Even as America’s Islamist enemies multiply in the Middle East, the White House today left little doubt that President Obama views global warming as a greater threat than terrorism, refusing to say this wasn’t the case and asserting that more people are affected by changes in the weather than by terror.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not deny that Obama’s comment to Vox that the media overstate the threat of terrorism – and give too little attention to things like global warming and epidemics – meant that Obama views these issues as a greater concern than terrorism. What’s more, Earnest said that “many more people have to face the impact” of climate change and epidemic disease.
“There are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact – the direct impact on their lives – of climate change or on the spread of disease than on terrorism,” Earnest said. “When you’re talking about the direct daily impact of these kinds of challenges on the daily lives of Americans . . . more people are directly affected by those things than by terrorism.”
Earnest went on to describe the threat from terrorism as greatly diminished from what it was previously. “The threat from terror that is faced by the American people in the United States is much different than it has been before,” Earnest said, arguing that terrorists no longer had “the time and the space” for plotting and organizing assaults that they did when al Qaeda operated freely in Afghanistan and launched the 9/11 attacks. “Terrorists organizations no longer have that same capacity,” he said.
But that doesn’t make much sense because they have their own state now, right? Al Qaeda were merely guests of the Taliban.
Earnest sought to defend another statement Obama made during the Vox interviews, saying that when Obama remarked that terrorists “randomly” shot people “in a deli” in Paris, he meant that the people were not specifically chosen by name. Asked if they were not at least targeted by religion, Earnest replied, absurdly, that “there were people other than just Jews who were in that deli.” But he then acknowledged that there was no doubt the deli was attacked because it was a Jewish deli.
That is, it wasn’t random.