Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday, President Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, and Commentary's Jennifer Rubin is upset because of what the president didn't say:

Obama Won't Say Who Killed Daniel Pearl

...Obama had this to say:

All around the world there are enormously courageous journalists and bloggers who, at great risk to themselves, are trying to shine a light on the critical issues that the people of their country face; who are the frontlines against tyranny and oppression. And 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, and it reminded us that there are those who would go to any length in order to silence journalists around the world.

If you didn't know already, you'd never figure out that he was talking about the Islamic fundamentalists who butchered Pearl....

Or, as Jim Holt of Gateway Pundit put it,

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions Blog pointed out that Barack Obama forgot to mention that Daniel Pearl was murdered by Islamic extremists.

Except that I can't find any record that President Bush ever said that Daniel Pearl was murdered by "Islamic extremists" (or "radical Islam" or whatever phrase Rubin and Holt would prefer). In referring to Pearl, Bush was more inclined than Obama is to talk about "terror" and "terrorism," and to stress that Pearl was killed for being Jewish -- but he seems to have carefully avoided using any form of the word "Muslim" or "Islam" (or even "jihad").

Here was Bush's statement when news of Pearl's death broke:

Laura and I, and the American people, are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Daniel Pearl's life. And we're really sad for his wife and his parents, and his friends and colleagues, who have been clinging to hope for weeks that he be found alive. We are especially sad for his unborn child, who will now know his father only through the memory of others.

All Americans are sad and angry to learn of the murder. All around the world, American journalists and humanitarian aid workers and diplomats and others do important work in places that are sometimes dangerous. Those who would threaten Americans, those who would engage in criminal, barbaric acts, need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause and only deepen the resolve of the United States of America to rid to world of these agents of terror.

May God bless Daniel Pearl.

No "Islam" or "Muslim" -- the killers are merely "agents of terror." Appalling! Why, they could be agents of any kind of terror, for all we know! Why wasn't Bush more specific? Was it political correctness? (Sorry, I'm just holding him to the same standard that the right uses for the current administration.)

Later, in 2007, the Bushes hosted a Hanukkah reception at the White House at which a menorah belonging to Daniel Pearl's great-grandfather was lit. At that reception Bush said:

While reporting in Pakistan in 2002, Daniel was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. His only crime was being a Jewish American -- something Daniel Pearl would never deny. In his final moments, Daniel told his captors about a street in Israel named for his great-grandfather. He looked into their camera and he said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, and I'm Jewish." These words have become a source of inspiration for Americans of all faiths. They show the courage of a man who refused to bow before terror -- and the strength of a spirit that could not be broken.

A strong statement -- but why wouldn't Bush identify the killers as Islamic? Hunh? Hunh?

There was also this in 2007:

The Daniel Pearl Foundation today announced that it has received a Presidential Message from President George Bush extending his appreciation to "all those involved in Daniel Pearl World Music days for promoting the values of tolerance, understanding, and respect." His words of appreciation were expressed in a Presidential Message sent to Judea and Ruth Pearl, Danny Pearl's parents. In his Message the President added that "[S]ince its establishment in 2002, this event has been an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of Daniel Pearl, a man dedicated to the search for truth. These concerts are a forum for individuals around the world to come together and celebrate the diverse traditions and unifying power of music."

Wow! Not a word about radical Islam?

Look, this is just a ridiculous phallus-measuring contest. But if we're going to engage in it, let's use the same measuring standard across the board.

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