Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.
When it comes to Iraq, Obama lectures the Sunnis and the Shiites on getting along and forming a government that won’t exist for the sole benefit of a single group at the expense of the other.
But in America he runs exactly that type of government.
Iraqis are not stupid. They look at the news and they see Ferguson and Al Sharpton screaming at angry mobs and know that Obama is not practicing what he preaches to them. Obama may have forced out Maliki, but his own tribal politics are hard to distinguish from those of Maliki.
Obama rules not by inspiring people, but, like Maliki and ISIS, he divides and conquers, setting people against each other. Obama’s America is as spitefully tribal as Maliki’s Iraq. Its bosses, like Eric Holder, hold a divisive worldview that excludes much of the country.
Al Sharpton, Obama’s close political ally, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his mentor, are familiar types in Iraq. You can find a thousand Jeremiah Wrights on any given Friday screaming about killing the Shiites or the Sunnis. You can find a million Al Sharptons community organizing local hatreds until they explode.
The Sharptons and Wrights of Iraq have guns because the machinery of law and order there has collapsed even more comprehensively than it has in Detroit. In a country divided by ethnic and sectarian politics, a multicultural military and police are incapable of enforcing the law and uninterested in standing up to violence from their own people.
Those are the ugly tribal politics that Obama has brought to America. Instead of repairing the economy, he focused on wealth redistribution. Instead of bringing Americans together as one nation, he calculatedly tore them apart around manufactured crises of race, gender, class and religion. He pitted blacks against whites, liberal Protestants against Catholics, the poor against the middle class and the cities against the suburbs.
Instead of reaching out to white Americans after they thoroughly rejected him in the 2012 election, he instead decided that divisive and racist politics were the key to staying in power.
In 2012, Obama decisively lost white voters 59% to 39%. He lost white voters of every sex and age. He lost white voters in almost every state. In the three states where he won them, it was only by the narrowest of margins.
And he only tied Romney among white voters in New York with a 49% to 49% split.
Obama lost white men. He lost white women. He lost young white voters. He lost middle aged and old white voters. He lost white Protestants and he lost white Catholics.
That did not happen because the white voters of 2008 who came out for him in New York 52% to 46% or the young white voters who came out for him 54% to 44% (only to turn him down 44% to 51% in 2012) developed a sudden belated case of racism.
It was Obama’s governing style that developed a sudden belated case of racism.
Obama promised us a united America and gave us a divided America. He has shown that he is a slicker and more polished version of Al Sharpton.
After coming to prominence with a vision of “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America” he shrugged off helping Americans as a whole and instead championed narrow tribal interests.
Maliki wasn’t the Prime Minister of Iraq. He was the Prime Minister of a Shiite Iraq. Obama isn’t the President of the United States. He’s trying to be the President of Black America, Gay America, Latino America, Asian America, Transgender America and a thousand other micro Americas.
At no point in time has he been the President of the United States of America.
His antics in Ferguson, as in Florida, show a governing style that is purely tribal. It’s Iraqi, not American. He doesn’t bring people together, he tears them apart. He plays on racial crises to make minorities feel vulnerable and insecure while his emissaries denounce the majority.
To the left, this politics of acrimony is passed off as being more legitimate than the Sunni and Shiite tail-chewing in Iraq because one race is guiltier than the other. It’s not. It’s equally vile and equally cynical. And while there is no ISIS rampaging around America (though Muslim violence continues to flare up regularly with brutal killings) the miasma of hatred has consequences.
The victims of the Knockout games and the stores looted and burned in Ferguson are a consequence of Obama’s tribal style of leadership. On the other side of the rusty coin are the people stocking up on weapons and preparing for a national collapse.
All that doesn’t add up to Iraq, but it’s not as far away from it as we would like to think.
America has been weakened by being divided. Divided nations are too busy fighting among themselves to put up a strong defense. Obama’s governing style isn’t just inept, it makes America seem weak.
Obama’s America is as intimidating to ISIS as Maliki’s Iraq was. A country at war with itself frightens no one. There’s nothing to spare for Putin or Al Qaeda except more token gestures.
And we’re almost out of those.
Democrats accused Bush of wrecking Iraq. Now they have turned America into another Iraq; a tribal society that is growing poorer every day while the tribes bicker over preferential treatment from the government. Americans are losing hope in the future as the left promises them that these conflicts will continue indefinitely because its social justice tribal grievances matter more than national unity.
Iraq fell before ISIS because despite its heavy armor, its air power and military, it lacked national unity. As we move through a century of Islamic wars, we must take a lesson from the Iraqis. If we cannot unite as Americans, then we will be scattered as separate tribes, arguing to the last about precedence and privileges, like the Iraqi parliament, while the enemy destroys everything.
The “Iraqization” of America would transform us into a warren of quarreling slums protected by rival gangs who feel that they have as little in common as the Sunnis and Shiites of Iraq.
America’s strength was rooted in a republicanism that transcended tribal politics.
Freedom was America’s promise. Our equality was not based on tribal privileges, as the left insists it was and as it demands that it should be, but on the open equality of freedom. Obama is turning it into a subsidized commodity dispensed by a central authority on a tribal basis.
That is not America. That is Egypt. That is Saudi Arabia. That is Iraq.
While Obama urges Iraqi politicians to work together, he is leading America down the same ugly path. It’s too late for the Iraqis to change, but it’s not too late for us to learn from their example.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.