Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My answer to Politico's "Arena" question, "Has Obama bet his presidency on the NYC terror trial?"

It's not so much that Obama has bet his presidency on the outcome of the KSM terror trial, it's that Obama is betting his presidency on being more politically correct than George W. Bush. And that's risky, as all those p.c. pieties are now crashing down amidst an ongoing clash of civilizations, as shots and bombs go off in Fort Hood and Kabul--and all across the "bloody borders" of Islam, as the late Samuel Huntington described them.

But it was Bush, not Obama, who declared, back in 2001, that "Islam is peace." Such sentiments didn't keep the 43rd president from fighting in Iraq, of course, but as part of his liberation theory, he was required to believe that the only thing standing in between Muslims and loving America was a few bad-apple governments. Once Saddam Hussein et al. were gone, Bush believed, things would be fine; Christians, Muslims, and Jews would all get along, serene and secure in their respective democracies.

Such p.c. not only clouded our understanding of the world, it also seeped back into the home front; that's why all the rest of us had to take our shoes off when we got on airplanes. The obvious tools of good security, such as profiling, were off-limits in the Bush era, at least officially.

Needless to say, others in the Bush administration, such as Dick Cheney, were not on board for such p.c. pieties, but it was under Bush's reign that Admiral Mullen got to be chairman of the JCS under Bush 43, declaring that diversity was a "strategic priority," and Gen. Casey got to lead the Army, saying, in the wake of Fort Hood, that it would be a tragedy if we lost our diversity.

So Obama could have swept into power pushing a new broom, applying a neo-realist vision to the challenges of homeland security, as well as national security. After the Fort Hood shooting, he could have guided investigators to the obvious conclusion: that the policies that made America safe for Nidal Hasan were all implemented in the Bush 43 era or before, and that he, Obama, would make the necessary hardnosed changes to make Americans safer.

But that would have been too easy. Instead, our Nobel laureate president must prove that the cure for the ailments of p.c. is more p.c. Indeed, he is going to double down on Ivy League law-school legalism. And so yes, Obama is betting his presidency on the proposition that what America needs is another Warren Court, bringing the wondrous benefits of Miranda warnings to Al Qaeda and other civilization-clashers.


Peter913 said...

I think the subject is moot. The trial wont end before November 2012.
And there probably be other things to derail BO's presidential hopes for a second term.

Jay Adler said...

On what might appear as a disposition on conducting a Trial of the Century variety event in my home town of New York City that is of less importance, for me exhibits the uncaring attitude that is seen here. New York City as has been the case for many years is in a fiscal meltdown. Much of school system is in shambles and unimaginably overcrowded. Every night on the news people get get killed, raped or robbed in the outer boroughs. Police shootings happen all the time with uniformed officers getting it often. Traffic since I was a boy is horrendous and parking is emasculating. There are no shows like Oklahoma, Stop the World,Cabaret on Broadway and I fall asleep quickly durng SNL. Why does New York City and it's 8 million residents have to suffer the unimaginable costs and lack of visitors that this trial will create in the years that it will remain here. I value the cops, but how much do they get on overtime? This whole can of worms should have been held out of our boundaries and disposed of quickly. Once again, the American people and particularly good New Yorkers are going to end up paying for something they do not want.