Now that Barack Obama is well into his presidency, it's clear that he is keeping at least one promise he made. He is standing with the Muslims.
In his chapter on "Race" in The Audacity of Hope, then-Senator Obama devoted a section to his post-9/11 concerns over the treatment of Muslim Americans. He makes special mention of meetings he had with Arab- and Pakistani-Americans, drawing attention to the "urgent quality" these meetings had taken after the 9/11 attacks on the WTC.
[T]he stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their [Arab- and Pakistani-Americans'] sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction. [Emphasis mine.]
- Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, p. 261
One Pakistani-American just learned that his citizenship meant a great deal of unmolested access to a whole host of possible terror victims. And since President Obama has taken a number of measures to ensure that no Muslim American feels "profiled" in any connection to terror plots, I think we can freely assume that until his arrest on board an Emirates airplane two days ago, Faisal Shahzad felt just as welcome and loved here as he did in the country of his birth and at his favorite mosque. As a naturalized American citizen, Faisal Shahzad moved freely, completely under the radar of any law enforcement entity or terror-watch agency.
Shahzad's bank knew far more about him than our so-called national security people. Our national security employees are those folks making big bucks to find people like Shahzad before they have a chance to blow any of us real American citizens to kingdom come. However, as was the case with the Ft. Hood terrorist, our national security and military personnel have become quite skittish in appearing to make any connection between the Muslim religion/political ideology and worldwide terrorism. Therefore, they don't look at the obvious until it is too late. Instead, resources are being squandered in the president's witch hunt against Tea Party grandmas and kiddies and middle-class homemakers and dads, all waving their American flags.
Shahzad's real estate agent even knew something of this Pakistani's politics. Shahzad virulently hated President Bush and vociferously denounced the Iraq War, just as Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress did.
From Shahzad's outspoken hatred of Bush and the Iraq War, we can deduce that Shahzad was most likely in full agreement with John Kerry's assertion that our troops were "terrorizing" Iraqi women and children in their homes in the "dead of night." Shahzad was most likely nodding his head the day that late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) publicly convicted -- without a shred of evidence -- the Haditha Marines of "cold-blooded murder." Those Marines, of course, have since been exonerated, but as their acquittals didn't receive nearly the media attention as the charges against them, I doubt Shahzad even knew the Marines were innocent of killing his fellow Muslim civilians in murderous with no cause.
We can also infer that Shahzad may have even cheered the day he saw the video of Rep. Harkin (D-IA) standing in the floor of the once-great American Congress and screamed at his fellow representatives: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." I doubt Faisal Shahzad was amused by this rant; he was most likely incensed.
Once Obama was elected, and as Obama had professed his intention to "stand with the Muslims," Shahzad may have expected an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Obama did not perform as expected, then perhaps Shahzad felt an urgent need to strike out at America, "the great Satan."
Shahzad's work visas, prior to his request for citizenship being granted, were in the skilled-labor areas. He was a financial analyst, having earned two degrees at U.S. universities. He seems to have gone completely unnoticed by professors, who do not even remember him. Or perhaps, following this president's lead, these professors are simply refusing to remember any references their student may have made regarding his political/religious extremism.
Shahzad bought a house and lived an apparently quiet, unobtrusive lifestyle...that is, until he spent eight months out of the country, in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled hinterland.
Now, Faisal Shahzad is commonly referred to as the would-be Times Square Bomber. Yes, as his name and heritage indicate, he is a Muslim.
And yes, President Obama is standing with him. Though the president is taking great public pains to appear tough on terror and the real terrorists -- as opposed to the imaginary ones (i.e., conservatives and Tea Partiers) -- Barack Obama has actually gone to great lengths to make sure others like Shahzad remain utterly undisturbed. Others who at this very minute remain undetected among us, ready to strike on orders from radicalized Imams or terror-army chiefs, walk among us, now knowing that they have a true friend and protector in the White House. Barack Obama has successfully purged from the national discourse on terrorism -- excuse me, "man-made disasters" -- any mention of the religion/political ideology which is the undeniable common denominator.
Carefully protecting feelings can be a priority of a mommy tending her babies. Protecting a group's feelings at the expense of a nation's real safety is a huge no-no for a Commander in Chief. And if Barack Obama would prefer to be the nurturing mommy to all Muslims, he ought to resign from the presidency. Trying to be both a mommy to Muslim sensibilities and to perform adequately as our president is a losing formula for every real peace-loving American citizen.
It's a terrible thing when Americans have to face the day not only needing to know where their own children are, but also asking the haunting question: Do you know where your Muslim neighbor is, and what he's up to?
We have to ask that question now because our president and his people will not.
So in the end, Barack Obama has brought about the exact scenario he has worked so hard to avoid. If Americans were assured that our president and our national security employees are doing the necessary watching and profiling, then we would also know we don't have to do it. We could be nice, hospitable, and open to our American Muslim neighbors and coworkers.
But when we know that the people paid to fight terrorism refuse to see the obvious, then we are necessarily put on high alert. We take on their jobs. We watch. We stare. We shy from the company of those we know might become our worst nightmare.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at www.kyleanneshiver.com.