Monday, May 24, 2010

A Tribute to Danny Pearl?

The president signed the, “Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act,” and you’d be hard pressed from the chief executive’s words-or from the following AP story, to determine just why the legislation might be significant: “President Barack Obama has signed a law intended to provide more protections for a free press around the world. The law, the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act, expands efforts to identify countries where press freedom is being violated. The law is named after Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded by militants in Pakistan in 2002. The law expands an annual report on human rights practices to include information about media treatment, and identify countries where the media is being repressed. Obama said the law would be a signal to governments around the world that their actions, including treatment of the media, are being watched.”

What, no stirring quote from the silver tongued Obama? Well, actually the president did say a few words, but the tribute was so lame that the AP felt the need to cover for him by excluding the less than stirring statement. Mark Steyn gets the essence of this: “Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is."

So now we need to put the Daniel Pearl story into an episode of, “Lost.” Can Obama get mealier mouth about this gruesome event, one that symbolizes a great deal more than a tribute to the legacy of Peter Zenger? Steyn again: “First of all, note the passivity: "The loss of Daniel Pearl." He wasn't "lost." He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his "loss" merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none.”

Daniel Pearl was singled out, first as an American and second as a Jew-and the reason he was targeted is precisely why we are fighting over in Afghanistan and why all of the terror tourists are checking out the NYC subway system and Times Square. But, just as AG Holder can’t get himself attuned enough to accurately label the Times Square bomber, so the president downplays and circumlocutes.

And instead of real eloquence, we get this: “But what did the "loss" of Daniel Pearl mean? Well, says the president, it was "one of those moments that captured the world's imagination." Really? Evidently it never captured Obama's imagination because, if it had, he could never have uttered anything so fatuous. He seems literally unable to imagine Pearl's fate, and so, cruising on autopilot, he reaches for the all-purpose bromides of therapeutic sedation: "one of those moments" – you know, like Princess Di's wedding, Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, whatever – "that captured the world's imagination."

And, as Rich Richman adds: "Pearl was beheaded by the architect of 9/11, on video, immediately after he pronounced himself an American Jew. No one watching it was reminded of how valuable a free press is; nor did it capture anyone’s imagination, other than that of the jihadists who downloaded it to congratulate themselves, re-energize their efforts, and recruit others. It came five months after jihadists flew two aircraft into the World Trade Center, murdering 3,000 people, and two months before a jihadist murdered another 30 people (the demographic equivalent of 1,350 people in a country the size of Israel) during a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya. These were not moments reminding us of the importance of tall buildings and nice hotels."

All the president’s men-and women-are circumlocuters; and fearful of offending the offenders at the same time. They’re worried about how we will be perceived in the Arab capitals of the world. In the process of blatant obfuscation, the danger to us all metastasizes; and we are slowly dragged into the coming dhimmini world of South Park censorship.