Bush was wrong, Obama doubly so.

The “Bush Did It” Defense of the Ground Zero Mosque Imam

By Andy McCarthy, NRO

It’s always rich when reliable Democratic Party organs like the Washington Post, which couldn’t bash the Bush administration often enough, defend Obama administration initiatives on the ground that “Bush did it too.” But, as evidenced by this item from Journolister Greg Sargent, that is the current defense of the administration’s otherwise indefensible deployment of sharia-touting Feisal Rauf on State Department business in the Middle East.

The sharia-indifferent Left has convinced itself that the Bush administration’s foolish forays into “Islamic outreach” somehow undermine current concerns about Rauf and the giant monument to Islam he wants to erect near the site where nearly 3000 Americans were killed by Islamist supremacists. On that score, GZ mosque proponents make much of the fact that Liz Cheney — Vice President Cheney’s daughter and a director at Keep America Safe — is a prominent opponent of the mosque.

It’s a specious argument. Bush administration “outreach” efforts and cultivation of all the wrong Islamic activists (i.e., the Islamists) were foolish — just as were the similar efforts by the Clinton administration and today’s more intense efforts by the Obama administration. There was no shortage of conservative critics saying so at the time — I started the second I left government in 2003 and never stopped. But the point is that I had to wait until I left government.

[..] Terror apologists and facilitators like Sami al-Arian and Abdurrahman Alamoudi — who have since been convicted on terrorism-related charges — had access to administration officials during the Clinton and Bush years. Islamists were sent on State Department junkets and recruited to indoctrinate our agents and our armed forces in Islamic sensitivity. The State Department became transparently pro-Palestinian and pro-sharia — even helping establish sharia’s centrality to the new constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Clinton and Bush administrations regarded Islamist regimes like Saudi Arabia and Yemen as “strong allies” of the U.S. Clinton and Bush sought the holy grail of a grand deal with Iran, all the time overlooking or rationalizing the mullahs’ killing of Americans. Our foreign policy in the Middle East was based on a theory that (a) Islamic countries are receptive to democracy and (b) democratizing them would somehow enhance our national security. None of this made much sense — a lot of it is downright dangerous — and there were plenty of people (especially inside the Bush administration) who were opposed to some or all of it. Others who may have supported some of it at the time have no doubt changed their minds as time goes on and the folly becomes more apparent. If people find themselves in a hole of their own making, they are not obliged to keep digging.

It is not the Obama administration’s doing that the State Department has a practice of using blame-America-first Islamists as its emissaries to Muslim countries. It is the Obama administration’s doing, however, that Feisal Rauf has been selected for a trip at a time when (a) he has triggered a divisive controversy that shows he does not speak for the vast majority of Americans, (b) his sharia promotion is now a matter of public record and attention, (c) his troubling ties to Muslim Brotherhood groups and an organization that financed “Peace Flotilla” terrorists have emerged, and (d) he is trying, for his own self-aggrandizing purposes, to raise tens of millions of dollars from the countries to which State is sending him.

Everyone ought to be opposed to that, regardless of what administrations they may have worked for and what positions those administrations may have taken. Stupid policy should always be opposed by people who are outside government and in a position to oppose it publicly.

August 14, 2010 | Comments »

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