Way to Go, Obama
American citizens residing abroad or visiting foreign countries periodically receive warnings from the State Department about areas we should avoid. Those of us living in Israel are used to being urged to stay away from neighborhoods prone to Palestinian-Arab violence targeting “infidel” Jews and other “undesirables” going about their daily lives.
Of course, the cautionary emails are not worded that specifically. But everyone knows what they mean.
In mid-October, for example — after stabbing attacks against Israelis had become a daily occurrence — the US Consulate in Jerusalem advised Americans “to exercise heightened security awareness in east and west Jerusalem, the Old City and the West Bank due to an increase in political violence and unrest that has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. … We remind you to be aware of your surroundings at all times, monitor the media, avoid demonstrations and other crowds as events can turn violent without warning, and follow directions of police and other emergency responders.”
The message is clear: Since there is nothing we can do to protect you from this angry onslaught that Israel brought on itself by not withdrawing to the 1967 borders and establishing a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, take care of yourselves.
Well, on Monday, the administration in Washington expanded the scope of its alert. In a much longer, more detailed “travel alert,” the State Department told Americans abroad that they were not safe anywhere “due to increased terrorist threats.”
Here is how the government that once was considered a force to be reckoned with told holders of its formerly coveted passport why they should be frightened:
Current information suggests that [Islamic State], al-Qaida, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and nonconventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of [Islamic State] return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali. [Islamic State] has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.
U.S. citizens should: Follow the instructions of local authorities; monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities; be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions; stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency; register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
As if this weren’t sad enough, the memo ends by reassuring Americans: “Foreign governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions. Authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots. We continue to work closely with our allies on the threat from international terrorism. Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.”
How comforting to know that the Obama administration has our backs by “sharing information” to “disrupt terrorist plotting” to “strengthen our defenses.”
Since Barack Obama was elected president seven years ago, the United States has been declining, steadily but surely. Those of us dual citizens who no longer live there are less affected by the deteriorating health, education and welfare suffered by the people who do. But we in Israel and the rest of the West certainly feel the consequences of having a US president whose intention from the get-go was to abdicate to Third World despots. The direct beneficiaries of this policy have been Islamist barbarians who are wreaking havoc everywhere with no end in sight to the mass murder they continue to commit.
It is doubtful that Obama expected his kowtowing to radical Muslims, while abandoning peaceful ones, would lead to a global war that requires both brains and serious brawn to defeat. Like the French — who were shocked on November 13 to discover that their concern over drinking the right wine in the proper glass had not protected them from the evil taking root right under their noses — Obama believed that destroying America from within would make him more powerful, not less.
He is Yertle the Turtle on steroids, crashing into the pond, with his head inside his shell, ripe for the picking by the enemy.
A very different sort of Democrat, Harry S. Truman, who took office at the end of World War II, said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
Decades later, a cowering America is dispatching memos abroad to instruct citizens to take cover. Way to go, Obama.
Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner (algemeiner.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.