On a more concrete plane of political existence, there's also the Obama administration's policy of sharpening its knives to "settle" Arab-Islamic scores with Israel as interpreted by the Israel-hostile National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones -- an appetizing prospect to any jihadist. Then there's President Obama's personal Muslim outreach efforts that will soon take him to Egypt for yet another speech from and to the Islamic world, his first having been earlier this spring in Turkey.
The rogue operator, of course, can strike anywhere, anytime. But as far as organized jihadist networks go, Obama's heavy-breathing courtship of the Islamic world would seem to avert the kind of out-and-out attack that could only interrupt America's ongoing capitulations to Islamic interests. All President Obama has to do to keep us safe is keep capitulating.
Physically safer, then, the fact is we remain in existential danger. But it's the same existential danger that the Bush administration failed to protect us against, and that the Obama administration is now failing to protect us against: the threat to liberty posed by unchecked spread of Islamic law (Sharia) across the Western world. Since this is the ultimate goal of global jihadist networks and, as poll data tell us, significant sectors of non-terrorist Muslim society alike, you would think this key ideological rationale of the post-9/11 world would have been explained, debated and analyzed for the American people even as its imperatives shaped and drove policy.
But no. Lo, these many years after 9/11, Islamization remains the veiled elephant in the room. Which is why Dick Cheney's current security lament rings hollow. Yes, the Bush administration went to (costly and ill-conceived) war, detained jihadists in a jail in Guantanamo Bay (run very much according to Islamic law) and even waterboarded three dirtbags along the way. But the Bush team never, ever, ever provided the American people with a defense or even a rationale against the liberty-destructive impact of creeping Sharia. The Bush administration's response to Islam's war on the West was strictly military even as it simultaneously engaged in a self-deception campaign aimed at attesting to the harmlessness of this same Islamic ideology.
Poor America. The Clinton administration treated jihadists like criminals; the Bush administration treated them like military targets; and the Obama administration treats them like a new constituency to be appeased through speeches and other political appeals. None of these administrations, however, has ever protected the country against the spread -- through violence against civilians, obscene infusions of petrodollars and swelling demographics -- of their poisonous ideology.