First there was the homophobic comic on Sunday (If you haven't read MBNYC's piece on it yet, I strongly suggest you do). Then there's this from today about the use of drones. There is a reason that President Obama uses drones. That is because they are more effective at neutralizing terrorists. They give us access to areas that we might not be able to penetrate effectively with troops. They also mean that we do not have soldiers coming home in flag-draped coffins.
Whenever we go to war, we face choices. One is how we will combat the war. In this day and age another is who, exactly, is the enemy. To answer the first, President Obama seeks to minimize our casualties and the most effective manner to stop those that will harm Americans. To answer the second, President Obama shifted from a 'War on Terrorism' to a 'War on Terrorists.'
Now, what is the difference between the 'War on Terrorism' that George W. Bush pursued, as opposed to the 'War on Terrorists' President Obama pursues? The 'War on Terrorism' was a war on ideology. First, and foremost, it sought to confront 'terrorism' for the sake of confronting terrorism. It treated terrorism as an amorphous, and singular, ideology shared by a diverse number of groups with disparate ideologies.
President Obama's 'War on Terrorists,' in contrast, seeks to confront, and neutralize, those that engage in the tactic of terror. It recognizes that terrorism is the manifestation of a tactic used by various groups to further their own individual ideologies. The primary similarity between terrorist groups is in their tactics, not in their ideologies.
Drones come into play as one of many courses of action available in confronting those that engage in the tactics of terror. There are, of course, other options. For example, Osama bin Laden was killed by Seal Team Six. There have been, undoubtedly, other instances where it was decided that the use of special forces, and other troops, was better than the use of drones. Each instance must be weighed on a case-by-case basis. That is what President Obama does.
And the results of this approach speak for themselves. President Obama has been remarkably effective at protecting Americans at home and neutralizing terrorists that plan to harm us. Sometimes there is simply no realistic alternative to killing a terrorist as part of a military action. It is the nature of the battle we currently fight. President Obama understands this.
President Obama's record compares to Mitt Romney's statements. Romney was against going after bin Laden before he was for it. In many other instances, it seems his solution is to bomb away without asking questions and without looking for alternatives. This is a recipe for disaster. It also highlights the choice we face this November. On one side is President Obama's record of accomplishment. On the other side is Mitt Romney's Etch-A-Sketch.
Getting to that election, this is what Markos said about it a week ago:
But here's the thing -- through Election Day, we need to have a single purpose in mind.I fully agree with what Markos said about all that last week. Between now and November we have an election to win. That must be our primary focus. The threshold requirement to enact our agenda is to win elections. We can't do anything to turn our ideas into policy before we do that. I don't know about others, but I'm not interested in this circular firing squad. I'm interested in winning the election and giving President Obama the opportunity to make some good policy happen.
We've got an election to win. That's what's important until November.
If you can't focus on that, then get the hell off this site. Seriously.