The Historically-Challenged President
By: Bruce S. Thornton
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, June 18, 2009
Barack Obama, as Victor Hanson recently documented, may be our most historically challenged president ever. Some might think that the inaccuracies Hanson identifies are no big deal, but there are several reasons to be troubled by such ignorance.
First there’s the double standard of a mainstream media that for eight years scorned George Bush as a syntactically challenged ignoramus, and now gush over a president touted as an eloquent intellectual. Of course, the media have to ignore the fact that Obama’s eloquence is dependent on the teleprompter, or that he refuses to publicize his college transcripts, not to mention the numerous errors of fact evident both in his campaign and presidential speeches. Their assertions of his brilliance, despite gaffes such as those on display in Cairo, are like their assertions of Bush’s stupidity: wish-fulfilling myths serving partisan ends.
But more important is the danger to our foreign policy that such an ignorance of history represents. Particularly in our fight against radical Islam, history supposedly provides the basis of Muslim grievances against the West, especially the United States. Colonial occupation, imperialist aggression, the Western imposition of Israel on the “Palestinian homeland” in order to atone for the Holocaust––these sins of the West against the House of Islam are constantly put forth as rationalizations and justifications for violence against Western interests.