Normally, I don’t respond to my colleagues’ postings. Wizbang isn’t so much a “group blog” as a common area where a bunch of disparate authors take turns at the podium. But sometimes I have to disagree with one of my colleagues publicly.
And sometimes I need to follow up or respond to one of them.
And times like these, I feel the need to expand on one of their points.
Rick talked about the hypocrisy of the left in regards to President Obama’s policies towards terrorists. I agree with what he wrote, but I think the subject could withstand a bit more discussion from a slightly different perspective.
It’s becoming clearer as times go on that there was virtually no chance that Bin Laden would have been taken alive. Even if he’d been found stark naked, lying on his stomach, with his hands outstretched or folded behind his neck, he could have been lying on a grenade and still posed a threat. So he was coming back at room temperature.
Likewise, there is currently a “kill” order on Anwar al-Alwaki, the Al Qaeda leader who was born in the United States and still holds American citizenship. And the Obama
War on Terror Overseas Contingency Operations has made its hallmark not capturing terrorists, but killing them on sight — preferably from missiles fired from drones. No attempt to capture, no attempt to bring them to trial, just kill them on sight.
Now, it must be stated that I have no problems with these policies. It seems that Rick doesn’t, either. Nor do a lot of conservatives. There’s a saying in Texas — allegedly a defense against murder charges — that “some people just need killing.” And we recognize that.
We have no problem with that. But a lot of Obama’s base does.
Or, at least, they did before Obama became the guy ordering the hits.
Some are still consistent. For example, Noam Chomsky is appalled that we didn’t treat Bin Laden as a “suspect” and send in cops to arrest him. Glenn Greenwald (or, perhaps, it was Thomas Ellers or Rick Ellensburg — they all look alike to me) isn’t too thrilled about it, either.
Now, if Obama’s supporters have really “seen the light” and are on board with the policies that we on the right have been supporting all along, then fine. Welcome aboard. But an acknowledgement in this sea change would be nice. Otherwise, it just looks like they’re more concerned with supporting Obama than maintaining any kind of consistency or principles.
Again, no problem with that. But a touch of honesty would be nice.
So, my challenge to the left (yes, Chico, I’m talking to you specifically, but many others as well) is this: are you OK with Obama ordering the deaths of terrorists without benefit of trial, without even an attempt to arrest them or take them alive? And would you have been just as OK with it had it been done under George W. Bush?
Similarly, George W. Bush got Congressional approval for both the incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq. They’ve been dismissed by the left as fraudulent or invalid somehow, but they don’t seem to mind Obama’s attacks on Libya with the consent of the UN and our allies — but never even broached the subject with Congress before the first bomb dropped. Why was that OK?
I know the answers, of course. (It’s always dangerous to ask questions to which you don’t know the answers.) But it should be entertaining to hear the rationalizations they come up with.