Op-Ed: How Giuliani's statements about Obama make us less safe

Posted Feb 20, 2015 by Carol Forsloff
Rudolph Giulani, of 9/11 fame, offered us a profile in courage on that fateful day when the World Trade Towers was bombed, even as today his behaviors make us less safe in an insecure world.
Rudy Giuliani began ripping into President Barack Obama while speaking at major campaign event for M...
Rudy Giuliani began ripping into President Barack Obama while speaking at major campaign event for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in Ohio (Nov. 2, 2012).
Screenshot via CNN video
When Giulani rallied New York City and the rest of the nation in support of a war against terror, citizens of many countries, along with those of the United States, stood up and joined him in protesting against the kind of wanton, terrible act that killed thousands of people in the bombing of the famous landmarks of one of America's greatest cities, the World Trade Towers. And now in 2015, when war has expanded across much of the Middle East, and overt acts of terrorism have moved to the streets of cities in many parts of the world, Giulani's present behavior increases the potential for more terror with his present words and behaviors.
Before a conservative crowd of Republicans Giuliani said on February 18, 2015, “I do not believe that the President loves America. President Obama doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
The following day Republican hopefuls like Governor Bobby Jindal agreed with Giuliani's remarks, as many people did on social media. Many people, however, were silent. Some were silent because they are tired of political argument. Some were silent because they do not want to be seen as different, unpopular or out of touch with mainstream thought, that more and more is expressed by the media as right and right wing as well. For every negative statement offered at any time by anyone who does not like Obama for whatever reason is made front page news, while the good is virtually interred in the back pages just before the funeral notices that people never read, with the bones to be dug up by history later.
As the United States becomes increasingly diverse with the influx of immigrants, the birth rate that increases the population of disadvantaged and minorities, and as Europe and other countries with large Muslim minority populations face pressure from that group, the new world this has created means likelihood of backlash and prejudice has increased. This is fueled surely by ISIS cruelties shown on television's evening news. The youth hear parents rail against authority, the government not doing enough and the local city council called a mess most of the time. And they hear their President called un-American, a foreign interloper whose intention is to help ISIS, or the Communists, take over the United States, while no one bothers to ask which one he aids the most. The message is, however, from even before Obama took office that he is not one of us and does not deserve to be President. Then the parents take their children to church and sing of peace on earth.
Imagine now you are a 16-year-old Muslim fellow somewhere in the Midwest, surrounded by the news where people are shown saying, “They don't belong in this country,” referring to the ordinary Muslim believer who may have lived in the United States all of his/her life. What might you want to do?
Or imagine you are a 16-year-old African American teen somewhere in Tennessee who sees mostly white police groups chasing down and killing unarmed people of color. The protests follow, then fade away; and it seems no one now cares. What might you think of that?
Or consider the parents of Sandy Hook children who hear gun owners say that the killing of their children never happened or happened not because of the proliferation of guns at all, so Congress never passes serious gun safety regulation. You may wonder whether there is any love for you or understanding of the pain you felt that fateful day you heard your child was killed.
In each case President Obama made a plea for understanding and solutions that spoke of love for those who felt left out. He spoke from his position as the nation's President, who holds the moral authority to do what is right, not just what is popular. And he speaks with knowledge of international affairs those who attack him often don't know. For if they did, the number of secret service folks assigned to all the people who want to know the intimate security details would be very great and never be enough.
The words the President uses must be balanced in their effect, not just on those who hear him randomly on the evening news, so he does not risk recruitment by allowing the “Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran” words of John McCain or from others like Mike Huckabee who declared that Muslims call Christians infidels, when according to Muhammad's teachings they are "people of the book." Those are the words that might incite more violence after all.
President Obama sees, as we do, an African American man held down by police, unable to breathe, while white policemen never listen to his cries, who dies and leaves a grieving family to wonder once again why a crime of selling cigarettes illegally on the street is so heinous tht a loved one has to die so tragically. The parent goes to Congress, testifies about gun safety, then finds his hopes for making schools just a little safer rebuffed with messages of simply buy more guns. And the President consoles the parent by his agreement and support of legislation that offers at least the minimum gun controls.
Yet who listens and who reads with full attention and rebuttal to those facts of the President looking to the helpless, the hopeless, the disadvantaged, and the risks from ignoring them that comes when terror strikes? For terrorists find their willing partners in the ranks of those who feel no matter what injustice comes, their hopes, their words, their feelings never understood. Giuliani's words ignite those feelings from those who hurt the most and who can look to his hateful words as reasons for wanting to lash out, even as they may not heed Obama's words for calm afterward because the din of those hateful noises often drowns him out.
Those hateful noises, the kind that Rudolph Giuliani makes as he joins the ranks of those who don't think Obama is a loyal American or even call him a traitor, can increase the anger of those who read the bits and bites of media and echo those as opposed to simply addressing the issues of the day in ways that allow planning, understanding and the will to take the right action in a united way. And the angry words include Christians who forget perhaps what love is all about.
While Christians rail the President does not love them, perhaps this might help such people understand he does, from being a Christian as well, from the words of Jesus himself, found in Matthew 25:40 , “And the King shall answer and say unto them, 'Verily I say unto you Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”