War, What War?


By Jay Gaskill

On January 11, the French people rallied for freedom; and took a stand against Islamic repression. The trigger was the latest ‘jihad-against-all-we-stand-for’ outrage – killings in a newspaper and a Jewish market. But discontent with their country’s ambivalence was building. Then the dam broke. The Paris demonstration was larger (upwards of 1.6 million in Paris) than on D day…or any other day for which there are records. The surge in French popular opinion forced their formerly dithering but belatedly decisive, Francois Hollande, to finally take a firm stand against the jihad.

The Israeli president (B. Netanyahu, that strong leader with whom President Obama has “issues”, a leader whom the French president detests) stood with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. { http://news.yahoo.com/world-leaders-arms-historic-paris-march-against-extremism-192648735.html }

Now that was significant.

Yet neither the president of the United States, nor the US Secretary of State (who would have needed the former’s permission to go), nor any other visible American public official or representative was in attendance. The local US Ambassador (Jane Hartley) dropped in, but no formal POTUS permission was needed for her attendance.

That was very significant.

A reasonable observer could conclude that our president deliberate snubbed the event. Unsurprisingly, the administration immediately took flack from all sides. The spin? The president’s staff didn’t “schedule” him to attend. Why not? No real explanation was given, but someone mentioned that “Security was an issue.”

Sure, security was an issue, but the real concern was the president’s emotional security. Who is kidding whom?

This president just did not want to join the rally. …and his staff knew it.

So here is the one question we need to ask, the one question so far not addressed: Why would the president of the United States need to be urged by staff to attend a pivotal international display of solidarity against the arch-enemies of all the Western traditions? …Especially in the wake of a blatant attempt to intimidate free speech?

We can find the answer is in our president’s unique “mindset”. Four aspects were in play:

  1. Barack Obama is the center of the moral universe. He believes this in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  In psychological terms, our president is a confirmed narcissist. These personality types assume as a given that they are – or deserve to be - the center of whatever part of the universe they have been placed. The narcissistic personality craves approval and adulation; but when the world inevitably fails to live up to expectations, a narcissist typically refuses to voluntarily expose him or herself to situations in which he or she is not adored. For public figure narcissists, the circle of adoration and approval narrows and narrows. In 2008, Mr. Obama attempted to replicate, JFK’s courageous speech in Berlin given in 1963 during the height of the cold war. Mr. Obama’s underwhelming response was a warning.  Don’t go there again.
  2. Mr. Obama is a harsh critic of Israel, a political enemy of Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s Churchillian President.
  3. Whatever Barack Obama’s actual religious sensibilities, he is very, very reluctant to offend Muslim sensibilities. This is a profoundly disabling blind spot.

…Because the reality is very different. Radical Islam is an ideology, attractive to a large subset of Muslims, one that selectively draws on Islamic traditions and texts. As a respected scholar has written, “… while it is neither true nor fair to argue that Islam is the problem, there is no doubt that Islam has a problem.” In other words, while it is neither true nor fair to argue that Islam is the problem, there is no doubt that Islam has a problem.” http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/01/challenging-radical-islam. An ideologically driven war is still a war; and the failure to come to grips with that reality is a profound mistake, on a par with pretending that Nazism was a benign form of socialism mesmerized by a few thugs, leading to an undue reluctance to offend “the good Nazis.” I addressed this issue in a recent essay. See -http://jaygaskill.com/TheIslamicEruption.htm.

  1. Oh, one more thing: Our president is decision challenged.[1] Just take a moment to reflect – what would Harry Truman have done?

So there you have it. Our nation and the civilized West are locked in a mortal struggle against a growing, well-funded movement in the Middle East that aims to destroy our way of life. This is a war within Islam and between a malignant mutation of Islam and the Western democracies. Our enemies have state sponsors. They have killed innocents in the thousands. They want to kill us and our friends in the millions. One or more of their state sponsors is developing nuclear weapons. They want to incinerate Israel.

By any reasonable definition, this is an ideologically driven war, not a set of separate, unconnected police incidents. Our current commander in chief is AWOL.

Wars are lost by those who refuse to recognize the nature and scope of the threat.[2]

But this war must not be lost. You think that elections do not have consequences?

God save America.


A license to link to this article or to publish pull quotes from it (with full attribution) is hereby granted. For all other permissions and comments, please contact the author via email at law@jaygaskill.com. The author served as the chief Public Defender for the County of Alameda, CA, headquartered in Oakland for 10 years, following a long career as an Assistant Public Defender. Then, Gaskill left his “life of crime” to devote more time to writing. Learn more about Jay B Gaskill, attorney, analyst and author, at http://jaygaskill.com/WhoIsJayBGaskill.pdf

[1] There are many examples of our president’s difficulty with decisions. See this Forbes article for one teaser. http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardminiter/2012/09/13/president-obamas-greatest-foreign-policy-failure-killing-bin-laden/ “If he waited a few weeks, Obama could not have just announced the death of bin Laden, but the death of al Qaeda. This is the best way to end wars, with victory. Instead, Obama threw it all away for a momentary star-turn before the cameras late on a Sunday night in May 2011. Telling the world that bin Laden had been killed hours before gave every al Qaeda operative time to scurry back into the shadows, the chance to live and fight another day. We are still fighting and fearing al Qaeda because Obama couldn’t wait a few crucial weeks to use the intelligence from bin Laden’s compound to kill the organization that had killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.’’ … T”he Obama campaign has insisted on describing the bin Laden mission as a “gutsy call,” an example of the president’s leadership abilities. So far, the press has failed to probe the planning stages of the operation; preferring to stick with the White House’s official narrative that begins about 24 hours before the raid.

But career military and intelligence officials tell a different story. In my new book, Leading From Behind, I document three times in 2011 in which the planning for the bin Laden raid was stopped or stalled.”

[2] “WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as ‘Islamic extremism’ from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said. The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.” The officials described the changes on condition of anonymity because the document still was being written.”



“As CNSNews.com reported, the Obama White House announced on Jan. 11 that President Obama will host a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” on Feb. 18 and that the event will be held ‘in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney and Paris.’ All of those attacks were carried out by radical Islamic terrorists. On Monday, Earnest said ‘all forms of violent extremism would certainly be discussed in the context of the summit,’ including the threat from people who invoke the name of Islam, which he described as ‘an otherwise peaceful religion.’

‘It’s not just Islamic violent extremism that we want to counter; there are other forms,’ Earnest said. On Tuesday, a reporter asked Earnest to list two or three other forms of violent extremism that are non-Islamic. Earnest mentioned three white supremacists, some or all of whom may have had mental problems


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