On Feb. 23, in a dialogue/debate in Miami Beach with Alan Dershowitz, I asked the liberal Harvard Law School professor if he still thinks it was a good thing that Barack Obama was re-elected president in 2012.
Before revealing his answer, I would like to ask readers who voted for Barack Obama in 2014 this question: Do you still think it was good for America, Israel and the world that Barack Obama was re-elected president of the United States in 2012?
[BOYARSKY: Why not support Obama?]
Before answering, here are 10 reasons why the question is a genuine one, not one meant to provoke argument.
1. President Obama refuses to identify the greatest world evil since Nazism and communism. We all know it is a variation on Islam, whether it is called “radical Islam,” “Islamism,” “Muslim extremism” or “jihadis.” But the president, his administration, and the State Department all refuse to use any of those terms. Instead, the only term permitted is “violent extremism.”
This past week, President Obama convened an international summit in Washington, D.C., which he called “Countering Violent Extremism.” Not once in his description of the event did he use any word related to Islam. Not “Muslim,” or “Islamic,” or “jihadist” or “Islamist,” or “radical Islamist” or anything else identifying the fact that virtually all the “violent extremism” in the world to today is carried out by Muslims.
2. President Obama removed American troops from Iraq, enabling Islamic State to conquer about one-third of Iraq, and a similarly large portion of Syria. The president and his defenders blame then-president of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, for excluding Iraq’s Sunnis from power sharing and blame former President George W. Bush for invading Iraq in the first place. But whatever one thinks of Maliki or of the original decision to invade, the reason Islamic State took over much of Iraq was Obama’s insistence on abandoning Iraq.
3. On Feb. 10, President Obama described the murderers of Jews in the Parisian kosher grocery as “a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” For some reason, in that interview, he couldn’t mention that they were Jews, murdered because they were Jews.
4. President Obama was asked by the left-wing Internet site Vox, “Do you think the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?”
The president’s response: “Absolutely.”
5. Many tens of thousands of people have been killed by radical Muslims; Boko Haram now controls an area in West Africa the size of Belgium; Islamist butchers compete with one another over who can engage in the greater atrocity, European terror is becoming routine; Al-Shabaab calls on American Muslims to murder people in the Mall of America; vast numbers of girls are kidnapped and sold as sex slaves; and the president of the United States thinks the press overstates the threat of Islamist terror while understating the threat of climate change.
6. In that interview, President Obama entertained the possibility that in Iran, “according to their Supreme Leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
How deep does the president’s naiveté about evil go?
7. Virtually every year, a sitting president or high-ranking member of his administration makes an appearance at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C. As of this writing, neither President Obama nor any member of his cabinet is scheduled to appear. The last AIPAC conference the president attended was in 2012, when he was seeking re-election.
8. Meanwhile the president works assiduously — twice postponing the talks’ deadline — to obtain some sort of agreement with the Iranian regime, which almost no one, including virtually every Arab government, believes will give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
9. President Obama has done nothing to stop Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. As Charles Krauthammer wrote, “Why no antitank and other defensive weapons? Because we are afraid that arming the victim of aggression will anger the aggressor.”
Increasingly, the world’s rogue regimes do not believe that America under Barack Obama will try to stop them from international aggression.
10. The current unprecedented tension between an American president and an Israeli leader concerning the timing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of an invitation to speak before Congress has been largely created by President Obama. Contrary to the regularly repeated falsehood that the president was not informed, as the Washington Post reported Feb. 8, “The New York Times appended the following correction a few days ago to a Jan. 30 story on the controversy: ‘An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.’”
As Alan Dershowitz wrote this past week:
“As a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for President Barack Obama, I am appalled that some Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I certainly would never vote for or support a member of Congress who walked out on Israel’s prime minister.”
So, I ask, with respect, are you still happy you voted for Barack Obama?
Alan Dershowitz isn’t.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host (AM 870 in Los Angeles) and founder of PragerUniversity.com. His latest book is the New York Times best-seller “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph” (HarperCollins, 2012).