As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war...But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe.Actually, saying we are at "war" does not change the reality of the situation either.
What it does do, however, is help send a message to our pyschotic al-Qaeda enemies that this is bigger, not smaller. This only increases their importance and effect.
It also, more troublingly, plays into the idea that this is not an all out effort on our part to expunge, exterminate, and wipe out fringe extremist radical Islamic terrorist cells, but that this is somehow part of some broader effort which may well even involve Islam itself -- which is probably just about the worst strategy we could engage in.
One of the many problems, from a political strategic and communication perspective, with Democrats, is that they think that anybody who is, or who they think, is wrong, must have really bad motives, or know they are lying, or just "evil."
Dick Cheney is almost radically right wing and militant. And Democrats have done a poor job of showing this, and defining Cheney with it, as opposed to simply presuming everyone "knows it." And the media has thus also done a poor job of covering it. But the fact is, this does not mean that Cheney is "evil" (although if ignorance is evil, Cheney may be sometimes thus), or that he is always, in his mind, lying.
What it does mean, in this particular instance, is that Cheney is, in the words of Karl Rove (talking about others, of course) "deeply, an profoundly, wrong." .
As for politicizing this, Cheney believes he is being fair and objective. Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald had an excellent post on this point recently, with respect to "Reason" magazine. When Obama said that the CBO "reports" instead of the more speculative "projects" -- because it suited Reason's extremely ideological beliefs, Obama was lying according to its Editor in Chief; there was even a picture of Obama with a Pinocchio nose.
But guess what. Greenwald looked at numerous Reason articles, and found out that by this "standard," Reason writers lied all the time. That is, whenever it suited their political purposes, the CBO "reported." Reasons writers said the CBO reported all the time, always in articles where the "report" suited their political beliefs.
But when a political Obama, and thus with more need to spin than a magazine named "Reason," did the same exact thing that "Reason" reporters, in "objectively reporting," did, the Editor in Chief called him a liar, and put a picture of him up with a Pinocchio nose.
Cheney is very likely the same way. He is being extrordinarily political, and is so lacking in objectivity, probably does not even realize it. Which is perhaps worse than even being extraordinarily politcal.(Here's another example, showing this is not just restricted to "Reason" magazine, or Dick Cheney.)
On top of that, in terms of his framing on this effort we need to engage in, after eight years of magnifying the problem, misdirecting resources, and failing to quell al-Qaeda, he is also, deeply, and profoundly wrong.