published Friday, September 28th, 2012

Chuck Fleischmann: Obama's Middle East errors

By Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

The recent attacks on our nation's embassies in response to a video called "The Innocence of Muslims" have raised serious challenges to our nation's position in the Middle East. This week, we saw Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad call for Israel's elimination while visiting New York for a United Nations summit. In the post Arab spring landscape, the sands are clearly shifting, and the trends have become quite ominous.

While these challenges demand a serious and clearheaded response from American policymakers, the Obama Administration appears to have its head in the sand. The State Department has given muddled answers to the murder of our Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats, taking nearly two weeks to acknowledge that the murder was the result of a well coordinated terrorist attack. Additionally, in his speech at the United Nations, President Obama failed to vigorously defend our values and our allies.

Although disappointing, these actions are not surprising. They are the result of a policy of outreach and appeasement in the Middle East, as well as a failure to take into account some of the more troubling developments of the Arab spring.

The attacks on our embassies, which occurred under recently elected governments in Libya and Egypt, need to be viewed in this light. Both governments have shown themselves to be either unable or unwilling to defend our embassies. The sanctity of an embassy is one of the oldest and most sacred diplomatic traditions in the world. For a government to be unable to defend an embassy shows an inability to maintain order and indicates a potential failed state. For a government to disregard centuries of diplomatic custom demonstrates contempt for international norms and respect between nations.

Lawmakers need to be realistic about what we can accomplish in the current political climate. The rioting at our embassies and Iran's continued saber rattling demonstrate the failures of President Obama's policy of outreach. The President's speech at the U.N., where he condemned those "who slander the prophet of Islam," did little but project weakness. This is the last thing our leaders should be doing in the current environment.

First, we must robustly defend American values, especially our freedom of speech and freedom of religion. While I found "The Innocence of Muslims" to be distasteful, the filmmaker has every right to make the film under the 1st Amendment. Apologizing for the film gives veto power over our speech to Islamist radicals, and caving to demands simply encourages further violence. Islamic nations are pushing a ban on "defamation of religions" at the U.N., which would severely curtail free speech. American lawmakers must oppose this vigorously. We also must call attention to Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere who often find themselves the victims of state suppression or mob violence. It is outrageous that those who protest offensive depictions of Mohammed seem to have no issue with imprisoning Christians for their faith in Iran or mob violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Also of critical importance is our relationship with our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. It is unfortunate that relations with Israel have fallen to a new low under President Obama, as we have similar values, share many of the same goals, and face many of the same threats.

We have to be realistic about our position in the Middle East. Many of the citizens of Middle Eastern nations don't like us, share few of our values such as freedom of religion or speech, and are often hostile to our interests. This is not the President's fault, but it is the reality of the situation. While I wish we could have better relations, we cannot compromise our freedoms or values in order to do so, and you can expect me to vigorously defend our nation when challenged.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is a Republican who represents the 3rd District of Tennessee.

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aae1049 said...

Is a Saltsman article next? Hope so. I want to read about the file he found in the garage, and maybe he could shed some light on where it came from. Inquiring minds want to know.

September 28, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Don't forget, Chuck Fleischmann is one of the party of "no", and has vowed his biggest priority is not helping turn this economy around, not helping bring jobs back to America, but to make sure a man he doesn't like will be a one-term president, even if it kills this country.

Chuck, you can tell by all the comments here that people are just waiting with baited breath to see what you do. Me, I am still waiting to hear how your trip to Isreal was. You know, the one apec sponsored for you and your good buddies in government. Did they tell you that you were a chosen one? Did they tell you that you would be special if you just keep feeding the oil companies? Did they tell you how good war was going to be for everyone's pocket book? Just how much oil is used in the time of war?

You are right Chuck, our freedom of speech is on the line. But I doubt you will call out all the religious extremists that are trying to create this holy war. You sir, are one of those. Since it has now been established that it was a christian hate group operated by Steve Klein pushing the anti-islam film sections, you would think that you would be telling the entire story. And the lastest report on this awful mess is that Al qaeda is behind the protest attacks. It makes one wonder if the two groups were working together to bring jihad. They just need you out there being their cheer leader in amassing the Christian base because well, someone has to be the liar and stir the crap.

Chuck, when you took office, you swore an oath to represent ALL the people. I don't see you doing that. Most of the laws and bills you have shown to support are oppressing to women as well as the freedom of most Americans, including their free speech. That really doesn't sound American to me. It sounds more like the laws of the land from Iran, Saudi, Dominionism, or Shariah law.

Which side are you on? Do you stand with the people? Do you stand with the United States Constitution? Or just your religous sect/occult that has promised you anything you like hearing? Do you really think God would need your help?

We see you Chuckie for what you are. And that really is the crux of political office. We can see what you are doing. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it can say it is a horse all day long, but it is still a duck.

September 28, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Maybe Chuck missed this one:

"Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had a been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside." http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2011/01/07/muslims-protecting-christians-with-their-bodies/

There has to come a time when we no longer kill for what someone "thinks". Peace can come from peaceful people. War comes from liars that only want to line their pockets with money. Chuck, surely you know you don't get to take it with you.

