Saturday, January 24, 2009

Closing Gitmo may sell out U.S. security

By Rick Morris

While I have been vocal about how Republicans should pick their spots in opposing a very popular new president -- especially in light of how little credibility they have with the American people after the last eight years -- some of those spots are already materializing.

New President Obama signaled that he would be as radically pro-abortion as some of us had feared when he wasted little time in re-overturning President Reagan's Mexico City policy which banned the United States from promoting abortion worldwide. The judiciary is going to be radically reshaped during Obama's term(s) in office, which provided somebody like me with all the justification I needed to vote against him. And realistically, there is little of a substantive nature that the GOP can do in this term, but at least they can focus the American people for the next election on what is at stake -- a task that proved impossible when voters were focused on everything else that George Bush had done or not done last time.

Regrettably, the Gitmo closure joins abortion on the list of early Obama decisions, although in all fairness everyone who was paying attention knew that these sops to Democrat interest groups were coming right off the bat. For a president who has decried fixation with ideology, he has proven immediately that he is willing to kiss up to the far left (his original base in the '08 primaries and caucuses) whenever it is deemed necessary.

Let us remember, for the sake of clarity, exactly who these radicals are. When terrorists committed suicide at Gitmo a few years back and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld correctly proclaimed that they were trying to attain a propaganda victory, the commenters at Huffington Post went ballistic. To these anti-American Americans, the vile animals under lock and key at Gitmo are not killers trying to destroy us all, they are cuddly indigenous peoples scooped up off the street so that Dick Cheney's underlings can strap electrodes to their genitals while they play beer pong. Remind me again who the ideologues are?

Ever since Obama began scootching away from his more idiotic left-wing statements when he clinched the Democratic nomination, I have been able to truthfully maintain the optimistic position that he is smarter than the oafs around him. The Nation Magazine/Jesse Jackson permanent grievance crowd -- which has never set foot in the real world -- they may have been his original base (hello, Pastor Wright!), but they were used by him to get ahead. While he is in many ways your typical academic egghead with ivory tower inclinations, Obama is not completely out of touch with how the real world operates and I have taken some solace from that.

But all along, I knew the limitations of that and I knew that there would be some occasions when the rabid far left would cry "Jump!" and he would follow. My hope has been that these would be areas of limited harm to the future of our country.

And surely Obama knows that the halo that his followers in the American public and the media (especially the jokers at MSNBC) have placed so lovingly on his head will dissipate the moment that the United States suffers another severe terrorist attack. He is aware of this, and as president, he is finally privy to the daily briefings that tell him just how horrible the dangers are right now. So I don't understand the Gitmo move and the renunciation of waterboarding in this light.

For a president constantly preaching pragmatism, one would hope that he would understand that the ultimate pragmatism lies in whatever keeps us safe. I've said previously that I'm ambivalent about waterboarding because I don't feel that I know enough about it and if there was a viable alternative to Gitmo I'd be in favor of it. But you see, I'm PRAGMATIC that way.

On national security measures, in the end, I will only feel confidence if I know that our country's defenses are being constructed by military, national security and geopolitics experts surrounding President Obama -- not some pinko blogger with a domain name like

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