Friday, October 12, 2012

Too much BS to swallow

Michael Kinsley opines in the StarTribune today that maybe a Romney presidency wouldn't suck too much.  Very much the backhanded compliment, it isn't an endorsement on the GOP ticket, but rather an admission that while Romney/Ryan would be disastrous to the liberal agenda, the country would probably survive.  But of all the half truths or outright lies Kinsley peddles, one cannot by any means go unchallenged;

He didn't get us into any wars, and there were no major terrorist episodes on his watch. That, to me, seems like a pretty good record.

This is pure and simple BS, or 'stuff' as the vice president now calls it.  President Obama not only involved us deeper in the Afghanistan war, he was proud to lead from behind in Libya.  And saying there were no major terrorist episodes on the president's watch is insulting to the US military and factually incorrect.

One of President Obama's first major foreign policy actions was to increase US military involvement in Afghanistan, attempting to replicate the surge of troops that was so successful in Iraq.  I applauded that decision then and still do as the best choice that could have been made.  Unfortunately the follow on actions, giving an absolute deadline or US withdrawal, undercut the Afghan surge from the start.

And one of the few situations that even the president can't claim he inherited was the Arab Spring uprising across the Middle East.  That movement resulted in uprisings in Libya that were brutally put down by former Libyan president Gaddafi.  President Obama determined that this situation meet the criteria he needed for military involvement, and the US led a coalition to oust Gaddafi.  That effort was ultimately successful in removing the Libyan president from breathing.  We can debate whether or not the Libyan mission was a 'war' or some other term, but the fact is the president sent US men and women into harm's way in a foreign country.  History generally refers to that as war.

As for Kinsley's other assertion, no major terrorist attacks, you can't make this claim with a straight face without your head firmly buried in the sand.

June 21st, 2009 A radical Muslim American opens fire at a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arakansas.  1 American dead, 1 severely wounded.

November 5th, 2009 A radical Muslim American opens fire at a mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas.  13 Americans dead, 30 more wounded.

December 25th, 2009 A radical Muslim Nigerian man attempts to bring down an airliner over Detroit with a bomb, but is overpowered by passengers. 

May 1st, 2010 A radical Muslim American sets a car bomb in Times Square, New York which was prevented from detonating by an alert Vietnam veteran.

November 26th, 2010 A radical Muslim American sets what he believed was a functioning car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon, but was being monitored by the FBI.

October 2011 US intelligence community uncovers a plot by Iran to kill the Israeli ambassador on US soil

September 11, 2012 US embassies across the Middle East are attacked by radical Muslims, burning US flags and hoisting the Al Qaeda flag in its place.  The US consular office in Benghazi, Libya is attacked in a complex operation that results in the first death of a US ambassador in decades, 3 other US casualties, and a catastrophic intelligence loss.

To claim that there have been no major terrorist attacks on President Obama's watch is not just wrong, it is insulting to the dozens of dead Americans and the hundreds if not thousands more who are alive only because impending attacks were thwarted.

More importantly, the take away from the last four years for radical Islamic groups is plain and simple-the US will not fight back.  Just like in 1979 and again in the late 1990's, US policy has been to understand our enemies, try to persuade them not to attack us, and to try to arrest them when they do attack.  Our response to causus belli has been the Miranda warning.  That does not bode well for our future.

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