September 28, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
aae1049 said...

JustOneWacko,

There is no Radical Islam, Islam is Radical. See, peace is a two way street. The other parties must equally respect your freedom of religion. The notion that Islam will allow Christians to peacefully exist is the language of people that place their American value system on zealots that want to kill you.

September 28, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
mtngrl said...

aae1049 must be a member of the Westboro Baptist Church

September 28, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

aae1049 said... JustOneWacko,

There is no Radical Islam, Islam is Radical. See, peace is a two way street. The other parties must equally respect your freedom of religion. The notion that Islam will allow Christians to peacefully exist is the language of people that place their American value system on zealots that want to kill you.

Just like there are no radical christians, jews, or anything else. There are many peaceful people from many different religions, many of which live right here in this town. Do you see any of what you fear? Oh I get it. You are just one of those rock people that come out from under your rock to spew hate. So far, it is a free country, say what you will. I will defend your right to say it. But I know what I know from research. You obviously get your information from the haters. I place my American value system on the constitution. Fear is the mind killer. And it seems that the Republican brain is wired for fear!

"GOP Voters Have Larger Fear Centers in Brain, Are Susceptible To ‘Psychological Authoritarianism’" http://www.mediaite.com/online/author-gop-voters-have-larger-fear-centers-in-brain-are-susceptible-to-psychological-authoritarianism/

September 28, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
carlB said...

Do you believe that the people who are supporting President Obama are doing it blindly? Maybe it is the people who show so much biased opinions against him are the "blind persons"? The actions by the Republican administration to allow the 2007 deep recession to occur and then the actions of the Republicans in the House and Senate to cause President Obama's failure, therefore preventing and obstructing the recovery of the 2007 recession should be called a traitorous act against this Republic and the people. After this arrogance shown by the "enemies" of this country, it causes me to be opposed to anybody who tries to "lie to the voters that President Obama has been a complete failure after having tried to cause him to be a failure. I will vote for the real Democratic candidates. "vote for the truth, not the lies

September 28, 2012 at 12:27 p.m.
carlB said...

ARE the voters listening to what the Republicans are saying and they still want to show bias against President Obama?

Have the voters been convinced by President Obama's enemies that he should be voted out of office? Again leaving the Republicans in power to continue destroying and taking the role of our Government backwards to what it was before FDR. If the voters believe that our Governments need to have a balanced role for the good of this Republic then they will have to take things "in their own hands," voting for whom is best for them and this Republic in the long-term. We have already had a "dose" of the elected Congress looking out for themselves and the Capitalist instead of our citizen workers. We, the US consumers, also need to help reduce our trade deficit with the global corporations, forcing them to reinvest in more manufacturing plants here, creating jobs making the goods that are now imported. The KEY to recovery is the creation of middle class manufacturing jobs and the decrease in the cost of living expenses while decreasing the "wage gap," with sacrifices made by everybody. Not the depressing of the middle classes and not forcing an increase in the number of people living in Poverty. Remember what the conditions of this Republic was at the end of the last administration with the help of the fraud occurring in the private financial systems and with the effects of the global economy. We were on the verge of another great depression. Was it the private enterprise systems that prevented another great depression?

September 28, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Chuck, just so you will know, Iran signed and has adhered to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Israel has not signed the treaty and has developed nuclear weapons in contravention to the terms of the treaty. Which country is the outlaw...clearly it is Israel.

There is no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon or behaving outside the terms of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. You and the rest of the neo-con war crowd have destroyed America's economy with outrageous military spending. Obama and the Democrats have been complicit as well.

America's world domination policies have to end and you aren't helping.

September 28, 2012 at 3:11 p.m.
aae1049 said...

It is not hate to question the ideology of Islam, and their tolerance for other religions. Most people view Islam from American values, where we respect the rights of other religions to exist. Islam does not respect the rights of other religions to exist, so your American values are simply not applicable. Tolerance is a two way street.

Sharia Law is government run by Islam, religion and it is all bad for women. I am certain that most of the female Liberals, don't know a thing about Islam. So, JustOneWoman. o

Arab Islam does not educate women, or allow them to own property, and generally kills Christians. All I see are human rights violations, why don't you go visit an Islam country and share your view on equal rights. Let me know how that works out.

September 28, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Arab Islam does not educate women, or allow them to own property, and generally kills Christians.

American Muslims do not fit this description. What's your point? If anything it is an argument against theocracy of any kind.

September 29, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Ieithlu, I never wrote Muslims you did.

The thread was ideology of Islam that does not recognize the right of other religions to exist.

September 29, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The thread was ideology of Islam that does not recognize the right of other religions to exist.

Selectively interpreted, neither does Christianity. So why do American Muslims not want sharia? Could it possibly be that Islam can be misused just like any religion?

September 29, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
aae1049 said...

"So why do American Muslims not want sharia?"

Are you the voice of American Muslims? BTW, I think Shadow Congressman, Saltsman wrote this article.

September 29, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

One extremist voice does not represent Muslims in America any more that Fred Phelps represents American Christians.

September 29, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.
aae1049 said...

You keep harping on Muselims. My posts are about the ideology of Islam.

