RUSH: First of some sound bites, President Obama at the White House summit at the State Department on Countering Violent Extremism, but don’t anybody call it “Islam” or “Muslim.”
OBAMA: There is a complicated history between the Middle East, the West, and none of us I think should be immune from criticism in terms of specific policies. But the notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it.
RUSH: This is a great lesson in Straw Man 101. Can anybody — search your memory banks for me. Do you recall anybody ever saying that we were at war with Islam? Is the War on Terror a war on Islam? Have you ever heard anybody say that? I’ve never heard anybody say it. I never heard anybody say it in the Bush administration. In fact, the official position of the US government, even during Bush and into Clinton, they went overboard not to even call it terrorism. And ever since 9/11 happened, there has been a palpable fear at the highest levels of our government in identifying Islam with what happened on 9/11.
I’ve never understood the fear. I mean, I’ve had it explained to me a couple ways, two or three explanations, but it still doesn’t make any sense to me. We get creamed with the World Trade Center and we’re afraid if we don’t respond verbally in an honest way that they may not do it again? It’s unprecedented to cower in fear. And that’s how it comes across. But regardless, and in spite of that, I can’t think of anybody who has said that we’re at war with Islam. And yet here’s Obama out making it look like that’s why we gotta have this summit. That’s why we gotta do this summit on countering violent extremism because there are too people out there saying we are at war with Islam, and nobody is. Nobody has said it.
There’s a War on Terror. We’ve talked about Islamic Jihad. We’ve talked about Islamist extremism, but nobody said we’re at war with Islam. Nobody in this country, anyway. And yet there’s Obama out offering it as the reason that we’re doing this and his number one admonition. So if you’ve wondered what is meant when people say Obama uses straw men, there you go. He invents a belief that nobody’s articulated, acts like everybody is saying it and that they’re wrong. He’s also doubling down and going all-in on Marie Harfism.
OBAMA: We must address the grievances that terrorists —
RUSH: Stop the tape. Stop the tape. Prequeue it. Hear the word “grievances”? Hear that word, “grievance”? I’m telling you, it is in the forefront of the leftist mind, that there are legitimate grievances against this country by foreigners. There are grievances against this country by American citizens, justifiable grievances. We have an entire industry of grievance now. The entire effort by the left to plug as many people into whatever holes of victims they could put ’em into is exactly what is meant by this grievance industry. Everybody’s a victim of something. America’s so rotten, America’s been so unjust, so immoral, so discriminatory, so this, so that, that there are all kinds of justifiable grievances against this country.
This is the kind of thing Rudy’s actually talking about when he says the president doesn’t love America. What he really means is I’ve never heard a president criticize our own country anywhere near like Obama does. That’s what I think he means, anyway. Okay, here’s the full bite again. And just notice the number of times you hear the word “grievance” in all of these sound bites.
OBAMA: We must address the grievances that terrorists exploit, including economic grievances. When people, especially young people, feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities, where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families and no escape from injustice and the humiliations of corruption, that feeds instability and disorder and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment. And we have seen it across the Middle East and we’ve seen it across north Africa. So if we’re serious about countering violent extremism, we have to get serious about confronting these economic grievances.
RUSH: Then why isn’t everybody living in poverty in this world a terrorist? Why isn’t everybody who’s poor being sucked into some form of crime, some form of terrorism? Not even Islamic or jihad terrorism, but just abject crime. I’ve heard this my whole life, that economic circumstance, economic depravity, poverty, that’s why people go into crime. And it’s not the case. Rich people commit crimes left and right. Rich people are terrorists. Many of the Islamic terror leaders are wealthy. They come from positions of high status in the countries they lived in and in the cultures that they grew up in.
But if the breeding ground for terrorism is poverty, then why isn’t it everywhere? And why doesn’t it extend beyond Islam? Because there’s poverty in all parts of the world. There’s poverty in Asia. I mean, you can’t go to any of the Russian satellite countries and not find poverty in places. Why aren’t they all turning to terrorism, if this is the primary cause? And of course, what’s the primary cause for the economic circumstances that these countries face? It’s us. Yes, my friends, because we have more than our share of the world’s resources and wealth.
That’s not the reason for this terrorism. The reason for this terrorism can be found, if you want to read it, in their book. It is all about infidels. It’s their ideology. It has nothing to do with poverty. It has nothing to do with having nothing to do all day. The recruitment starts at a very young age and it happens in the mosques, and it’s irrespective, if that’s even a word, of economic circumstances. But they’re going to the mat with this. They’re gonna do everything they can to make everybody or as many people as they can believe that this is all related to poverty.
