Friday, 01 January 2010

INCOMPETENT? UNPREPARED? BOTH?

Ken Berwitz

Is Barack Obama an incompetent, is he unprepared for the Presidency, or both.

Paul Rahe, of www.biggovernment.com addresses these questions in his latest article, which I have posted below.  Please read  it and see what you think:

Barack Obama and the Exhausted Presidency

by Paul A. Rahe

 

In a recent puff piece, The New York Times reports that our President is tired. This is not the first such report. Back in May, when he treated Englands Gordon Brown so shabbily, the excuse given according to The Daily Telegraph was that wrestling with the economic crisis had left Barack Obama too exhausted to be able to focus on foreign affairs.

 

We should perhaps discount what was said in May. For, as I have attempted to document in detail here, here, here, here, here, and here, President Obama is a gentleman, and, as such, he is never unintentionally rude. He is, in fact, a master of the insulting gesture, which he seems to reserve for political opponents, such as Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, and for political leaders in countries, such as England, France, Germany, Israel, and Poland, which were closely associated with the United States prior to the Age of Obama.

 

This time, however, Barack Obama may be genuinely tired, and he may be depressed as well. He certainly has warrant. In public, he may claim that he deserves a B+ for his first year in office, but the polling data suggests that he has earned a failing mark, and he has to know better.

 

As I observed in an earlier post, if Barack Obama harbored any doubts as to whether he was leading his party off a cliff, William Daley the brains behind the Chicago machine put these doubts to rest in the op-ed that he published on Christmas Eve in The Washington Post, warning that, if the Democrats did not plot a more centrist course, they would risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.

 

Barack Obama has thus far led a charmed life prep school in Hawaii, Occidental College, Columbia University, Harvard Law School, the Illinois State Senate, the U. S. Senate, the Presidency. He did lose a race for a Congressional seat. But, otherwise, to all appearances, he has never even stumbled.

 

One fact is emblematic. Obama managed to get elected editor of The Harvard Law Review without having to do what all of his predecessors did which is to write an article of a quality that would allow it to be published in the journal. With the one exception mentioned above, his political races have been easy. Events consistently broke in his favor. He has never really been tested until now.

 

And, of course, now he finds himself in over his head.

 

Obamas difficulties are of his own making, and they arise from his failure thus far to recognize what it means to be President of the United States.

 

American presidents put aside personal pique and pay close attention to protocol. They do not bow to queens, kings, and emperors; they do not warmly embrace dictators and thugs; and they do not direct gratuitous insults at Americas allies.

 

They know that, for a president, the personal is not political and the political is not personal. What happens has little to do with the man and everything to do with the office he holds, and no president can opt out of the responsibilities that go with the office.

 

A president who ignores the niceties, who stiffs Americas friends and embraces her enemies, who betrays weakness and irresolution with regard to an ongoing war will soon discover that others can be rude as well that those who sense his weakness will treat him and, more to the point, his country like dirt. This is what the Chinese did when Barack Obama visited Beijing and Copenhagen, and Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have repeatedly done the like.

 

This is no minor matter for what begins with calculated rudeness can turn into something far worse, as John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter learned to their regret.

 

In the domestic sphere, American presidents do not leave the initiative to Congress, and they do not continue the presidential campaign after the election is over not, that is, if they know what is good for them.

 

The President of the United States represents the national interest; Congressmen often cater to particular interests. If legislation is left to the latter, principle tends to give way to patronage, and the result can be a profound embarrassment. Like it or not, when he signed the so-called stimulus bill, Barack Obama accepted responsibility for the national debt and for the systematic looting embedded in the bill.

 

Once the looting begins, Congressmen may not be able to help themselves. The current crop needed Congressmen always need adult supervision, and Barack Obama offered them none. The same argument applies to the healthcare proposals passed by the House and the Senate, which are, by any system of accounting, a disgrace.

 

The Obama administrations handling of terrorism is of a piece with the pattern of irresponsibility evident in its conduct of foreign policy and its management of domestic affairs.

 

When news came that a Nigerian trained in the Yemen and equipped with an explosive device had very nearly brought down a Northwest Airlines jumbo jet outside Detroit, Janet Napolitano initially thought it appropriate to say that the system had worked, and Barack Obama, after remaining ostentatiously silent for three days, dismissed the matter as allegedly the work of an isolated extremist.

