Friday, June 8, 2012
Friday Rant: Obama's Foreign Policy Drones On
It is early Friday morning. Too much coffee. Read too many newspapers and watched too many news and talk shows. Ready to rant.
This posting likely will be misinterpreted, but let's charge on. I start saying that I wish a hideous outcome for the jihadis and their "cause." I detest them; they are intolerant, stupid, murdering, and cowardly scum. In my years overseas, along with other Foreign Service officers, I was directly involved in several actions against the Islamists. In one case I remember very well, working with the local services, we got a very bad guy scooped off the street, and sent to an "undisclosed location." In another assignment, working closely with the local services and those of a friendly third country, we managed to have a couple of prominent jihadis, who had killed a lot of people, end up very, very dead, their bodies riddled with bullets and torn apart with explosives. I slept fine. Unlike way too many people in the Obama Administration, my colleagues and I took seriously then and now issues of classification and protection of sources, means, and people. We certainly never said a word to the press, and not even to colleagues who did not have a need to know, or to our own families. It was serious stuff involving millions of dollars of taxpayer assets and putting at risk many lives, American and foreign. The Bush White House never said a word, either--no puff pieces on how the President had given the "go." I say all this not to brag but to underline that along with many other Foreign Service officers who served in the "hard places," I have some "street cred" which allows me to be critical of Obama's "war on terror."
Obama is not serious about the war on terror anymore than he is about almost anything else. For the Obamistas the anti-terror effort is just another program to be augmented, abandoned, or otherwise used to benefit the Dear Leader. It is akin to the auto bailout, "middle class tax cuts," student loan interest rates, or the "war on women." How's it polling? People want the terrorists dealt with? Prisoners lead to legal and political issues? OK, then no prisoners; let's make the Dear Leader into the world's foremost terrorist killer.
Let me digress with a personal reflection. Many years ago I served in a very raucous and war-torn Central American country. One of my jobs was to be the bayonet dummy for visiting groups of secular leftists and radical religious personnel. Once a week, I would brief them on the political and combat situation in the country; then they would spit on, shout at and hurl insults at me. When they got home they would write newsletters for their backers about how they told off the Empire. One point was always the issue of political prisoners. These visitors would get very angry with me when I would tell them there were no political prisoners despite decades of warfare. They assumed I was covering for the local regime. They were too stupid to ask, "Why are there no prisoners after thirty years of war?" I think the answer is obvious.
The Obama war on terror involves taking no prisoners. Like the dopey academic leftists they are, the Obamistas get themselves all tangled up in endless legalisms, and Eric Holder stupidities, which makes killing a better, i..e, easier, option politically. They have turned the word "drone" into a verb which means killing. Al Jihadi, the number two of al Qaeda in (fill in the blank) got droned today . . . Drone strikes, however, do not make a foreign or a defense policy. Drone strikes are easy. They are useful on many occasions, but they are not substitutes for the hard work of real counter-terrorism warfare. Dead jihadis do not talk. Obamistas rather incinerate a building full of people rather than "waterboard" or sleep deprive one jihadi. Drones, however, make for better press releases than quiet work in the shadows.