Sun, 24 May 2009 05:15:36 +0000 – By J. Peter FreireContributing Editor, The American Spectator
The foiled synagogue bombing plot shows us one thing: We are truly the victims of our own success. Walid Phares noted accurately this week here in the FOX Forum that this is a triumph for law enforcement, but it's also a subtle reminder of how the fight against radical Islamic terrorism isn't over -- most importantly, it's not over on the home front.
This event obviates it, sure. But in our postmodern mentality, there's a certain bit of cognitive dissonance about impending terrorist attacks. The threat level offered by Homeland Security is background noise, discussions of terrorism are simply examples of fear-mongering, and the closing of Guantanamo Bay is a priority, moreso than effectively communicating a new strategy of fighting terror.
This last is actually the most pertinent to the Obama administration, because his speech, while certainly a testament to his good faith in the rule of law, put forward no such new strategy. Instead, it focused, as his speeches tend to focus, on the rhetoric surrounding the debate. In this, Obama provided nothing new aside from his own desire to dismiss his dissenters as those too focused on the past -- but in a way, it's Obama who, despite frequently talking about the last eight years, seems to have learned nothing.
Perhaps this is because being direct about these issues puts him in political jeopardy. As Karl Rove notes in his thoughtful Wall Street Journal op-edon Thursday, Obama has indeed backtracked on a number of national security initiatives. This shows a calculating and thoughtful side to the president that is, in some way, reassuring.
What is not reassuring, however, is his unwillingness to come out and speak directly about his intentions. This is a longstanding characteristic of this man prior to the White House. I suspect that over time, we will see more of this pattern. He will continue to pledge greater transparency, to call for respectful debate in his speeches, all the while offering little substance to the people hanging on his words.
It's not evil. It's just disappointing. A thoughtful man reluctant to share his thoughts with the people who depend on them.