 

Both backtracked in subsequent statements, to be sure. But it was clear that, at first, neither took the incident seriously.

 

It was obvious from the start that it was dumb luck and nothing else that saved the passengers on that flight, that no isolated extremist could have done what Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to do, and that the elaborate security procedures put in place after 9/11 had failed ignominiously.

 

By the time that President Obama first bothered to address the matter, it was already evident that the authorities in the United States had been warned about the man and that he had been trained by a branch of Al Qaeda in the Yemen; and we now know that the religious leader that Abdulmutallab sought out in the Yemen was the very man with whom Major Nidal Malik Hassan was in communication before he massacred thirteen Americans at Fort Hood.

 

The event at Fort Hood, which revealed deep flaws in our intelligence apparatus, should have been a wake-up call.

 

What Major Hassan did and what Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to do are not crimes in the ordinary sense of the word. They are acts of asymmetric war, intimately linked with one another, and, if we are to reduce the likelihood of things like this happening again, they need to be treated as such.

 

Even left-liberals are beginning to figure out that something serious is amiss. The latest of these is, of all people, Maureen Dowd who, on Tuesday, in a column in The New York Times aptly entitled As the Nations Pulse Races, Obama Cannot Seem to Find His, posed the following question:

 

If we cant catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didnt check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

 

In her column, Dowd went on to compare Obama with Star Treks Spock, noting his propensity to oscillate between inspiration and listlessness, and observing just how chilly he appeared in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. What bothered her most, however, was that the President of the United States did not even seem concerned.

 

When Obama ran for the Democratic nomination, his opponents Joe Biden among them warned that he was not ready. When his party nominated him, Republicans made the same point, but to no avail.

 

Now, if I am correct in my interpretation of the character of his exhaustion, even Obama appears to realize that he may not be up to the job. It seems not even to have crossed his mind when he ran for the office and assumed it that with the office would come responsibilities of a sort that had never previously encountered and that he had no particular desire to shoulder.

 

Now he is stuck with those responsibilities, and we are at least, for the time being stuck with him. Lets hope that he returns from Hawaii rested, resolute, and intent on carrying out in a responsible fashion the duties associated with his office for this would require of him a radical change of course.

 

Someone should give President Obama sign for his desk in the Oval Office. It should read, The buck stops here.


CABLE NEWS VIEWERSHIP FOR 2009

Ken Berwitz

Here are the 2009 viewership data for the four major cable news networks: 

 

Fox News

CNN

HLN

MSNBC

Total Viewers
Total Day (Mon-Su)

1.116M

469k

307k

343k

A25-54 Demo
Total Day (Mon-Su)

299k

128k

130k

117k

Total Viewers
Prime (Mon-Fri)

2.342M

751k

625k

751k

A25-54 Demo
Prime (Mon-Fri)

612k

194k

206k

213k

 As you can see, Fox News dominates in every category. 

-CNN is a distant second to Fox in total viewers for the total day and in a dead heat with MSNBC for distant-second status during weekday prime time.

-Fox has more total day viewers than all the other three combined;

-For the single most valued viewership -  25-54 year olds during prime time - Fox has 612,000, versus 613,000 for the other three combined.

What are the reasons for Fox's predominant status?  You tell me.


DUKE LACROSSE: THE REWARDS OF RACISM

Ken Berwitz

Remember the stripper who claimed she was gang-raped by Duke Lacrosse players?  Remember that she was found to have made up the entire story?  Remember the 88 Duke University academics who signed a letter, written before the facts came out, which basically tried, sentenced, convicted and demanded punishment for the Duke Lacrosse players who didn't do it?

There's a lot to revisit here.  But Stuart Taylor, via Paul Mirengoff of www.powerlineblog.com,  has decided to concentrate on what happened to several of the most outspoken signers of the condemnatory letter.  Read this - and keep a barf bag handy:

What ever happened to the "Duke 88"?

December 31, 2009 Posted by Paul at 2:46 PM

 

The "Duke 88" consisted of 88 Duke professors who signed an ad which implicitly assumed that Duke lacrosse players raped a black stripper, an allegation that proved to be entirely fraudulent. The ad praised protesters who had put lacrosse players' photos on "wanted" posters, associated "what happened to this young woman" with "racism and sexism," and suggested that the lacrosse players were getting privileged treatment because of their race.

 

The ad appeared almost four years ago. Stuart Taylor takes a look at what has happened since to some of the 88 thoroughly wrongheaded professors who signed it.

 

First, according to Taylor, no member of the "Duke 88" has publicly apologized. Many have expressed pride in their rush to judgment.

 

Second, signing the ad seems to have been a pretty good career move. In 2007, one member of the group -- Paula McClain -- became head of Duke's Academic Council, the highest elected position for a faculty member.

Three members of the "Duke 88" have been hired by other leading universities. One of them is the execrable Houston Baker. As I wrote here:

 

The demagogic Baker excoriated the lacrosse team for their "silent whiteness" and their "white, male, athletic privilege." He called for the "immediate dismissals" by Duke of "the team itself and its players," to combat the "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us." After the innocence of the accused players had become clear, Baker received an email from the mother of a member of the lacrosse team (who hadn't been accused) asking if he would reconsider his earlier statements. Baker responded, by typing "LIES" and indicating that his correspondent was the mother of a "farm animal." Eventually Baker, a post-modernist if nothing else, fell back to arguing that it didn't matter whether the rape allegations were true.

 

Baker was hired to teach at Vanderbilt. According to Taylor, Vanderbilt touts him as Duke's "leading dissident voice" regarding the rape allegations. Of course, Baker wasn't a dissident at first -- he was part of the lynch mob. If he became a dissident at all, it was because of his refusal to back off (not apologize, just shut-up) once it became clear that the stripper's allegations were bogus.

 

Vanderbilt's conduct shows that smearing innocent whites is a badge of honor in major precincts of academia. That the allegations Baker defended were bogus made no difference; all that mattered was that the stereotypes and the hatreds he relied on to reach his false conclusions were the stereotypes and hatreds of the dominant academic left.

 

Grant Farred, also of the "Duke 88," is another beneficiary of this phenomenon. According to Taylor, after the Attorney General of North Carolina declared the lacrosse players innocent, Farred called the players racists and perjurers. In 2007, Cornell hired Farred. The following year, it promoted him to director of graduate studies in the African-American department.

 

From Cornell's perspective it's a good decision. A man of Farred's blind ideological adherence to the left-wing narrative of American race relations is perfect for the job of director of African-American graduate studies at Cornell. Indeed, to the extent that this appointment maximizes Farred's exposure to people misguided enough to have entered a graduate program in African-American studies -- and mimimizes his exposure to more innocent undergraduates -- the appointment can be considered a good deal all around.

 

Finally, in 2007 the University of Chicago gave an endowed chair to Charles Payne, also of the "Duke 88." According to Taylor, as the head of Duke's African and American studies department, Payne had inappropriately authorized the use of university funds to pay for the "Duke 88's" ad. The doubly unscrupulous Professor Payne is now with the Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He specializes in education issues. Having suffered through Bill Ayers and Barack Obama (and, some might say Arne Duncan), the Chicago school system can only hope that Payne's interest will be purely academic.

What does this tell you about the state of academia in our country?  What does it tell you about the state of academia in supposedly great universities? 

And, most importantly, what does it tell you about how academia defines racism? 

Suppose the colors were reversed and it was a White stripper claiming she was gang-raped by Black athletes - and the story turned out to be 100% fraudulent.  What do you think would happen to 88 academics who signed a letter that tried, convicted and sentenced those Black athletes without knowing the facts?

I've said many times in this blog that there are people who know what being anti-Black is, but don't know what racism is - because they think it begins and ends at being anti-Black.  Well, it doesn't. 

The "people" whom you just read about are racists.  Period.  No asterisk, no disclaimer.  They are racists. 

They seized upon an incident involving Blacks and Whites, and accused the Whites of acting in a racist manner, without any information other than the stripper's word.  The simple fact that the stripper was Black and the lacrosse players were White was good enough.

If that isn't racism, what is? 


CRITICISM OF OBAMA "UNAMERICAN" AND "TRAITOROUS"????

