In Obama’s latest press conference, he repeated his promise to close Guantanamo, promised not to to send any more detainees home to Yemen, (for the time being, anyway), and last but not least, he claimed that Gitmo was a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. In other words, the terrorist threats we face today are all Bush’s fault.
Victor Davis Hanson says, fine, go for it, close the damn thing already, but:
…consider the logic: before Guantanamo, al-Qaeda achieved its greatest success in damaging America; after it, it suffered some of its most grievous defeats, but somehow its existence is counter-productive and a recruiting tool? What, Pray God, was the recruiting tool on September 10, 2001?
All things being equal, the idea that a terrorist will spend a lot of time in a cell in Cuba if caught seems much less of a recruiting tool than hearing that your enemy has banned the use of “war against terror,” made up grand achievements of your civilization, apologized for his country’s sins, publicly bowed to prominent autocratic Muslims, promised a public trial in New York for your heroic mastermind of 9/11, and in general blamed the war on his predecessor. All that seems quite an encouragement to join al-Qaeda in comparison to the punishment of incarceration if caught.
4) Does Obama have any notion of what enemies say and do in war? That al-Qaeda claims this week that Guantanamo is a recruiting tool hardly makes it one. For years we heard that American troops in Saudi Arabia caused Bin Laden’s anger — and now that they are gone? If one were to collate all of Dr. Zawahiri’s constantly changing complaints — Jews supposedly in Mecca, lack of American campaign finance reform, Israel, etc. — the list would become endless. Thucydides invented a word prophasis precisely for the idea of belligerents inventing perceived grievances for their various aggressions. Would Obama really believe Hitler’s whine about Versailles as he went into the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, the low countries, Yugoslavia, Greece, Russia, etc.? At what point would Obama, our modern-day Clement Attlee and Stanley Baldwin, have ceased trying to make Versailles “right,” and instead pondered that Hitler was an aggressive thug who cloaked his endless invasions in all sorts of whines that were designed to appeal to guilt-ridden Westerners?
Charles Krauthammer was on the same wavelength, yesterday on Fox’s Special Edition with Brett Baier:
I’m sure that as soon as Michael Steele is through with his book tour and speaking engagements, he’ll find time to help make the Dems’ weakness on foreign policy into an election issue for Republicans, probably too much to ask, though.