Diana West

Dick Cheney has been decrying the national security policies of the Obama administration -- closing Guantanamo Bay, ending enhanced interrogations of captured jihadists, even preparing to release some into the United States -- because the former vice president says they leave this country more vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

"That's my belief," Mr. Cheney told CBS' "Face the Nation" this week. "I think to the extent that those (Bush-era) policies were responsible for saving lives, that the administration is now trying to cancel those policies ... means in the future we're not going to have the same safeguards we've had for the last eight years."

I agree the new policies make us more vulnerable. Question is, do they make more vulnerable to what we know as "terrorist attack"? Strictly speaking, the answer is yes. But interpreting President Obama's policies in terms of more-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack versus less-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack is the same superficial thinking that has informed our negligently deficient security policies since 9/11.

Consider this: What terrorist with even a rudimentary notion of strategy would want to strike at Washington, D.C., for example, so long as Barack Hussein Obama is in power? From Day One of the Obama White House, we've seen a steady elevation of the Islamic world, from the administration's repeated mantra of "mutual respect" to its pattern of Islam-first in presidential phone calls (No. 1 went to the PA), interviews (No. 1 went to Al-Arabiyya TV), and audiences (reports indicate unprecedented snubbing of Israeli leaders to date). We've also seen what that same terrorist might well interpret as a succession of Islamic symbolism so laughably blatant as to be either jaw-dropping coincidence or overt messaging. I refer to Candidate Obama saying he'd been to "all 57 states" (the OIC -- Organization of the Islamic Conference -- has 57 member states); President Obama elaborating on an economic policy containing "five pillars" (Islam has five "pillars"); and calling for a new "found!

ation" (Al Qaeda may be translated as "the foundation"). Hawaii's recently passed "Islam Day" (Sept. 29) somehow deserves mention in passing if only for the state's coincidental status as the president's claimed birthplace.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).