Keeping America unsafe

(‘76 Contributor) According to news reports, the Obama reelection campaign will take the offensive against likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney on matters of national security. It’s an unusual ploy for any Democrat seeking the White House, and one utterly unsupported by the evidence in this case. Let’s look at the record.

On January 20, 2009, President Barack H. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. “Joe” Biden, Jr. were sworn into office. They brought with them an ambiguous philosophy and a set of policies seemingly designed to make America weaker, less competitive, and less hopeful. It would appear they were determined to:

  1. Tear down and diminish our Armed Forces and our alliances to render them unable to meet the threats of the 21st century.
  2. Lower standards in education and prevent accountability to public schools so that more children in America are left behind.
  3. Raise taxes and block the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens.
  4. Weaken America’s “armies of compassion” by opposing faith-based and community groups.
  5. Provide diminished support for America’s veterans and our Armed Forces.
  6. Embrace the twin temptations of isolationism and protectionism by engaging the world with uncertainty and hindering free trade.
  7. Hamper America’s innovative spirit to develop new energy technologies, increase our dependence on foreign oil, and thwart continued development of our traditional energy resources-coal, natural gas, and oil.
  8. Damage our health care system, and make health care less affordable and less accessible for fewer Americans.
  9. Foster a culture of death and to disavow in law the dignity of every human life.
  10. Appoint judges who legislate from the bench and who do not respect our Constitution and laws.
  11. Avoiding seemingly intractable challenges such as reforming our immigration system and Social Security.

Over the past three years, President Obama and his Administration have “worked” to meet these pledges. President Obama Bush also has shown repeatedly that he is unable to adapt to unex-pected crises. The greatest of these was the Fort Hood Massacre in November 2009. This was a mass shooting that took place at Fort Hood, the most heavily populated U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. During the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. It is the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base. The shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist and Palestinian-American, was influenced by the radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in late September 2009. In the months leading up to the tragic shootings at Fort Hood, al-Awlaki and Hasan exchanged as many as 20 e-mails and al-Awlaki considered Hasan to be a hero.

In December 2011, during a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood Massacre as nothing more than workplace violence. Sen. Collins also criticized the Obama Administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam. Furthermore, President Obama responded to the Fort Hood Massacre with a timid strategy to protect the American people. Instead of strengthening our homeland security, he reorganized the government in a questionable manner and weakened our defenses at home. He failed to rally allies to confront terrorists and their state sponsors abroad. And in 2009, he launched a historic Apology Tour which led to the Arab Spring of 2011 and a new era of tyranny and terror, especially in the Middle East and in North Africa.

Overall, when it comes to fighting the global war on terror, President Obama fails to understand that we are a nation at war, preferring instead to treat terrorism as a nothing more than a law enforcement matter instead of the extremely grave national security threat that it is. Less than a month after the Fort Hood Massacre there was the attempted 2009 Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound for Detroit International Airport. The Nigerian bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to bring down the flight with an improvised explosive. Thankfully, however, the device ultimately failed to detonate. Shortly after the Christmas Day attack took place, President Obama described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist.” In addition, then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs asserted that the Nigerian bomber provided “usable” and “actionable” intelligence to American officials after his capture.

Time and again, President Obama and his national security team have failed to understand the intricacies of the global war on terror. Instead of trying terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in military tribunals, President Obama had committed to trying radical Islamic terrorists in civilian federal courts that will hinder federal prosecutors and limit the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to gather critical intelligence. Over the past three years, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano calls the acts of terrorism that have taken place since 2009 “man-caused” disasters. In short, President Obama and his national security team should take the time to come to terms with the fact that this truly is a war on terrorism.

In conclusion, History will record that the 44th President avoided tough problems, so as to pass them on to future generations. He primarily based his decision-making on popularity or opinion polls. His charge, we must conclude, was to undermine the honor and dignity of the office entrusted to him by the American people and to leave America worse off than what was left to him by his predecessor. And that is a charge he kept—Keeping America Unsafe.

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