In the ongoing war of words over who’s more willing to fight the “War on Terror,” former Vice President Dick Cheney says President Obama has made us less safe, while Obama says the policies of Cheney made us less safe. Obama’s right — Cheney did make us less safe. And Obama continues to make us less safe precisely because he continues the policies of Bush/Cheney. Arguing between the two is like debating whether it was mistress No. 4 or 40 that finally made Tiger Woods less safe from his wife’s lawyers.
But at least Woods, deep down, had to realize his behavior might one day come back to haunt him. And now Woods is learning the hard way about that nasty constant in human nature: retribution.
Cheney and Obama, on the other hand, have learned nothing. Ignoring that 9/11 was caused primarily by Islamists seeking retribution for constant U.S. intervention in their “holy land” — something Osama bin Laden made perfectly clear — Bush/Cheney launched a pointless war in Iraq, giving al-Qaida its best recruiting tool in its history. In his tenure, Cheney did absolutely nothing to fight the terrorist threat — his administration invested in it. Heavily.
Obama’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and whichever country next strikes his fancy, is a jihadist’s dream — a new American president, who despite promising “change” seems hell-bent on continuing with the same foreign policy as the last president. When former CIA terror expert Michael Scheuer was asked on CNN’s State of the Union last week whether U.S. efforts had succeeded in diminishing the terrorist threat, he said bluntly, “I think it’s stronger than it was before 9/11, certainly because the support and opposition across the Muslim world to American foreign policy is far greater today than it was on 9/11.”
This phenomenon of opposition to American foreign policy translating into terrorist activity is so well-established, the CIA created the term “blowback” to describe it. Cheney and Obama not only refuse to address blowback, but instead squabble over who’s more willing to use torture or increase airport harassment, a conversation which does nothing to address the root problem of why terrorists want to attack us in the first place or why there are more terrorists now than before 9/11.
Could you imagine police detectives trying to stop a serial killer while completely ignoring his motives? Or how about if police simply dismissed the murderer as “crazy,” which is probably true, as many so-called “Islamofascists” are certainly not of the same mind as you or I. Yet in order to stop such a murderer, crazy or not, law enforcement still tries to get inside his mind, paying particular attention to certain patterns.
Our leaders in Washington refuse to look at motive or patterns when it comes to trying to prevent terrorism. Instead, we are told terrorists simply “hate our freedom,” as Bush put it. Obama might not employ the same language as Bush — something some Republicans laughably find “weak” — but to date has still not offered a more substantive explanation. Canada is far more libertine culturally than the U.S., and this is precisely the sort of “freedom” that supposedly gets the Islamist’s goat. Yet strangely enough, Canada does not find itself constantly having to worry about Islamic terrorism — because terrorists don’t find Canadians en masse on Islamic land.