The elephants in President Obama’s war room are so faint on the media radar-screen as to be nonexistent. What pachyderms, you say?
How about, while the Republicans hammer the press on Barry’s warrior meter — including the Christmas Day debacle and his battle terminology – the administration has failed to remind the public that it helped take out some 30 al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen just weeks before Abdulmutallab took a bathroom break over Detroit.
Not to mention the dozens of successful drone hits in the outlaw hills of the ‘stans during the president’s scant time in office. According the Washington policy group The New America Foundation, as reported in the New York Times:
More C.I.A. drone attacks have been conducted under President Obama than under President George W. Bush. The political consensus in support of the drone program, its antiseptic, high-tech appeal and its secrecy have obscured just how radical it is. For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war.
Obama’s stealthy war strategy keeps the left in the dark, and opens him to jabs from the right.
Furthermore, the president should court the moderate Muslim community, which is beginning to get ink stateside, albeit buried in the noise of political skirmishes, airport jitters and bloated bank bonuses.
As Tom Friedman revealed a week ago, the battle against terrorism requires meaningful participation from moderate Muslims.
…no laws or walls we put up will ever be sufficient to protect us unless the Arab and Muslim societies from whence these suicide bombers emerge erect political, religious and moral restraints as well — starting by shaming suicide bombers and naming their actions “murder,” not “martyrdom.”
I keep saying: It takes a village. The father (of Abdulmutallab), Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, saw himself as part of a global community, based on shared values, and that is why he rang the alarm bell. Bless him for that. Unless more Muslim parents, spiritual leaders, political leaders — the village — are ready to publicly denounce suicide bombing against innocent civilians — theirs and ours — this behavior will not stop.
In fact, national newscasts included American-flag-waving Muslims speaking out against terrorism outside the courthouse during Abdulmutallab’s arraignment.
Obama should meet with prominent Muslim groups asking for their help in taking back their proud religion and way of life. He should take to the podium and call for the heads of Saudi Arabia, Jordon and other moderate Middle East states to speak out and take a leadership role.
If I were his PR man, that’s what I’d tell him.
Allen Shadow (aka Allen Kovler) is a veteran PR man, accredited by the Public Relations Society of America.