One theme that has become noticeably absent from Barack Obama's recent press announcements, his weekly internet broadcasts, or his discussion of public policy from his imaginary "Office of the President Elect" (complete with its own seal) has been the discussion of immediately bringing the troops home.
The signs of Barack Obama going back on his biggest direct campaign promise are numerous. Secretary Gates is slated to stay on as his Defense Secretary. By extension that means that a number of items will likely not be touched. For starters it is likely the new administration will not revise Iraq policy given that the final regions to be turned over may even occur as he is being sworn in. He is also highly unlikely to interfere with the Gates/Petraeus combination that secured the victory in Iraq and are ready to transport that model to finish the business in Afghanistan.
This week's terror attacks in India however may be the most significant signal to date that Obama is willing to adapt to a much more Bushian doctrine than anything seen before. Late in the day on Wednesday of this past week the Obama camp also toughened their rhetoric in noticeable tone that looked nothing like what Obama campaigned on for the last two years.
“President-Elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India,” Obama spokesman Brooke Anderson said. “These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks."
Destroy terrorist networks?
If you want to see Google News or Lexis Nexis sputter and short-circuit look for the last time Barack Obama was ever on the record as wishing to "destroy" terrorists of any variety.
Maybe this change has been brought on by sheer pragmatism, complete hyprocrisy, or an outright deception to the far-left progressive wing-nuts that even this week had to finally admit that Obama's shift in direction, and specifically his naming of Gates as Defense Secretary means:
"The message would be clear: even Democrats agree that Democrats can't run the military."
For someone who thought that Obama was more the wrong choice for America than McCain was the right one, I have to say these shifts impress me and give me some pause for thought. Obama's appointments have largely been Clinton retreads, a Reagen fed guy, and a George W. Bush defense secretary. These aren't the worst appointments that could be made by the man who held the hands of and personally nursed hopes and dreams of the Soros, MoveOn, and DailyKos constituency.
And the reason it is so vital that those groups never be coddled--as we saw play out on our television over Thanksgiving--is because their belief in America's weakness cannot be allowed to become the belief in secret or public of the new Commander in Chief.
Ayman Al Zawihiri in referring to Obama as a house negro one week before the attacks commenced would have followed an Al Qaeda pattern of engagement. Have a senior official make a publicly inflammatory audio or video tape, then according to the timing agreed upon the series of attacks get carried out. It is not surprising to me to now be hearing of ties to Al Qaeda by the suicide-minded terrorists in Mumbai that executed a plan of ten attacks. Couple that with the warnings of the plot planned on the northeast corridor train systems in the U.S. and the "office of the president elect" may have gone from Thanksgiving feast to massive indigestion.
The point is clear, Joe Biden was right, the terrorists are waiting to test the will, deliberation, and persistence of the new administration. There will be a continual hope by those who wish to kill us that an opening will appear. An opening of weakness on the part of the American vigilence that they can exploit and carry out murder and mayhem.
It may have been very politically expedient to continue to degrade the Bush administration on the final weeks of the campaign trail. It may have been very provocative and seemingly "enlightened"--or at least labeled so by the press--for Obama to run on a completely anti-War on Terror platform. But as the President-Elect began to receive his first intelligence briefings and the "Oh (expletive deleted)" factor began to set in. Obama seems to have recognized that what America faces in the world today is an opposition that is committed, persistant, and extremely sophisticated in how it must be dealt with.
So if the far left nutters are sitting in the pajamas today feeling a huge bit of buyers' remorse for electing a man who appears to be ready to continue to implement the Bush Doctrine as we move forward to defend ourselves, let's just all affirm those fears rather heartily.
And on this weekend following the holiday to do so, let's all give thanks that Barack Obama is reading the principles of Abraham Lincoln, and steeling himself for the defense of our citizens in a pattern that is fashioned far more closely to the Bush administration than any of us--right or left--ever saw coming.