Open up the New York Post today and you'll learn that columnist Ralph Peters and suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad have something in common -- they're both blaming president Obama for Shahzad's attempted attack, sharing the same dismal lack of credibility.
Peters, who pretty clearly harbors a reactionary animosity toward Islam and toward the president, wrote a fact-free column applying the analytic skills of a junior high school student to the recent bombing attempt. It goes like this:
Appeasement doesn't work. It doesn't work with dictators, and it doesn't work with terrorists. The attempted Times Square bombing was yet more proof.
We've allowed Islamist extremists to dictate what we can say, print or portray. We don't want to offend them. The First Amendment bows before Islam.
The Obama administration has ducked all unwelcome evidence that such appeasement doesn't work. Instead, it goes to absurd lengths to convince Muslim radicals that we respect their views.
Our counterfactual assumption is that, if we're really, really nice, the fanatics will stop being grumpy and blowing us up. But Islamist extremists haven't read our actions (or inactions) as an admirable exercise in tolerance. They read our bowing and scraping and apologizing as weakness.
The mean-dog law applies: Let that pit bull sense that you're afraid, and you're going to feel its teeth.
The dogs of terror smell fear. Terror's response to our president's Cairo valentine to fanaticism last year was the Fort Hood massacre, the attempted Christmas Day bombing, now the botched bombing of Times Square -- and a swelling number of foiled plots.
First of all, Obama has not expressed respect for "Muslim radicals." He has reached out to the vast majority of Muslims who are potential allies in our fight against violent extremists. Anyone who cannot make this distinction is unqualified to comment on terrorism.
Credible observers of counterterrorism efforts under Obama reject the notion that he has implemented a policy of "appeasement" toward terrorists. As Media Matters noted, several top Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives have been captured or killed under Obama, and General Ray Odierno stated that the death of two top Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders during a recent raid is "potentially the most significant blow to Al Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency." Obama also stepped up the use of drone strikes and increased troop levels in Afghanistan.
In fact, contrary to Peters' belief that the attempted attack is "proof" that Obama's policy of "appeasement" emboldens extremists, a report in the same newspaper that published Peters' column states that Shahzad was motivated by a desire to retaliate "for US drone attacks that wiped out the leadership of his beloved Taliban":
The Connecticut man charged yesterday with the botched Times Square car bombing confessed to trying to slaughter innocent people in retaliation for US drone attacks that wiped out the leadership of his beloved Taliban, The Post has learned.
Admitted terrorist Faisal Shahzad -- who copped to training in explosives in the past year with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the leading extremist Islamic group in his native Pakistan -- said he was driven to evil by the slew of deaths among leaders of the terror group, law-enforcement sources revealed yesterday.
His training came in a tribal area where American drone aircraft have pummeled members of the Pakistan Taliban and al Qaeda in the past year.
Sources said he was an eyewitness to the onslaught throughout the eight months he spent in Pakistan beginning last summer.
In claiming Shahzad is a "pit bull" asserting dominance over a "submissive" United States, Peters evidently doesn't feel the need to grapple with the seeming inconsistency of the U.S. killing militants with drone strikes while simultaneously being "submissive" to them. A benefit of residing in an alternate reality, I suppose.