Obama's foreign policy problem
It turns out Team Obama suddenly wants the 2012 presidential campaign to be about foreign policy rather than the economy. Such a pivot might not be surprising given that by President Obama’s own test, he has not cut unemployment to the point where he deserves to be re-elected.The Democrats have - if anything - a weaker case for re-electing this president on national security grounds. The campaign ad they unveiled on Friday, timed to take credit for the liquidation ofOsama bin Laden on the first anniversary of that achievement, is a case in point.The video uses former President Bill Clinton to extol his successor’s role in the mission - and selectively quotes Republican nominee Mitt Romneyto suggest he would not have done the same thing.It is an act of desperation and contempt for the American people that, of all people, Mr. Clinton would be used in such a role. Let’s recall that during his presidency, he repeatedly declined to take out bin Laden. The former president is so sensitive about this sorry record that his operatives insisted in 2006 that ABC excise from “Path to 9/11” - an outstanding made-for-TV film by Cyrus Nowrasteh - a dramatized version of one such episode.More telling still is an issue inadvertently showcased by this controversy. While the Clinton-Obama-Biden spot tries to make Mr. Romney sound as though he wouldn’t have had the courage, or at least the vision, the president exhibited in a risky bid to take out bin Laden, what the presumptive Republican nominee actually said in 2007 in context illustrates a far better grasp than Mr. Obama has of the enemy we confront:“I wouldn’t want to overconcentrate on bin Laden. He’s one of many, many people who are involved in this global jihadist effort. He’s by no means the only leader. It’s a very diverse group - Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and, of course, different names throughout the world. It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent jihad, and I have a plan for doing that.”Mr. Obama, by contrast, would have us believe that the problem is al Qaeda and that threat is pretty much a thing of the past, thanks to bin Laden’s elimination and the decimation, primarily by drone strikes, of others among its leadership and rank and file. An unnamed senior State Department official told the National Journal last week, “The war on terror is over” as Muslims embrace “legitimate Islamism.”Unfortunately, as Seth Jones observed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, “Al Qaeda is far from dead. Acting as if it were will not make it so.”
...The enemy is radical Islam. The Islamic religious bigots go by various names including those who fight for al Qaeda, but they are all at war with us and they are bent on killing everyone who does not agree with their weird religious beliefs. Romney seems to have a much better grasp of that point than Obama.