What do words tell us?

If I were a speech writer for Obama, I would have wondered, maybe highlighted a couple lines in the text either for clarification, revision, or removal. Sorry for the wordiness of this but it is unavoidable.

The line in question was about religion. Here is the text:

Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers. Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages — killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims — both Sunni and Shia — by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.

So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.

And people like this ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him. … And we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.

Emblem of Islamic State in Iraq and Sham.jpg

Seal of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

“Declared their ambitions to commit genocide” … and are carrying it out. The word is ‘committing.’

Lonely phrases

“So ISIS speaks for no religion.” Was that completely necessary? On what facts does he base that? They believe they speak for Islam. In fact, they believe they are the self-declared spokesman for it. And masses of the Islam faith have not argued that point. Why was it so critically important for Obama to state that? He tries to separate ISIS from the religion of Islam, writ large. Again, why is that necessary? Others would seem more suited to make that distinction, except they don’t. He tries to put ISIS outside the parameters of Islam. We don’t need to do that. It is what it is — self-asserted. They certainly speak for some segment of it. Just declaring they don’t is a lonely phrase in there.

So he seemed more concerned that their actions are hurting Islam. If they are hurting Islam, that should not be of great importance to us. There seems to be no shortage of Islam defenders to make that case — but they don’t. It is not up to our president to explain why ISIS and the terrorists are not spokespersons for Islam. Sure it seems a simple thing and some probably see his motivation, not that I do. But why is there a need for it?

I realize there is a large world-wide population of Muslims to which it should matter, but why is it a priority to separate this violence, horror, and evil from Islam? The fact that he feels compelled to speaks for itself. Again, where are their voices? If a religion this large cannot make a case against this uber-evil, then what does that tell us?

Territorial control of ISIS

Rather, I recommend that we pose the question to Muslims: “do you realize these actions are being done in the name of your religion?” And it is not the first time — probably not the last. Had it been any other religion they would follow that tack. They’d say, “well I don’t believe they do, but others can make the case why they don’t speak for their membership.” But the majority of any other religion would beat them to it, to make that case. Not here, we don’t have that.

Of course, the real reason is his apologetics. He felt a need to separate them from the religion of Islam to defend it from this bloody stain. Again, that could be left to cleric spokesman and their academics. The ironic thing is Obama has Muslim advocates and activists all around him. I was no fan of Bush doing it either. Sometimes things are what they are. It would help if others were making the case. Instead, we see Muslims either joining ISIS-fever or registering their approval by their silence.

Someone please help Obama because if he has a heart it is sure not in this. We’ve seen his critique of Iraq politics and laying the problem at their feet. Yes. However, if ISIS is a threat to us and other countries, then how is it logical and rational to trust Iraq to solve the ISIS problem? That dependency on them places our security in their hands. Is that what we want to do? That is what Obama is doing — putting them in charge of our security and the free world’s. It would be nice if one of our generals took Obama out back and explained the food chain to him. He doesn’t seem to get the basics.

So then, I guess Obama speaks for no country either, especially not the USA.

 
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