Physiqueflex saidIt's been very interesting to watch the reactions to this speech, which have been getting coverage for at least three news cycles now. More if you count the weekend.
What's very interesting is how the only coverage that has misrepresented the presidents remarks have been from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Drudge. There have been varying reactions and conclusions throughout the media, but only that group is misrepresenting the facts. They are also saying exactly the same thing:
~ That Obama is apologizing for Islam and trying to shift blame from ISIS to Christians.
~ That Obama is trying to minimize the threat.
Anyone who has heard the speech or read the transcript and can read at a high school level couldn't possibly come to those conclusions, yet that is what has been coming from the right wing extremists in the media. So what's really going on? Why is there such a concerted effort to rile people up with a false narrative?
I think what is happening is that the oligarch's on the right want to escalate things, and instead of waging war in only one or two countries, it's going to be spread across the Middle East and into Africa. It will be a HUGE boom for the Military-Industrial Complex, pun intended. By not calling the terrorists "Muslim", Obama is dissing them, and by calling them "criminals" and "murderers", he's putting them in their place.
To call violent extremists Muslim helps to give them religious legitimacy, which only serves their purpose, not ours. So why would the right wing media want to help ISIS? I can't think of any other reason than to escalate the conflict.
I can read and think well above the high school level and is clear to me that Obama went beyond just presenting historical facts with his "high horse" comment. I think your representation of Fox is incorrect about Obama apologizing for Islam, etc, based on what I heard. Did you find it interesting that Obama said some killed in the name of Christianity and others killed in the name of religion, but would not mention Islam as he did Christianity.
As far as minimizing the threat, I did not see that in his prayer breakfast remarks, but his so-called Natl Security Advisor Rice said as much. She followed the Obama straw man approach saying it was not an existential threat to our existence. That had not been generally asserted before so she presented that as an alternative to not be an alarmist, as if there is not a happy medium.
Many including the former DIA head of several years, a non-political person, has stated there is no strategy from this administration against Islamic fundamental terrorism. http://nypost.com/2015/02/08/ex-dia-director-says-obamas-isis-strategy-is-confusion/
In other words - be patient people because we are confused and have no strategy. We should all be concerned about that instead of sticking up for Obama.
I don't think the president was merely giving historical context. "Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
The "we" was the inclusive "we". Obama was pointing to himself when he said this. The meaning was that we should not judge all of Islam for those committing horrible crimes in the name of Allah. We didn't do that to Christians, so it's only fair, and right, to not do that now.
Especially when there is no way we can defeat these violent extremists who have bastardized one of the world's great religions, without the support of the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are just as horrified by these groups.
To consider it "appeasement" or "blaming Christianity" as I've heard from the right wing media, is simply Obama bashing and doing us more harm than good. That someone who is no longer in the administration is "confused" about the president's strategy means nothing to me. I don't think anyone should know what that strategy is, completely. Still, what I see is by not taking the George W Bush approach to these thugs, we are getting more grass roots support for their defeat, and this is visible in the response by Jordan to the murder of their pilot. Their actions carry a lot more weight and carry it a lot farther than anything we could have done. I think dropping "Islam" from the rhetoric is a good idea. Winning the information war is part of the strategy too.