The Big Story these days isn’t snow in Boston. It isn’t Russian-Ukraine fighting. It isn’t Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supposed ‘disrespect’ of US President Barack Obama.
The Big Story today is how the current US Administration lies.
Yes, we all know that politicians lie. Some lie all the time. It’s part of the fun of being in politics. It’s part of the fun watching politicians on TV.
But the lies politicians tell are usually not entirely lies. They’re more like half-lies—or, more accurately, half-truths.
This Administration doesn’t do that. It doesn’t play with half-truths. It plays with lies.
At least, that’s the way it’s beginning to look.
Since the beginning of the Jewish month of Adar (Friday, February 20, 2015), the words, ‘lie’ and ‘this Administration’ have begun to appear online at an alarming rate.
Adar is the month Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim. Purim reminds us that powerful anti-Semites have a nasty habit: they hate Jews--and they’re often ready to act on that hate.
Purim is also about Persia—Iran. It’s about a high-ranking Persian (Haman) who hatches a plan to kill Jews.
According to recent news reports, history repeats itself. Today, high-ranking Iranians tell the world it’s ready to destroy the Jewish state (“Iran: Time to Destroy Israel”, Israel Today, November 9, 2014).
Iran (Persia), like Haman in the Purim story, has a plan (“Iran supreme leader touts 9-point plan to destroy Israel”, Times of Israel, November 10, 2014). These same leaders want an atomic bomb. Many believe Iran wants that weapon to help with its evil plan for Israel.
This year, Adar brings us a final attempt to stop Iran from getting that weapon. But the attempt doesn’t seem to be going anywhere: Iran has still not provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “any explanations” that could enable the Agency to clarify exactly what are Iran’s nuclear intentions (“Iran delays UN nuclear inquiry as deadline approaches”, Al Jazeera, February 19, 2015).
The deadline looms. But there’s no progress (“Kerry, Zarif to meet for nuclear talks as deadline looms”, The Daily Mail, February 22, 2015).
Iran could be a big story this Adar. But the one story that could dwarf Iran could be the ongoing saga of lies by the White House.
For example, at last week’s White House summit on “countering violent extremism’, President Obama apparently told a lie. He is reported to have declared, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding” (Kimberlee Kaye, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” Legal Insurrection, February 21, 2015). Ms Kaye suggests that is patently false. Others (below) join her in that assessment.
Mark Steyn has written about another Obama lie: “IS (The Islamic State) is not true Islam” (“O Beautiful, For Specious Guys...”, Steyn on America, February 20, 2015). Steyn argues that such a declaration is absolutely false (ibid).
According to The New York Post, even the Administration’s use of the phrase ‘violent extremism’ feels like a lie (Amir Taheri, “Obama’s elementary errors on Islam”, February 20, 2015). As the Post puts it, “’Violent extremism’ is misleading, to say the least….The generic term obscures the fact that we face a specific form of terrorism rooted, nurtured and waged in the name of Islam” (ibid).
Actually, The Post reported a better lie than ‘violent extremism’. It reported that Obama has said that ISIL lies when it says its followers are holy warriors who defend Islam (ibid). As The Post said, “In fact, these terrorists now call their outfit the Islamic State, or IS, under a caliph” (ibid); and if that’s how the IS describes itself, no outside authority has the legitimacy “to challenge their claim” (ibid).
On the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, Roger Kimball wrote,
“First of all, Islam has not ‘been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,’ as Obama said yesterday in his speech about combatting terrorism. Indeed, like most of his public pronouncements, the speech was a Lillian Hellman performance as described by Mary McCarthy: every word including “and” and “but” was a lie” (“None Dare Call It ‘Islam’”, Front Page Mag, February 19, 2015).
Then there’s the matter of the US withholding information about the Iran talks from Israel. Last week—before Adar began—Israel news reported that, as a ‘punishment’ of Netanyahu (for accepting an invite to talk to Congress)—the US had stopped sharing Iran talks with Israel (“Gil Ronen, “Report: US 'Punishing' Israel by Not Updating it on Iran Talks”, Arutz Sheva). Immediately, the US denied the report (Adam Kredo, “U.S., Israeli Officials Deny U.S. Has Cut Israel Out of Iran Talks”, Washington Free Beacon, February 15, 2015).
Now, in Adar, we learn that the US denial was a lie (Ari Lieberman “Obama Withholds Iran Negotiation Info from Israel”, Front Page Mag, February 20, 2015). Okay, to be fair here, Lieberman didn’t use the word, ‘lie’. He wrote that the US denial was ‘duplicitous’. But isn’t ‘duplicitous’ just a nice way of saying, ‘liar’?
Adar is a month where we see how evil anti-Semites can be (recall the ‘wicked’ Haman of the Purim story). Will Adar be a month where an American Administration turns out to be the ideological descendant of the evil Haman?