Dick cheney, Lord of Darkness, warns that Obama’s approach to national security is basically inviting the terrorists in for milk and cookies. Never mind the extent to which the bush administraiton’s approach to detainment is likely responsible for creating more terrorists than it’s stopped, this simply smacks of self-justification. If it had come from anyone else in the administration, up to and including Condi Rice, I might be willing to grant some benefit of the doubt. Cheney collectively giving both the Obama administration and the nation a stern lecture on the need for such “coercive” interrogation tactics as showcased on 24 simply sounds like an attempt to justify the policies of a defunct administration so thoroughly discredited that the McCain campaign literally bent over backwards to avoid being seen in the same room as the former president. So you’ll have to excuse me if I scoff at cheney’s attempt to invoke Niccolo Machiavelli:

“The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I’m not at all sure that that’s what the Obama administration believes.” 

Of course this just illustrates the extreme disconnect in the way the two administrations percieve the war on terror. Bush et al viewed it as an almost purely military struggle in the mold of WWII, where a great ideological foe must be vanquished on the field of combat and where the stakes are so high that the ends invariably justify the means. Obama, on the other hand, realizes that this war is less a contest of military might than popularity. One of the main factors in defeating any foe is to cut off the lines of supply, and in this case that means undercutting terrorist recruitment efforts by not allowing ourselves to be easily placed into the mold of the great satan. The best thing we can do to truly win victories against terrorism is not to go hunting them from country to country (although this is of course necessary in some cases), but by ending the perception of the “clash of civiliaztions” on both sides. And it’s not just between America and the Muslim world; there’s a reason it’s called a GLOBAL war on terror. Without a peaceful accomodation between east and west, Europe is going to eventually explode.

We don’t win this based on how many terrorists we can kill or capture. We win it by living up to our own ideals and rejecting Mr. Cheney’s arguments, which are not only defective but anathema to the Constitution itself (which explains why he spent so much energy watering it down). He and the Bush administration already had their time to govern and implement their ideas, and in so doing devastated this country’s credibility abroad as thoroughly as they did so at home. On behalf of the American people, mr. cheney, I ask that you go home, sit down, and shut the fuck up.

 

We’re all in this Together

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