Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obama's approach to terrorism is troubling

The listless, coldblooded and clueless response of the Hawaii White House to the Christmas Day attack was only the most recent indication. Over the last year, nearly every rhetorical signal from the administration -- from the use of war-on-terror euphemisms such as "overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters" to its preference for immediately. It is no loner Bush's fault. This is Obama's game now. it looks pretty absurd when you see him getting all antsy about taking over health care, and almost falling asleep when dealing with terrorists trying to kill us.
Obama’s meeting with his top national security advisers does nothing to change the fact that his fundamental approach to terrorism is fatally flawed. We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nation’s security. That’s what happened in the 1990s and we saw the result on September 11, 2001. This is a war on terror not an “overseas contingency operation.” Acts of terrorism are just that, not “man caused disasters.” The system did not work. Abdulmutallab was a child of privilege radicalized and trained by organized jihadists, not an “isolated extremist” who traveled to a land of “crushing poverty.” He is an enemy of the United States, not just another criminal defendant.

The tension in these attacks is between casting Obama as an abrupt departure from Bush and recognizing how much continuity there's been between their approaches to the conflict, however it's named. Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber Richard Reid, for instance, in federal court, even at the height of the narrow, immediate post-9/11 government view of terror suspects' civil rights. The departure that Palin and Cheney attack isn't always so much from the Bush administration as from the cases that Cheney was arguing internally and, as time went on, sometimes losing.

Obama's approach to terrorism is troubling

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