September 29, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

And I am pointing out that ideology is meaningless if the majority of the believers don't subscribe to it.

September 29, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Please convey your thoughts to Israel, as they would disagree.

September 29, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Again-it is abuse of Islam, extreme views not shared by all Muslims. You condemn the ideology, but it does not exist in a vacuum. Any religion, and scripture can be twisted to justify hate.

September 29, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Ikeithlu, Are you suggesting that a majority of Arab Islam from Iran to Egypt, and Sharia Law does not wish to destroy Israel?

September 29, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
hambone said...

Chuckie, you and your fellow GOP congressman in 2010 ran on JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! And what did we get? 33 votes to repeal Obamacare! How muxh did that waist of time cost the taxpayers?

You and your friends own the economy we have, you may not think it but you do. It all lays at your obstructionist feet.

In my many years I've seen some good Tennessee Statesmen, both Democrat and republican. Statesman you are not!

You are just another political HACK! In it to line your pockets!

September 29, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

aae, there are Christians in this country that would see Israel destroyed. Thankfully they don't speak for our government. There are Arab nations that live in peace with Israel. I stand by my statement: you are lumping all Muslims together by accusing Islam of these sins. That is just as wrong as letting Christian extremists define Christian views. After all, Germany was filled with Christians, including Hitler.

September 30, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.
aae1049 said...

I never stated Muslims, you did. The use of American Muslim is baby talk for people that are considering Islam from the perspective of American value system.

Reasonable people question the tolerance of the Islam ideology for other religions. Again, tolerance cannot exist alone.

September 30, 2012 at 1:54 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Neither can intolerance. My point is that you are accusing Islam on the basis of ideology, when any religion's ideology can be portrayed as extreme and intolerant. In other words, you are stereotyping while trying to claim you aren't.

September 30, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"aae, there are Christians in this country that would see Israel destroyed."

That is a lie! An atheist lie from an atheist.

"After all, Germany was filled with Christians, including Hitler."

A bigger and most awful lie! Hitler wasn' t a Christian any more than you are. You could not be that ignorant.

September 30, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Wrong, hon. Christians have persecuted Jews for centuries. And Hitler was a Catholic, as was many Germans (and many were Lutherans) You are the one lying here, and your bigotry against Islam is showing.

September 30, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"Christians have persecuted Jews for centuries"

more lies!

"And Hitler was a Catholic"

And what does that have to do with the price of eggs in China?

"you are the one lying here"

No, you are.

" your bigotry against Islam is showing"

another lie!!! I have not mention Islam, Muslim or made any reference to the people or religion. Again, you are the one who is lying.

October 1, 2012 at 7:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Sorry, conservative. I thought I was answering aae, with whom I was exchanging posts before you butted in. Of course, since it is you, I stand corrected because no one is a Christian unless you say so, and I suspect Catholics and Lutherans don't pass your test. That does not change the fact that Hitler was a Catholic, and believed that God chose the Aryans to rule the world.

That you are a religious bigot has already been demonstrated.

And yes, the reason the modern state of Israel exists is because the Jews have been persecuted by Christians all over Europe since the Middle Ages. You are a liar. A liar for Jesus is still a liar.

October 1, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"I stand corrected because no one is a Christian unless you say so,"

Adherence to Bible (God's word) doctrine is the standard for Christianity.

People who habitually sin are not Christians and this would include those who hate and persecute others :

9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now 1 John 2:9

5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1 John 1:5-6

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3: 15

October 1, 2012 at 11:40 a.m.
conservative said...

Ike..

"I suspect Catholics and Lutherans don't pass your test"

Well yes, Catholics and Lutherans and Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and all members of other sects who don't adhere to and practice the Christian doctrines as set forth in Scripture don't pass the test. In other words they are not Christians.

And Jesus who was God in the flesh was specific - 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Mathew 7:16

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Mathew 7: 13-14

October 1, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Conny said: "People who habitually sin are not Christians and this would include those who hate and persecute others."

Stepping on your own toes there aren't you Conny?

October 1, 2012 at 1:07 p.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"That does not change the fact that Hitler was a Catholic"

Well his own words often contradicted that and his actions undeniably contradicted that as well.

However, being a Catholic is not being a Christian, being a Baptist is not being a Christian, being a Presbyterian is not being a Christian...

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mathew 7:20_23

October 1, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"That you are a religious bigot has already been demonstrated"

ALL true believers of their particular faith believe theirs is the correct belief.

There are also football bigots, there are political party bigots, there are ideology bigots...

October 1, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
conservative said...

Ike...

"the Jews have been persecuted by Christians all over Europe since the Middle Ages."

Correction and a big one at that :

the Jews have been persecuted by heathens all over Europe since the Middle Ages.

October 1, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
dao1980 said...

One would think all of that flailing and flapping would wear you out Conny.

Are you still going to have the energy to work your shift, turning everyone away at heaven's gate?

Of course with all that dishonesty, you may not still have a job there, much less a standing reservation at 120 Golden St.

October 1, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Thanks, dao. I knew if I gave conservative enough rope he'd hang himself.

October 1, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.
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