MICHAEL GOODWIN: Wanted: A New Obama for a New Year

When I say "Happy New Obama Year," let me be clear: I mean we need a new President Obama in the new year.

It won't be easy for Mr. Nobel Peace Prize to change course and his tune. But he doesn't have much choice if he wants to save his presidency and the country.

Facts have demolished the politically constructed fiction that got him to the Oval Office. The conceit that he alone knows best and that everyone who came before was debased has been exposed as a messianic myth.

Given the stakes, staying the course is neither an option nor a virtue.

Take Obama's initial vacation comments on the Christmas terror attack and the uprising in Iran. They were late and timid, with even The New York Times starting its Page 1 story by saying, "President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion . . . "

Ouch. "Seclusion" was a one-word editorial that stung the White House, all the more so because it was friendly fire.

Even worse than his AWOL act was his failure to connect the dots between the two big topics in his first speech.

Terrorism and Iran are inextricably linked, with the mad mullahs the world's No. 1 sponsor of Islamic radicals. While there is no known evidence Iran played a role in the airplane plot, there is no question the global terror menace would largely be defanged without Iranian support.

Regime change in Tehran could be the fastest way to that end and might also mean no Iranian nukes. Yet Obama remains maddeningly reluctant to forcefully support the brave protesters who are challenging their rulers. He keeps trying to engage the crazies instead of helping to boot them.

And only on December 29 did he summon some passion, calling security lapses that let the Nigerian bomber on the plane "unacceptable."

Until then, his summary of the foiled attack made it sound like a routine whodunit, calling the bomber the "suspect" as if there is reasonable doubt.

Equally troubling, he said he wanted to discuss the Iran situation "before I leave." Talk about awful transitions. The "before I leave" smacks of a drive-by observation, which it was, because the president was headed to the golf course.

Perhaps Americans would be grateful that he interrupted his long vacation if he successfully reassured us his team has a clear-eyed focus on the enemy. But any team that includes Janet "The System Worked" Napolitano and willfully blind claims about "isolated extremists" doesn't pass the smell test.

The source of the problem is Obama's stubborn refusal to see and say the full truth about Islamic terrorism. We are under attack and it is a war, whether he likes it or not. Just because George Bush said it first doesn't make it wrong.

And many of the war's tentacles trace back to Iran. The 1979 Islamic revolution unleashed a cancer that has spread from the Mideast to the Twin Towers to Europe, Asia, Africa and, now, to the Detroit airport.

Instead of seeing the links and aligning America with the protesters, Obama limited himself to the hoary platitude that the United States joined in "strongly condemning" the crackdown.

Surely, the president of the United States can do better. In fact, he could simply steal lines from Tony Blair, the former British prime minister whose silver tongue spoke the truth about Islamic terror.

He once described an "arc of extremism" that unites disparate Muslim groups and individuals. "It doesn't always need structures and command centers or even explicit communication," Blair said.

"It knows what it thinks."

It knows what it thinks. Here's hoping Obama gains such certainty of purpose in 2010.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.