This won’t be easy. Even with these good Obama advisers in place, it seems this administration is always drawing to an inside straight on national security.
They make it harder than it should be. No coherent intellectual framework exists for their version of fighting terror. The rhetoric is frequently awful. The White House political staff is an unreliable ally. Eric Holder’s indictments of the CIA interrogators loom (would anyone have objected to waterboarding Dr. Balawi if his cover had been blown?). Mr. Obama’s left wing in Congress and the party base won’t help, and the days of organized labor’s reliability on national security are gone. The cool Mr. Obama’s own commitment will always be hard to read.
Who’s left? The right. The right has to find a way to separate the daily anti-Obama domestic policy wars (the front on which the 2010 election should be fought) from the hard complexities of the war on terror. Those two holiday horrors were a cold shower. I don’t care what they call this war if they start pushing antiterror policy in the right direction. The price of not giving this president more support than he gave George W. Bush is to let all the stone killers the jihadis can create over the next three years think they’ve got a shot. No thanks.