Ken Berwitz

In my opinion Joan Walsh, the editor in chief of www.salon.com, is a left wing looney-tune.  And Chris Matthews, of Hardball, is not far behind.  

Why do I say this?  Read the following blog from P.J. Gladnick at www.newsbusters.org and see if you can guess:

Hardball: Joan Walsh Calls Republican Critics of Obama 'Un-American' and 'Traitorous'

By P.J. Gladnick (

January 1, 2010 - 12:02 ET

 

Remember when dissent was supposed to be patriotic? Well, it seems that only applies when a Republican is president. Now that Barack Obama is in the White House, criticism of him is "un-American" and "traitorous." This new "tolerant" view of dissent comes from Joan Walsh of Salon.Com as you can see in this Hardball video from Wednesday. Below is the Walsh money quote but please be sure to also watch the video since it is important to watch as she drops any facade of liberal tolerance and lets her true dogmatic soul reveal itself in both her face and voice which seems to border on dementia:  (TO SEE THE VIDEO, CLICK HERE):

 

The climate right now is that Republicans use everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this president. And its actually un-American. Its traitorous, in my opinion. Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? Continue to treat this president like he wasnt elected and he doesnt know what hes doing! He knows what he did. He knows what hes doing. Im proud of him. I believe that he has the stalwart, resolute nature to get this done...

 

This hate filled outburst from Walsh came in the midst of a Hardball segment which also featured host Chris Matthews and guest Ron Christie, a Republican strategist, discussing President Obama's response to terrorism. Here is the transcript:

 

MATTHEWS: ... to the double dealing charge against you personally, sir, that you have a different attitude about President Bush and President Obama. President Bush took six days, according to the record, to respond to the shoe bomber. The president we have now, our president, took three days or 72 hours, I believe it was.

Whats the difference in the way you score this? You seem to score it differentlyis there is bell curve for Republicans...

 

WALSH: Really!

 

MATTHEWS: ... where theyre given more time? Is this the Katrina rule, where if its anything faster than a week, its somehow Speedy Gonzalez here?

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

CHRISTIE: Chris...

 

MATTHEWS: I mean, why do you give credit to Bush for six days you dont give to this president for three days? Whats your scorecard, sir?

 

CHRISTIE: Im not looking at a scorecard, Chris.

 

MATTHEWS: Well, what are you looking at?

 

CHRISTIE: Im looking at connecting the dots. If you go back to Major Hasan Nidal (SIC) this past summer...

 

MATTHEWS: Youre changing the subject.

 

CHRISTIE: ... the shooting at Ft. Hood...

 

MATTHEWS: Why does Bush get six days?

 

CHRISTIE: No, no, Chris! No! Im going to actually answer this question. Again, we had a very tepid response from the Obama administration initially. First they said everything was under control. Then they said it was an isolated incident. Then we come forward to the Christmas incident. Chris, the difference is one thing and one thing only, Christmas Day is one of the most holiest day in the Christian religious faith.

 

MATTHEWS: Yes.

 

CHRISTIE: This was a radicalized Muslim who tried to kill 300 Americans on Christmas Day. I wanted my president to come out and say, We recognize this is an act of terror by a radicalized Muslim on Christmas Day...

 

WALSH: Thats ridiculous.

 

CHRISTIE: ... and we have the situation under control.

 

MATTHEWS: Why did he have to say radicalized Muslim? Why is that lingo so important to you?

 

WALSH: Richard Reid was a radicalized Muslim three days before Christmas. I had relatives flying in. It was 2001. I was actually scared to death at that point. So were a lot of Americans. But nobody thought to bray about President Bush staying on his vacation because that wasnt the climate at the time.

The climate right now is that Republicans use everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this president. And its actually un-American. Its traitorous, in my opinion. Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? Continue to treat this president like he wasnt elected and he doesnt know what hes doing! He knows what he did. He knows what hes doing. Im proud of him. I believe that he has the stalwart, resolute nature to get this done. In my opinion, sometimes he goes too far, but to talk about him like hes some socialist out-to-lunch...

 

MATTHEWS: OK...

 

WALSH: ... is just outrageous!

 

Perhaps Walsh needs to be thanked for openly displaying the true face of political intolerance on the part of liberals.

