Obama and Oren
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
President Obama and Israel’s former Ambassador in Washington both evidently have speech problems; not speech disorders or speech impediments. Obama is unable to say the words radical Islamic terrorists and Michael Oren does not know when it is appropriate to say nothing. Both men in their response to the tragedy in Orlando spoke and misspoke; thus effectively creating unnecessary political issues.
Almost from the time he entered the White House the President has never been able to admit that there are radical Islamic terrorists who have and continue to commit terrible crimes against their own people and especially against non-Muslims. Obama has never hesitated to single out terrorist activities and horrific acts of terror being committed by Muslims. He just never has been able to call out these criminals as radical Islamists. Why that is the case and why he persists in failing to address these acts for what they are is unclear; but they remain the speculative fodder for many of his political enemies.
It appears clear already, however, that despite the homophobic and apparently conflicted sexual orientation problems which the shooter in Orlando possessed, there once again was enough evidence from Omar Mateen’s record, behavior, and actions that he was a radicalized Muslim. For the President, beside the outrage once again at gun violence and the atrocities committed against the LGBT community, he needed to point to the danger continuing to grow and erupt as more and more Muslims are becoming more and more radicalized.
On the other hand, beyond condemning the horrific act which occurred in Florida on Saturday night, why did Michael Oren feel the need to immerse himself in the question of how this shooting will or will not impact on the America’s presidential contest? Is it not enough that Americans are trying to comprehend the vile continuing to spurt out from Donald Trump, but what constructive political value—or even human value—did Oren seek to accomplish by interjecting his own irrelevant analysis into the discussion? American Jews have seen enough already in the ugliness of the 2016 campaign to be able to separate who is difficult to accept from who is repugnant to the future of democracy in America. Except to take a few more Netanyahu-like slugs at President Obama’s Middle East policy, it is totally incomprehensible to grasp what Oren sought to accomplish. The only result served by his remarks were self-surviving and enhancing to the former ambassador and new Knesset member’s future political career.