Saturday, October 1, 2011

Obama's War on Al Qaeda

With the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki (along with a bonus terrorist), I once again have to give President Obama credit for taking decisive, effective action against Al Qaeda. As much as I dislike the president, and think he's an naive incompetent when it comes to foreign policy in general, I have to admit that he has pursued our war with Al Qaeda with every bit as much ferocity as his predecessor. If anything, he has expanded our global reach, and has demonstrated that there are few safe havens for terrorist enemies of the U.S. -- especially leaders like al-Awlaki.

Back in 2009 I wrote a series of posts giving my opinion on things I thought we should be doing to prosecute our war against radical Islamic terrorists. In the concluding post I said,
The U.S. needs to start instilling some terror of our own in our enemies. The current fear faced by Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region -- that they could be killed at any minute by a drone strike -- should be extended to terrorist enemies across the globe. Rather than fear arrest, every member of an Islamic terror organization, their supporters, and the radical Islamic clerics who cheer them on, should be made to live their lives waiting for a bullet in the head from a U.S.-directed assassin.
I also wrote,
there is little hope that anything I've suggested will be done by the current administration
Clearly I was wrong. The President has actually done some of what I advocated in the passage above. His establishment of drone bases gives us the means to strike at terrorists in various areas. More importantly, he has not allowed U.S. striking power to be crippled by the blind legalism of terrorist rights supporters. All the bases and drones in the world are useless without the will to send them into action. Unlike some -- including a minority on the right -- the president appears to be able to tell the difference between terrorist enemies who should be eliminated, and criminals subject to the legal system. In the case of al-Awlaki, he rightly decided that in this special case, American citizenship should not shield someone who is openly recruiting terrorists to strike America.

I'm a Republican partisan and I don't want to see Obama get re-elected. But it my opinion it is intellectually dishonest for Republicans to pretend that the president is somehow soft on terrorism, at least as it applies to operations against Al Qaeda and its affiliates worldwide. The evidence says that he isn't, and he should get credit for the things he does right, even from political opponents.

1 comment:

  1. It's very refreshing to see someone admit they're wrong.