Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reviewing a Close Call: Obama Administration Discovers Islamic Terrorism

One of the most annoying things about Janet Napolitano was her belief that guys like me are among the top security threats to our nation because of our conservative views, Constitutional perspective, and commitment to various "single issue" causes. Now, however, it looks like the predictions that Obama's approach to terrorism would make us safer have all been proven wrong.

In this regard, I think it is entirely fair, and important, to point out that the recent terrorist attacks during the first year of the Obama administration can all be traced to its overly optimistic trust of devout Muslims. This is the common theme that runs through accounts of the Ft. Hood shooter, the panty bomber and the CIA base attack. As far as I can tell, participants in the Obama administration are so committed to their politically correct point of view that they don't understand that religious books have real world consequences.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - the 23-year-old Nigerian panty bomber - was brought to the attention of the Obama administration by British authorities prior to his attack.

This fact alone undermines the theory that Obama's genius and superior governing skills would keep us safe.

For me, increased national security starts with a proper understanding of the nature of the threat we face from radical Islam. The thesis of Dore Gold's excellent book - Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism - is that Wahabi Islam has always been a dangerous religious movement - even to other Islamic adherents. The violence of Wahabi Islamic thought predates the establishment of Israel.

Accordingly, it is extremely important for the Obama administration to adjust its risk profiles to take this into accout. Pretending that Islamic terrorism is the product of loneliness or mental illness or discrimination is going to get a lot more Americans killed. The recent uptick in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil shows the Obama administration needs to go back to whatever was working so well during the last six years of the Bush administration.

The news, of course, is not all bad. The practical elements of the Obama administration are already tightening up procedures regarding travellers from Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, which are considered “state sponsors of terrorism” as well as citizens from Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Yemen. These travellers will be subject to specialized intensive physical scrutiny.

Once again, conservatives are winning the battle of ideas. This is the same "profiling" program that I've argued for for years. I don't think all those searches of me and my luggage this year while I was visiting Northern California or Pennsylvania or Tennessee were making us any safer.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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