Obama’s Nobel “lecture” offers critics the usual cornucopia of opportunities, but I shall focus on just two statements:
“I am the commander-in-chief of a nation in the midst of two wars.” And here I thought there were three wars. Obama’s two are Iraq and Afghanistan; missing is what George W. Bush termed the War on Terror and I call the “war on radical Islam.” Obama apparently reduces that third one to al-Qaeda and counts it as part of the Afghan war. His mistake has real consequences; long after American troops have left Iraq and Afghanistan, Islamists will be attacking and subverting us. If we don’t see their efforts as a war, we lose.
“Religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam.” Here, Obama follows his predecessor in presenting himself as an interpreter of Islam. I ridiculed “Imam Bush” for telling Muslims about true Islam and its distortion, and now I must ridicule “Sheikh Obama” for the same. He’s a politician, not a theologian. He’s a Christian, not a Muslim. He should steer completely clear from the topic of who are good or bad Muslims.
— Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.