If Obama had really understood Muslims, the way that he claimed he did during the election, then he would have known that this was coming all along. The way of the desert raid is to catch the enemy at his weakest and most vulnerable, and to humiliate him for that weakness in the eyes of his peers. In the honor-shame culture of Islam, there is only room for honor or shame. Obama tried to cover his shame and retain his honor and his enemies tore that façade of honor away from him and left only shame.
As Churchill said to Chamberlain, “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.” Obama tried to have it both ways; he wanted the appearance of being a strong honorable leader who wins wars, while pursuing a cowardly and dishonorable policy. Obama chose dishonor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now finds that he has a war to deal with anyway.
Perhaps it was the empty bragging of a weak man about killing Bin Laden that infuriated them, but most likely it was the weakness that he showed by relying on drone attacks while cutting the military that led the Islamists to launch a series of global raids on American targets. What looked like smart strategy to the DC technocrats told the Islamists that the United States was no longer willing or able to send troops into combat. Drone strikes might take out Al Qaeda leaders with minimal collateral damage, but were useless when crowds of Islamist raiders in major cities were overrunning American embassies and consulates.
It would have been in the interests of the Islamists to let Obama save face, retreat from Afghanistan and give them another four years of a free ride. But the Salafis carrying out the raids are not the cunning variety that Obama bows to when meeting with the Gulf royals, nor are they even the businessmen of the Muslim Brotherhood. What they want are military victories in the old Mohammedan style, rather than winning elections or tricking the West into overthrowing regimes for them.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudis would not have chosen to humiliate Obama because they need him. The Salafis carrying out the raids, as opposed to the ones shaking hands with US officials in Cairo, don’t care about American elections; they care about blood in the streets and swords in the air. These are the sorts of people who fly planes into buildings without considering what this will do to the plans to use immigration to change the demographic balance of Europe and set off bombs near NATO bases without caring that this will slow down the withdrawal of the infidel troops. They are true believers and they believe that it is their unthinking commitment to Islam that will give them victory, rather than the calculations and manipulations of their more upscale Salafi brethren in Riyadh and Cairo.
The attacks have exposed the naked failure of Obama’s foreign policy. The sight of American embassies burning across the Muslim world has done what the deaths of thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan and a near civil war in Iraq could not do.
Obama has lost the wars, he has lost the peace and now he has also lost the lies.
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