Editorial

Inept blustering about terrorism

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A tiresome knee jerk criticism of President Obama resulted from the president's attending a baseball game in Cuba immediately after learning of the terrorist attacks in Belgium. Supposedly, he should have immediately flown back to the U.S. to deal with the situation, but Obama proved he could walk and chew gum at the same time, or rather conduct diplomacy and fight terrorism at the same time.

Two days after the baseball game, a Pentagon operation killed ISIS' finance minister, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, whom many analysts consider the group's No. 2 leader.

Even without this victory looming, Obama did the right thing in not adding to the terrorists' satisfaction by an enraged or panicked reaction to the Belgium massacre.

When asked at the stadium about attending the game, Obama said, "You want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. But the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people's ordinary lives."

Another example of this philosophy in practice was the fact that Obama attended the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2011, shortly after putting into motion the operation that would result in Osama bin Laden's death the following day.

This year, Obama was criticized for not mentioning in his State of the Union address that two navy boats were seized in Iranian waters and 10 sailors were taken into custody shortly before that speech. Some even suggested that the speech should have been cancelled while the situation was handled. But the situation was handled rapidly and effectively, with the sailors allowed to leave on the boats they arrived in the following morning.

One presidential candidate, in an amazing display of chest thumping stupidity, denounced the fact that a video by Iranian officials was released showing Americans with hands behind their necks. He proclaimed that under his presidency, sailors or soldiers who wander into foreign territory would never be required to endure anything as humiliating as putting their hands behind their necks.

There is much to criticize about Obama pursuing a policy of what appears to be perpetual war, but his critics seem to want to go even further in the wrong direction.

Their alienate-the-entire-Muslim-world, torture-every-suspect, kill-families-of-terrorists, shoot-Russian-planes-out-of-the-sky, carpet-bomb-populations, go-to-war-for-petty-affronts philosophy indicates an incapacity to think like an adult, let alone lead the most powerful nation on earth.