Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A good offense

Anyone who's spent time on message boards these past six years knows the drill--the left says Bush squandered our worldwide goodwill by ignoring those who attacked us on 9/11 to attack Iraq. The right counters by mentioning the successes we've had in the war and the removal of Saddam, contrasting it to the previous administraion. Looks like the presidential battle is shaping up to be no different.

Here's Obama today responding to the charge he's living in a 9/10 world:
"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," the presumed nominee told reporters aboard his campaign plane. "This is the same kind of fear-mongering that got us into Iraq ... and it's exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse."
Never mind that the people who actually committed 9/11 are all dead, and the ones who planned the attack are awaiting their new habeas corpus rights down at Club Gitmo. I'm convinced this silly meme will never go away until Democrats are completely in control of all branches of government, at which point a few will finally admit they were just posturing to regain their power.

Let's keep a few things in perspective. The United States did not have a good image around the world before 9/11 and certainly not on the Arab street, or the attack would not have occurred.

We've killed or captured most of the kingpins of al Qaeda minus the two inspirational leaders, who must be handled very carefully. We could certainly make things worse by allowing them to be martyred.

The ones we do kill with hellfire missiles do not get habeas corpus rights or taxpayer-funded ACLU lawyers. So far nobody has complained about that.

We have thwarted many attacks aimed at the United States by taking an offensive approach to the problem. Obama wants a return the law-enforcement approach, which means we sit and wait for the attack before acting. This is a non-starter if there's a likelihood that terrorists will acquire WMDs. Fortunately they won't be given them by Iraq now.

The restrictions on interrogation and the new rights will limit the amount of intelligence we can gather from detainees and the speech with which it can be obtained. Giving terrorists or their lawyers discovery access to national security intelligence weakens our defense.

Right now jihadists are caught up in two war zones, which is spreading them thinner and limiting their ability to spread attacks. Many (including bin Laden) feel that losing Iraq to an infidel power would represent a huge loss for Islam so it mustn't be lost, which requires financial and manpower resources to be diverted.

But bottom line--voters should ask themselves whether they want to return to the "failed policies" of the 1990s. Contrary to Obama's beliefs all the terrorists involved in the attacks prior to 9/11 are not siting in the Supermax. Some have been tried in less restrictive foreign countries, like Yemen, which allowed several convicted of the Cole attackers to escape, and Germany, who in 2006 released a legacy Hizballah terrorist who murdered an American sailor during a hijacking in 1985.

It's a tough conundrum that really shouldn't be hashed out like a partisan spitting war, but sadly that appears imminent. Barack is not alone--many Americans have either put the threat out of their minds or have come to believe the whole thing was an invention of the Bush administration. But if Obama is elected and returns to the defensive posture it's almost a given that should another attack occur the bulk of Americans will be clamoring for a return to the Bush doctrine overnight.


LASunsett said...

//I'm convinced this silly meme will never go away until Democrats are completely in control of all branches of government, at which point a few will finally admit they were just posturing to regain their power.//

At times I think this generation needs another Jimmy Carter, just to put things into proper perspective. You know, kids don't believe half of what we tell them. So, it only stands to reason that they cannot understand how bad it was, just because we say it was.

A.C. McCloud said...

Thing is LA, some of these 'kids' are fairly old themselves. The Dems have been playing politics with this since they began realizing what Bush and the GOP could do with it to enhance their own political future. It continues to be disgusting in its shallowness and wanton disregard for the people.