In a speech that encapsulated the right-wing Minnesota congresswoman’s xenophobia and astounding ignorance, Michele Bachmann called on President Obama Friday to “declare war” on Islam.
Speaking to the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit, Bachmann assailed the Obama administration’s foreign policy as bringing about “a smaller, diminished, less-powerful United States.” Blasting the notion that the rise of groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) isn’t about Islam itself, Bachmann came unhinged.
“Yes, Mr. President, it is about Islam!” Bachmann proclaimed, reinforcing the very narrative ISIS wishes to propagate. “And I believe if you have an evil of an order of this magnitude, you take it seriously. You declare war on it, you don’t dance around it. Just like the Islamic State has declared war on the United States of America.”
And because this was a conservative conference, Bachmann felt compelled to contrast Obama’s foreign policy with that of St. Reagan.
“Well, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, we want our 1980s foreign policy back,” she said. “Peace through strength! Peace through strength! We don’t want your failed ‘Russian reset.’ We don’t want four Americans dead in Benghazi.”
That contrast was stunning for its historical illiteracy. Reagan, for all his bluster, also presided over arms control talks and improved relations with the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev – a “Russian reset” of sorts. Moreover, Reagan’s presidency had its own Benghazi, in which far more Americans perished: just six months after terrorists killed 63 people (17 of them Americans) in a bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, a suicide bomber killed more than 250 servicemen at a Marine barracks in the city.