Terrorism Expert: Obama ‘Contradicted Himself’ in SOTU

By Barbara Hollingsworth | January 13, 2016 | 10:37 AM EST

Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)

(CNSNews.com) -- President Obama “contradicted himself when he called the fight against terrorism his number one priority, but then said that we can’t be the world’s policeman” in his final State of the Union address Tuesday night, says Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

During his speech, Obama said that “priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks.”

But the president dismissed “over-the-top claims that this is World War III,” which he said “just play into their [terrorists’] hands.”

“Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence,” Obama said.

The president added that the U.S. does not need to “push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world’s largest religions. We just need to call them what they are: killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed."

“He wants to have his cake and eat it,” Emerson told CNSNews.com. “It was his administration that said we’re going after ISIS no matter what, and now suddenly Islamic groups are not a major threat?

"And if ISIS is not an existential threat, why spend so much time degrading it?” he asked.

Emerson also criticized the president for “divorcing terrorism from religion,” because it “takes culpability away from Muslim clerics around the world and in this country” who preach a jihadist message.

He noted that “at least two top officials from CAIR [Council on American-Islamic Relations] were invited to attend the State of the Union address over the objections of the Secret Service and despite the fact that the FBI cut off all contact with the organization after an FBI agent testified during the Holy Land Foundation trial that CAIR was ‘a front for Hamas’.”

“Democrats continue to woo and legitimize CAIR at the expense of genuine Muslim moderates who were not invited to the State of the Union,” Emerson said.

Emerson was also critical of Obama’s comment that “when you come after Americans, we go after you.”

“Obama has given legitimacy and conferred respectability on a front group for a terrorist organization that has murdered not just Israelis, but Americans as well. Sixty-one Americans have been killed by Hamas, and we have not gone after a single one [of the killers]. Who is holding Obama accountable for that?” he asked.

“I was offended when he blamed Americans for vandalizing mosques when in fact nobody has sanctioned that, and when the number of hate crimes against Muslims pale against the hate crimes against African Americans and Jews,” Emerson told CNSNews.com.

Emerson also pointed out that the president’s speech did not present a realistic picture of the situation in either Syria or Iran.

“He claimed he put together a coalition of 60 countries to fight in Syria, but that’s on paper only. We’re the only ones doing anything. And when he talked about 10,000 sorties against Syria, he didn’t mention that 75 percent of them were without any type of ordnance drop,” Emerson said.

In his speech, Obama touted the success of his Iran nuclear deal. But Emerson pointed out that "the Iranians brazenly violated the terms of the UN Security Council resolution by launching two ICBMs last month."

“He inverted reality,” Emerson said. “I’m not buying it.”

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