Obama Already Announced he was a Hawk on Terrorism During his Election Campaign

Of all people, former vice-president and perennial apologist for torture, Dick Cheney, was the one who charged that President Barack Obama was not taking terrorism seriously enough. Cheney and his Republicans went head over heels this past weekend shouting that Obama was “soft on terror.” The objective was clear: the thwarted attack in Detroit has to politically damage the president as severely as possible.

Did it actually do that? No, not really. The accusations are, to put it politely, signs of brain-burnout. Obama announced early in his election campaign that he was a hawk on terrorism and recently proved that by ramping up troop strength in Afghanistan because of what he termed “acts of terrorism.” Terrorist attempts such as the Detroit airplane incident actually play into the President’s hands because they support his strategies.

Others may need this “free warning,” as the Times called it, but not Obama. What the Americans and British need to realize in their joint war on terror in Yemen and Somalia is this: one cannot just fight Islamic terrorism here and there with weapons and military operations; much more useful would be programs that stem the influence of Saudi Wahabi groups in their societies. In order to do that, an American president cannot afford to be “soft on Washington.”