Alamogordo, N.M. – Here in America's southwest desert, young Americans are training to fly Reapers, Predators and other Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) capable of attacking our enemies half a world away. Our Fox News "War Stories" team is here at Holloman Air Force Base documenting how these remarkable high-tech weapons are changing the face of battle in the long war against radical Islamists. But one thing that hasn't changed is how incredibly wrong liberal Democrats are about this fight.
Since the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound passenger flight on Christmas Day, the Obama administration has attempted to deflect criticism for its inept mishandling of counter-terrorism. President Obama, the lead-off hitter, tried to convince us the Nigerian underpants bomber was an "isolated case," that closing Gitmo and sending jihadists to Yemen is proper and holding show-trials in Manhattan for the likes of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is "the right thing to do."
White House "terror czar" John Brennan was up next. Brennan, apparently convinced that the best defense is a truly offensive offense, accused administration detractors of aiding and abetting the enemy: "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of Al Qaeda."
Now the O-Team has rolled out their ace rhetorical warrior — their big gun — Vice President Joe Biden. The VP has been making the rounds of the "talking head" TV shows and blasting away in every direction, with considerably less accuracy than we have come to expect from a Hellfire missile launched from a Predator.
During a conversation on "Meet the Press," Biden was asked about former Vice President Dick Cheney's critique of the Obama administration's handling of terrorism. The VP blustered, "I don't know where Dick Cheney has been.... What is he talking about?" He went on to accuse his predecessor of "rewrit[ing] history."
In true shoot-from-the-lip fashion, Biden also made it personal: "I don't think the vice… the former Vice President, Dick Cheney, listens. The president of the United States said in the State of the Union, 'We're at war with Al Qaeda.' He stated this." Biden went on to catalog the administration's "successes" in pursuing Al Qaeda since taking office, claiming "we're pursuing that war with a vigor like it's never been seen before."
Referring to Al Qaeda, Biden continued, "We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates. We are making — we've sent them underground. They are, in fact, not able to do anything remotely like they were in the past. They are on the run."
The "their," "them" and "they," Biden speaks of are, of course, Al Qaeda — many of whose members have indeed been "eliminated" by RPAs like the ones I've seen in action in Iraq and Afghanistan and that I'm standing next to here in the New Mexico desert. Biden could have pointed out that these remarkable aerial weapons platforms were purchased by the much maligned Bush-Cheney administration. But why bother with the facts?
There's another problem with Biden's answer: He wasn't asked about Al Qaeda. The question David Gregory posed was, "What about the general proposition that the president, according to former Vice President Cheney, doesn't consider America to be at war and is essentially soft on terrorism?" It's a question Biden apparently doesn't want to answer.
The VP deserves an answer to his own question: "What is he (Dick Cheney) talking about?" Here it is: Cheney is referring to those who have declared war on us: Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Sayyef, Jemiah Islamiah, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas, the Fort Hood shooter, the Muslim Brotherhood, the IRGC, the Quds Force, and the Christmas Day underpants bomber, to name a few. Include Muslim clerics who promote, defend and encourage terrorist activities. Add in financiers who underwrite terrorism whom we can no longer find because the E.U. has shut down the Terrorist Finance Tracking system. And don't forget radical Madrassas that foster hatred and foment jihad in Muslim boys around the globe.
Twisting the truth is a Biden forté. His shameful claim to CNN's Larry King, "I am very optimistic about Iraq. I mean this could be one of the great achievements of this administration," would be laughable but for Iranian efforts to undo the sacrifice of so much American blood and treasure. Equally shocking is Biden's confession to Harry Smith on CBS of his new-found concern for "a terrorist attack in the United States along the lines of the 'Christmas Day bomber.' You get a disgruntled student, someone who has some relationship with the United States who is — able to be recruited quickly, able to be indoctrinated quickly. And they say, basically, 'Here's a bomb. Go do it."
Lone bombers; dozens of jihadist terror organizations; radical clerics, Madrassas and financiers — all targeting America. Sounds like war to me.
Is Biden a revisionist or just oblivious? You decide.
— Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel and the author of "American Heroes."