An Open Letter to President Obama: Is the World Really Less Violent?

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Dear Mr. President,

Can you please tell me which world you were referring to, when, just the other day, you declared to Tumblr users (I am assuming that Tumblr is not a drug) that the world "is less violent than it has ever been."

I find it very confusing, because on the one hand you claim you learned about the IRS scandal and the Veteran's Affairs wait-list scandal from the media, and on the other hand, it appears you don't even pay attention to the world news.

Not only is the world not the safest it has ever been, it is the most dangerous it has ever been! And much of the downfall has taken place with your White House in deeper denial than the former Information Minister of Iraq—aka Baghdad Bob! (Remember him? "There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" Well, you are starting to sound like him.) While you and John Kerry claim, "Peace and safety!" the world is falling into chaos.

Cairo Speech

It was just over five years ago, a freshly inaugurated Barack Obama confidently marched into Egypt to give your "A New Beginning" speech to the Muslim world. You should have called it the "I'm Not Bush" speech, because we all know that was its real purpose. That day you boldly proposed "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

How's that working?

Not even the fact that you gave your very first post-inaugural interview to the Arab cable network, Al Arabia, (instead of NBC, ABC or CBS) won you any lasting good will in the Muslim world.

I don't believe the silly rumors that you are a secret Muslim. You are a humanist. And you were convinced that your human powers of charm and persuasion would cause the Arab world to lay down their weapons. Surely once they see that America is not all "cowboys clinging to their guns and religion." But you see, Mr. President, it takes two to tango, and I don't think Muslims are allowed to dance.

Nobel Peace, Yet No Peace

For all your rhetoric you were richly rewarded, as if you actually changed something on the ground, but your reward did not come from the Arab countries seeking peace and repudiating radicalism. Instead, the Nobel Peace Prize folks crowned you the Prince of Peace 2009, and gave you a million dollars. How does their press release from 2009 sound now?

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. ... Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. ... Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

My goodness, it's like they were declaring you Messiah! Sounds pretty funny now, right? If only al-Qaida had as much faith in you as the Norwegians did.

Let's just take a look at what has happened in "Obama's World" since you were awarded for your "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy."

  • There was an attack by al-Qaida on Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left an ambassador, a staffer and two Navy Seals dead—two Seals who were protecting U.S. diplomats, while they awaited help that never came. It was followed by, what many see, as a cover-up by your administration. You, Jay Carney and, who can forget, Sunday Morning Susan (Rice), emphatically and repeatedly declared—even after all the evidence was pointing to a coordinated terror attack—that it was merely a spontaneous uprising because of an anti-Islam YouTube video. (As if people getting so angry over a video that they kill Americans is so much better than terror.)
  • Civil war has erupted in Syria, resulting in more than 150,000 deaths of innocent noncombatants, creating a refugee crisis of nearly 10 million people. Even chemical weapons have been used to kill innocent children.
  • Egypt, the Middle East's largest country, went through a revolution that propelled the terror group Muslim Brotherhood into power. While they systematically persecuted their own people, trampling their democratic freedoms, your administration stood by them because they were "democratically elected." When the military responded to the pleas of the people, your team stood with the Hamas-aligned Brotherhood.
  • Also in Egypt, we continue to see the systemic persecution of Christians by Islamic groups. Read this harrowing account of the murdering a young Christian woman by an angry horde of Muslims.
  • Meanwhile in Iran, human rights are denied to citizens, and Christians are persecuted. Iran continues to make advances in their efforts to build a nuclear bomb, while John Kerry makes deals with the devil and declares triumph.
  • Mass shootings in America are becoming a regular occurrence. I remember when a mass shooting was shocking. Now it is just news.
  • In Nigeria, nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped and could be sold as child brides. (Yes, in the "least violent time in world history," little girls are forced to marry older perverts.) The Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has continued to attack Christians in Nigeria, killing over 12,000 people.
  • Putin, thumbing his nose at you and the West, marched into Crimea and took sovereign Ukrainian territory by force. In a city where my family and I lived for a year, Odessa, 42 people were killed on May 4. Putin's actions are reminiscent of the Cold War and many analysts (not in your White House, of course) are convinced he wants to return Russia to her former glory—by force.
  • And this week, even as you proclaimed with the tumblrites, with your head fully entrenched in sand, that the world was the safest it has ever been, an al-Qaida-affiliated group known as The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, (ISIS) is taking over Iraq one city at time. This group is so violent, that even al-Qaida considers them radical! You were so eager to be the anti-Bush and get our troops out of Iraq, that you left the nation vulnerable. Whether for or against the Iraq war, one thing is now clear: it was for naught. Reports of Iraqi policemen laying down their arms and deserting are a clear sign we had not finished the job. Today we see thousands of Iraqi soldiers have been executed by fellow Muslims. How in the world did your intelligence agencies not see this coming?

I could go on and talk about North Korea, Cuba, the three teens kidnapped by Hamas this week in Israel, and the spread of Islamic nationalism in Africa, but I know you are enjoying your vacation and don't want to bring you too close to the depressing reality, lest it affect your golf game.

My focus is on ministry. I write about faith. But every now and then, something happens in which I feel compelled to use this platform to speak out.

Your administration sought to befriend the Muslim world. It earned you a million bucks and a trophy, but resulted in zero change on the ground. In fact, the world is in its most perilous moment in history. Never has there been so many radicals on earth with weapons of this magnitude. Yes, quite the opposite of your utopian view.

With the handing over of five terrorists for a deserter at best, and a traitor at worst (without any counsel from Congress or the intelligence community), you have set the stage for American travelers—innocent men, women and children—to be kidnapped and held for ransom by the most vicious, evil people on earth. Two weeks after you released these killers, an American (and two Israelis) have been kidnapped by Hamas. While they may have been wanting to kidnap Israelis for some time, I can imagine that there were encouraged by your reckless, autonomous behavior.

No, Mr. President. You are dead wrong. The world is not the least violent it has ever been—it is the most violent. It is powder keg ready to explode—and this is your foreign affairs legacy.

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah's Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book is Identity Theft. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

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