January 14, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 2751

Syrian Liberal: Obama's 'Soft' Approach is Encouraging Terrorism

January 14, 2010
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 2751

Following the failed attempt by Nigerian student and Al-Qaeda member 'Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab to blow himself up aboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009, Syrian liberal Adib Taleb wrote an article in the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal in which he pointed an accusatory finger at U.S. President Barack Obama, saying that his softness on terrorism implies weakness, and that this is not an appropriate response to the problem.

The following are excerpts from the article. [1]

"Obama's Approach Prettifies More than Necessary"

"The name of the Nigerian terrorist 'Umar Farouq [Abdulmutallab] is a disgrace to the [Arabic] language and to [Muslim] history. The second caliph 'Umar bin Al-Khattab was known as 'Umar Al-Farouq... He was called Al-Farouq because he discerned between truth and lies, between justice and evil. ['Umar] bin Al-Khattab introduced humanity to the sanctity of freedom and faith, of justice and the principles of justice, while the terrorist 'Umar Farouq offered death, evil, and tyranny...

"During his holiday vacation in Honolulu, U.S. President Barack Obama [said] of ['Abdulmutallab]...: 'We know that he was on his way from Yemen, a land suffering from great poverty and from rebel movements with blood on their hands.' He added, 'It seems that there he joined a branch of Al-Qaeda, and that this organization in the Arabian Peninsula trained him, equipped him with this explosive, and planned the attack on this airliner that was en route to the U.S.' [Obama] announced that the U.S. was at war with 'a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.'

"This last phrase of President Obama invites the following question: Why does the American president dislike Bush's term 'war on terror' and prefer the term 'war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred?' If the terrorists are happy and eager to 'inspire fear in their enemies and in the enemies of Allah,' as they say, and see this as a ticket to Paradise, and if they would kill two-thirds of innocent humanity for the sake of correcting the [remaining] third, then what is the purpose of Obama's rhetorical prettification? I do not know, but I wish I did. I am more and more inclined to say that Obama's approach prettifies more than necessary, hints at a certain weakness, and encourages the enemy to more boldness than is appropriate.

"British PM Gordon Brown said: 'Al-Qaeda and its followers labor tirelessly to evoke, in thousands of young people across the world, an unrestrained desire to kill and an impulse to destroy. This means that this new decade begins as the previous one ended – in an atmosphere of fear sown by Al-Qaeda.' The language used by Mr. Brown is closer to Bush's style than to Obama's 'soft' style.

"The classic definition of terrorism, recognized in 1996 during the term of President Clinton, states: 'The term terrorism means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.' Why does the Democrat Obama back away from the definition recognized by his fellow Democrat, Clinton? Is it possible that 'Umar Al-Farouq's terrorist act does not meet the abovementioned definition?"

"There Is No Choice but to Acknowledge the Failure of the Nonviolent Security Efforts Taken by the U.S"

"Perhaps security efforts, such as American airplanes bombing Al-Qaeda bases across Yemen, are not sufficient to deal with terror. And perhaps there is no choice but to eliminate the culture [of terror by] changing the methods of education and drying up the sources [of terror]... [But] what is certain is that all these things are of no interest at all to the Americans...

"There is no choice but to acknowledge the failure of the nonviolent security efforts taken by the U.S.; likewise, there is no choice but to [recognize that] Obama's soft [approach] has helped this failure, [which was a result of] the generally lax atmosphere that he spreads all around him. Otherwise, why did they fail to heed the warning of the Nigerian [terrorist's] wealthy and prominent father? And why didn't the American authorities [simply] refuse to renew his visa, as Britain did?...

"The terrorist 'Umar Al-Farouq is neither 'Umar nor Farouq. He is a murderer whose aim is the mass destruction of innocent people in this wide world. The preachers who praise this should [instead] be condemning this false 'Umar Al-Farouq, vehemently and publicly."


[1] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), January 5, 2010.

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