The “give peace a chance” crowd is getting a little nervous:
Reporting from Washington — Antiwar groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama’s national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues.
The activists are uneasy not only about signs that both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could be in the Obama Cabinet, but at reports suggesting that several other short-list candidates for top security posts backed the decision to go to war.
Actually, the fact that they’re worried is enough to give the rest of us a little hope — national security has always seemed to be Obama’s greatest area of weakness. The antiwar activists appear to think there are only two possible ways of conducting foreign policy — the “reason with our enemies until they love us” approach or the evil, war-mongering, imperialist course, and that initial support of the Iraq war puts one ipso facto on the imperialist side.
But a lot of people supported the war, based on their consideration of what they thought was the best evidence available. That doesn’t mean they didn’t change their minds when better evidence was found or that they will always consider war as the first or best option. Anyone chosen by Obama will get their direction from Obama, so we have to rely on his judgment more than anyone’s. I’m glad he doesn’t seem inclined to surround himself only with people who think force is never needed and that diplomacy can get us everything. It’s still a dangerous world, and we should hope America’s commander in chief operates from that knowledge.
Or maybe we should just believe that Ayman al-Zawahri was kidding around when he said that “America continues to be the same as ever, so we must continue to harm it, in order for it to come to its senses.” Maybe so, because what are all the stories putting in headlines and first pargraphs? Stuff like this:
Al-Qaida No. 2 hurls racial slur at Obama
In a propaganda salvo by al-Qaida aimed at undercutting the enthusiasm of Muslims worldwide about the U.S. presidential election, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy condemned President-elect Obama as a “house Negro” who would continue a campaign against Islam that al-Qaida’s leaders said was begun by President Bush.
Al-Qaida commandeered our own planes and flew them into our buildings, killing thousands, and has declared war on modernity and Western civilization. Hey, no big thing. But using a racial slur? Man, that really crosses the line — go arrest the bum and put him in a cell without cable TV.