Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 22, 2009 / 28 Iyar 5769

Obama's diversion tactic only brought more attention to his ideological opponent

By Jack Kelly

>
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If it had been a prize fight, a compassionate referee would have called it.


President Obama hastily scheduled a speech on national security policy at the National Archives yesterday. Since Mr. Obama said nothing he hadn't said before, the purpose of the speech seems to have been to divert attention from the speech, scheduled weeks earlier, that former Vice President Dick Cheney made the same morning.


The president spent most of his speech defending his decision to make public explicit details of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" (EITs) the CIA used on some al Qaida bigwigs, and his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.


Mr. Obama made two sweeping declarations for which he provided no evidence — that the enhanced interrogation techniques didn't work, and that the prison at Guantanamo "likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained." But he still had nothing to say about what he'd do with the prisoners currently in Gitmo.


The former vice president spent most of his speech providing the defense of intelligence professionals Mr. Obama ought to have given, but hasn't. He also challenged the president to make public the CIA memoranda documenting the effectiveness of the EITs:


"When the soul searching was done and the veil lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth," Mr. Cheney said. "The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question...For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has the right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers."


Mr. Obama sounded nervous and defensive, as evidenced by his referring to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as "Bill."


The news leading into the duelling speeches suggests why. The New York Times reported Thursday the Pentagon, for fear of embarrassing the White House, has been suppressing a report that indicates one every seven prisoners so far released from Guantanamo has returned to terrorism. The night before, New York City police busted a homegrown Islamist terror cell that was plotting to blow up two synagogues and to shoot down a military aircraft.


But the big news for the week was the 94-6 vote in the Senate to deny the president funds to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and to forbid the transfer of prisoners held there to the United States.


Despite his campaign rhetoric to the contrary, as president Barack Obama has largely followed the policies of his predecessor. The Obama strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is essentially the same as the George W. Bush strategy. President Obama sees value in trying some terrorists by military commissions, which candidate Obama derided. And Mr. Obama now thinks it a poor idea to make public the photographs of abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.


And where the president's security policies differ from those of President Bush, they are neither popular nor successful.


Perhaps Mr. Obama's speech was in part an effort to appease those of his left wing supporters who've noticed what he does isn't what he said he'd do, and are concerned. But the contrast with Mr. Cheney's remarks doesn't serve him well.


"Obama's is the speech of a young senator who was once a part-time law professor — platitudinous and preachy, vague and pseudo-thoughtful in an abstract kind of way," said Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard.


"Cheney's is the speech of a grownup. He's sober, realistic and concrete, stands up for his country and its public officials, and has an acute awareness of the consequences of the choices one makes as a public official and a willingness to take responsibility for those choices."


Before the speeches, NBC's Chuck Todd said on the Today program that it was "unfair" to pit the popular president against Mr. Cheney, "one of the most unpopular members of the Republican Party."


But Mr. Cheney isn't running for anything, and he's winning the policy debate.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles