So, it turns out, Team Obama suddenly wants the 2012 presidential campaign to be about foreign policy, rather than the economy. Such a pivot might not be surprising given that, by President Obama's own test, he has not cut unemployment to the point where he deserves to be reelected.
The Democrats have - if anything - a weaker case for reelecting this president on national security grounds. The campaign ad they unveiled on Friday, timed to take credit for the liquidation of Osama bin Laden on the first anniversary of that achievement, is a case in point.
The video used former President Bill Clinton to extol his successor's role in the mission - and selectively quoted Republican nominee Mitt Romney to suggest he would not have done the same.
It is an act of desperation and contempt for the American people that, of all people, Mr. Clinton would be used in such a role. Let's recall, during his presidency, he repeatedly declined to take out bin Laden. (So sensitive is the former president about this sorry record that his operatives insisted in 2006 that ABC excise from "Path to 9/11" - an outstanding made-for-TV film by Cyrus Nowrasteh - a dramatized version of one such episode. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asw8fhpz0wA.)
More telling still is an issue inadvertently showcased by this controversy. While the Clinton-Obama-Biden spot tries to make Gov. Romney sound as though he wouldn't have had the courage, or at least the vision, the President exhibited in a risky bid to take out bin Laden, what the presumptive Republican nominee actually said in 2007 in context illustrates a far better grasp than President Obama has of the enemy we confront:
"I wouldn't want to over-concentrate on Bin Laden. He's one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He's by no means the only leader. It's a very diverse group - Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that."
Mr. Obama, by contrast, would have us believe that the problem in notonly just al Qaeda but that that threat is pretty much a thing of the past,thanks to bin Laden's elimination and the decimation primarily by drone strikes of others among its leadership and rank and file. An unnamed senior State Department official told the NationalJournal last week, "The War on Terror is over" as Muslims embrace "legitimate Islamism."
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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