There’s another, I think, clandestine, if you will, reason for this. Because this requires a solution, does it not? I mean, if poverty, if being poor, if the lack of jobs is leading to all of this horrible terrorism, then what must be the solution? Why, jobs and an uplifted economy. Well, who’s got the money for that? Guess what? The United States. Guess what this creates as an opportunity for people? It must be our responsibility. And who are they committing acts of terror against? Us. I suppose other Muslims are the targets as well, but nevertheless, this is another disguised effort offering, presenting an opportunity for these people via the UN or whoever to once again come and knock on our doors and fleece us.
We have a responsibility to pay up. We have a responsibility to establish economies where we have created poverty, where we have created a lack of economic opportunity. It’s our responsibility and that’s how this will stop. This further grows the US government, further shrinks the American economy, which is one of the ultimate objectives of Obama and the modern-day Democrat Party anyway. So it’s a twofer.
RUSH: President Obama wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. It was published a couple of days ago, and it was entitled, “Our Fight Against Violent Extremism.” Let me just give you some pull quotes from this. Once again, you will hear the whole belief system, his philosophy on grievance. He goes so far as to say that the grievances that these terrorists have almost explains and justifies what they’re doing. Therefore it’s up to us, it’s up to governments to address these grievances.
Now, you might say, Â“Rush, that’s crazy.Â” No, it’s not. It’s very consistent. Any leftist group in this country that’s unhappy or angry and has a grievance, they’re rewarded. Their grievance is taken seriously. The people with whom they have the grievance are usually targeted and punished somehow, at least labeled as racists or bigots or itÂ’s said they discriminate or something. My point is, this whole grievance industry is a tactical, strategic effort on the part of the left to silence any opposition as they make their march leftward.
So here’s how Obama begins his piece, his op-ed in the LA Times a couple days ago. “The United States has made significant gains against terrorism. We’ve decimated the core Al-Qaeda leadership, strengthened our Homeland Security, and we’ve worked to prevent another large-scale attack like 9/11.” Okay, so the strategy here is to begin an op-ed with a string of long-since-debunked lies. Significant gains against terrorism? We won’t even face it!
Significant gains against terrorism? We won’t even identify it! Significant gains against terrorism? We’re not seriously trying to stop this latest incarnation of it. We’ve decimated the core Al-Qaeda leadership? See, that’s another reason why Obama can’t call it terrorism is because there isn’t any anymore. He defeated it when he killed Osama. Don’t think this doesn’t matter, especially to his deranged, literally insane lunatic Democrat base.
He’s out there telling them that, and don’t forget the other fundamental aspect of this. They created — throughout the Iraq war, the left did. With their late-night comedians and their mainstream media people, they created this falsehood that Bush lied and got us into Iraq and that it was totally unjustified, it was totally unnecessary, and that Bush lied and people died. And what’d Bush lie about? The intel. Saddam never had any weapons.
“Saddam was never a problem! Everybody knew. Bush lied!” Never mind that Clinton produced the same intel in 1998 and the same Democrats running around saying Bush lied are the same Democrats that were gonna give Bill Clinton a blank check to go in and stop Saddam. And Clinton needed this distraction, ’cause that was the time of Monica Lewinsky. But the point is, we have not decimated the core Al-Qaeda leadership. ISIS is an offshoot.
But because Obama’s base thinks there was never any justification for going to Iraq because Bush lied, Obama’s base also believes that there was never any real justification for such a massive War On Terror. The late-night comics and mainstream journalists succeeded in convincing a number of Americans that the whole War on Terror was vastly overstated, vastly overrated, vastly unnecessary. Iraq shouldn’t even have happened.
So Obama’s kind of caught. Since he’s vanquished terrorism and he’s vanquished Al-Qaeda, he has to continue to say that he got rid of it all and that it was never that big a deal anyway because Bush lied. “In the face of this challenge,” writes Obama, Â“because the threats evolved,Â” he says (even though we vanquished it, even though we’ve really decimated ’em) “at the same time the threat of terrorism has evolved, and in the face of this challenge, we must stand united internationally and here at home. We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem.”
There’s no debate. Â“We know…Â” We just know. Everybody agrees. We can’t stop these people militarily, Â“Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians.Â” Yeah, we can’t even do that. We can’t take out people killing innocent people. Our hands are tied, folks. We can’t do anything. “We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so. …
“We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so.” Not according to the polls it isn’t. “Groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better. Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only…”
So, you see, according to Obama, it’s governments and grievances.
It’s somebody else that is to blame for this. There is always the excuse for criminal behavior, as far as the left is concerned. Be it terrorism or be it street crime or be it murder, there’s always somebody to blame other than the actual perpetrator.
