This confirms it! Our nation has slipped into a parallel universe!
Here’s the exact statement by NASA administrator Charles Bolden in his interview with Al Jazeera in Cairo (and here’s the entire youtube video–the “foremost” comment occurs at the 1 min 20 sec mark):
“One, he [Obama] wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering — science, math and engineering.”
By the way, Bolden was quick to point out that this is NOT a diplomatic outreach but instead an effort to attract more scientific contributors to our space “partnership.” Bolden didn’t explain why Obama wants NASA to invite the participation of those who at present feel rather poorly about their scientific and engineering achievements…but surely he (or the administration) will issue another statement of clarification shortly.
We at this blog are uncharacteristically speechless by this turn of events. Luckily, for us, there are those who can still find their voice.
Here’s what some sensible commentators have to say…
Michael Griffin, NASA administrator under the Bush:
It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.”
Byron York (regarding Michael Griffin’s comment):
For all his unhappiness with the new policy, Griffin says blame for the situation does not belong with NASA administrator Charles Bolden, whom Griffin calls “one of the best human beings you will find.” “When I see reports in the media excoriating Charlie for this position, that blame is misplaced,” Griffin says. “It belongs with the administration. That is where policy for NASA is set. The NASA administrator does not set policy for NASA, the administrator carries it out.”
“This is not about personalities,” Griffin concludes. “It is about the intellectual content of the policy, which I find to be bankrupt.”
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air…
Hey, maybe that’s why Obama hasn’t taken the Iranian effort to build a nuclear bomb all that seriously until now. He just wanted Iran to make the Muslim world feel good about their achievements in science! And it’s hard to do to that unless you talk a lot about outstretched open hands — and ignore a freedom movement that wants to depose the brutal tyrants who are trying to give the Muslim world a new “historic contribution.”
Actually, Muslim nations should be insulted by the idea that the US pays NASA to provide them with paternalistic and patronizing validation and self-esteem boosts. And they probably will be.
Victor Davis Hanson at NRO…
[I]s it really the business of a government scientific agency to produce historical and scientific narratives for political purposes? And do we really wish to return to the embarrassment of last June’s Cairo mythmaking? In that address, the president misled his audience on nearly every “fact” he presented, from the absurdity of Muslims in Cordoba supposedly serving as beacons of tolerance during the Inquisition (there were essentially no Muslims in Cordoba at the time) to the assertion that Muslims helped to jumpstart the Renaissance and the Enlightenment (when, in fact, flight from or reaction against Islam in the eastern Mediterranean had far more to do with both European intellectual awakenings).
Bolden, like so many Obama appointees, has impressive dossier and yet seems to say some very strange things that put ideology above all else — e.g., Eric Holder (“nation of cowards”), Hilda Solis (“documented or not”), Janet Napolitano (“man-caused disasters”), Ken Salazar (“boot on their neck”), or Steven Chu (“no more agriculture in California”).
Charles Krauthammer had this to say (remember Charles is a psychiatrist…so look beyond his use of dry clinical terminology)…
This is a new height in fatuousness!
This idea to feel good about past scientific achievements is the worst combination of group therapy psychobabble, imperial condescension, and adolescent diplomacy! If I didn’t know that Obama had told this, I’d demand a firing of Charles Bolden the way I would Michael Steele…this is unbelievable!