If there are any unsung heros in the Northwest Airlines Christmas bombing failure, it has to be the father and mother of Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who made what was probably the most horrifying decision of their lives in informing Nigerian and international authorities that their son had become radicalized and was a potential jihadi. For a comparison of moral strength, consider the family behavior of cop-killer Maurice Clemmons who sheltered and aided Clemmons as he hid from police.
I have a mix of sympathy and admiration for the wealthy banker, Alhaji Mutallab who, earlier in the year, alerted authorities to potential dangers of a son who had sent text messages to his parents saying he wanted no further contact with them. The elder Mutallabs knew that his son’s mind had been poisoned by terrorists. Could hearts be more torn?
Shakespeare wrote in 1605 of the sharp divides which sometimes tear apart families in his famous “King Lear” wherein the king ends a speech with the line:
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.”
Umar Farouk Mutallab is not quite as sharp as a serpent’s tooth and a lot worse than a thankless child-he’s a brainwashed psychotic “soldier of Islam” who was begging to be conned into believing he was doing something important in his life in attempting to kill nearly 300 innocent people. Of course, to the Islamo-Nazis, there are no innocents because there is much looking inward for Allah and much blaming outward for not living in the 7th Century.
Meanwhile, we were assured by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that “things were going smoothly” at America’s airports. Ms. Napolitano, in making this rush to reassure Americans that international flights were secure even when they knew they were not, damaged the already faltering credibility of the Obama administration.
President Obama so much wants to project a laid-back non-reactionary image to the issues of the day that he seems to have adopted a one-response-fits-all demeanor to all signs of trouble. While I can appreciate self-restraint, President Obama carries this posture to the extreme.
Having promised “engagement” and “reaching out” with Iran even prior to his election, Mr. Obama has seemed to adhere to a policy of silent deference, only recently making reference to the brutal repression in Tehran’s streets, and this with the prospect of more “engagement” as we come to the end of the year and “sanctions.” You’d think that a person with such a reputation for eloquence might be able to deliver a stirring line or two for Iran’s freedom fighters.
Obama’s silence is not a pregnant one-it is an abortive one. Silence is being interpreted worldwide as weakness, even as Ahmadinajad’s government kills its citizens, supports terror against Western democracies, and provides assistance to insurgents attempting to kill American troops. Beyond campaigning, President Obama seems never to grasp the significance of a moment. Former President Reagan was often restrained and sometimes wrong, but he knew when history had reached a fulcrum and the chips could fall on either side. Compare Obama’s fretting as protestors are shot down in Iranian streets with “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Perhaps no decision by the White House will have such a destructive impact on U.S. national security is the closing of Guantanamo and the decision to treat terrorists as criminals. As if to add insult to injury, two of the AQAP members in Yemen had been released from Guantanamo by the Bush administration and have rejoined the anti-west jihad.
While Al Quaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for aiding Abdulmutallab in a statement accompanied by a dated photo of him in Yemen, there will be little information coming about his contacts and associates since arriving in Yemen. Instead of a military investigation, we will have a scene likely to serve as a plot for liberal Law and Order police procedurals.
After 9 months of delay and deliberation, President Obama made the right decision in meeting General McChrystal’s request for more troops in Afghanistan. Yet, he undermines whatever advantage that provides with the announcement of an 18 month deadline. Now there is talk of sending Senator Kerry to Tehran to engage in late round discussions which would, within the moment, validate the brutal murderers who are shooting people down in the streets for protesting the fascist regime.
The desire of the Obama administration to depict the Christmas bomber as an isolated self-radicalized Jihadi is not holding up to pressure from many sources outside the White House. The Obama White House should not appear to be stonewalling these efforts of inquiring minds.
Did Abdulmutallab manufacture PETN in his bedroom? Did Abdulmutallab sew the explosive into his underwear himself? How did Abdulmutallab come up with the approximately 3400 dollars in cash used to purchase his tickets at a KLM ticket outlet in Nigeria? Why and where did the U.S. issue a multiple-entry visa to a person who was denied a visa by the British government for cause? Why did the Dutch allow Abdulmutallab to pass through security points without questioning or further detaining him? Who was the man reported by two Detroit lawyers to be accompanying Abdulmutallab at the airport?
These questions need to be answered, no matter the inconvenience to the Obama administration or the airlines.