RUSH: You know, look at all of the explanations that we have gotten from the Democrat Party, from the American left, to explain terrorism. The pictures from Abu Ghraib? Ah, that caused terrorism! That made everybody in the Islamic world so mad. It was a recruitment tool. We were so bad to do that. And then the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Why, that was a great recruitment tool for terrorism, and again the United States was to blame. Iraq in and of itself — just going to Iraq — made them mad and made them become terrorists.
And now? Now it’s jobs. Lack of jobs. Economic opportunity being nonexistent is the reason why terrorists become terrorists, and there are many other excuses beyond those.
RUSH: Yeah, so I always do this. I checked the e-mail during the break, and I got some interesting questions. “Hey, Rush, we get all this. Why are you spending time telling us what Obama thinks about ISIS and this stuff?” I always look at these e-mail questions as helpful to me and instructive. Sometimes I assume you know why I’m doing things. I just assume that you’re up to speed and have the program in context. The reason I’m focusing on this is we’re not getting the truth about this, and it matters. And not only are we not getting the truth about this, we’re being told some things that aren’t true.
This is a legitimate threat that exists to free people all over the world. This is a gigantic movement on the march, and if we’re not even gonna properly identify it and properly defend against it, and if we’re not even gonna go on offense against it, then we’ve got a problem here, and people need to know — my estimation is, people need to be fully up to speed and aware of exactly why their country is approaching this the way it is. I think the explanations that we’re getting are half-baked and are designed for some purpose that has nothing to do with defeating terrorism. I think this will reveal itself as we continue to explore this today, some of these audio sound bites coming up.
Anyway, great to have you, as always. 800-282-2882 is the number if you want to be on the program, and your calls are coming up. And if you want to send an e-mail, I read them, I check them. Don’t always read them back verbatim here, but I do check them and react to them. It’s ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
There’s all kinds of hypocrisy and contradictions. The president wrote in his LA Times op-ed, “We made significant gains against terrorism. We’ve decimated the core of Al-Qaeda leadership.” Okay, fine. He wants to make that claim, but yet we’re told by his own State Department this week that we can’t do that. We can’t defeat terrorism. We can’t kill our way out of this. Well, what did we do to defeat Al-Qaeda? Does anybody know? Really. How did we vanquish Al-Qaeda? Where’s the jobs program that we created that made Al-Qaeda shrink and become less of a terror factor?
Marie Harf earlier this week, two days in a row, goes out and says on TV we cannot kill these people, we cannot kill our way out of this war. We have to find ’em jobs. On the same day that she was saying that, Obama has an op-ed published in the LA Times claiming that we decimated the core of Al-Qaeda. Well, I think we did launch a military operation against bin Laden, and I think that’s probably what he means, we took out bin Laden. That means we’ve decimated Al-Qaeda, but I don’t believe that, either. I think that’s a phony argument, and it’s how Obama is attempting to enrich his reputation as a hawk or as a terrorist fighter.
But at the same time, we’re told we can’t do that with ISIS. Why? Why can’t we take out the leader of ISIS and decimate them just like we took out bin Laden and decimated Al-Qaeda? Why now do we have to find ’em jobs? And look at all of the different explanations that we’ve had over the years, the reasons we’ve been given for the existence of terrorists. All of the reasons that we’ve been given ultimately blame us, the United States. Our policies, under Republican presidents always, are the reason that there is terrorism, or the reason there are terrorists. The War on Terror, that was a recruitment.
After 9/11, if we would have sought negotiation, if we would have sought rapprochement, if we would have sought peace, then we wouldn’t have any of this going on. They sent us a warning signal, and we should have recognized the grievances that led to 9/11. Instead, what did we do? We launched an unnecessary war in Iraq, and we insulted everybody by saying it was a War on Terror, and everybody knows Al-Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq, although they did, but everybody knows that they didn’t. And so it was spread that Bush lied, Iraq was unnecessary, the War on Terror was never as big as it actually was, and that’s why Obama has to downplay it.
So Iraq was a recruitment tool. And then while we were in Iraq, we had the Abu Ghraib episode with the prison and the pictures, and that made ’em mad and that recruited terrorists. Then we opened the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Club Gitmo, and then we found we were flushing Korans down the toilet, which we weren’t. We found out we were committing other atrocities against these brave freedom fighters in our prison in Guantanamo Bay, which we weren’t. That was said to be a big recruiting tool, all of this happening during a Republican administration. All of this ultimately is aimed at wiping out the Democrat Party opposition.
