who believe it is their divine right to rule over us? You can't have "bottom up economic growth" without foreigners in the country. Muslims don't welcome you into their lands. You are always an outsider, an infidel, a sinner. Your very presence offends them because you don't acknowledge their supremacy or their god. So who's vilifying whom? A tiny fraction of the Islamic world is still a lot of people.

How come the Asian downturn didn't turn the Japanese into terrorists? What about China?

And it is very hard, given the history of that region and the sense of grievance on both sides, to step back and say, let's be practical and figure out what works. But I think that's what the people of Israel and the people in the West Bank and Gaza are desperate for, is just some practical, commonsense approaches that would result in them feeling safe, secure and able to live their lives and educate their children.

That's a little hard to believe given that, even before Hamas was elected, the Palestinians followed Yasser Arafat and gladly responded to a genuine peace process with nothing but an intifada. Peace scares them.

Look, first of all, I have never talked about leaving the field entirely. What I've said is that we would get our combat troops out of Iraq, that we would not have permanent bases in Iraq.

So what is Obama's definition of "entirely"? You either leave the field entirely or you maintain bases in Iraq, don't you?

I've talked about maintaining a residual force there to ensure that al Qaeda does not re-form in Iraq, that we're making sure that we are providing logistical support and potential training to Iraqi forces.

A residual force—for how long? How do you do that without bases from which to operate?

I think many of us still fail to comprehend the extent of the threat posed by radical Islam, by Jihad. Understandably, we focus on Afghanistan and Iraq. Our men and women are dying there. We think in terms of countries, because we faced countries in last century’s conflicts. But the Jihad is much broader than any one nation or nations. For radical Islam, there is one conflict and one goal—replacing all modern Islamic states with a caliphate, destroying America and conquering the world.Mitt Romney

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