President Obama's speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York was flawed, displaying a type of moral equivalency that does not exist for America's enemies.
His claim that "The world is more stable than it was five years ago" is demonstrably false. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Kenya, Congo, to name only a few, there are at least as many conflicts as in 2008 and far more now than when the United Nations was created. According to Themner, Lotta and Peter Wallensteen, in "Armed Conflict, 1946-2011", Journal of Peace Research, there were fewer than 20 armed conflicts in 1946. Today there are more than 30.
The president seemed to take at face value a "fatwa," or religious edict, issued by Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, against the development of nuclear weapons. He said, "President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic republic will never develop a nuclear weapon."
There are reportedly a half-dozen nuclear sites in Iran where uranium is being enriched. They are buried deep in the earth and have concrete walls several feet thick. The Iranians claim they're developing electrical power for peaceful purposes. That's not the profile of any power station with which I am familiar.
Breaking news for the president: Our enemies lie by telling us what we want to hear while behaving duplicitously.
The president barely mentioned the slaughter of 85 Pakistani Christians over the weekend. He didn't mention at all the Muslim war against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Why dwell on unpleasant realities when wishful thinking feels better?
The president again dredged up the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, repeating the "two-state solution" formula that the Palestinians pay lip service to, while preferring a one-state solution, absent Israel.
President Obama seemed to again blame America for Muslim "hostility" because of U.S. involvement "in the Muslim world." U.S. motivation for such involvement has been two-fold: strike at terrorists and reduce the threat they pose to the U.S. and its interests, and free people from political and religious oppression. One can debate whether those goals were sufficient to prompt U.S. "involvement," but there can be no debate that America's objectives were altruistic and rooted in self-preservation.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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