That’s what this is about. This is not about fighting terror. This is nothing more than Obama’s domestic program of eliminating all opposition to the Democrat Party. That’s what all of this really is. It’s not about fighting terror. All of it is discrediting as much as he can get away with, and with the assistance of the media, conservatism and the Republican Party. Look at all these excuses for why there are terrorists. We went to Iraq, Bush lied, unnecessary. Then, after Bush lied and sent us to Iraq, then we opened Guantanamo Bay and we imprisoned a bunch of people we had no business imprisoning. We renditioned them, and we tortured. Oh, my God, oh, my God, we tortured ’em, folks. Oh, gee, we waterboarded, gee, my God, we’re so horrible, look what we did. That’s why there’s terrorism.
And now, after all of that, now we’re finding out they’re terrorists because they don’t have jobs. They don’t have an economy to speak of. So look at all of the reasons over the years we’ve been given to explain why there is terrorism and not once from the mouths of anybody in the Democrat Party are there terrorists because there are evil people. Obama will not go there. He will not countenance going there. He will not counsel any characterization of the terrorists themselves. It’s always somebody else’s fault that they’re doing what they’re doing. In many cases these past recent years it’s been the fault of Republican presidents. Well, one: George Bush.
I can’t believe how much they have been able to successfully milk the Bush administration as the reason for everybody going wrong in this country in the modern era, but they’ve done it. The Bush administration didn’t fight back on any of it, didn’t refute any of it. It was allowed to just sit there and fester and soak in the public memory.
So now you hear Obama: Don’t you dare call that Islam. Don’t you dare call ’em Muslims. Don’t you dare even call it terrorism. This is extremism in the name of Islam. These poor Muslims are being used and taken advantage of by these extremists, and these extremists are doing what they did because of what Bush did and because they don’t have any jobs.
You see how this is shaping up? You see where this is all going? And that’s why I’m spending all this time on it. I want people to understand what is really going on here with a summit on violent extremism, a White House summit on violent extremism at the State Department is not about that. You listen carefully to what Obama’s saying, and it all boils down to all of this is happening because he hadn’t been on the scene sooner. It’s all happening because of mistakes made during the Bush administration. It’s all happening because the United States did this, that, or whatever wrong.
Meanwhile, it’s gotten worse under his administration. It’s gotten worse. It’s become more widespread. It’s become even more violent. It’s become even more gruesome. It has become even more vicious, and it’s become more widespread during his administration, while he’s trying to convince everybody he’s fixing it, he’s solving it, he understands it. Don’t you dare mischaracterize it. Don’t you dare mischaracterize our dear friend terrorists. It’s not their fault. They have grievances. They have justifiable reasons.
Some of this is very subtle, but it feeds an established meme or narrative, if you will, that it’s the Republican Party when they run the country that causes all of this evil to happen, causes all of these horrible things to happen, because the Republican Party’s judgmental, and it’s not understanding, and it’s not compassionate. It doesn’t try to help people, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s why I’m spending all this time trying to put this in proper context. I want to take you back to this program January 7th, over a month ago.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This grievance industry, which has at its root the United States has misbehaved since its founding, the United States has had a much bigger footprint all over the world than we ever deserved to have. We’ve run over the world trampling everybody and everything. We’ve stolen, we have appropriated, and that’s why we’re a superpower, and it’s illegitimate, and it’s unjustified. So this stuff, plus our relationship with Israel, all of that has combined to create at the highest levels of our leadership this idea that there is some evidence that the United States is responsible for this, to an extent. I don’t know to what extent, but we certainly have some guilt about this. That’s what the whole grievance industry is about. And clearly ISIS has a grievance with us. Clearly Al-Qaeda does. Clearly militant Islam does.
RUSH: All right. That was setting the table, my earliest attempts at explaining this whole grievance business. And let’s continue now with the Obama sound bites. This is from late yesterday afternoon, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, this during the second day of the White House summit on countering violent “don’t call it Islamic” extremism.
OBAMA: There’s a strain of thought that doesn’t embrace ISIL’s tactics, doesn’t embrace violence, but does buy into the notion that the Muslim world has suffered historic grievances. Sometimes that’s accurate. Does buy into the belief that so many of the ills in the Middle East flow from a history of colonialism or conspiracy. Does buy into the idea that Islam is incompatible with modernity or tolerance or that it’s been polluted by western values.
