From the War on Terror: What War?
Yes I know, the term “War on Terror” was the other guy’s war. We all know that war is over. Things are gearing down in Iraq and now that it’s clear the U.S. is leaving, normalcy is returning to Iraq. The U.S. incited violence is being replaced by peaceful pursuits. Iraq can now draw a long sigh of relief that Bush and his wicked war have ended.
Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan a few religious zealots might cause a bit of a ruckus but these rebels are hardly terrorists – they just want their country back. We simply need to reach out to them and soon they’ll realize the U.S. has changed. Anyway, isn’t there room for the Taliban in Afghanistan too? Down in Pakistan, it might be different but only because there are nukes lying around everywhere that misguided Talibanis might get and misuse. But really, this isn’t our problem and if we were to get involved it might get messy. We need to make nice in the world now. Besides fighting terrorism causes terrorism. Right?
“When they shall say, peace and safety…”
Didn’t the contrition tour endear the world to us? Didn’t the promised withdraw calm Iraq and make the trouble makers go away? Huh? Now I’m confused by this Washington Post article reporting that militants from Tunisia infiltrated Iraq and blew themselves up. Don’t those people believe in change? Don’t they know Bush is gone, America is sorry and all, and soon we’ll be leaving Iraq.
The Tunisian terrorists made their way to Syria where they hid until Bush and his killer/torturers were out of office and security relaxed somewhat. Apparently they failed to see our good-will and accept our sincere apologies. Instead these ingrates took advantage of the situation and killed innocent people. Hello? This is why we call them terrorists. They cower in safe havens until our guard down, then they strike.
When Obama effectively declared the terror threat passed he invited the terrorists back. A vacuum cannot exist in nature nor in politics. My point? Maybe Darth Vader, er, Dick Cheney, wasn’t so far off when he said the US has become less safe since Barack Obama became President. Maybe it was Vice President Biden who was “dead wrong.”
Like iron in a furnace
Since the elections (here and in Iraq) security in Iraq has waned, foreign insurgents from Syria into Iraq have crept back up from less than six to more than 20 per month. 2008 saw the first drop in victims of terrorism in years. Terror deaths dropped 24% last year. Why? Because the War on Terror was working. This year the tide is changing as the pursuit of terrorists has ceased to be a priority. Afghanistan has begun to roil and threatens to become a nightmare, (should this happen expect a sudden withdraw as weak-kneed Democrats withdraw money and pressure Obama to flee,) and Pakistan is teetering on collapse, (if this happens expect a nuclear state run by terrorists – can you say “worst-case scenario?”)
However, we must be aware of an important fact. Presidents under sudden and intense pressure can surprise you. Kennedy faced a nuclear showdown that many contemporaries thought he’d buckle under but he rose to the challenge. We have nearly forgotten the Bay of Pigs while we admiringly remember courage demonstarted during the Cuban Missile Crisis. No one recalls FDR declaring the U.S. would never join a “stop-Hitler” alliance or his congratulations to Nevile Chamberland on the Munich Agreement, rather we all proudly recall his Infamy Speech. On the other side of the coin, hardly anyone recalls Nixon’s visit to China yet we all remember Watergate. And in more recent history, who can forget the Presidential Lewinsky.
In conclusion, will Obama react to Afghanistan and Pakistan the way Clinton did to Somalia? Or will he stun the world by taking some bold and decisive action? I know what Conservatives expect. Oh wait, I think it’s the same thing Liberals expect – no demand.