Observing the Obama administration's approach so far to the war on terror is somewhat reminiscent, if you'll accept the crude analogy, of watching Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Duran's rematch against American boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. Duran was within his rights to say "no mas" and quit, but it didn't keep him from losing.
But here the analogy breaks down. While Duran could avoid further Leonard blows by quitting, a nation under attack by a warring force cannot prevent further attacks against itself simply by declaring an end to hostilities. Yet that's precisely what the Obama administration appears to be doing in the war on terror, most recently with its outrageously reckless public release of classified Justice Department memos on the legality of CIA interrogation techniques used on enemy prisoners.
Democrats ceaselessly complained about the Bush administration's allegedly misguided approach to the war, contending it was too broad (Bush should have focused almost exclusively on al-Qaida in Afghanistan), that he engaged in cowboy diplomacy, and his treatment of enemy prisoners was inhumane.
Deny it if you choose, but the gravamen of these complaints was that the United States, in many ways, was the bad guy, the aggressor nation that attacked Iraq without provocation or justification, was inflicting gratuitous "collateral damage" on Iraq and its people, and routinely -- and as a matter of policy -- was brutalizing and torturing enemy prisoners in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and everywhere else our heartless authorities could get their hands on them.
During the campaign, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced these themes wholesale, saying we'd alienated other nations with our unilateralism, stirred up the Arab street against us, and become a virtual terrorist recruitment factory.
Democrats even argued, straight-faced, that our "torture" of terrorist detainees could imperil Americans POWs, as if their beheadings were responses to our slapping. They said we could change all that by reversing course and extending a hand of friendship, peace and cooperation to other nations, particularly those of the Muslim world.
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