It's gratifying but (sadly) surprising to hear the Democratic Presidential candidate saying what us crazy liberal bloggers have been saying for years:
"Now in their attempt to distort my position, Senator McCain’s campaign has said I want to pursue a law enforcement approach to terrorism. This is demonstrably false, since I have laid out a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy that includes military force, intelligence operations, financial sanctions and diplomatic action. But the fact that I want to abide by the United States Constitution, they say, shows that I have a “pre-9/11 mindset.”
Well I refuse to be lectured on national security by people who are responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States. The other side likes to use 9/11 as a political bludgeon. Well, let’s talk about 9/11.
The people who were responsible for murdering 3,000 Americans on 9/11 have not been brought to justice. They are Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and their sponsors – the Taliban. They were in Afghanistan. And yet George Bush and John McCain decided in 2002 that we should take our eye off of Afghanistan so that we could invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The case for war in Iraq was so thin that George Bush and John McCain had to hype the threat of Saddam Hussein, and make false promises that we’d be greeted as liberators. They misled the American people, and took us into a misguided war.
Here are the results of their policy. Osama bin Laden and his top leadership – the people who murdered 3000 Americans – have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world. That’s the result of the Bush-McCain approach to the war on terrorism."
On a deeper level, this is a fine example of what I have come to like to much about Obama: his willingness to treat the electorate like grown-ups. That trait was evident in his speech about race and Reverend Wright, in the creation of his Fight the Smears website, and in his calling the various campaign tempests about flag pins and bowling scores "distractions" to which the American people will not succumb this time around. Too often, Democratic politicians have been afraid to try to argue the facts of 9/11 to the electorate. Many of them didn't trust the people could keep Osama and Saddam straight in their minds; others feared sounding pedantic. Without talking down to people, Obama puts his faith in people's intelligence. How refreshing.