Saturday, January 9, 2010

A terrorist war Obama has denied

By Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a conservative, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and The New Republic, a Fox News contributor and a regular panelist on Fox’s Special Report, a weekly panelist on Inside Washington, served as a speech writer to Vice President Walter Mondale, and is an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post. Even though I am not in sympathy with his point of view, one would expect that he would provide exceptional commentary.

I understand Limbaugh’s, Beck’s, O’Reilly’s, Fox News’s, and Townhall Magazine’s commentary slant. However, I wonder why outstanding writers like Krauthammer use those same partisan writing devices: writing that is destitute of ideas and incapable of any but the most elementary sentiments; it’s provocative, sarcastic, inflammatory and does not add anything to a meaningful, substantial debate. More and more political commentators from both the left and right resort to using this biased, obfuscatory style. The reason why is simple: exploitation for partisan purposes that is not meant to promote understanding, but to fire-up contempt towards the opposite view.

Of course, Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, was completely out of touch with the events surrounding Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit when she said, the system worked.

However, Krauthammer is wrong when he says Napolitano renamed terrorism as man-caused disasters [man-made disasters]: Wikipedia defines terrorism as a man-made disaster, headlined as a sociological hazard.

But, what blows my mind is when Krauthammer interjects: Heck of a job, Brownie. Why was that written? What was meant by that? As was said in a blog reply to this article: Nice article but alas Krauthammer unfortunately decides to out of left field throw in a nonsense barb about Brownie. Why he chooses to conflate a hughly [highly] successful rescue that saved thousands of people from the roofs of flooded areas with a security failure is beyond me? It does not speak well of him that he chooses to perpetuate a falsehood rather than deal with the truth.

Krauthammer writes that President Obama has played down and denied the terrorist threat, has banishes the term war on terror, and has declared the war over, pledging to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. This may be what his conservative readership wants to hear, however, it is certainly far from the truth.

President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech is clear evidence that he has not played down nor denied the terrorist threat, nor has he declared the war over, or has he ever pledged to cleanse post 9/11 counterterrorist sins. Moreover, War on terror, war on drugs, and war on poverty are used where war is a metaphor representing strategies, tactics, remedial or combative action. Arguably, terrorist and drug cartels are similarly America’s enemies, which equally do not have national boundaries, whose armies are covert and who both mercilessly target civilians. Terrorism is a tactic; how can one declare war on a tactic.

Krauthammer criticized Obama for referring to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as an isolated extremist, a suspect, and by subjecting him to our criminal justice system is therefore protecting him from interrogation.

I guess Krauthammer believes that terrorists are not extremist, and at heart are run-of-the-mill warriors. A lawyer, which by training President Obama is, will always refer to those who commit crimes as suspects until proven otherwise in a court of law. And, when he claims Obama is protecting Abdulmutallab from interrogation by subjecting him to our system of justice only means that Krauthammer prefers torture to legal and disciplined interrogation.