The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed criticism and concern over specific statements and claims contained in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week. Below is President Obama’s specific statements, followed by ZOA’s critique:
- “Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans” [ZOA: Although President Obama correctly admits that al-Qaeda groups are appearing in new places across the Middle East and North Africa, he wrongly insists that it is “a shadow of its former self.” However, not only is it on the rise, but it has been strengthened by Obama Administration policies – such as assisting the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, where other Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda, have been strengthened. The Obama Administration’s has assisted the rise of political Islamists in elections in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Libya is filled with al-Qaeda affiliates and other Islamist groups, many of which have gotten their hands on the weaponry of the former Gaddafi regime. Al-Qaeda is growing in strength in Egypt’s Sinai and in Yemen. The terrorists in Mali, who were gunning down people in the streets and torching the town hall and libraries with priceless manuscripts in Timbuktu last month, are in large part affiliates of al-Qaeda. A portion of the rebels in full-scale hostilities with the Syrian dictatorship to take over in Damascus are al-Qaeda-linked groups. To say that al-Qaeda is a “shadow of its former self.” is demonstrably wrong and misleading].
- “America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons … the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon” [ZOA: Worryingly, President Obama did not spell out what he would do if Iranians fail to “meet their obligations.” For his first year in office, President Obama prevented Congress passing any sanctions against Iran. He subsequently watered down Congressional sanctions, sought to delay their passage and, when they had passed, delayed implementing them. UN Security Council sanctions passed with U.S. advocacy contained many loopholes for countries like Russia and China, thereby minimizing their potential effectiveness. In short, President Obama gave no reason to think that the strategy of seeking to stop Iran by a combination of diplomatic effort and sanctions has been effective. He also outlined no new steps he would take in order to stop Iran].
- “In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month” [ZOA: President Obama says that the U.S. cannot dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt but in 2011, he did just that by insisting that the Mubarak government step aside “now” and that elections in this deeply repressive society be held immediately and that they involve “non-secular actors” – meaning the Muslim Brotherhood. This greatly assisted the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood, a viciously anti-Jewish, anti-American anti-Israel Islamist organization that promotes jihad and seeks to end the Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty. As mentioned earlier, the Obama Administration’s has helped the rise of political Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Not only has this not secured the rights of the peoples in question, but the region has become far more dangerous for the U.S. and its ally Israel].