They Live: Mattera's Obama Zombies reanimates old GOP falsehoods, smears

They Live: Mattera's Obama Zombies reanimates old GOP falsehoods, smears

››› ››› BRIAN FREDERICK

In his new book Obama Zombies, Jason Mattera uses selective editing to repeat conservative attacks on President Obama, smearing the president by claiming that "he fancies himself the 'apologizer in chief.' " Mattera also falsely claims that "[e]ight days after 9/11, Obama wrote an op-ed ... in which he argued that Americans needed to have compassion for those who had just slaughtered our brethren."

Mattera smears Obama: "[H]e fancies himself the 'apologizer in chief'"

Mattera: Obama's "moral equivocating" is "downright dangerous." In a chapter of Obama Zombies titled "The Peacenik Phantom," Mattera writes:

It's as if Obama wants to say to North Korea and Iran, "Now, fellas, I know you say you want to destroy Western civilization, but I think you're just misunderstood. I know you really don't mean what you say."

[...]

Obama seems not to care. After all, he fancies himself the "apologizer in chief." Such moral equivocating is insane and morally loathsome. Worse, it's downright dangerous. Buy why should this surprise us? If Obama Zombies would have taken their earbuds out of their ears long enough to actually research and listen to this man, they would have known just how radical he truly is. [p.69]

Mattera falsely claims Obama "argued that Americans needed to have compassion" for 9-11 perpetrators

Mattera: In op-ed, Obama "argued that Americans needed to have compassion for those who had just slaughtered our brethren." In Obama Zombies, Mattera writes:

Eight days after 9/11, Obama wrote an op-ed for Chicago's Hyde Park Herald in which he argued that Americans needed to have compassion for those who had just slaughtered our brethren:

The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

In fact, Obama writes that "we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction." In the editorial, Obama does not argue that Americans "needed to have compassion" for the 9-11 perpetrators, as the passage Mattera provides makes clear. Further, in comments omitted by Mattera, Obama states that "we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction."

From Obama's September 19, 2001 editorial, with the portion Mattera excerpted in bold:

Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction.

We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe -- children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.

Mattera uses selective editing to repeat tired Obama as apologizer-in-chief talking point

Mattera: "Obama apologized to the French for haughtiness!" In Obama Zombies, Mattera uses selective editing to misrepresent comments Obama made during an April 3, 2009 speech in Strasbourg, France.

Where do you think Obama delivered this whopper? "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." In Strasbourg, France, last April. Yes, yes: Obama apologized to the French for haughtiness! The French!

In fact, Mattera -- like Sean Hannity and other conservatives -- distorted Obama's comments. Immediately after making the comments highlighted by Mattera and others, Obama stated: "But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad."

From Obama's speech:

Such an effort is never easy. It's always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone, or to wait for the action of somebody else. It's more difficult to break down walls of division than to simply allow our differences to build and our resentments to fester. So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.

So I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies, but where our friends and allies bear their share of the burden. Together, we must forge common solutions to our common problems.

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