The covert assassination of American-born and high-ranking member of al-Qaida, Sheikh Anwar Al-Awalaki, marks another victory in America’s war on terrorism. In addition to taking out Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama has demonstrated a determined commitment to the security of our nation. By “terrorizing the terrorists,” he has turned the war on terrorism abruptly around. Now it’s the terrorists who are on the run and fearing for their worthless lives.
Unfortunately, presidential pretender Ron Paul and others from the jealous right are calling for President Obama’s impeachment for his alleged abuse of power. Wonder what they would have said if George W. had done what he should have done during his watch and surgically removed terrorist leaders? He would have been praised by the right. Heck, they might even have built him a statue! But Bush had no plans to eliminate his political trump card: the fear factor.
Traditionally, Democrats have always voted with their pocketbooks and Republicans on their sense of fear. Given the continued doldrums of our economy juxtaposed with the increased sense of security that the Obama administration has brought to the table, one would think that crossover voters from the right would flock to Obama in 2012. This may, in fact, happen given the natural instincts of the conservative voter.
Bush played the fear card to the nth degree during his tenure. I don’t believe that he ever was really serious about taking out al-Qaida, the Taliban or other terrorist leaders and organizations. His father stopped short of Baghdad in the early ’90s at the end of Desert Storm in order to keep Saddam Hussein around for another day ... like 2003, when his son used 9/11 as an excuse to go after the wrong guy responsible while virtually ignoring the real killers. What did we get? A Department of “Homeland Insecurity” ... a color-coded warning system ... and a constant reminder that none of us were safe.
Seemed like every time Bush was the least bit threatened politically, he and Vice President Dick Cheney would start flashing red and orange at us. Remember how Bush would suggest to the American public that the Democrats couldn’t be trusted with national security? They we would be soft and public safety would be put at risk!
Flash-forward to today. Obama has demonstrated that when fear is confronted and strategic and operational steps are taken to eliminate the source, the fear itself abates. I find it amusing that Republicans have the gall to criticize the president when he is actually doing something to solve their biggest fear — which is fear itself. Frankly, I think they’re simply jealous and concerned that their “fear factor” issue may be wrestled away and used against them in 2012.
They should be afraid ... very afraid.
• Jon Beydler is a 33-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler.