Learning Foreign Policy Lessons From a Country Song

President Obama could learn a lesson or two from the lyrics of my favorite country music singer, Coweta County native Alan Jackson.

In Jackson’s “Here In the Real World,” he sings sadly about how life doesn’t always turn out how you’d hoped, like it does in the movies.

On the silver screen, the song lyrics state, “cowboys don’t cry and heroes don’t die. And good always wins again and again.”

When it comes to dealing with terrorism, such as the attempted airplane attack on Christmas Day, Obama seems to believe in the movie version of reality where the bad guys are always foiled in the end.

But here in the real world, Al Queda has cells across the globe intent on attacking Americans. They’re plotting every minute of every day, and they see it as a war on the United States even if President Obama doesn’t.

In the real world, a suicide bomber recently killed seven CIA operatives at a base in Afghanistan’s Khost province, an Islamist extremist in November massacred 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, and five jihadists from Northern Virginia were arrested in Pakistan in early December.

Obama’s movie script doesn’t contain the words “war” or “jihadists.” The Obama administration, like most liberals, goes to hilarious lengths to avoid using words that imply a moral judgment – even when talking about people trying to kill us. The president initially downplayed the threat of the attempted airplane bomber by saying he was an “isolated extremist.” For her part, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ineptly tried to replace “act of terrorism” with “man-caused disaster.” That’s supposed to make it better? Get in the real world.

With Obama’s background as a lawyer, his movie wouldn’t be complete without a courtroom drama. Perhaps that’s why he’s refusing to treat our captured enemies as prisoners of war. Instead, Obama’s closing down Guantanamo Bay and moving our enemies here. Rather than facing military tribunals, as they should, they’re given lawyers and civilian court cases, where they’ll star on the international stage in a media circus.

Rather than implementing effective anti-terrorism strategies to keep Americans safe, Obama’s policies appear to be knee-jerk reactions to Bush-era policies. If President Bush did it, the administration reasons, it must be bad.

So, we can close Guantanamo and move the prisoners to Illinois, we can release detainees and allow them to return to the battlefield against us, we can give terrorists lawyers and Miranda rights as opposed to interrogating them about more planned attacks and we can outlaw interrogation techniques such as water boarding.

Obama naively thinks if we just commit to these friendly gestures, members of Al Queda will turn its swords into plowshares.

I have news for the president: Al Queda chieftains aren’t sitting around the campfire discussing the fine points of U.S. constitutional law and whether the Bill of Rights should apply to a Nigerian who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit.

No, they have a single-minded focus on killing Americans, on planning the next attack. Obama’s constitutional law lectures are aimed at appeasing his leftist supporters here, not Al Queda. The only message we’re sending to Al Queda is: If you mastermind a terrorist plot from, say, Yemen, we’ll try to bomb you with a Predator and you’ll never know what hit you, but if you manage to slip into the United States, we’ll give you a lawyer, a bed and three squares a day. That’s some incentive system.

The president’s one-year anniversary is near. We’re past the point where he can blame everything that goes wrong on the Bush administration and take credit for everything that goes right. Obama oversees the Transportation Security Administration, which has failed to compile a reliable watch list. A division of the Department of Homeland Security, TSA has 60,000 employees – more than many Cabinet-level departments. At this point in 2010, Obama owns it. TSA’s failures are his administration’s failures.

Alan Jackson learned the hard way that the boy don’t always get the girl even though “tonight on that silver screen it’ll end like it should.” President Obama needs to learn, for our sake, that he can give Al Queda his love but it won’t be enough here in the real world.