So Joan Walsh thinks that talking against the President is "un-American" and "traitorous"?  That certainly explains why www.salon.com never had a bad word to say about President Bush (yes that is dripping with sarcasm).

And Chris Matthews wonders why the President should have called umar farouk abdulmutallab a radicalized muslim - after he stuffed explosives in his underpants and detonated them in an effort to blow up almost 300 people on Christmas day in the name of Allah?

If you have a better description of this sorry pair, I would love to hear it -- along with an explanation of why I'm wrong.

I'll wait.........

Zeke ... ... ... ... ... ... “I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” ... ... ... ... – Hillary Rodham Clinton ... ... April 28, 2003 ... ... ... ... ... ... Dang ! This is a rare occasion, when Hillary got it right. (01/01/10)


THE CASE FOR PROFILING

Ken Berwitz

Should we use profiling as a tool against the "people" (if that's what you want to call them) who want to blow up airplanes full of innocent travelers?

Before you answer, read this piece by Chuck Hustmyre, author and former federal agent:

January 01, 2010

In Defense of Profiling

By Chuck Hustmyre

 

Let's get one thing straight right up front: Profiling is an effective tool.

 

We do it with serial killers all the time. Why not terrorists? Because it's discrimination. Therefore, it must be evil.

 

Wrong.

 

According to my World Book dictionary, discriminate means "to see or note a difference; (to) make a distinction."

 

When I choose steak over fish, I discriminate. When I decide to see one movie and not another, I discriminate. We make discriminating choices all day, every day. Discrimination is nothing more than the implementation of personal experience. 

 

I want airport security personnel to discriminate between terrorists and non-terrorists.

 

The reason discrimination has gotten a bad rap is because we, the silent majority of clear-headed, right-thinking Americans, have permitted the American Left to control our language. We have allowed the Left to imbue certain words with so much negative connotation that we have, in effect, added them to the late comedian George Carlin's list of words you can never say.

 

Discrimination and profiling are two of those words.

 

The attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by an al-Qaeda-linked Muslim terrorist highlighted obvious weaknesses in airport security screening. However, instead of addressing the real security problems, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, under the direction of the woefully unqualified Janet Napolitano, is busily issuing a string of new directives that will harass and inconvenience millions of travelers while actually accomplishing nothing.

 

Already we know that international passengers will henceforth have to remain seated with nothing in their laps for the last hour of their flight. NOTE TO TERRORISTS: Initiate detonation ninety minutes before landing, or any time after takeoff. The new rule sounds too stupid to be true, but it is just one of many coming to an airport near you.

 

Out of the billions of airport security screenings conducted in this country since 9/11, how many terrorist bombs or weapons have been found? I'd wager the answer is -- not one. I certainly haven't heard of any bag or body searches that revealed bombs or guns in the possession of an actual terrorist who was planning on blowing up or hijacking an American airliner.

 

I did hear about the failed attempt by shoe-bomber Richard Reid, who successfully smuggled explosives aboard an airliner only to have them fail to detonate. Now we've learned about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian with alleged ties to al-Qaeda, who, but for an equipment failure and a quick-thinking, aggressive Dutch passenger, would have downed another commercial jetliner and murdered the 288 other people aboard.

 

Profiling may not have stopped Reid or Abdulmutallab, but one thing is certain: We are wasting our finite security resources by spreading them out equally over the approximately seven hundred million passengers who travel on U.S. airlines each year.

 

If we stopped treating terrorism as a social problem and instead treated it as a mathematical or statistical problem, the solution would be obvious.

 

It is an inarguable fact that the vast majority of terrorists operating today are young Muslim men of Middle Eastern descent. Even Richard Reid, a British convert to Islam, adopted the affectations of an angry young Muslim.

 

In the 1980s, an anti-government, neo-Nazi group called The Order committed a string of deadly bank and armored car robberies in the Pacific Northwest. All of the members of the group were white men. Had the police and FBI squandered their investigative resources by including black men, Jews, and members of the Swedish bikini team in their search for members of the white supremacist group, the investigators could have rightfully been accused of criminal negligence.

 

What is absurd is to pretend that profiling doesn't work at all, and that the mere mention of it is racist.

