In the face of Republican attacks on his patriotism, President Obama stood tall and rejected the calls for perpetual war during his speech at the Summit On Countering Violent Extremism.
The president said:
We have to confront the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence. I discussed this at length yesterday. These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative.
At the same time, we must acknowledge that groups like al Qaeda and ISIL are deliberately targeting their propaganda to Muslim communities, particularly Muslim youth. And Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back, not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations; that America and the West are somehow at war with Islam or seek to suppress Muslims; or that we are the cause of every ill in the Middle East.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) responded with a tweet:
The notion that radical Islam isn't at war with the West is an ugly lie
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 19, 2015
Republicans are freaking out because the president is not supporting their rhetoric of perpetual war. Both the war on terror and the war on Islam have one thing in common. They are the language of permanent and perpetual war.
The concept of terrorism can’t be defeated by an army. Therefore, Republicans are suggesting a forever war. President Obama rejected the concept of perpetual war yesterday, and he expanded on his remarks in even stronger terms today.
The warmongers are questioning the president’s patriotism because he refuses to send US combat troops to the Middle East to fight ISIL. With his display of tolerance and sensibility, the president is demonstrating that a true patriot doesn’t drop bombs then ask questions later. The president knows that the enemy is not Islam but a group of terrorists.
By rejecting Republican language of war, President Obama is showing his critics what real patriotism looks like.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association