CNN Comes Through

I just watched Wolf Blitzer's interview with Giuliani where he committed journalism, actually demanding that Giuliani relate his rhetoric to reality. I don't have the transcript but Giuliani dismissed the anthrax attacks after 9/11 as a major domestic terror attack, because he didn't have proof that they were the work of Islamists. When Blitzer - yes! - brought up the Richard Reid case, Giuliani punted and refused to criticize Bush for the same thing he criticized Obama for. Blitzer's one failure was to press for a specific criticism of Bush's decision in that case. But otherwise ... much better.

But what I really take from Rudy's remarks is that he believes that merely saying "war on Islamist terrorism" again and again somehow helps us win. What most sentient beings have learned these past several years is that taking this war to a constant and grand rhetorical level empowers Jihadists more than it weakens them. There is a sick syndrome in which "conservatives" get into some dysfunctional relationship with Islamists with each faction elevating the other in global consciousness.

Obama is trying to wind down this drama and focus on actually finding and killing terrorists, removing their recruitments tools (like torture and Gitmo), and defusing their appeal to the Muslim middle. I will further note that Giuliani, in his criticism that Obama has not treated this like a war, has failed to mention the huge build-up of forces in Afghanistan. I remain deeply ambivalent about this strategy, but surely Giuliani would approve. It's many more troops and many more resources than Bush ever devoted to Afghanistan. And yet all Giuliani believed showed Obama's concern with terrorism was his use of the word "war" yesterday.

This is not a serious policy. It is not a serious politics.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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