RUSH: Do you understand that folks? Look, I don’t mean to be insulting when I ask, but this is profound what you just heard here. This is unbelievably profound what you just heard here. “There’s a strain of thought that does not embrace ISIL’s tactics, doesn’t embrace violence, but does buy into the notion the Muslim world has suffered grievances, historic. That’s accurate sometimes. And it does buy into the belief that so many of the ills in the Middle East flow from a history of colonialism or conspiracy.” That’s us and the Brits. “And it does buy into the idea that Islam is compatible with modernity or tolerance or that it’s been polluted by western values.”
He’s justifying, it’s exactly my point, he’s justifying what they’re doing in a way by saying they have a grievance, a legitimate grievance, just like every left-wing group in this country has a legitimate grievance against the United States about something that happened in its past. These people have a grievance against colonialism. They have a grievance against the attempt to impose Western values in the Muslim world. We’ve got to understand this. That’s why I’m spending, maybe an inordinate amount of time on this, trying to get people to understand.
The reason why Obama is doing this summit, Obama is desperately trying to convince as many people that these people committing acts of terror, we may not support it, but, by God, we better understand it. They may have an excuse or two. Not that we would ever support it, not that we would ever encourage it, but they may have justifiable grievances. You throw that in with the secretary of state spokesman saying we don’t have a jobs program for these people, we can’t kill our way out of it.
This is serious. You throw this in with all the times this man’s run around the world apologizing for this country. Can you imagine any other president in your lifetime or at any time, can you imagine any other president during a time of declared hostilities like this telling you that our enemies have grievances, justified grievances, and we’d better understand why they’re mad at us? Almost to the point of, hey, you know what? They’ve got a reason for doing this. You know, we’re not innocent in this. Here’s one more bite before we go to the break.
OBAMA: Al-Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. ISIL presumes to declare itself the Islamic State, and they propagate the notion that America and the west generally is at war with Islam. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie, nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leader; they’re terrorists. (applause) And we are not at war with Islam. (applause) We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.
RUSH: Well, nobody’s ever said we’re at war with Islam. That’s the second day in a row, maybe more than that, that he’s created this straw man. Nobody’s out there saying that we are at war with Islam, and nobody is saying these guys are religious leaders. They are Muslims. They are Islamists. That’s all anybody’s saying. He won’t allow that to be said. So you figure it out, put two and two together.
RUSH: You don’t remember that? I do. You don’t remember FDR defending Japan? You don’t remember that? I mean, FDR, why, he defended Japan almost as much as he defended the Democrat Party. Am I wrong? FDR never defended Japan? FDR never went out of his way to explain Japan? I wasn’t alive then. Maybe I’ve been misinformed. FDR did not go out of his way to tell people that we’re misunderstanding Japan? He didn’t? FDR never said that the Japanese had legitimate grievances against us? He didn’t? FDR never did that?
Well, now, I know George Bush did. But Ted Kennedy, I remember Ted Kennedy, when Reagan became president, Ted Kennedy called the Soviets and said (imitating Kennedy), “Hey, look, just be patient. We’ll try to get rid of this guy after one term.” But really, FDR was not — I just thought Obama was continuing a tradition of great Democrat presidents here.
One more audio sound bite. This is embarrassing. Well, it ought to be. This is Wolf Blitzer last night, Situation Room on CNN, and he’s talking to Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst. He’s a reporter. Wolf Blitzer said, “Okay. How are all these various terrorist groups likely to react to what the president of the United States just said after day two of the summit?”
BERGEN: The same way they’ve reacted to every American president going back to Bill Clinton. They used to use pictures of Bill Clinton in Afghanistan for target practice, so it’s not like — the speech is not gonna be persuasive to ISIS and AQAP. It will just be met with the typical contempt they show to all American leaders.
BLITZER: In other words, they’re not gonna be scared. They’re not gonna say to themselves, “We better stop this.” Is that what you’re saying?
RUSH: Are you kidding me? Did Wolf Blitzer actually think that’s gonna be the ISIS reaction? Will the terrorists be scared by this speech? He wanted the reporter to say, yeah? Did you hear that? Because the reporter said the speech is not gonna be persuasive to ISIS. It’ll just be met with the typical contempt they show to all American leaders.
And Wolf Blitzer, kind of disappointed, “In other words, they’re not gonna be scared? They’re not gonna say to themselves, ‘We better stop this?’ Is that what you’re saying?” Wolf, why — (laughing) — why would ISIS — Marie Harf Monday and Tuesday: We can’t kill these people. We can’t kill our way out of this. We can’t defeat these people in traditional war. The problem is that they don’t have jobs.
Why in the world would they be scared? Wolf actually was hoping he’d have a reporter say that ISIS is now feeling put on notice because of Obama’s husky speeches. This is not a world governed by speeches. It’s governed by the aggressive use of force, Wolf.