A rich foreign kid who couldn’t get laid has knocked the administration of the most powerful nation on earth off message. For the past three years Obama and his supporters have led themselves to believe that the Global War on Terror was a myth propagated by the Bush administration to further its own agenda. “The politics of fear” they called it. With the removal of the Bushies the myth could be forgotten, replaced with Obama’s agenda to turn the United States into a multiethnic and politically correct version of Sweden. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian who claims ties to Al Qaeda, may have failed to blow up an airliner over Detroit, but he succeeded in bringing the Obama administration’s willful ignorance of the terror threat down in flames.
With fingerpointing in place of a coherent anti-terror strategy the administration has yet to regroup. The administration wants to throw somebody in front of the bus to protect Obama, but so far hasn’t found a willing patsy. The intelligence agencies are angry with the administration and won’t take the fall, even though the CIA leaked information that undermined the Bush administration and thereby supported Obama’s senatorial assertions. Worst of all a 2007 intelligence assessment played down the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, an assessment that foreign intelligence services including the British, French and German disagreed with and that was later undermined by the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear facility missed in the assessment.
Foreign intelligence services are also publicizing the administration’s failures instead of keeping quiet. British intelligence admitted that it sent files alerting US authorities that Abdulmutallab met with radical preachers in 2008. The Obama administration has seemingly gone out of its way to disrespect the UK for that nation’s active participation in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, a war that catapulted Obama to power. Now the British are returning the favor. Calls for foreign nations to save the administration from having to reform by using full body scanners and improving security are being ignored. Europeans view the incident as a failure of the American administration to connect the dots, so why should they be the ones forced to change?
The obvious fall-guy would be Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano whose inept handling of the Christmas day attack brought memories of FEMA’s failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina to the fore. I fully expect her resignation to be accepted within the next two months after the initial furor has died down to avoid the appearance of appeasing the Republicans – one of the few groups left in the world that the Obama Administration has not gone out of its way to mollify.
The failure to detect Abdulmutallab would not be as bad for the administration if it was perceived by the American people as taking the threat jihadis pose to America seriously. Instead the failure becomes symptomatic of a bigger problem: the Obama administration’s failure to recognize the threat and act accordingly. Napolitano’s asinine “man caused disasters” and “the system worked” comments are indicative of a mindset that indicate the administration doesn’t take terrorism seriously. Obama’s comments that the shooters in Little Rock and at Fort Hood acted alone, when all three can be traced to known al-Qaeda figures in Yemen, only support that conclusion. Obama may not be able to connect the dots, but the average American can.
Firing Napolitano will not save this administration. Worse, firing Napolitano will not protect this country from attack. The only thing that will protect it is a change of heart at the top. Obama has to believe that the threat posed by jihadis is real, and act accordingly. But if 9/11 itself wasn’t enough to convince him of the threat al-Qaeda poses to our nation, I’m not sure what will.
At this point I believe the president is beyond redemption. I hope that he proves me wrong, but I do not see him ever taking terrorism seriously. I imagine him serving one failed term in the Oval Office, then spending the rest of his long life trying to convince the world of his brilliance. If that sounds a lot like Jimmy Carter, then it should. He’s doing an excellent job walking in his mentors footsteps.