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  • Mr. President, We Do Not Want to "Absorb" a Terrorist Attack

    Today, The Washington Post is reporting an exchange between President Obama and journalist/author Bob Woodward. The President is quoted as saying that “we can absorb a terrorist attack.”

    The President’s job is first and foremost to protect national security and American lives. Saying that we could “absorb” an attack does not mean that we want to absorb one. Americans want to be successful in the war on terror. Setting us up for defeat is far from a winning strategy.

    This statement—which embodies the President’s handling of terrorism as a law enforcement concern—raises serious questions about the Administration’s ability to fight terrorism. The effects of not treating this war as a war can be seen in the recent Christmas Day and Times Square bomb plots. Both were near misses by a known enemy, from a known terrorist network, through a known tactic. The federal apparatus in both cases failed to connect dots.

    Lowering expectations is poor leadership. Given that we have foiled 31 plots since 9/11, we can be successful, but it takes a White House that sees fighting terrorism as a 24/7/365 job.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Mr. President, We Do Not Want to "Absorb" a Terrorist Attack

    1. Sean, Nashville says:

      Interesting post, but why not put out the whole quote?

      "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

      So, basically, the President is saying exactly what you are. We should and will do every thing we can to prevent an attack, but if one were to occur, we as a nation could survive. What part of this statement do you disagree?

    2. Chris says:

      What a weenie wonk.

      Of course it's altogether possible to "absorb" a bilateral leg amputation caused by diabetes triggered by a bad dietary lifestyle choice, but it's much more PRUDENT to AVOID the sequence of actions that will lead to one's having to ABSORB the loss of one's legs.

      Yup, real macho gum-flappin' there, pardner. Puff out that size 22" chest and deftly flick a cigarette ash in the direction of them thar terrorist thugs who wish to remove your head from your shoulders, there, Bammi. I'm sure they'll be almost as impressed with you as you are yourself.


    3. Bob says:

      Did you read the very next sentence as the one that you cherry-picked?

      "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

      Saying that we will do everything to prevent it does not sound like "setting us up for defeat." If picking out this one sentence "raises serious questions about the Administration’s ability to fight terrorism" then you are either truly blind to the bigger statement being made in the article or deliberately misinforming your readers.

    4. Carl MN says:

      The more complete quote you referenced is: "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger" – which you say "raises serious questions about the Administration’s ability to fight terrorism."

      It seems to me that this does not raise such questions, but instead speaks to the strength and resilience of our country which, as indicated, has been demonstrated by our response to 9/11. Beyond our survival of this tragic event, and beyond the loss of life and property, beyond the wounds and suffering, beyond the distrust and controversies, there is much good that has also come of it all.

      Many cultural and spiritual openings and bridges have been and still are being created that can eventually lead to a far deeper and much greater strength for our country and for the wold. These openings and bridges can help us all move beyond the ignorance, the blind fear, the blanket condemnations and the knee jerk reactions that have been and still are a constant source of weakness and vulnerability in spite of our outward images of strength.

      No, we do not want to have to absorb any terrorist attacks, which is why President Obama said, "We'll do everything we can to prevent it…" But if we do have to, we've demonstrated that we are capable of absorbing such attacks – because of our strength and endurance. And one thing that will help us significantly is greater cohesiveness as a nation, as a people, rather than constantly bickering, attacking President Obama and being obstructive in a misguided effort to weaken his Presidency in a vain attempt to try to demonstrate that he is wrong and the Right is right, and to bring about his downfall – all at the expense of the strength and unity of our country.

    5. Andrew, VA says:

      The president has a point…sort of. We as a nation probably could take a terrorist "punch" and "absorb" the blow just fine.

      But the object of the game here is to NOT get hit! In fact, the object is to hit the other guy as hard as you can.

    6. Pingback: Wonk Room » Resilience Is Crucial To Effective Counter-Terrorism

    7. JOhn Phoenix says:

      Great Ceasars Ghost!! What exactly would you expect from a man who believes in his heart (I'd add "soul" but the jury is still out on that) that the United States is deserving of any and all attacks against us for perceived atrocities committed against the world (especially his kin/Muslims) over the 200+ years we've been in existence..

      Nothing you could present to the man and his minions in the way of facts could or would dissuade him and his people of this group think. It's how so called "progressives" think, in the collective.

      If we do get hit again, Democrats of all stripes can just hang it up and retire because it will be the end of their party as it has been known for quite some time. This nation will not tolerate another attack like 9/11. If Obama wants to treat this like some punk gang activity, he does so at his own peril and that of the Democrat party.

      Elections have consequences so all of you folks that voted for "Hope & Change"…how's that working out for you these days? How you going to feel if YOU lose a family member to this man and his cohorts lack of concern for job #1? That would be the defense of American citizens, not the redistribution of your wealth.

      Good work!

    8. Nina,Fort Lauderdale says:

      This man is a disgrace.

    9. Michele Graller says:

      Ok, what city or state volunteers to absorb the next terrorist attack? Any hands?

    10. Pingback: Opinionati » Obama says nation can “absorb” another terrorist attack | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com

    11. Pingback: Think Tank West...ideas from the top think tanks in the world,Cato institute,Brookings,Carnegie,Rockefeller,War college,Aspen,Wilson,Claremont,Levy,Milken

    12. Bill Sherlock, Chica says:

      Actually, the President's job is this: "…faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and … preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

      I suppose if our enemies coordinated actions result in some guy setting his privates on fire, and another trying to blow up Times Square with Miracle Gro and firecrackers, then, no doubt, cowering in fear is the first reaction we should all have.

    13. Salvatore Bucca says:

      Obamas words alone illustrates the USA as being weak. The actions he has pursued so far regarding, foreign affairs, Muslims, Guantanamo trials, Iran and other military motives and objectives portray America as being the bad guy. He has made clear the we were wrong and shouldn't have done it. Now we must be apologetic and sorry and not do it again.

      The only reason we have not been attacked again is because he is using Bush policies which he makes clear that he hates. America wants to hear that we will protect ourselves at any cost. The most powerful country in the world ? It appears that we are very susceptible to attack by terrorists because of his reluctance to defend and the way he portrays America.

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