Has Obama made America safer?
Appeasement of Iran, including abandonment of Iraq, leaves U.S. less safe under Obama despite killings of Osama bin Laden, al-Awlaki and Gadaffy.
We can’t kill all the bad guys, deterrence is paramount
America is obviously safer when terrorists are neutralized and President Barack Obama deserves credit for the high profile killings of terrorist leaders at his direction. Moreover, his statements in the aftermath of the killing of bin Laden by U.S. Navy Seal Team Six make clear that the answer to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s most famous “snowflake” is that no, we did not create more terrorists than we killed under President George W. Bush. President Obama also deserves credit for breaking campaign promises to undo many of the Bush Administration’s War on Terror polices that kept us safe after September 11, 2001.
But that we are safer the day after particular terrorist leaders are killed, than the day before when they were still alive and operating, is but a small part of the determination of relative safety under Obama since his inauguration. The relevant questions in that determination must address how safe we were under his predecessor and why; an evaluation of how all of President Obama’s policies and actions have altered the position of the United States; and how those changes affect likely actions of our friends and enemies abroad.
It is especially critical to determine whether our most dangerous nation state enemies are more or less likely to take actions against the United States since Obama became Commander-in-Chief. America can’t kill all of its enemies and as long as evil lurks in the hearts of men and we have Earth’s superior military,we will be the target of megalomaniacs. Therefore, America must be feared by its enemies so that deadly actions are deterred.
Before Obama and Libya
The best example of how feared was the United States under President Bush was the unilateral WMD disarmament of the late Libya Dictator, Muammar Gaddafy when his mind was concentrated by Shock and Awe that drove Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein into a rat hole and his regime to the ash bin of history.
Gadaffy then watched the election of a new American Chief Executive that opposed the Iraq War, water-boarding, and Guantanamo Bay; and who favored show trials for Khalid Sheik Muhammad et al in New York City, apology tours and meetings with Iranian mullahs over the innocent citizens yearning to breathe free that they mowed down in the streets.
Why would Gadaffy fear that Obama would take action against him when Iran and its client state in Syria get carte blanche? Yes, Obama did cave to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a faux Arab Spring swept Hosni Mubarak from power, but Gadaffy was no Camp David partner bordering Israel.
Yes, it is a positive net good for humanity for Gaddafy to no longer be a part of it, but would Gadaffy have been threatening genocide if he feared American might? Was Gaddafy justified in viewing the U.S. under Obama, much like Osama bin Laden viewed us under President Bill Clinton, i.e. as a weak horse/paper tiger? I think so, and there is no question but that the sharia-favoring regime to come in Libya renders the trade-off as status quo or a net loss in keeping America safe.
Al Qaeda, Iraq and Iran
President Bush eliminated al Qaeda’s safe haven nation state and Taliban regime from which 911 was launched against the U.S. homeland, as well as numerous attacks against our interests abroad, especially including the 1998 bombings of two African embassies after OBL declared war on the United States. President Clinton launched missiles into Afghanistan and, reportedly missed opportunities to kill bin Laden due to sexual distractions and fear of world backlash for collateral damage to civilians.
Before Obama, the U.S. military decimated al Qaeda killing tens of thousands of trained terrorists and many leaders, many of whom came to Iraq to die defending their Muslim lands rather than launch more 911s. Before Obama, the Bush Administration gathered the evidence, in ways that then-Senator Obama opposed, in Iraq and Afghanistan that eventually led a shawl-clad Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Obama killed Osama: The Trophy
The United States was made much safer by the decimation of al Qaeda with bin Laden in hiding. We were also made safer when the Islamist icon was killed at President Obama’s direction. We are even more safe after Obama’s drone war escalation killed the architect of the Fort Hood shooting and other attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, i.e. Anwar al-Awlaki, in Yemen.
Calculating safety based on the killing of individual non-nation state actors is inherently difficult given the likelihood that such fanatics with no land to govern and preserve are not easily deterred. We do think that potential jihadist followers are deterred by same, and even more by the killing of tens of thousands in the War on Terror.
Do would be terrorists think that a President Obama would commit thousands of troops half-way around the world and fight for a surge if the going got tough? I doubt it. And yet, does anyone doubt that America’s willingness to fight long hard slogs has a much greater deterrent effect that isolated killings of individuals? The answer is obvious, and the peace that obtained from September 12, 2001 through January 19, 2009 speaks volumes.
Iraq withdrawal, South Korea, “Bush-lied” Era and the appeasement of Iran
Oil is good, Iraq matters and it mattered even before 911. To hear the Democratic Party tell it after expected WMD stockpiles weren’t found in Iraq, the only reason to ever go to war with another nation is if that nation was directly involved in 911 and/or can be shown beyond all doubt to have to have stockpiles of WMD.
We know that OBL was inspired to believe that he could attack and weaken America with impunity due to the fall of the Soviets partially at his hands in Afghanistan; and by pre-Bush Cowboy America’s withdrawal from Somalia when the going got tough, feckless treatment of an Iraq firing missiles at U.S. no-fly zone planes in violation of the Kuwait War cease-fire that U.S. armed forces died to achieve.
Such lessons should have been learned when Iran released the hostages before The Gipper was fully inaugurated, if not on the grammar school playground. Weakness invites aggression, the Sun sets in the West and how can anyone look at the relative actions and positions of U.S. presidents and parties and not know that we are safer when the world sees an “R” beside our president’s name.
The greatest existential foreign threat to the U.S. emanates from the radical mullahs that have ruled Iran since 1979. They are the number one sponsor of terror in the world and are close to devloping nuclear weapons.
Iran was surrounded when Obama took office. He now proposes to leave zero troops in Iraq after New Years Eve 2011. Two weeks ago, it was revealed by the Obama Administration that Iran has conspired to have a Saudi ambassadore assassinated on U.S. soil. The first words out of the State Department’s mouth the next day was that Iran need not fear military action from the United States.
The world will change dramatically for the worse on the day the world understands that Iran can launch a nuclear weapon. Doesn’t the appeasement of Iran by President Obama and its obvious effect on our safety far outweigh the safety benefits of the killings of three terrorists and some pirates? I think so. Meanwhile, Obama has gutted the U.S. Navy to near pre-Pearl Harbor levels.
One reason the world has remained as safe as it has is the basing of U.S. Navy ships all over the world, including in South Korea. Surely it is a strategic blunder of major proportions that the U.S. will leave no footprint in the only Arab nation that really had a democratic Spring.
The United States is not safer under Obama than we were before he took office; and we must reverse policies that send the message that foreign despots are more secure than America’s friends.
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Co-Founder and Editor - Political Daily
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist – Examiner.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson