Mr. Emerson is the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Mr. Hoekstra is the senior Shillman fellow there.
Barack Obama promised to "do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people." But what does his record say? (OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
"This is an attack not just on Paris, it's an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share," – President Obama hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris began unfolding.
The full statement by the president at first sounds lofty, courageous and dedicated to U.S. resolve in fighting the scourge that afflicted the City of Lights.
A closer analysis, however, reveals that it is empty hypocritical posturing designed to deceive the American public and feed his politically correct allies in the media their narrative.
First, it was not an attack on "all of humanity and the universal values we share," as Obama claimed. It was an attack by Islamists who do not share "our universal values" on its infidel enemies.
Second, wouldn't it have been appropriate for him to have issued a similar type of unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and his strong affiliation with Israel's commitment to fight against extremism when it began experiencing its most recent wave of massive attacks? After all, just as he expressed the close alliance between the U.S. and France in vowing to attack the terrorists who struck, the President also reiterated the "extraordinary bond between the United States and Israel" during last week's meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pledged to protect Israeli security.
Let's roll the tape. When Palestinian terrorists began shooting and killing Israelis in every corner of their country, the Obama administration outrageously issued a contrived, evenhanded statement calling on both Israel and the Palestinians to reduce the violence. Perhaps—to be consistent with his so-called unequivocal views against terrorism expressed on Friday—he should have called on both France and ISIS to mutually reduce the violence.
The Obama administration's role in the rise of ISIS
Third, Obama promised to "do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people." This is the same president who impeded the lawsuits against those who killed the 241 Marines in Beirut and won't allow prosecutions of the Iranian Al Quds Force responsible for killing thousands of American soldiers in Iran and Iraq. He also refused to support FBI efforts to prosecute Hamas for killing scores of Americans, tried to interfere with civil law suits against the Palestinian Authority for murdering U.S. citizens and even prevented the victims of Iranian terrorism from collecting the billions of dollars of judgments awarded to them in dozens of lawsuits that Iran has lost. Jurists on both political sides have agreed that the president has violated U.S. anti-terrorism laws that mandate the prosecution of those who kill "our people."
Fourth, this is a president who some claim is more responsible for the rise of ISIS than anyone else in the world. Recently declassified emails demonstrate that his administration sold the initial shipment of major weapons to ISIS in 2012 as a counterweight to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. It's quite ironic that Obama acts so sympathetically to the victims of ISIS attacks, much similar to how the man who murdered his parents pleads for mercy because he is an orphan.
Finally, expect the President and other Western leaders such as CIA Chief John Brennan to begin their apologia tour in claiming that the attackers had nothing to do with Islam, with a compliant media parroting their talking points. They will say that ISIS is not religious but a "death cult;" that "jihad" really means "peace" and those who carry out these attacks are "subverting a religion of peace." The president has prohibited the term "Islamic terrorism" from the White House lexicon. Perhaps we should ban the terms "white racists," the "Italian Mafia," the "Hispanic drug cartels" and "black gangs."
Even on Saturday, the Democratic presidential candidates refused multiple times to condemn "radical Islam," falsely contending—as the many Muslim advocacy groups say today—that condemning radical Islam is racist. Also expect the mindless talking heads to claim that the majority of attempted terrorist attacks have been singularly stopped by the active cooperation of the American Muslim population.
Islamic terrorism has everything do with Islam
Let's set the record straight once and for all: Islamic terrorism has everything do with Islam. The violent tactics of ISIS, al-Qaida, Hamas and every other Islamic terrorist group invokes their legitimacy by practicing the religion its purest form. This does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists or that Islam in inherently violent. There are vast numbers of peaceful Muslims. But Islam is defined by those who practice it. The decapitations by ISIS proscribed by the Koran were the dominant form of punishment by Mohammed's armies against enemies who would not convert or accept Islamic supremacy.
The notion that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam is the invention of the leftist Western alliance with anti-civil rights Islamic advocacy groups. It is designed to mislead the public, especially because of the massive amount of terror the world has experience or observed since 9/11. ISIS is not subverting Islam, but it is derived from its basic tenants. It practices Islam the same way the Iranian Mullahs practice Islam, the way Saudi Arabia chops off limbs, the way Pakistan sentences to death anyone who converts to Christianity, the way that women are treated as second class citizens in traditional Muslim societies and the way that homosexuals are put to death.
Are we to think that the pro-violent and misogynist Muslim Brotherhood—which dominates the religious and social institutions of the Muslim world in both the East and West, and all of its offspring including al-Qaida, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Jama'at Islamiya, Boku Haram, Tabligi Jamat and others—have nothing to do with Islam?
Also, sorry to break the politically correct bubble, but it has been FBI intelligence that has stopped the vast majority of the more than 100 attempted Islamic terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11, not the cooperation of the Muslim population with law enforcement. The sad reality is that radical Islamist front groups that masquerade as moderate—such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Muslim American Society (MAS)—discourage Muslims from cooperating with authorities.
Censoring the discussion
Indeed, these groups, who have been welcomed into the White House hundreds of times, exhort their members and all Muslims in the U.S. not to trust or talk to the FBI. Most significantly, they espouse an incendiary conspiratorial narrative that lies at the motivational root of all Islamic terrorism: They claim there is a war against Islam by the United States, Israel and the West. The terrorists who hear this narrative are then persuaded to avenge the "crimes" of the U.S., France or Israel by carrying out "jihad" that they justify as "defensive."
It is only a matter of time before the high priesthood of self-anointed civil rights groups begin to reclaim their dominance in censoring the discussion—abetted by the useful idiots in the mainstream media—of mentioning the term "radical Islam" by claiming it's a slur against all Muslims. Already, the media are dutifully reporting the "condemnations" of the Paris attacks by groups like CAIR and MPAC, the very same groups that say that any mention of radical Islam is Islamaphobic racism. If so, how would they categorize the gruesome Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris?
Obama's hollow words on the Paris attacks will fade in the coming days largely because they never meant anything in the first place. But the American and European publics are not stupid. They understand the problem. It is our leaders who are disenfranchising us. And they think they will get away with it. Remember that they blamed the Benghazi massacre on an Internet video. Perhaps they will blame the ISIS attacks on a TV show.