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Skip Ash

January 6, 2016

4 min read

National Security



Will President Obama ever get it? Will he ever grasp that a weak America invites attacks? Will he ever understand that apologizing to Islamist jihadis for past American successes is no substitute for resolute strength and that weakness breeds nothing but contempt in the Muslim world? Will he ever understand that “negotiating” with the world’s largest sponsor of state terrorism and agreeing unilaterally to carry out terms of a “treaty” that our negotiating “partner” not only doesn’t intend to keep but has publicly refused to sign is sheer idiocy? You’d think so by now. After all, he’s been President of the United States for seven years, but all evidence seems to suggest the polar opposite.

So let’s set President Obama straight. Mr. President, your desire for a lasting legacy does not trump your constitutional responsibilities to protect the American people in time of war. And, we are at war, whether the President wants to admit it or not. Our enemies have made sure of that. Al Qaeda and ISIS (the Islamic State) have made sure of that. They are hiding nothing. Yet, this Administration continues to intentionally blind itself to reality.

I, for one, am getting really tired of this Administration’s incessant argument that holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) serves as a recruiting tool for our enemies. Nonsense! Let’s look at the facts. There was no Gitmo when the Khobar towers were bombed, when the USS Cole was attacked, when the two U.S. embassies in East Africa were bombed, when the World Trade Center Towers were attacked the first time or on that tragic day of 9/11 in 2001.

Gitmo is not the cause of our troubles. Radical Islamic jihadis had America in their crosshairs long before anyone in the United States had ever entertained a single thought of detaining anyone at Gitmo.
Our beliefs, our values, our global influence are the cause of jihadist rage. Those who idolize a mythical golden age of Islam take up arms against us because they despise what we stand for. The Judeo-Christian West values the individual, individual rights, and individual freedom because the Judeo-Christian worldview teaches that all men and women are created in the image of a loving God—a belief that devout jihadists absolutely loathe.

And, now, the President wants to fulfill a gratuitous promise he made at the beginning of his first term in office to close Gitmo, to release the most dangerous of the dangerous, in the apparent belief that some mythical jihadist will notice that an American President keeps his word. What narcissism! To think that everyone around the globe is hanging on his every word and action. Not all of us are as starry-eyed as the Nobel Peace Prize Committee obviously was in 2009. And what arrogance! The American public overwhelmingly supports keeping Gitmo open. Even key leaders of the President’s own party openly part ways with him on this issue. Yet, nothing seems to be able to stop him from carrying out one of the most inauspicious promises of his tenure in office. The President is trading the security of the American people to build his legacy. That’s tantamount to a betrayal of the President’s oath of office.

We have been down this road before. We have released terrorists detained at Gitmo, having concluded that they are no longer a danger to the United States, and then we have been shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that our gracious actions have not been reciprocated and that those released have returned to the fight. The recidivism rate of released Gitmo terrorists is significant. Too many released detainees have rejoined their jihadist chums to wage war against the United States and the American people to continue the practice of releasing these enemy combatants.

In fact, former Gitmo detainee, Ibrahim al-Qosi, who was released in 2012 now heads up Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group committed to attacking the U.S.

A key element to all this is that, despite the protestations of the left about indefinite detention, international law allows enemy combatants to be detained until the conflict is over. Period. There is no legal requirement to release anyone from Gitmo. And, the pursuit of a President’s legacy is too weak a reed to build a national security policy on.
Terrorism is a cancer, and you can’t compromise with cancer. Either you get the cancer, or the cancer gets you. Mr. President, people often say that you’re the smartest man in the room. For the sake of the country you serve, act like it! Keep Gitmo open, and keep the detainees already at Gitmo there until the Global War on Terror is over, however long that may take.

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