 

While it is possible that a fifty-year-old man in a business suit might pull a gun and rob a convenience store, it is much more probable that a twenty-year-old man in a hooded sweat jacket will do it. And if a store clerk casts a more wary eye on the twenty-year-old than on the fifty-year-old, is he discriminating? Is he profiling? The answer to both is yes. But is it reasonable? Is it justified? Again, the answer to both questions is yes, because the collective experience of tens of thousands of convenience store robberies is that a young man in a hooded sweat jacket is much more likely to be an armed robber than an older man in a business suit.

 

Profiling isn't a panacea. It's a tool. And it works, especially if it's used in conjunction with other investigative techniques. The danger in profiling is that investigators may lean too heavily upon it. They may exclude without further consideration anyone who doesn't meet the profile's basic parameters.

 

Here's a situation. Two people are trying to pass through security to board a plane. One is a sixty-year-old Danish woman carrying a Bible and traveling abroad for the first time. The other is a 28-year-old Muslim man carrying a Qu'ran and a passport indicating he recently returned from Pakistan. Both are traveling alone on one-way tickets.

 

On whom do you cast a warier eye?

 

If you don't believe that there exists a statistically higher probability that one of them is a terrorist and legitimately deserves more scrutiny than the other, then you are either grossly delusional or you believe that a certain number of deaths by terrorism is an acceptable tradeoff for not offending anyone.

 

If you believe the latter, then you are also qualified to be the director of Homeland Security. 

That's a pretty powerful argument.  Wouldn't you say?

bobw IF WHEN-NOBAMA COMES TO A CITY- DOES NOT THE SECRET SERVICE GO TO ALL MEASURES TO BE CERTAIN THE ROUTE- BUILDING WHATEVER ARE ALL SAFE- DON'T THEY USE PROFILES- SO WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PROFILING SOMEONE AT THE AIRPORT OH! NO-WE ARE TOO POLITCALY CORRECT TO SUSPECT AND SEARCH SOME TOWEL HEAD NAMED ABDULLA FROM YEMEN- THAT SMELLS LIKE A GOAT- WHY SEARCH HIM-???? LETS GO FOR THE 15 YEAR OLD FROM ATLANTA- (01/01/10)


OBAMA'S NON-WAR ON NON-TERROR

Ken Berwitz

Does President Obama understand that there is a war in progress - not in Afghanistan per se but throughout the world?  Does he understand that it is a war against radical Islam, that radical Islam utilizes terrorism as its primary attack mode, and that, therefore, it is a war against terrorism?

I think not. 

And, in that regard, I agree with the great Charles Krauthammer, who explains Mr. Obama's problem near-perfectly in his latest column.  Please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

Friday, January 01, 2010

War? What War?

by Charles Krauthammer

 

WASHINGTON -- Janet Napolitano -- former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security -- will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: "The system worked." The attacker's concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son's jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.

Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration's response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism "man-caused disasters." Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York -- a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term "war on terror." It's over -- that is, if it ever existed.

Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term "asymmetric warfare."

And produces linguistic -- and logical -- oddities that littered Obama's public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as "an isolated extremist." This is the same president who, after the Ford Hood shooting, warned us "against jumping to conclusions" -- code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan's mass murder with his Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama's references to the terrorist as a "suspect" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device." You can hear the echo of FDR: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor."

Obama reassured the nation that this "suspect" had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant -- an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians -- and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point -- surprise! -- he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama's declaration that "we will not rest until we find all who were involved." Once we've given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama's terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator -- no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

The president said that this incident highlights "the nature of those who threaten our homeland." But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as "extremist(s)."

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is not one of these. He is a jihadist. And unlike the guys who shoot abortion doctors, jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and are openly pledged to war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy -- jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon -- turns laxity into a governing philosophy.

Who does President Obama think he's talking to?  A group of students in an insular college environment or people outside of that environment in the real world?.

And who will be offended if he calls the war on terrorism a war on terrorism?  osama bin laden?  umar farouk abdulmutallab?  Janet Napolitano? Code Pink? 

Mr. Obama:  It is time to act like a President whose primary focus is on the safety and well-being of the citizens you lead.  And using contrived, sanitized euphemisms which do nothing but tell our enemies that you're a weak, wussy pushover, isn't going to do the trick. 


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At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!